1.      Definitions
2.     Objectives
3.     The Standard of Performance of Pointing Breeds
4.     Field Trial Rules for British Breeds


1.1     ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF FLUSH   This is when a dog reacts by stopping, pausing or dropping to the flush of game, usually within close proximity

of the flush.

1.2     ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF SHOT     This is as 1.1 above and generally coupled to the flush, but applies to the reaction to the shot.

1.3      BACK CASTING     This is when a dog returns to an area after already having “made it out” and moved away. The handler is usually also well past the

area in question.

1.4      BACKING    This is the acknowledgement by a dog, on sight of another dog on point. It is indicated by it stopping spontaneously and adopting an intense

attitude or pose.This is done without the scent of game.

1.5     BACKING THE GUN   This is when the dog cannot see his brace mate and backs a handler, or a raised gun.

1.6     BARREN POINT     This is when a dog gives every indication of the presence of game but after a brief pause, or period of enquiry, establishes

that the game has moved on, and continues hunting. It is also considered a barren point if he readily moves off once the handler fails

to prove the presence of game. The brace-mate confirms the presence of scent in contrast to false pointing, where no interest is shown.

1.7    BARREN ROUND     This is when there has been no game during a given pairing of dogs in a round.

1.8     BLINKING GAME     This is when a dog deliberately turns away from, or avoids game. Typical examples are:

1.8.1 Upon sight or flush of game, the dog turns away and retreats towards his handler;

1.8.2 Upon striking scent, instead of locating and pointing the game, he declines to do so and moves away;

1.8.3 A dog which deliberately leaves a point on eventually proven game, (usually by the other dog) and continues hunting.

Not to be confused with a dog recasting from a point with the intent to prove game.

1.9     BLINKING THE BACK     This is when a dog deliberately ignores the pointing dog and continues hunting in a different direction, without necessarily

“stealing the point” or attempting to do so. The “blinking” dog will often snap onto a (barren) point instead of backing.

1.10     BORING     This is when a dog runs straight into the wind instead of quartering.

1.11     BRACE     This refers to two dogs paired to hunt together by draw or Judges’ choice.

1.12     BRACE-MATE     This is one of a pair of dogs in a brace.

1.13     BREAKING IN ON GAME     This is when a dog, without instruction and generally without his handler in the immediate vicinity, deliberately rushes in

on game from a point. Often associated with CHASING.

1.14     BREAKING ON SHOT     This is when a dog makes a deliberate movement with the intent to retrieve after the shot is fired.

1.15     BUCK     This refers to larger species of antelope that are not normally hunted over pointing dogs.

1.16     BUMPING     See “Flush, Accidental”

1.17     BYE     This refers to a dog that is not paired with a brace-mate in a round, due to an uneven number of dogs in the draw.

1.18     CALL UP     This is the Judges instruction to the handler to call in and remove his dog from the course, either for being eliminated or the expiration

of the allotted time.

1.19     CAST     This is the direction and range demonstrated by a dog while seeking game.

1.20     CAST OFF     This is the instruction to start the dog hunting.

1.21     CHASE     This is when a dog deliberately chases any quarry. It is often associated with “giving tongue”.

1.22     CHECKING COMMAND     This is a command issued by the handler to instruct his dog to obey the rules when it has or is about to break them.

It can be either a direct command or implied by tone of voice, whistle or other device.

1.23     COMMAND BACK     This is when a handler checks and/or instructs his dog to back, when it does not do so spontaneously.

1.24     COURSE     This refers to the designated route on which the dogs and handlers are expected to follow

1.25     COVER     This refers to the grass or shrub on the course.

1.26     DELAYED CHASE     This refers to the dog running in the direction of flushed quarry instead of obeying the handler’s command to cast off in a different

direction. It may be after pointing, backing or acknowledgement of flush.

1.27     (THE) DRAW     This refers to the sequence in which pairs of dogs (braces) compete during a round, established by lot or judges’ choice.

1.28     DRAWING ON GAME     This is when a dog, having winded or pointed game, advances steadily towards it (usually in an attitude of stealth),

keeping on line if it moves and coming onto point when correctly distanced. Drawing is guided by scent, as distinct from roading,

which is advancing on visual contact.

1.29     DROPPING TO FLUSH OR SHOT     This is when a dog drops to a crouch when game is flushed, or a shot is fired.

Sitting or remaining standing is acceptable (See “Acknowledgement”)

1.30     FAILURE TO ENTER     This is failure of the dog to enter rough cover, water, ice, mud or other unpleasant situations.

1.31     FALSE POINT    This is when a dog assumes a pointing stance and obstinately holds it where there is no evidence of game and apparently no scent,

as evidenced by the lack of interest from the opposing dog.

1.32     FEATHERING     This is when a dog is preoccupied by scent in a restricted area, expecting to find game nearby and is evidenced by it making short

excited casts in that area.

1.33      FIND    This refers to game located by a dog.

1.34     FLAGGING     This refers to a dog hunting below standard due to tiredness or heat.

1.35     FLAGGING ON POINT     This is a lack of staunchness on game, generally indicated by limited tail movements. This is displayed:

• By older, more experienced dogs
• More in some breeds than others
• When game has left the area, but scent remains
• When the pointed game is at some distance away
• When the dog is unsure of the presence or distance of the game.
The actual presence of game is the criterion to be credited rather than the intensity of the point.

1.36     FLASH POINT     This is a point in which the dog stops only momentarily before the flush of game.

1.37     FLUSH, ACCIDENTAL     (also Bumping) This refers to the dog disturbing birds by running into them without having been aware of their presence.

Acknowledgement must follow the flush.

1.38     FLUSH, DELIBERATE     The handler, handler and dog, or dog only, are required to deliberately flush game by moving forward to prove the point,

and steadiness to flush and shot. An unauthorized “deliberate flush” is considered out of control and termed “breaking in on game”.

1.39     FOOT-SCENTING     This refers to a dog following ground scent of game, with nose held close to the ground.

1.40      FUR     This refers to hare or small antelope only, which could normally be shot over pointing dogs and which can be regarded as fair game for the pot.

1.41     GAME     This refers to accepted game birds, hare or buck. (See Game Birds Best Suited for Field Trials under “Guides and Notes”)

1.42      GIVING TONGUE     This refers to a dog yelping or barking while quartering (to be discouraged) or more commonly, giving chase.

1.43     GUNS     This refers to persons appointed by the Field Steward to do the shooting on behalf of the handlers.

1.44     GUNSHY This is when a dog is unnerved by gunfire, characterized either by staying close to the handler, bolting or exhibiting

a reluctance to continue hunting.

1.45      HEADING     This is an attempt by the dog to intercept or head off running birds, by making a wide cast around them. (See Guide to Rule 6)

1.46      HEELING     This is when a dog walks at the handler’s side, under instruction.

1.47     HOLDING THE POINT     This refers to the dog maintaining the point until the quarry is flushed.

1.48     HUNTING TRAIL     This is when the dog, with nose to the ground quests on and follows buck or fur scent, usually in a straight line.

1.49     INTERFERENCE     This is when a dog or his handler hinders or impedes the performance of a brace mate.

1.50     JUDGES’ ORDERS This refers to any instruction the Chief Judge might give to a handler. This is generally to command his dog, usually to hold

a point for the purpose of securing a back for a brace-mate or for any other reason his discretionary powers may permit.

1.50.1     DANGEROUS SITUATIONS: This refers to a situation where the Judges are of the opinion that the life of a dog may be in danger

and it is necessary to restrain and or remove the dog from the situation. The Judges will give an order to the handler to restrain and

or remove the dog and a second order to indicate to the handlers that the situation is under control and they may continue with the round.

1.51     MAKING GROUND GOOD     This is the thorough hunting and searching of the course within geographical and breed characteristic limits,

for the purpose of finding game.

1.52     MAKING OUT THE COVEY     This is when a dog, ensuring that none of the birds remains unfound, makes short casts in the immediate vicinity

of the previously located covey.

