|Field Events Committee Minutes
July 31, 2004 11:25 a.m.
Holiday Inn Select, Bloomington, Minnesota
Members present: Bethann Roettger, Sue Rose, Tom Calabrese, Shelly Wiley, Chris Dartt, Tom Ness via phone conference
Members Absent: Ernie Hasse and Harold Bixby
Next Meeting: October 2004 – NCC New York (and at each NCC thereafter)
I. Review FEC Mission Statement
Then there will be a list of objectives specifically explaining the many various functions and goals of the FEC.
One detail added to the draft was that the regionalization system would be reviewed at the end of the decade (2010) with updated membership statistics.
The amended document will be on Fieldcockers once completed.
II. Develop Structure of the FEC
The regions are as follows:
North Central – Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming
Southern – Texas, Louisiana, Kansas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Missouri
Western – Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, California, Hawaii, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado
At each NCC FEC meeting new members will be selected and then presented to the ECSCA board for final approval at the January meeting. The new members will come from nominations by individuals or clubs or the FEC itself. The 4 regional members will change on alternate years then the 3 At-Large members to insure some continuity on the FEC. The term for each member is 2 years and a member cannot hold more then 2 (4 years) consecutive terms without a year off. This first rotation may need to differ slightly due to the fact we need to get it going.
The nomination letter submitted to the FEC or an ECSCA Board member should include information on the nominee including these 5 criteria:
The person shall desire to serve for the betterment of the breed and the growth of the field event activities for the breed (English Cocker Spaniel)
Any ECSCA member that is (or has been) working, training, handling, or exhibiting an English Cocker Spaniel for field events can be on the committee.
Regional Representatives must live in the region they are to represent. At-Large Representatives can be from anywhere in the country.
The person shall have at least five (5) years experience in field event training or hunting or exhibiting with an English Cocker Spaniel. The person shall have experience in organizing/running English Cocker Spaniel field events.
The person shall be comfortable with use of e-mail as the basic committee correspondence and communication vehicle.
The ECSCA Corresponding Secretary will be an ex-official member of the committee; 1) to approve and maintain records for ECSCA Working Tests, 2) Official signature for the ECSCA Field Trials, 3) Retain and maintain AKC/ECSCA field event results and titles, 4) Handle official correspondence as requested by the FEC.
Final approval will go to the board in January.
III. NCC ’05 Judges Ballot
Dogs qualified to run in the 2005 NCC will have had a
placement in the
3 years preceding the NCC (2003, 2004, and 2005) as well as all
Each member of the FEC submitted their list of proposed judges and the totals were openly tallied. The 10 names to be placed on the ballot are: Bob Bullard, Janet Christensen, Robb Cotiaux, Al DeFalco, Craig Foss, Paul Harris, Dan Lussen, Sue Neville, Pat Perry, and Bill Zipp.
Ballots will go out shortly and returned in the middle of September. Specific dates will be determined with Pam Flora, ECSCA Recording Secretary, who counts the ballots, prior to sending them out.
IV. Review the How To Run an ECSCA NCC Guideline
The NCC Chair no longer becomes a FEC member.
The NCC Chair or appointed delegate who is not running a dog in the NCC will contact and formulate the judge’s contract with the persons selected from the balloting for judges.
The NCC Secretary will receive a $3 payment for each qualified dog, not just the entered dogs.
This document will be available on request from the FEC Chair or Sue Rose once it has been amended.
V. Review Application to Host and NCC
VI. NCC ‘05
VII. Fieldcockers website
Master Hunter Excellent parent club program proposed – will be discussed after members review what the Springers have worked out, to be discussed at the NCC meeting.
A request from a man who owns a Sussex to permit Sussex and other minor spaniels to compete in cocker field trials was shared. It was determined by the AKC that that is a decision that must be made by the ECSCA and the American Spaniel Club as Parent clubs. Members are to discuss the idea of a variance for minor spaniel breeds to compete in cocker trials with other ECSCA members during the fall event season and share input at the NCC meeting.
