Want to check out a field trial? Here’s your chance….

Here’s a great chance to check out a pointing-dog field trial:

The Mid-Coast Maine Field Trial Club is holding their annual trial on May 1-2. The trial is in Prospect, ME, about 30 minutes from Bangor and an hour and a half from Augusta. It starts on Saturday at 7am.

For more info, directions to the grounds, or to enter, call Jeff Mahaney at 207-745-9759. You an email him at jmahaney@midmaine.com.

To learn more about cover-dog style field trials, go here. This site has a ton of info about the trials, along with an excellent introduction to the terms and categories it uses.

This is great event for anyone new to cover dog style, pointing dog field trials. There are several different events being run: Open Puppy, Open Shooting Dog, Open Derby, and a Gun Dog Challenge. These events are 20-30 minutes long. All of them will be run over a combination of liberated birds and wild woodcock. This is a no-kill trial, so the birds will not be shot and the dogs do not have to retrieve.

In all the events, dogs run in braces and the judges and handlers follow them on foot. You can join the “gallery” and follow along, too. This gives you a  chance to see how these trials work. You can also see how these dogs run.

If you have a pointer and you would like to try out a field trial, enter your dog in Sunday’s Gun Dog Challenge. It’s open to any breed of pointing dog and ideal for hunting dogs. Because the judges stop evaluating your dog once a pointed bird flushes, your dog does not have to be steady to wing and shot.

The stake is 20 minutes long. All you have to do is set your dog lose at the start and follow behind like you’re hunting. If your dog points a bird, walk in, flush it, and move on. That’s it. The judges will walk every brace. After all the dogs run, the judges declare a winner.

I ran my English Pointer, Puck, in this stake a few years ago. It was great introduction to the sport. If you want to get into trialing and see what kind of dog you have, you should check it out. Who knows, you may bring home a ribbon.

See you there.

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