1.53     MARKING OR MARK     This is the characteristic of a dog to note the location of a bird having visually followed its flight path till it lands.

This may be from an “accidental” or “deliberate” flush, or “fall” after the bird is shot. This is often followed by the dog “taking a line” to the mark.

Not to be confused with “viewing away”.

1.54     MIRROR BACK     This is when a pair of dogs “back” each other, each assuming the other is “on point”.

1.55     OUT OF CONTROL     This is when a dog pays no attention to a handler’s commands and cannot be effectively controlled by his handler and fails

to respond on being called in. (See Guide to Rule 10).

1.56     OVERLY CAUTIOUS     This describes a dog moving hesitantly forward at a pace generally much slower than that of his handler’s normal walking pace,

usually indicating a lack of confidence.

1.57     PAIRING     This is the grouping together of pairs of dogs that the judges wish to see running together, or the random drawing of dogs to run together.

1.58     POINT     This is when a dog adopts a rigid and motionless attitude or pose indicating the presence of game accurately.

Performed standing or lying down, it is an unmistakable expression of a determination not to disturb the find.

1.59     POTTERING     This is when a dog works slowly about his handler, taking excessive time in working out scent. It also applies to the dog that hunts

ineffectually without either zest or pace.

1.60     PULLING     This is when a dog subtly manages or attempts to get his handler to follow him and divert him from the intended course.

This he does by insisting on hunting in his own direction.

1.61     QUARRY     This refers to any animal or bird that is hunted by the dog, including non-game species.

1.62     QUARTERING     Typically this refers to the dog while hunting, passing to and fro across the path of the handler, when there is no wind or a head wind.

It is also used to describe the process of hunting back towards the handler in the cases of cheek or tail winds (See Guide to Rule 6).

1.63     QUESTING     This is the actual searching on scent the dog has already found (See “Feathering” and “Drawing”).

1.64     RECAST     This is when the dog, having found scent, casts off (generally downwind) in an effort to regain lost scent – not to be confused

with “relocating, heading or blinking”.

1.65     RELOCATE     This is when a dog, having pointed game, repositions himself to retain contact with the quarry.

1.66     RETRIEVE     This is to find and bring back shot game.

1.67     ROADING     This refers to the stealthy advance on SIGHTED birds by a dog. The speed is ideally dictated by the moving quarry, but may be influenced

by the handler. The dog attempts to get nearer to the game, and comes on point when ideally distanced from the eventually concealed/stationary quarry

(See “drawing on game”).

1.68     RUNNER     This refers to an injured bird that leaves the area of fall after being shot.

1.69     RUNNING ORDER     This is the sequence, established by drawing or pairing, in which all brace will be run. Usually only the names of dogs are listed.

1.70     RUNNING STYLE     This is the manner in which dogs traverse a course, including speed and efficiency of movement.

1.71     ROUND     This refers to a complete set of pairings of dogs (braces) drawn to compete with one another.

1.72     SCRATCH A DOG    This is to withdraw a dog from an event after the draw has taken place but before the commencement of the event.

1.73     SELF-HUNTING     This is when a dog is hunting of his own accord, with little or no acknowledgment of his handler.

1.74     SET     This refers to the crouching attitude generally adopted by the “Setter” breeds, when on “Point” (See “Point”).

1.75     SHOTGUN RANGE     This refers to the effective killing range of a shotgun, generally up to 50 metres.

1.76     SHOT-OVER     This refers to the firing of a shotgun at a reasonably close proximity to a dog, to prove steadiness to shot or gun-shyness (See Rule 8).

1.77     SNAPPING     This is when a dog takes an obvious lunge in an attempt to catch game in its mouth. This is usually done with malicious intent.

1.78     STEALING THE POINT     This is when a dog fails to back and advances past or alongside the already pointing dog in an attempt

to secure the point for itself. This also applies to the dog approaching from the front (See Rule 10). This should be distinguished from “heading” by

the backing dog.

1.79     STICKINESS ON BACK     This is when a backing dog is over-hesitant or reluctant to continue hunting once the pointing dog has moved off,

from the area of its point. This applies as well to a dog that is always looking for every opportunity/excuse to back the other dog,

even if there is little reason to.

1.80     STICKINESS ON POINT AND SCENT     This refers to a dog being reluctant or refusing to “draw or road in on game”, even on command.

This also applies when the dog:

• Is extremely hesitant to leave an area that holds scent.
• Is hesitant or reluctant to move off a point, even after the absence of game has been proven by the brace mate.

1.81     STYLE    This refers to the intensity and staunchness exhibited by a dog whilst pointing or backing.

1.82     TAKING A LINE    This is when a dog runs directly in the direction of a “marked bird”, without hunting or quartering or investigating likely cover

in the intermediate ground.

1.83     TIME LIMIT     It is the arbitrary time of grace a dog is given to “come in” when such a dog is called in.

1.84     TRAILING      Rear-end     This is when one of a pair of dogs persistently follows the other usually more experienced dog.

   Head-on     This is when one of a pair of dogs seeks out and persists in running in front of the other

(Usually ahead of and slightly to one side). This indicates a jealous or dominant dog.

1.85     UNSTEADINESS     This refers to varying degrees of reluctance, or failing to acknowledge the flush and/or shot.

1.86     VIEWING AWAY     This is when a dog visually follows the flight of a bird, generally from an acknowledgement of flush (See “Marking”).

1.87     VOCALISING     This refers to a dog yelping and barking excessively whilst hunting or in the gallery.



2.1     The objectives of this document are:

2.1.1     To promote greater understanding of the logic that goes into judging a Field Trial for Pointing Breeds.

2.1.2     To achieve greater uniformity in the running of field trials.

2.1.3     To achieve consistency in the judging of the performances of the dogs competing at field trials.

2.2     The objectives of Field Trials are:

2.2.1     To determine the relative merits of the various Pointing Breeds.

2.2.2     To inform the public of the level of performance required to perpetuate the most desirable qualities possessed by the various Pointing Breeds.

2.2.3     To provide competition of the highest calibre so as to stimulate enthusiastic training and competition of these dogs.

2.2.4     To conduct field trials on terrain and on quarry best suited to the breeds’ performance characteristics and standards.

Quarry should be in sufficient numbers to minimize the element of luck and give each competing dog an equal opportunity.

2.2.5 To maintain and improve the standard of pointing breeds in the RSA.

2.3     The objectives of judging field trials are:

2.3.1     To “Judge the dogs TOTAL performance” against an ultimate standard. The standard has been developed from the manner in which each

of the breeds execute their intended function, which is ultimately dictated by the quarry being hunted and the conditions where found.

It is imperative that the performance characteristics of the various breeds are adhered to.

2.3.2     The task of Judges is to find the dog which, on the day, pleases them most in the light of the above, and to give the dogs every opportunity

to work well by seeing that conditions are in their favour as far as possible. Where feasible, they should demonstrate to competitors and

spectators how their decisions are reached. It is the better dogs who should be fully tried and not the hopeless ones.

2.3.4     To judge and favour a dog’s performance in the type of terrain and conditions best suited to their respective breeds.

2.3.5     That it is desirable that the winners incur no errors or faults. It is also good practice to award a title to a dog that displays

all of the characteristics of THE STANDARD even though such a dog might incur some minor error or breach of manners,

than to award a title to a dog lacking many of these qualities.

2.3.6     A dog should be rewarded for brilliance of performance in spite of trivial error rather than on a basis of errorless mediocrity.

2.3.7     The responsibility of the Judges is to determine how much credit they shall give to certain types of exceptional performance

and how much penalty to apply because of various individual faults, or the repetitions of the same faults or combinations of

various faults. Some faults are sufficiently serious to justify elimination from a stake whereas others may justify only a

moderate or minor penalty. Some of the latter may be so minor that for practical purposes they can be ignored. On the other hand,

minor faults can summate into moderate or serious faults through repetition or through a combination of several types of fault.