A discussion of Amateur stakes at field trials was brought up. Sue Rose shared that it will take at least 2 years to make such a rule change. It was agreed that eventually Amateur stakes would help Field trial size and number grow. It was also discussed that for quite a while trial clubs may need to hold 2 Open stakes if they want to hold an amateur stake. Sue Rose will look into the paperwork and process to get this going due to the fact it will take so long to get through the ECSCA, the ASC and the AKC. It was suggested that within 3-5 years after the approval of an Amateur stake there could be an Amateur NCC.
A pair of field trials at the National (Bench) Specialty
be looked into. It will depend on the location of the
2005 in Massachusetts may be difficult.
Agenda for the FEC meeting at the NCC ’04 in New York:
|From: Bethann Roettger
Date: Fri Oct 8, 2004 6:16 pm
Subject: Website Update
Information items for field trials, water tests, hunt tests,
tests and all other English
Field Events Committee meeting Minutes
Members Present: Bethann Roettger, Harold Bixby, Chris Dartt, Sue Rose, Shelly Wiley
Members Absent: Tom Calabrese, Ernie Hasse, Tom Ness
a discussion about the timely presentation of the annual awards and the
If in the
future trials are held after the annual NCC,
the points will be credited
toward the following
NCC ’06, ’07, and ‘08 –
and relationship of the fieldcockers and the ECSCA web sites was discussed. The sites
Stake for cockers has a preliminary AKC approval of verbiage; we are waiting for agreement
Master Working Test – a sub-committee will be formed to look into this. A copy
minor breeds (Sussex request) to run in Cocker trials – after talking
with Bill Speck (AKC),
Review committee – a subcommittee is to be formed to review the current Green Book
Criteria – All people gunning cocker trials must have attended a field
trial gunning safety seminar;
criteria – the FEC is strongly recommending that anyone who is
interested in judging Open stakes
Marie LeDoux is the official ECSCA statistician and receives her information directly from
for FEC 2005 – the committee had only received 1 nomination, therefore, it was decided
– Harold Bixby has requested the development of
a youth program to encourage
Field Events Committee – ECSCA
Members present: Bethann Roettger (Chairperson), Sue Rose, Tom Ness, Ellen Dryke
It has been discussed in the past that changes in the procedure to create the ballot may be needed. At this time the FEC is comfortable with the process that currently exists. Each FEC member is to contribute 8-12 names at the designated time (usually summer) of people that they themselves and the regions that they represent consider qualified candidates to judge the Championship. The FEC Chair tallies the nominations from the FEC members and takes the top 8-12 names to be on the ballot – where ever the natural break occurs. It was discussed and strongly agreed upon that FEC members should seek the opinions of ECSCA members in their region to create their list. Owners of the qualified dogs receive a ballot.
It was reviewed that all Guns for Cocker trials shall have attended an AKC gun Seminar by Jan.1, 2006. In addition the requirements for Gun Captains were established. A person interested in being a Gun Captain for Cocker trials must complete the following criteria or already be an approved Gun Captain for Springer Trials.
All materials will be sent to the FEC Chair. The FEC will review the applicant’s materials and vote on their approval.
The approved Gun Captain list will be maintained by the ECSCA Recording Secretary.
Currently there are 9 nominations. Nominations close Oct. 31, 2005. The ballot and biographies will be sent out in November by the FEC Chair to all ECSCA members who have designated a field interest.
2006 – Michigan, Sue Rose – Chairperson
All spring trial dates must be sent to the FEC Chairperson by Jan. 31st of the trial year. All fall trial dates must be sent to the FEC Chairperson by July 31st of the trial year. There were problems with attendance this past year due to the late planning of trials. We would like to prevent this and allow ample time for people to plan their trial schedule.
To be supplied in future
ECSCA FT Committee Minutes
Members Present: Vicky Thomas, Chairman
The meeting was called to order at 6:30 pm Pacific Standard Time
Although the intent of Regional Representatives was good, it turns out that the field trial population is disproportionate. It was decided that at this time we would give North Dakota to the Western Region and Ohio to the Southern Region. We will revisit this issue in a few weeks.
Barbara gave a brief review of the notes she prepared regarding a proposed Master Hunting Dog Excellent (MHDX) test. The Maine Spaniel Field Trial Club held such and event and Barbara prepared a comprehensive evaluation. It was sent to all of us on the committee by email. The bottom line is that while it is “do-able”, it is quite demanding of a club and very expensive in terms of birds and manpower. Tawney mentioned she had attended a UKC Hunt Test in Oregon a few years back and they ran into the same issues.
Vicky spoke about scheduling dates for field trials and some of the difficulties involved with dates varying from year to year, conflicts with double dating and splitting up circuits. Martin said that existing clubs should always be able to keep their original date without fear of being bumped. Paul said that if a date is open, we can’t dictate another more convenient date to a club. At best we can only encourage clubs to work together to make, or keep, a circuit.
We discussed how to finalize a gun program. Should it be a vote of trial giving clubs, ECSCA individual members or anyone interested in Cocker Field Trials? Tawney suggested that it should be a committee decision based upon as much input as we can get from any source. No decision was made at this time.
The rest of the meeting was devoted to a proposed gun program. Tom started by giving us some background on the former Cocker Gun Advisory Committee and its proposal. One concern was that the criteria for Gun Captains was too restrictive and might prevent some trials from finding gunners. Dave made several recommendations which were discussed at great length. Tawney requested written clarification which Tom said he would provide. This written form will be presented to the committee as soon as he is able. Once we receive this written information, we will then have to approve it for presentation to the cocker community for their input.
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 8:30 PST with tentative plans to meet again by telephone conference call on February 8th.
2/8/07 ECSCA FTC Minutes
Meeting called to order by Chairman Vicky Thomas at 6:00 pm PST. Committee members present:
Tom Calabrese went over the function description for field trial gun captain that he had emailed to us to review before the meeting. It was very well received by everyone on the committee with just a few changes in language and wording. The revised version follows for your review and comments:
Title: Field Trial Gun Captain
Reports to: Field Trial Committee Chair
Primary Function and Responsibilities
Knowledge and Skill Guidelines
Tawney asked exactly who was on the current gun committee and was told by Tom that the official committee is still being made up. Barbara asked if we shouldn’t be advising the Hunt Test clubs of any rules regarding gunners. It was generally agreed that while we, as a committee, are open to any and all suggestions, we would not presume that the hunt test community be required to follow the guidelines as set forth for field trials. Since Nancy Murphy (Chairman of the Hunt Test Committee) is always included in the meetings, it would be her decision to present it to them.
Nancy reported that the Hunt Test committee is still working on the description of hunting style for the English Cocker Spaniel, but they are very near a final version.
Old business included approving the minutes from the last meeting with the exception of the format. Tawney is trying to sort that out and has a “Works” program that seems to be taking over “Word” documents. Hopefully, this will be sorted out by the time the next minutes go out.
We are still in the process of sorting out the roster and attempting to make contact in each region with those who are interested. This will be an ongoing process, but should be helped along by the Fieldcockers Web Site. Vicky intends to bring everyone up to date on that site that might otherwise have been missed.
Also in the sorting out process; the trial calendar and the date setting process. It has been suggested that we start setting the calendar by region as the ESSFTA does. That way the only “conflicts” would be within a region. There are many things to consider but this may become a reality next year.
Vicky has contacted Bob McKechnie, one of her business associates, to see if he would manage the Fieldcockers web site. At this point, they are still discovering that the site was put together with several different programs running several different aspects. A new program to put the whole thing in order would cost $699.00, but he is looking for something cheaper. Most of the other problems are minor and can be easily resolved.
Sue Rose asked the committee to consider putting on a field trial, or trials, in conjunction with the National Specialty to be held in April 2008. She thought it could be suggested to the show community to come out to a “real” field trial to observe. This would be in Pennsylvania (?) in the spring. Martin reminded everyone of the poor bird quality during that time of year, but if that issue could be resolved, everyone on the committee agreed that it was a good idea and would be willing to help.
Several callers from the eastern time zone and those only connected with the gun portion of the meeting had left the call early. The meeting was adjourned at approximately 7:45pm PST. The next FTC conference call meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, February 21.