2.3.8     That the judging of dogs in field trials can best be described as an attempt at the objective interpretation of the rules, with a view

to awarding such placings and Certificate of Merit to those dogs who acquitted themselves sufficiently on the day.

Much of the subjectivity of the field trials can be overcome if the successful Judge has a firm grasp of the logic of field trials.

This can be complicated at times by varying opinion as to what constitutes an acceptable standard of a dog’s performance

in the various stakes. Whilst it is almost impossible to put into words a standard of performance that will cover all spheres of their working abilities,

this is no reason why an attempt should not be made.

2.3.10     The Field Trial Rules and Guides make numerous references to the discretionary powers of and interpretations of merit by the judges

and it is therefore essential that these are exercised with consistency, honesty and within the spirit and intent of the Rules and the Standard.



The performance is one where the very action of the dog denotes an interest in his work.

His work must be full of animation and at all times the dog must be hunting for game in an independent and intelligent manner by using the wind

or lack thereof, correctly and productively.

His performance must reflect a credit to his breed, and the dog should move with the least obvious exertion for the greatest effect.

The dog must have the desire to hunt and point game with the fire and intensity that makes his work spectacular or, at least, pleasing.

The dog must be adaptable and self-adapting, controllable and self-controlled.

The dog serves best when saving the hunters legs, and covering the most ground in the least time and he must use the different types of cover and conditions

as he comes to them and negotiate each productively, going wide, far, fast, slow, close and/or narrow as the conditions dictate.

The dog must do this of his own accord, naturally through training and experience.

The dog’s performance must be complete in every respect and must consist of a positive display of manners, game finding, controlling,

pointing and holding abilities, staunchness and steadiness to shot and flush. He must also display a willingness and ability to acknowledge the flush

of game and the finds and points of the other dogs by “backing” spontaneously and holding the “back” for as long as it is necessary without interference

to the staunchly pointing dog or the game being pointed.

He must retrieve the shot game on command in a quick and expeditious manner without unduly disturbing too much ground and should deliver tenderly to hand,

when required to do so.

The dog must hunt and handle all the accepted species of indigenous game birds (See : Guide to Accepted Game Bird Species), and ABOVE ALL,

he must be in total harmony with his handler, for no other purpose than to give him the opportunity to shoot the pointed game in a

manner befitting sportsmen – as there can only be one measure for a good dog, and that is how well he serves the gun.




1.1     Every dog shall be presented on time for each of its rounds. If absent for more than a quarter of an hour after being called,

that dog is liable to be disqualified by the judges, and it’s opponent shall run a bye or with another dog if required.

1.2     The judges shall have the power of disqualifying both dogs should they both be absent.

1.3     A dog which has entered into a stake may only be withdrawn from such stake with the consent of the Judges.

1.4.     A dog which is withdrawn from a stake without the consent of the Judges may be disqualified.


1.a     The Field Steward, in announcing the pair down for any given round, must also announce the next pair to be on standby.

1.b     Before disqualifying a dog/s as provided for above, the judges should be absolutely sure that the reasons for the handler being absent

are inexcusable.



2.1 The judges shall decide when and whether a bye be run or not, and if so, with which dog the competitor shall run.

2.2 If not run, the dog drawing a bye shall be run in the first pair of the following round.


The Chief Judge through the Chief Steward should indicate to the handler of the bye dog if and when he will fit him into the draw.



3.1 Dogs should be judged from the moment of the cast-off to the moment they are called in. Any action, from call-in to the return to leash,

should be judged on its merits at the judges’ discretion.

3.2 Judges should only call in dogs if both dogs are visible to the judges and not working scent. A time limit applies for dogs to prove the

presence of game in these circumstances or to locate a dog that is not visible.


3.a     Time limits are generally governed by the time available, the stake being judged and the geographical conditions of the area.

3.b     The Judges, at their discretion, will allow a dog to be out of their and the handler’s sight for a limited period at the end of a brace’s

allotted time, given that the dog may be on point. Thereafter they may call up the brace.

3.c    Dogs on point or on scent should be allowed time to conclude that action. Discretion by the judges must be applied as to how much time

to give them to prove the point. This time limit is entirely at the discretion of the judges as they may have seen enough of a particular dog’s

work on birds, or they may wish to use the scent for other purposes.



4.1     A handler may speak, whistle or use hand signals as he thinks proper. However, he can be called to order by the judges, through the Chief Steward,

for making unnecessary noise. If he persists in doing so, they can order the dog to be taken up and put out of the stake.

4.2     The judges, when deciding the merits of a dog’s performance shall take the extent to which it is commanded into account.

4.3     Checking commands are not permitted in Maiden, Brace and Championship standard stakes. Please noteDeleted at NFTA AGM 2016

4.4     A handler may not physically block or restrain his dog.

4.5     If the opponent’s dog points game, or is roading or drawing on game, the other dog is not to be intentionally drawn across him so as to

take the point.

4.6     Any handler, who considers that the behaviour of his opponent is unsettling his dog, may, through the Chief Steward, appeal to the judges

against such behaviour.

4.7     Deputy Handling a Dog

If a deputy handles a dog, the owner may walk in line with the deputy but may not take part in the working or handling of his dog.

4.8     Substitution of Handlers

A handler of a dog may not be substituted during the course of a trial without the consent of the Judges.

4.9     The use of any device, electronic device or simulated electronic device, that may influence the dog’s action in a field trial, is forbidden.


4.a     The stake being judged will influence the discretion applied by the judges with regard to the extent of commanding.

Checking commands issued during Derby Stakes will generally be more leniently judged.

4.b     The object of faulting checking commands is to evaluate the dog’s SPONTANEITY to display the required manners. Judges should distinguish

between encouragement of the dog, instructional commands and checking commands. They should also advise and caution a nervous handler

who unintentionally checks his dog.

4.c     Judges are to guard against handlers trying to do the dog’s work as well as questionable handling practices – the consequence of these

practices can be counterproductive and should be discouraged.

4.d     “Judge the dog, NOT the handler” - however a handler’s action, or lack thereof, may affect a dog’s performance, which is what is being judged.

It is not uncommon for a judge to bring to a handler’s attention the consequences of his actions. (The judge must be careful not to

unnecessarily “interfere” with a handler’s style of handling).



5.1     Dogs must be worked together in a direction indicated by the field steward. The handlers must walk within a reasonable distance of one another,

as if they were shooting together.

5.2     After a caution the judges have the power to disqualify the dog whose handler persists in ignoring this rule.


5.a     The judges, through the field steward, are to insist on handlers keeping the indicated front and course.

5.b     It is generally agreed that handlers should refrain from running to their dogs with a loaded shotgun, on point or at any time – this does

not preclude him from doing so.  The judges, however, are not obliged to keep pace with the running handler, and any work which

may occur beyond the reasonable range or view of the judges will not be taken into account. A Judge can only adjudicate what he sees - besides,

it is ungentlemanly, unsafe, and should be unnecessary to run.  The good dog is meant to hold the point and / or have the

situation under his control. A running handler may injure himself, may disturb the quarry, or more seriously, he may disturb or unsettle

his opponent’s dog, with the possible consequences of Rule 4



6.1     The Judges shall decide the merits of a dog’s work based on how well his TOTAL PERFORMANCE approximates “THE STANDARD”,

ensuring that his finds were the result of intelligent searching and not the outcome of the opposing dog’s efforts.

6.2     The judges shall not judge the merits of a dog’s performance solely on the number of times a dog finds and points game, but rather

on the quality of his work.

6.3     A dog, which has not found, pointed and proved game, nor been shot over cannot be given a prize or Certificate of Merit.


6.a To formulate an opinion on the hunting ability of a dog in a brace, it is very helpful if the judge studies the prospective terrain

(as described by the Chief Steward) to be covered during that brace. Taking cognisance of wind direction, likely hotspots for

birds and the ground conditions, he then should create a mental picture of how he would like to see the ground covered.

The dog’s hunting is then judged against that mental image.