2/21/07 ECSCA FTC Minutes
The meeting was called to order by Chair Vicky Thomas at 5:30.
Members present: Rumi Schroeder, Barbara haupt, Martin Bell, Sue Rose, Paul McGagh, Tawney Crawford
Tom reviewed the latest version of the Field Trial Gun Captain function description. Some excellent comments and suggestions were received were received from outside of the committee and they will be incorporated into the final version which follows:
Title: Field Trial Gun Captain
Reports to: Field Trial Committee Chair
Primary Function and Responsibilities
Knowledge and Skill Guidelines
Some of the committee either did not receive or did not have time to study the field trial gunner function description, so that discussion will be postponed until the next meeting.
We discussed an official complaint sent to AKC regarding a recent cocker trial. The committee appreciates having this brought to our attention and hopes to be advised of any official actions pertaining to cocker trials in advance of notification from AKC. However, since this was neither an ECSCA trial, nor an ECSCA club, it would be inappropriate for this committee to become involved until the AKC acts upon the complaint.
Nancy presented us with the Hunt Test Committee’s final version of the Hunting Style of the English Cocker Spaniel that has been sent to the Board of Directors of the ECSCA. There was much discussion over this. Martin was concerned that a lot of the description was trained ability, but not so indicated. Rumi indicated that this version was, by far, the most acceptable since the first draft which started out as “a list of excuses”. Both she and Barbara contributed a great deal, and were pro active in the write up. Rumi suggested that any future input come from the committee as a whole to avoid any individual conflict. Tawney questioned that if it had already been presented to the board, would any revisions be accepted. Both Nancy and Sue Rose said that, until it was adopted by AKC, all suggestions would be considered. The Hunt Test Committees description follows:
ENGLISH COCKER SPANIEL – HUNTING STYLE
In England, the (English) Cocker Spaniel was selected for its small stature, sturdy, compact build and excellent scenting abilities to accommodate the hunting of woodcock in the dense cover where these birds are found. They excel in locating scent trapped at ground level in thick brush. The English Cocker is often described as ‘a big dog in a small package” due to the power, stamina and sheer “heart” that drives it to do the work of a considerably larger dog.
The official 1988 Breed Standard states: “The English Cocker……… is alive with energy; his gait is powerful and frictionless, capable both of covering ground effortlessly and penetrating dense cover. Its enthusiasm in the field and the incessant action of its tail indicate how much he enjoys the hunting for which he was bred.”
The English Cocker Spaniel exhibits a merry temperament and hunts with enthusiasm. The breed is characterized by an animated “bustling” manner accompanied by a “busy” tail as the dog works through cover. The dog should cover the ground thoroughly changing pattern and speed when appropriate The English Cocker uses air scent and foot scent with equal skill.
The speed of the English Cocker is generally moderate with changes of pace as required for conditions. His gait is characterized more by drive and the appearance of power than by great speed. His range will vary depending on the cover, but in general, the English Cocker will hunt relatively close to its handler. When it is apparent the dog is getting closer to the bird, the dog's tail wags more vigorously and the level of animation increases
The English Cocker Spaniel should make a smooth determined flush; however certain game or cover situations may allow for a slight hesitation. Both hard and soft flushes are acceptable for this breed.
MARK & RETRIEVE
The English Cocker Spaniel is a good marker; though its smaller size may be a disadvantage in tall cover. Some steady dogs will “hup” where they have a clearer view, or stand on their hind legs in order to follow the mark, though they should not move forward from their location until sent by the handler.
On the retrieve pick-up the English Cocker Spaniel, being a smaller dog, may require a moment to position the game in its mouth – particularly live birds – for optimum grip and ground clearance before returning with it. They should have a firm, but gentle mouth with all game.
Developed as an upland hunter and not as a duck dog, the English Cocker Spaniel is capable of handling water retrieves as might be necessary on an upland hunt. While some dogs will leap into water with great enthusiasm, the breed generally is inclined to enter the water in a more reserved business-like manner. The dog should demonstrate focus and determination to perform the task.
There are more scheduling difficulties and we again discussed the possibility of scheduling field trials within regions so that double dating would only be an issue if it were requested within the same region. This might have repercussions with smaller entries, at least initially, but there are so few weekends in the fall between the times when the weather is acceptable and the Nationals. One benefit might be that competition for entries might make for better trials. Rumi says that double dating with Springer trials is more of an issue than double dating with cocker trials because it makes it more difficult to get gunners and judges. Sue cautioned that clubs hosting ECSCA cocker trials would not be able to double date – not just with other ECSCA trials, but with other ECSCA events.
A proposal was received from the Cranefield English Cocker Society to host the 2008 Cocker National Championship in Bozeman, Montana. October 23-26. It was beautifully written and prepared by Dominique Savoie who would co-chair the even with Bob Crawford. Paul expressed what a beautiful setting this would be for a National. As the proposal was received the same day as this meeting by most committee members, it too will be tabled until the next meeting.
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 7:30 with plans to re-convene on Wednesday, March 7th.
3/7/07 ECSCA FTC Minutes
Chairman Vicky Thomas called meeting to order at 5:30PM, PST. Committee members present: Rumi Schroeder, Martin Bell, Tawney Crawford, Barbara Haupt and Paul McGagh
The hunting style description for the English Cocker Spaniel, prepared by the Hunt Test Committee and distributed with the FTC minutes of 2/21/07, generated a lot of interest and a lot of constructive criticism. This committee feels that all of the comments received by the FTC were well thought out and were worthy of consideration. It was unclear to this committee whether the description is available for rewrite since the Board of Directors had already approved it. This prompted a subsequent telephone to the President of ECSCA, Kathy Moore who was not at the teleconference. She suggested the FTC submit a report to the ECSCA Board of Directors at their May 4th meeting with suggested changes and recommendations. She suggests we submit a written document prior to the meeting, however the oral presentation should not just be a reading of the document, but further description either by visual aid or some other form. The FTC Chairman has asked Martin Bell to act as Chairman of this report.
The Fieldcockers web site is still in transition. It seems the deeper one goes into the computer program(s), the more apparent it is that someone with “inside” knowledge is required to manage the site. Vicky has purchased a Dreamweaver program (without Photoshop) and is attempting, somewhat successfully, to post new material to the site. Nadine Kohn is still getting information and ads to put on the web site. Vicky suggested we begin to organize the business end, such as opening a bank account to handle future funds and those on the signature cards.
We further discussed the proposal by the Montana group to hold the NCC in 2008. Dominique Savoie’s proposal was very well done and included much of the vital information that any FTC committee might need to recommend approving the NCC. This prompted discussions about future NCC’s and where the FTC’s interaction should end so as not to “Micro-manage” the Host Club. We would like to make recommendations that future proposals include such things as the name of the Gun Captain, Bird Planter, gun team members etc. It was recognized that, because of the time frame involved between applying for the national and the actual event, many things can change, but the proposal should have many of the Trial’s key components stated.
A copy of the most recent version of the Field Trial Gunner description follows. It was received after the meeting, but was on the agenda to be discussed, so it is being included here for review.
Title: Field Trial Gunner
Reports to: Field Trial Gun Captain
Primary Function and Responsibilities
Knowledge and Skill Guidelines
3/21/07 ECSCA FTC Minutes
Telephone Conference Call
Chairman Vicky Thomas called meeting to order at 5:50 PDT
Members present: Rumi Schroeder, Martin Bell, Barbara Haupt, Sue Rose, Paul McGagh
Others: Tom Calabrese, Dave Barto, John Leininger
The Meeting was called to order and turned over to Tom Calabrese for an update on the Gun Program. Tom asked for opinion on the “Gunner Job Description” and all thought it was fine. It was approved and made final.
Tom next introduced the draft for the proposed procedure employed to either become an approved Field Trial Gunner or Gun Captain.
Draft March 21, 2007
To establish a method for the development of an ECSCA approved Field Trial Gun Captain registry. As a blanket requirement each participant must: a) have fulfilled the job description guideline and, 2) be sponsored by an AKC licensed Cocker Field Trial Club or Springer Spaniel Field Trial Club sponsoring Cocker Field Trials.