6.b Heading of birds is considered excellent work if executed correctly. This is an attempt by the dog to intercept or head off running birds,

by making a wide cast around them. The outcome of the exercise must prove his intent, and it may be on sighted or unsighted birds.

Either the pointing or backing dog may head, although generally the former.  Heading by the backing dog must be judged carefully,

as it may be confused with “stealing the point”.

6.c     Nothing should make a dog voluntarily relinquish a point so long as he winds game and nothing but the wish to continue his point

should make him neglect the acknowledgement of flush and shot.

6.d Undue credit should not be given to the dog who is brought to his point either by the other dog’s work or by the handler on marked birds,

or who has done no work of his own locating the quarry.

6.e     The find is often at some distance from the handlers and judges, and can therefore allow the quarry time to move off.

Control of this situation is a measure of quality in a dog, the end goal always being to present the game to the gun.

Caution has to be displayed as a premature deliberate flush out of range would be a cardinal sin.

Excessive caution displayed by the dog remaining staunchly on point may result in it losing touch with the moving quarry.

Once the guns arrive, the pointing dog should relocate with confidence and control, guiding the handler to the quarry.

6.f     Ideally, the direction of the course should be into the wind to allow to dogs full use of the wind, quartering in front of their handlers.

(See Definition: “Quartering”). In the event of a tail wind, the dog should go speedily downwind in a straight line and then “quarter”

back into the wind and towards his handler.  With a cheek wind, he should run far crosswind and then decrease and increase

his distance from the handler, until he is well windward of the handler, then repeat the process.

6.g     In all cases, the dog should always maintain his crisscross pattern by intelligently placing himself at best advantage to use the prevailing wind.



7.1     A dog cannot be placed first, second or third in any stake (other than a Puppy Stake), unless it has backed.

7.2     A dog must back of its own volition. The backing dog’s reaction should be on sight of the pointing dog (i.e. looking at it) and should have

nothing to do with scent.


The principle object of backing is that the brace-mate of the pointing dog does not disturb the quarry located by the latter.

This enables the handlers to approach the brace with the situation under control. The pointing dog now has the opportunity to prove the presence of game.

The backing dog is in position to help locate the quarry should it move, or the pointing dog proves uncertain or over-cautious.

Should the covey disperse, the backing dog is in position to find birds left behind.


7.a     The prime task of a pointing dog is the finding of game for himself and the less he looks to the other dog for a back the more zealously

he will attend to his task of hunting and pointing. It is quite enough that a dog backs when the opportunity arises.

7.b The backing dog is permitted to move forward cautiously while the pointing dog remains stationary, but not jealously ahead,

or beyond the position where he could put unnecessary pressure, to the extent of disturbing the pointing dog, or the quarry.

It is considered desirable that the backing dog “mirror” the pointing dog’s forward movement.

7.c     When the pointing dog moves in to quest, the backing dog may without word from his handler assist in the search for game,

provided that in doing so, the game is not prematurely flushed.

7.d     A dog remaining stubbornly on back once the pointing dog draws on moving birds is not assisting and should be faulted if he refuses

to obey his handler’s command to move in. (See Definition: Stickiness on back).

7.e     If the pointing dog hesitates and is unsure of the location of the quarry, (generally indicated by not being motionless on the point)

the backing dog could take over the initiative. This may indicate a better nose and/or more decisive hunting of game, or he could be

in a better position to wind the quarry.  However, if he races jealously forward and flushes the quarry, he must be faulted.

The reduction of the action to a race to the quarry (by both dogs) must be discouraged by penalizing the culprit.

Taking over in these conditions may well be interpreted as “stealing the point”.

7.f     Taking over the initiative also applies when the front dog is roading or drawing on game over-cautiously. The over-cautious or uncertain

“leading” dog may be overtaken by a more decisive dog. This overtaking must be done without flushing the quarry or reducing

the action to a race to the quarry.

7.g     A dog need no longer continue to back a dog, if, whilst so doing, he winds/locates and points his own game (usually indicated by the dog

looking away from the first pointing dog towards his own find. Judges must differentiate this from a dog blinking the back).

This generally happens when the leading dog is roading or drawing on game, when a covey splits up, or when a bird is left behind or to one side

by the leading dog, which the backing dog then winds and points.

7.h     At least one of the Judges should try to position himself behind and in line with the pointing and backing dogs so that without

much effort he can have both dogs in view at all times.

7.i     Judges are advised to caution handlers not to obscure the view of the backing dog by standing or crossing between it and the pointing dog.

If the backing dog repositions itself for the above reason and flushes game in the process, he may be pardoned for so doing provided his repositioning

does not constitute “stealing the point”.

7.j     Judges should recognize the nervous handler who unintentionally checks his dog, and if in doubt as to the handler’s intention, request that

he refrain from doing so, so that the dog’s spontaneity to back on sight can be put to the test. This also applies to other aspects of a dog’s

work, such as the acknowledgements to flush and shot.  (See Checking Commands under Rule 4).

7.k     Especially when in heavy cover and where a “back” is required by a dog, the handler of the dog requiring the back shall be permitted

to bring the attention of his dog to the pointing dog, provided this is done in a manner that cannot be construed as a command back.

7.l     In the event of the backing dog approaching from the front or side (of the pointing dog), he is still required to back on sight.

He should not continue advancing (or drawing on the pointing dog) until he intercepts scent. This would be considered “stealing the point”.

7.m     The Judges should attempt to give a deserving dog that has not had the opportunity to back, every chance to do so.

A pointing dog may be held on point by order of the senior judge (Judges Orders) for the purpose of securing a back by his brace mate.

The pointing dog should not incur a penalty for misbehaviour in reference to that particular point and immediate consequences of that point if held

for a period longer than would be considered normal in a hunting situation (it being recognized that the dog is being subjected to unusual restraints).

7.n     The judges may elect to carry a “sticky” dog through to the latter part of an event for the sole purpose of using it to secure backs

for the other dogs (which have not had the opportunity to back). Once the objective has been achieved

(i.e. providing an opportunity for a dog to back) both dogs should be called in immediately.



8.1     Both the pointing and backing dogs are required to remain steady upon the flush of the quarry and the shot.

8.2     Before a place or certificate can be awarded to a dog, the Judges must be satisfied that the dog is not gun-shy and is steady to shot

It is therefore required that the dog be shot over.

8.3     The handler is permitted to shoot over his dog:

8.3.1 Upon the flushing of game from a point;
8.3.2 When the point and flush are simultaneous;
8.3.3 Upon a flush when a dog is roading or drawing onto moving game. There should be no doubt that the dog has the quarry and situation under control.

8.4     The handler (or his appointed/delegated deputy) must carry a shotgun in every instance. Only the required number of guns shall be carried

during any field trial event.

8.5     The Judges may delegate a deputy to shoot for the handler.

8.6     The firing of a shotgun is only to take place within reasonable shotgun range.

8.7     Stringent gun safety measures must be observed at all times.


8.a     Ideally the dog and handler move in on the quarry in unison, the latter being pressurized into flushing.

8.b     Variances range from the dog being instructed to flush the birds ahead of the handler, to the dog remaining staunchly on point while the

handler attempts to flush the quarry in front of it. While it is preferable that the dog finds the birds, both techniques are acceptable if the end

result is successful. In the first case, the advantages are that the dog is more accurately able to induce a flush, while also freeing

the gun to focus on his shot. In the second case, the handler is sometimes not able to induce the flush, and has in the interim disturbed

the ground ahead of the dog.

8.c     Judges should differentiate “unsteadiness” from a dog repositioning itself to “view away” flushed game.

Viewing away is permitted as long as further birds aren’t disturbed, and is generally recognized by the dog stopping

once the birds are seen.

8.d     Judges are to guard against a handler steadying his dog to flush by firing, against needless persistent firing and unnecessarily delayed

firing after the flush.

8.e     Although preferable to prove gun-shyness and steadiness whilst a dog is on point, it can also be achieved with a dog on back.

The dog has, at some stage, to be shot over from a reasonably close proximity.

8.f     The object of remaining steady after the flush and the shot is to not disturb the rest of the covey and to allow the guns to reload.



The judges shall determine how much penalty to apply to dogs committing the following faults. The perpetration of these faults can be a question of degree,

and can be adjudged as trivial through to serious. In extreme cases they can be deemed cause for elimination. Discretion has to be applied by the judges,

guided by the recommendation put forward under “Objectives of Judging Field Trials”.

9.1     Faults while hunting:

9.1.1     A dog not hunting with a minimum of the qualities expected from it in respect of “THE STANDARD”;
9.1.2     Not making ground good;
9.1.3     Failing to use available wind (including boring);
9.1.4     Trailing;
9.1.5     Inability of the handler to get a dog to hunt the course;
9.1.6     Obvious tendency of the dog to draw his handler off the intended course with repeated barren points – “a dog’s job is to point game, not scent alone”;
9.1.7     Failure to adjust to the cover being worked;
9.1.8      The handler attempting to cover up the failings in his dog, or does his work for him;
9.1.9      A dog will only respond to noisy and/or excessive handling;
9.1.10    Insistence of the dog to hunt behind the handler;
9.1.11    Excessive vocalizing;
9.1.12    Repeatedly back-casting to return to scent.

9.2     Faults while pointing:

9.2.1     Persistent false pointing;
9.2.2     Persistent barren pointing;
9.2.3     Flushing and failure to accurately locate birds;
9.2.4     Repeatedly leaving birds behind, including not “making out the covey”;
9.2.5     Stickiness on point and/or scent;
9.2.6     Flushing birds on taking over from an overly cautious dog;
9.2.7     Checking commands to steady the pointing dog.

9.3     Faults while backing:

9.3.1     Obvious reluctance to back, including putting undue pressure on pointing dog;
9.3.2     Command backing especially when the dog is about to steal a point;
9.3.4     Stickiness on back.

9.4 Faults upon flushing:

9.4.1     Failing to acknowledge flush;
9.4.2     Unsteadiness to flush;
9.4.3     Taking a line on flushed game;
9.4.4     A dog requiring a checking command to acknowledge flush.

9.5     Faults after the shot:

9.5.1     Failure to acknowledge shot
9.5.2     Unsteadiness to shot;
9.5.3     If a handler has to command the dog to remain steady after the shot.


9.a     Interpretation by the judges as to the degree of a fault, as well as the sum of faults in one or more rounds must be weighed against

the overall performance of the dog.

9.b     Most faults are repeatable and if doubt exists, they will often be displayed again in subsequent rounds.

9.c     Dogs that “mark” birds, then make out and hunt the intermediate ground before pointing the “marked birds” should be credited

rather than faulted.



A pair of dogs should be called up immediately one or both dogs commit an eliminating fault. The primary reason being to protect the innocent dog and also to

leave no doubt as to the elimination of the offending dog from the stake. However if the nature of the fault is deemed to present no risk to the innocent brace-mate,

the judges may allow the brace to continue running to its conclusion.


10.1     Eliminating faults while hunting:

10.1.1    Lacking Ability;
10.1.2    Distinct Chasing;
10.1.3    Out of Control;
10.1.4    Pottering;
10.1.5    Hunting Trail.

10.2 Eliminating faults while pointing:

10.2.1    Breaking in on game;
10.2.2    Snapping at game;
10.2.3    Blinking game.

10.3 Eliminating faults while backing:

10.3.1    Blinking the back;
10.3.2    Refusing to back;
10.3.3    Stealing the point;
10.3.4    Attempting to steal the point;

10.4    Eliminating faults after flush or shot:

10.4.1    Breaking in on shot or flush;
10.4.2    Distinct Chasing
10.4.3    Gunshyness.


10.a      A dog making a distinct chase should be called up immediately. If, however, in the Derby Stakes, he starts to chase and is easily

checked by his handler, he may still be a good and certainly obedient dog. He should be given credit for obedience and not ruled out for this alone.

10.b     A dog is considered to be out of control if he hunts at a range where he cannot effectively be controlled by his handler and also when

he fails to respond to being called in and is obviously self hunting.

10.c      Wherever possible the calling up of a dog, before the end of its allotted time due to an eliminating fault, must be done through

the Chief Judge.  This should require the other two judges to consult him if possible. At times when he is unsighted, one or both of the

other judges have to make a call of elimination. There must be absolutely no doubt as to the eliminating offence in this event.



11.1    In judging dogs on quail the dog doing positive work on them should be given the credit he deserves. Should he elect to work them and faults

in so doing, then he should be penalized accordingly. Should he choose to ignore them he must not be faulted for doing so.

11.2    This also applies to the quasi game birds such as the various bustards, snipe and waterfowl as described herein.


Care must be taken when judging any action on any bird or animal not considered fair game for the pot and not generally shot over pointing dogs in a

normal hunting situation. Benefit of the doubt should be given to the dog in these situations.



12.1     Brace Stakes are to be judged to championship standard. All winning braces must have been down twice and each dog must have at least a point

and a back to his credit and must have been shot over.

12.2     Trailing by either dog in this stake is an eliminating fault.


12.a    The object of running a brace is to cover twice the amount of ground as that covered by one dog and his handler.

12.b    Ideally a brace should be matched for speed and style. They should hunt independently, yet be aware of each other.

12.c    The most desirable brace work is for the pair to cross roughly in front of their handler, during their process of quartering.

12.d    As placement in the brace stake qualifies a dog for championship stakes, judges are to guard against placing dogs

that do not deserve to compete therein.




13.a     When judging derby stakes, the primary goal is to reward potential in the young dogs. The manners are often not yet entrenched

in their behaviour but, with astute training, will come in time.

13.b    The maiden stakes are qualifiers for the championships, so it stands to reason that the dogs rewarded here should be able to hold their

own at the higher level.  All the basic requirements of a good gundog should be evident at this point.

13.c    As the stakes are run concurrently, the judges are required to differentiate the varying requirements of the different stakes.

For this reason placings may differ between dogs in the different stakes.



Drug abuse in competing dogs is not permitted and may result in elimination or disqualification from an event.


14. a    Should it come to the attention of the Executive Committee that a competing dog is suspected of drug abuse,

the Committee may at its discretion require that an impartial veterinarian present, be instructed to draw blood samples for drug testing.

14.b    Should the sample tested, prove positive on any dog that has been awarded a place or a certificate of merit,

such an award will be withheld and the dog deemed to have been disqualified.

14.c    If a dog irrespective of being placed or awarded a certificate of merit has been found guilty of abusing any drug, the Executive Committee

will have the right to ban or suspend such owner/handler from future competition.

14.d        1) Blood testing for drug misuse must be done within the prescribed limitations and manner as required by the testing authorities.

2) Should the sample tested prove positive for a banned substance, the costs of such testing, including veterinarian as well as

laboratory costs will be for the owners’ account.


Prohibited drugs are generally divided into 3 categories
a) Anabolic Steroids: - used to build up muscle, thereby increasing speed and endurance.
b) Performance Enhancers: e.g. Amphetamines etc.
c) Anti Inflammatory / Painkillers: reduce symptoms of injury so that the dog can continue competing after the body would normally tell him to stop.

The principle objections to their use are:

a) By masking the symptoms of pain, there is risk of further injury to the dog by continued exertion.

b) Unfair advantages of the competitors who are prepared to use drugs over those who, for the sake of their dog’s health, are not.

c) Possible selection of bad traits. If arthritis (from Hip Dysplasia, poor joint or tendon conformation, and extremes in build) is masked,

a dog could continue to compete (and breed) for years, potentially harming the breed in this country.

d) Potentially lethal results from overuse of anti inflammatory drugs - especially stomach ulcers. These occur surprisingly quickly in dogs.