In establishing the ECSCA list of accepted Gun Captains the FTC would:
Final approved 3/21/2007
Title: Field Trial Gunner
Reports to: Field Trial Gun Captain
This position is responsible for the safe and quality performance as a member of the Field Trial Gun Team. The Field Trial Gun (“Gunner”) is invited by the Gun Captain and participates with the field trial management, judges, planters and handlers to ensure a successful event.
Primary Function and Responsibilities
Knowledge and Skill Guidelines
Title: Field Trial Gun Captain
Reports to: Field Trial Committee Chair
The position is responsible for the management and function of the Field Trial Gun Team in accordance with the guidelines of the ECSCA and the AKC. The position provides the leadership that fosters safety and maximizes the contribution of the Gun Team toward a successful field event. This Gun Captain manages all aspects of the field trial gunning, and works in conjunction with the field trial management, judges, planters and handlers to ensure a successful event.
Primary Function and Responsibilities
Knowledge and Skill Guidelines
Tom, Dave & John were then excused from the meeting.
Martin found a new conference calling service that is free except for usual long distance charges to those calling in. We will use this in future as most of the members of the field committee have free long distance on either their home or cell phones.
As per Vicky’s conversation with Kathleen Moore (President, ECSCA) we must get the word out quickly that we are writing another version to present to the board of directors at the annual meeting May 7. In the interest of time, we ask that all comments be sent directly to Martin Bell firstname.lastname@example.org Martin will be coordinating the suggestions received from the field trial community for presentation to the board.
Vicky encouraged all of us to attend the meeting that is held in conjunction with the ECSCA National Specialty Sunday May 7th and the Board of Directors Meeting Monday May 8th. This year it will be held in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. The Hunt Test is Sunday May 7th and is limited to 25 dogs. We should make ourselves more visible to the parent club and take part in more than just the field trials that we have in their name. At the very least, we should have a contingent at the meeting.
Vicky is handling the Fieldcockers website and would like all information to be sent to her. She believes all emails sent to Fieldcockers.com are being forwarded to her. We discussed ways to extend our gratitude to Nadine and Mary for their service and help while transitioning.
Sue Rose sent us the most recent draft of “How to run an NCC FT” manual. It has not been updated since 2004 and will probably a “work in progress” for a long time. The section on budget needs particular attention. In the meantime it is a good guideline and is something that this committee, with the help of past, present and future NCC Chairman should work on. Some things, like changing the requirements for qualifying for the NCC, must be approved by the ECSCA Board and then go through AKC approval. The manual is quite large and the committee members wanted more time to look at it before continuing with the discussion. Vicky will put it on the Fieldcockers web site for all to see if they wish.
We discussed making some qualifications for membership on the FTC since we are now a separate committee from the Hunt Test Committee. Mike Gilpin had started a document when he was FEC Chairman, but it needs to be worked on. The issue of regional representatives came up and what our responsibilities are. Are we to just keep those in our region informed, or are we expected to attend every trial in our region? The latter is an impractical requirement. While attendance is preferred, the internet makes it easier to be accessible to those in our region.
It was noted that attendance at the spring trials have been very low. We had lengthy discussions regarding some of the contributing factors such as: the high costs associated with field trial entry fees and travel costs, judge selection, lack of mentoring, and especially the lack of our few pros participating. Paul would like to pursue an “all variety” stake, such as they have in Great Britain. It could include all flushing spaniels, but would definitely be a championship point stake. Although the AKC permits all flushing spaniels to run in Hunt Tests, and English and American Cockers in field trials, it is not permissible to include any other flushing breeds. Retriever trials and pointing (setter) dog trials allow for different breeds, but not spaniels. These are the rules as they now stand with AKC and it would take a lot of work to change this rule. It would involve the cooperation of all the flushing spaniel parent clubs. We’d like to get some feedback from the cocker community about this.
The next meeting will be 3 weeks from today on April 4th. This meeting was adjourned at 7:10 PDT.