Listed below are the species of Terrestrial Game Birds most commonly found and utilized in Field Trials in the Republic of South Africa due mainly

to their suitability and acceptable range of habitat:

Greywing Francolin
Redwing Francolin
Shelleys Francolin
Orange River Francolin

These are typical grassveld species occurring from mountain slopes to savannah. They generally sit tight and are very acceptable for field trial purposes.
Others are:-

Swainsons Francolin

Generally suitable for field trial purposes but have a tendency to run under certain conditions. They inhabit a wide spectrum of habitat, from bushveld to open grassland,

and frequent heavy cover around lands and contour strips and have adapted well to cultivated agriculture. A good and abundant field trial bird if found in suitable conditions.

Coqui Francolin

Occur in territorial coveys in open bushveld and often found in Protea veld. These birds, if found in reasonably open grassland, are an ideal bird for use under field trial conditions.

The other francolin species such as:

Red Billed Francolin;
Natal Francolin;
Red Necked Francolin;
Crested Francolin;
Cape Francolin

are not really suited for field trial purposes as their habitat generally includes riverine or heavy bush which is often unsuitable for field trial use.

They are also very limited in numbers but on occasions are found in suitable terrain and must be used and judged accordingly.


This species presents a good field trial prospect when there are young pullets, chicks or doting hens. They are found in late summer or early autumn

and in open grassland conditions. Unfortunately, field trials are not normally held at this time of year.

If, during the winter, one is able to split the flock of guinea fowl and they settle and sit tight in fairly heavy vlei type cover, they would be acceptable

for field trials as the dogs could then hunt them. Accordingly, guinea fowl are considered satisfactory for field trial purposes.

This is not always possible or practical and if hunted the unsplit flock lead even a very good dog a merry dance by just running out of range and always

pulling the dogs to the limits of their control and often beyond. It is not uncommon for a Chief Judge to allow a handler to call his dog off a troop of

guinea fowl or to instruct the Field Steward to avoid them completely.

Quail (all 3 varieties) (Coturnix)

When around in sufficient quantities and in their restricted geographical areas, these birds can be successfully used in field trials but unfortunately

this mainly occurs in mid-summer when trials are not held. Not suitable for use when present in large numbers in November and December during

their breeding season.

The occasional quail is found, or flushed in winter but not in sufficient numbers to be seriously considered as ideal for field trials.

Many dogs are also trained to ignore them due to their close resemblance to ground larks and grass birds, which appear to have scent.

Mainly due to their scarcity, most dogs seldom have an opportunity to work or train on these timid birds.

Buttonquails (Turnix) (Three Toed) are almost indistinguishable in flight and appearance from Common Quail (Coturnix) and appear to not have much scent.


Fur is only be regarded as those animals and species that would be shot in a normal hunting scenario over pointing dogs and regarded as fair game

for the pot – these would be hares and smaller species of buck which could and do occasionally sit sufficiently well to be pointed.

Large species of buck generally not hunted with shotguns should not be regarded as “fur” but referred to as “buck”.


General Principles

In instances where there is a lack of, or scarcity of, naturally occurring wild game, reared game birds may be used in field trials.

Reared birds may be used to either supplement natural game or they may be utilised exclusively, but only as a last resort to natural game.

Clubs should make every effort to find suitable venues to run field trials on natural game. However, if this is not possible and reared birds must be utilised,

then it is essential that the host club adhere to certain guidelines for the use and release of game. These guidelines are discussed below.

The most important consideration when using reared birds is that the birds should be released in such a manner as to simulate trialing conditions

on natural game. As in a natural trial, the competing dogs should earn their opportunities by way of their superior game finding abilities; and they can only do so

if birds are released relatively sparingly and over a large area. Under no circumstances are birds to be released in such numbers as to give all dogs a

“point” or “full house”. The host Club must therefore use integrity and common sense to avoid the temptation to release game birds in such a way as to make

the trial easy to run or solely in order to have a result.

General Guidelines

A.     Game birds that can be used

Reared pheasant, guinea fowl, francolin or partridge of various species may be utilised successfully in field trials. It is essential that the correct cover conditions

exist over the area the trial is to be run. It is also essential that the birds are strong, healthy and good flyers.

Releasing game birds is most successful when the cover is sufficiently thick and high for them to hide completely, and particularly when the cover is sufficiently

thick to prevent them running ahead of the dogs and handlers. The fynbos of the Western Cape, for instance, is reasonably thick and high, but has little cover

between thick bushes and therefore encourages pheasant to run ahead of the dogs and handlers, much like guinea fowl do in sparse cover.

It is not always possible to tell whether the cover will hold the game bird or not simply by looking at it, so it is strongly recommended that clubs test various areas

before the trial in order to determine whether or not the cover will be suitable. “Suitable” can be taken to mean that the cover will hold the birds so that they act

in a reasonably natural manner, being able to take cover and hide sitting fairly tight on approach of the dog, yet still flying when under pressure by the dog or handler.

B.    Care of the game

As discussed above, only very healthy and strong birds should be used for field trials. In order to get the best results from these birds the following guidelines must be followed:

* If birds are to be kept in crates, then they should be kept there for the minimum period of time logistically possible and certainly not for more than 24 hours at a time.

* Ideally, birds should be collected and crated less than 24 hours before the start of the trial. If birds are to be collected before this time, then a release pen

should be available in which to keep them until such time as they are transported to the trial venue.

* If birds are to be kept at the trial venue for more than 24 hours, then a release pen must also be available to them there.

* A game steward, or another designated person, must be responsible for the care, watering and feeding of the game. The game must have access to food and

fresh water at all times, except when they are in transit for short periods of time.

* The game steward will also be responsible for keeping the shot game in good condition and for keeping live game and dead game separate at all times.

C.     Duties of the Field Steward and/or Game Steward

The club should appoint a person or persons to be responsible for the release of game. This may be the field steward or the game steward or both may work together.

Their duties include the following:

* To liaise with the club to determine when, where and how the game is to be released.

* To be responsible for supervising the transport and release of game.

* To indicate to the judges the general areas or course over, which game, has been released. The field steward will follow the main fairway of the course,

and may not under any circumstances lead the dogs to the exact positions where the game has been released or indicate to judges or competitors those positions.

* To see that the guidelines for the release of game are adhered to.

D.     Guidelines for releasing the game

The club will have determined, prior to the trial, a suitable course over which birds will be released, the number of birds to be released and a suitable density

of birds for that particular trial. These will be determined by a number of factors such as cover and terrain, the area of ground the dogs are expected to cover,

the average duration each brace runs during the rounds, the number of dogs running and to some extent scenting and temperature conditions.

Generally only one bird per 10 minute round should be released. The “course” will essentially be a large fairway along which the game is to be released,

and an effort should be made to release game at the extremities of this course as well as the main areas.

Neither the field trial judges nor any handler may be involved in the actual release of game, nor may they know the exact positions where the game has been released.

They will, however, participate in determining the areas inwhich the various rounds of the trial are to be run and also in determining the density of birds to release for each round.

For instance, judges may prefer less game contact in the first few rounds, or to work the dogs over more difficult terrain in the last rounds, and if the field steward is in

agreement then the game may be released accordingly.

The following guidelines must be adhered to when releasing game:

* Persons handling the game must wear clean cotton gloves so as to minimise the amount of human scent on the birds. Birds should not be held to the body or come into

contact with anything other than the gloved hand.

* Birds must be “released”. They may not be “planted” in cover, and the use of cages, hobbles or any other form of tethering the birds to prevent them moving is not permitted

under any circumstances. Dizzying the birds in order to make them sit still for a period of time is also expressly prohibited, and should be unnecessary if the proper cover is used.

* Birds are to be released either by letting them out of the crate, one or two at a time, or by launching them from one’s hand.

The birds should be released or thrown in such a way as to let them find a suitable place of their own choice to land.

They should fly or move a reasonable distance away from the point of release.

* The birds should be released at random intervals along the course, alternating between the farthest left and right of the course and the middle areas of the course.

* Game must be released at least one hour prior to the start of each round or session.

E. Wounded birds

All reasonable efforts should be made to recover wounded game. If a bird has been wounded and the competing dogs cannot find it, then the dogs selected by the

field steward shall proceed immediately in an effort to recover the bird. Birds that have been released and are not found during the trial may be recovered after the

trial is completed.


The ideal field trial terrain should be one where there are enough evenly distributed game birds for field trial purposes.

Secondly, the type of terrain which does not impinge on the performance characteristics and intended fundamental use of the dogs would be ideal.

This is generally open grassland with few, if any, natural obstructions such as heavy bush, rocky inaccessible areas, dongas and very tall (approximately three quarters of a meter long)

grass and scrub which will inhibit the dog’s free running style and make it difficult to observe even at close quarters.

Likewise, barren grasslands or swampy “vleis”, rocky steep slopes with impossible footing, standing crop lands or other areas which are criss-crossed with fences

into small camps and/or camps which are heavily populated with livestock are not acceptable. Similarly, areas which are too heavily populated with the accepted species

of game bird (making it a “chicken run”) are unacceptable.

Some of the undesirable aspects of terrain as described above are always found even in the best of field trial venues. This factor must be recognised and accepted as a “local condition”

but Field Stewards should endeavour to avoid these where possible.

A good dog should accept and handle such “local conditions” i.e. “different types of cover and conditions” as referred to in “THE STANDARD”.

It is desirable that the climatic conditions on the ideal field trial terrain be such, that when holding trials, extremes in temperature are limited.

The terrain should also be sufficiently large in area so that there can be an even flow of dogs competing on as equitable a basis as possible, encompassing cover,

conditions, birds, wind, etc.”.

Consideration must be given to the handlers, judges, stewards and the gallery when considering “ideal field trial terrain”. If in a normal hunting situation,

reasonably fit and willing sportsmen hunters would not utilise an area for hunting, it will generally not be fit for use for field trialing.

Finally, if all the above criteria are met and the area still caters for the trial management infrastructure such as access, accommodation, etc, the ideal field trial terrain will have been found - and when found - Look after it!



A handler has the right:

* to be judged fairly and treated by other competitors in a sportsman-like manner;

* to be judged by competent and physically fit Judges;

* to be given, where possible, every opportunity to show off his dog to its best advantage, in the best possible circumstances and conditions;

* to know why his dog was eliminated;

* to enquire of the Senior Judges, only at the conclusion of an event, opinion of his dog’s performance;

* not to be pressured or overtaken by the Judges or any other officials, competitor or the gallery whilst running his dog;

* to refuse, for good reason, whilst under Judges orders, any instruction which in his opinion is contrary to his or his dog’s best interest,

while bearing in mind that such refusal may in fact prove contrary to such interests, this due to the wide discretionary powers at the Judges disposal.

Whilst every handler has these rights, it must be remembered that exercising these rights is no excuse for unsportsmanlike attitudes or behaviour;

A handler does not have the right to impugn the Judges decision at any time and the judge’s decision is final in all matters.


A handler also has the following duties:

* Not to train or run his dogs on the Field Trial venue courses;
* Not to train his dogs behind the gallery;
* Not to pass any comments intended for the Judges ears;
* Not to pass any comments on missed or flushed birds behind the Judges;
* To be present when required;
* Not to intimidate either his dog, his brace mate and/or his dog;
* Keep his dog on leash and under control at all times whilst not actually under Judges’ orders;
* To respect all the rules as well as fellow competitors;
* Hunters and field trialers have the honourable obligation to see that wounded game is brought to bag, as anything short of this is wasteful;
* Not to act in a manner contrary to good sportsmanship and detrimental to the best interest of field trialing, nor to bring the sport into disrepute.



The rules that apply for these events will be current at the time as issued from time to time by F.I.D.I.C., being the European controlling bodies for these events,

copies of these are on file with the Secretary of The National Field Trial Association.



Trophies Awarded

* Ownership of all trophies is vested with the National Field Trial Association

* It is incumbent upon the recipients of these trophies to undertake, once awarded, that due care will be taken by them to ensure that the trophies are well cared for

and properly insured whilst in their possession and they will be held responsible for their replacement if lost, stolen or irreversibly damaged and be liable for costs

incurred for the repairs of such damages they may sustain.

Further, it is required that they be returned to the N.F.T.A Secretary at least one month prior to the running of the next F.T.Ch. event.

* First Place – “The S.A.F.T.C. Cup”

Awarded in memory of E.P. Martin by F. Poretti

* Second Place – “The Fairwood Trophy”

Awarded in memory of V. Edmunds by F. Poretti

* Third Place – “The Oklahoma Bowl”

Awarded by B. Kraut

* “The Founders Trophy”

Awarded to the Dog of the Year

* “The George Dorn Trophy”

Awarded by George Dorn for the winner of any F.C.I./F.I.D.I.C./St. Hubert event.



Registration of a dog with the NFTA shall be subject to the provisions hereof:

1. The Executive Committee shall appoint a stud registrar who shall attend to all registrations in an expedient manner.

2. British Breeds and Continental Breeds are eligible for registration, on condition that the necessary information relating to the dog's ancestry is provided and is acceptable to the Registrar.

3. An imported dog may be registered if a certified copy of its pedigree emanating from a recognised controlling authority from the country of it’s origin is given to the registrar

4. The Executive Committee shall determine the registration fees applicable from time to time. The registrar shall advise the Member Clubs of the fees.

5. An application for registration and for a certified pedigree shall be on the prescribed form.

6. The secretaries of the Member Clubs shall submit the application forms to the Registrar who shall, once the certified pedigrees are produced, deliver them to the relevant secretary.

7. The Member Clubs shall ensure that their members register entire litters bred by them.

8. A dog, which was bred by artificial insemination, may only be registered if a certificate is produced by the veterinary surgeon who conducted the insemination.

9. The NFTA may require a dog to be DNA tested by a recognised authority, at the expense of the person wishing to register the dog, in order to put beyond doubt the parentage of a dog.

10. The Registrar is to be advised of the transfer of ownership of a registered dog.

11. A certified copy of the registered pedigree of a dog may be obtained from the Registrar at a fee.

12. A member of the Member Clubs may register a kennel name to be used as a prefix or affix to a dog's name, which shall secure the sole right to use such a kennel name.

A kennel name may be ceded to, or inherited by another person.

13. The Executive Committee of the NFTA shall investigate any allegation, suspicion or complaint that a person has given false information for the registration of a dog

and in the event of the Executive Committee finding that false information has been given, the Executive Committee shall take steps against such person as it deems fit, including the following:

13.1 Refusing to register the dog

13.2 Recommending to the relevant Member Clubs to expel the person from the Member Clubs.

13.3 Remove any dog from the register which was registered by virtue of misrepresentation or false information.

13.4 Report the matter to the South African Police Service for prosecution.

14. Individual dogs or litters may only be registered in the Stud Book Register if Hip Evaluation Certificates of both their Sire and Dam are submitted to the Registrar.

14.1 Such certificates will be admissible by the registrar only if they bear a microchip or tattoo number that is reflected on the X-ray films that have been verified by the

veterinarian who produced the X-ray films.

14.2 Individual dogs that are not eligible for registration in the Stud Book Register by virtue of the fact that the Hip Evaluation Certificates of their respective Sire and Dam could not be,

or were not submitted to the Registrar for whatever reason, may be registered in the Appendix Register until such time as their hips have been evaluated.

14.2.1 On submission of Hip Evaluation Certificates, these dogs will be removed from the Appendix Register and re-registered in the Stud Book Register

subject to the payment of an administrative fee to be prescribed by the NFTA Executive from time to time.

14.3 The primary objectives of Clause 14 are to raise the awareness of the dangers of hip dysplasia among breeders by making hip evaluation data available to as broad an

audience as possible and to compile a database of hip evaluation information. To this end, all available hip evaluation scores shall be publicised in the following manner –

14.3.1 On all pedigree certificates issued by the registrar.

14.3.2 All available hip evaluation scores shall be made available to club secretaries by the Registrar and these shall be recorded in all Field Trial programmes. All available hip evaluation scores shall be made available on the NFTA website.

14.4 It being of paramount importance that the potentially serious issue of hip dysplasia be taken into account by breeders before any breedings are conducted,

the NFTA and its member clubs strongly recommend that dogs with hip scores suggestive of any measure of dysplasia not be bred with, and dogs with marginal hip scores

be bred only to dogs with good or at least better hip evaluation scores. Further, the NFTA recommends that any dog diagnosed with moderate or severe dysplasia be sterilized

in order to prevent accidental breedings from occurring.

14.5 The NFTA shall recognise the FCI scoring system for the evaluation of HD. Evaluation authorities (radiologists) will be appointed and proved by the executive of the NFTA for time to time as required.

15 The stud register shall have an appendix register which will include dogs that have no previous bloodline history.

15.1 Before registration on the Appendix Register these dogs will be screened by a panel of 3 (three) senior judges who will confirm whether those dogs are true to breed.

15.2 If they are true to breed they will be entered onto the Appendix A register. Should those dogs ever be bred, they have to be bred to a mainline pedigreed dog,

the progeny of which shall then be registered on the Appendix B register. The same then applies to the mating of such progeny whose offspring then move

to Appendix C etc until Appendix D. The pedigree is then complete and the next generation move to the Mainline Register.



1. British Breeds and Continental Breeds of pointing dogs are eligible for registration provided the necessary information relating to the dog's ancestry is given and acceptable to the Registrar.

2. An imported dog may be registered if a copy of its pedigree emanating from a recognised Controlling Authority of the Country of its Origin is given to the Registrar.

3. Only one (1) dog's details may be entered on one (1) application form and shall be inserted in legible block letters.

4. The Registrar must be advised of the transfer of ownership of a registered dog.

5. A certified copy of the registered pedigree may be obtained from the Registrar at a fee.

6. A kennel name may be registered by members of Member Clubs affiliated to the NFTA and may be used as a prefix or affix. The use of the kennel name will be secured as the sole right of the member to register dogs bred by him/her with that prefix or affix. That kennel name may be ceded to or inherited by a person

7. The following registration fees are payable upon submission of an application for registration. These fees are revised annually and information regarding the exact fee payable by members and non-members respectively may be obtained from the Registrar


7.1 Entire Litters – Birth to 4 Months per pup

7.2 Entire Litters – 4 Months to 12 Months per pup

7.3 Dogs over 12 Months each

7.4 Subsequent transfers each

7.5 Registration of Kennel Name

7.6 Certified Copy of Registered pedigree

8. Completed application forms are to be forwarded with the appropriate registration fee to:

The Registrar
National Field Trial Association
P.O. Box 68330

The Registration fee may be paid by Cheque or electronic transfer made to "NATIONAL FIELD TRIAL ASSOCIATION". Alternatively payments may be deposited into the NFTA Bank account with the following details:

ABSA Savings Account Number: 90 7575 9441; Account Name: National Field Trial Association.

9. The Executive Committee of the NFTA shall investigate any allegation, suspicion or complaint that a person has given false information for the registration of a dog and in the event of the Executive Committee finding that false information has been given the Executive Committee shall take steps against such person as it deems fit including the following:

9.1 Refusing to register the dog
9.2 Recommending to the relevant Member Clubs to expel the person from the Member Clubs.
9.3 Remove any dog from the register which was registered by virtue of misrepresentation or false information.
9.4 Report the matter to the South African Police Service for prosecution.




Name: ____________________________________ Registered Kennel Name:__________________
Breed: ____________________________________ Colour:_________________________________
Gender: ________________________________
Whelped: _______d/____________m/______yyyy IDENTIFICATION OF DOG
SIRE: ___________________________ Indicate Principal Markings only
NFTA No______________ Microchip No: ________
NFTA No._____________ Microchip No: ________

(If either parent is not registered with the NFTA, complete Annexure)


Name: _________________________________________
Address: _________________________________________
Tel: _________________________________________
Cell: _________________________________________
e-Mail: _________________________________________

New Owner's Name: ___________________________________
Address: _________________________________________

Remarks: _________________________________________

I, the undersigned, accept the National Field Trial Associations conditions of registration as set out herein and certify that to the best of my knowledge the information entered herein by me to be true and correct.

Signatories Full Name: _________________________ Signature: _____________



This agreement supersedes the KUSA-SAFTC Agreement of JUNE 1980 and the KUSA-NFTA Agreement of JUNE 1999

1. It is hereby agreed that:

1.1. Each organisation shall maintain their respective autonomy without involving affiliation in any way.

1.2. Each organisation is regarded as the authority in their respective fields, and is recognized as such by each other and accepts each other’s registries.

2. The practicalities of this amount to the following

2.1. That KUSA members may now compete in the NFTA Field Trials using KUSA registered dogs, without them contravening, now or in the future, the KUSA

constitutional provisions which previously precluded them from doing so. These persons and dogs will also be subject to the NFTA’s

constitutional provisions in terms of Rules and Regulations.

2.2. That the Field Trials conducted by the KUSA will be open to NFTA affiliated club members, in good standing, and their NFTA registered dogs.

2.3. That, in the unlikely event of the KUSA holding Field Trials for British pointing breeds, they will be conducted on the basis of NFTA Agreement Member**

status, and in terms of the prevailing NFTA Rules and Regulations regarding Field Trials. Such events will be judged by Judges approved by the NFTA

as per their current Judges List.

** In recognition of the SAFTC – KUSA Reciprocal Agreement of June 1980, which was ceded to and subsequently ratified by the NFTA and the

NFTA/KUSA Agreement of June 1999, Article 4.2 of the NFTA constitution grants Agreement Member status to KUSA affiliated clubs holding field trials for pointing breeds.

2.4. That any Field Trial held by the NFTA/KUSA for Continental Pointing Breeds must be conducted in terms of the prevailing NFTA/KUSA Rules and Regulations

regarding Field Trials and judged by Judges approved by the NFTA/KUSA as per their respective current Judges Lists.

2.5. That any Field Trial held by the NFTA for Retrievers and Spaniels must be conducted in terms of the prevailing KUSA Rules and Regulations regarding Field Trials.

Such events will be judged by Judges approved by the KUSA as per their current Judges List.

2.6. That NFTA registered dogs may now compete in the KUSA Conformation Shows, being subject to the KUSA’s constitutional provisions.

2.7. In the unlikely event of the NFTA holding conformation shows, the reciprocal arrangement will be adhered to, whereby (provided that such shows are held in accordance

with KUSA Rules and Regulations governing such shows, that the Judges officiating are approved by the KUSA to judge the breeds involved and provided that the

KUSA breed standards are applied), KUSA will recognize the awards made. Dogs entered at such shows shall be properly registered in either the

NFTA Stud Book Register or in the KUSA Registry.

3. The modus operandi for any of the foregoing to occur will be as set out:

3.1. NFTA registered dogs that wish to register with the KUSA must submit to the KUSA the original or certified photocopy of the registration certificate

together with the KUSA’s standard application form. The KUSA will verify this with the NFTA Stud Book Registrar, and once verified, will issue the KUSA pedigree.

3.2. Likewise, any KUSA registered dog requiring registration with the NFTA Stud Book will be required to follow a reciprocal procedure as set out above.

3.3. This Agreement also provides for the recognition of any Field Trial awards made by either the NFTA or the KUSA in terms of the above provisions.

Any registrations or awards made by either party in terms of this agreement shall be binding and may not be retracted or subsequently restricted in any way

unless such action is the result of disciplinary action or technical disqualification in which case it shall apply within both organisations.


Signed at ………..…… on this the ……………. day of ……………………... 2003

………………………………………….* …………………………………………..………..*

…………………………………………* …………………………………………..………..*



Signed at ……………………..…. on this the ………….…day of …………………………..…. 2003

……………………………………….…… …………………………………………..…..*

…………………………………………* ……………………………………..…..*

* Signatories to this agreement do so in their official and authorized capacity as representatives of their respective organisations.