4/4/07 ECSCA FTC Minutes
Present: Vicky Thomas, Paul McGagh, Sue Rose, Martin Bell, Nancy Murphy, Barb Haupt, Tawney Crawford
4/18/07 ECSCA FTC
Present: Vicky Thomas, Paul McGagh, Rumi Schroeder, Barbara Haupt, Martin Bell, Sue Rose, Tawney Crawford
ENGLISH COCKER SPANIEL – HUNTING STYLE
In England, the (English) Cocker Spaniel was selected for its small stature, sturdy, compact build and excellent scenting abilities to accommodate the hunting of woodcock in the dense cover where these birds are found. The breed excels in locating scent trapped at ground level in thick brush. The English Cocker is often described as “a big dog in a small package” due to the power, stamina, and sheer heart that drives it to do the work of a considerably larger dog.
The official 1988 Breed Standard states; “The English Cocker… is alive with energy; his gait is powerful and frictionless, capable both of covering ground effortlessly and penetrating dense cover. Its enthusiasm in the field and the incessant action of its tail indicate how much he enjoys the hunting for which he was bred.”
The English Cocker Spaniel is personified by an animated bustling hunting style with a level or low tail action. The dog should cover ground thoroughly, adjusting pattern and speed as dictated by cover and scenting conditions. The English Cocker has the ability to find game using body or foot scent. When a Cocker strikes scent his action and animation will intensify.
The trained English Cocker will hunt relatively close to its handler when hunting woodland or dense cover, but will adjust it’s range to work a little further from it’s handler when hunting more open terrain.
The English Cocker Spaniel should flush game with purpose.
MARK & RETRIEVE
The English Cocker Spaniel is an excellent marker, though its smaller size may be seen as a disadvantage in tall cover, with hunting experience many English Cockers will develop terrific “gun sense” which compensates for any size disadvantage. Some steady dogs will “hup” where they have a clearer view, or stand on their hind legs in order to follow the mark, though they should not move forward from their location until sent by the handler.
On the retrieve the English Cocker Spaniel should pick game cleanly with a minimum of fuss. They should have a gentle mouth with all game.
Developed as an upland hunter and not as a duck dog, the English Cocker Spaniel is capable of handling water retrieves as might be necessary on an upland hunt. While some dogs will leap into water with great enthusiasm, the breed generally is inclined to enter the water in a more deliberate manner. The dog should demonstrate focus and determination in the performance of the task.
Vicky mentioned increasing the advertising rates on Fieldcockers, giving half price discount to Gold and Silver Patrons. Also, Fieldcockers can be set up for Field Trial clubs to have electronic entries for their events, using Pay-Pal to pay for fees. When Pay-Pal is used, the money goes directly into the Trial Club account, but Pay-Pal would charge a small fee. To set this up, fieldcockers would also charge a “per event” listing fee of $20.00 per event. These items will be discussed at a later date after getting some feedback from the field trial clubs.
May 23, 2007 FTC Minutes
Telephone Conference Call Meeting
Meeting was called to order at 5:30 PM PDT by Chairman Vicky Thomas.
Present: Sue Rose, Tawney Crawford, Martin Bell, Paul McGagh, Barbara Haupt and Nancy Murphy
Vicky informed us that she had updated the field champion section of Fieldcockers.com to an Excel spreadsheet that will now allow sorting. She has a volunteer to keep it up as well as to update Hunt Test titles.
The Gunner’s Committee is finishing up the work on the Gunner/Gun Captain Guidelines and is expected to report on it at the next meeting.
Vicky gave a report on her attendance to the ECSCA Board of Directors meeting and participation in the ECSCA Hunt Test held in conjunction with the National Specialty. Many attended the Hunt Test on the day prior including ECSCA President Kathy Moore, Sandy Marr and Karen Spurlin. Vicky felt that they found it to be an enjoyable and informative experience. There was a minor gun infraction that was witnessed and dealt with, but this led to an increased awareness that a gunner’s program should be considered for Hunt Tests as is now being prepared for Field Trials.
At the Board Meeting, it was approved for the Montana group to host the 2008 National Cocker Championship. A previous AKC paperwork delay which resulted in a fine and short suspension to the ECSCA was again brought up with emphasis placed on appointing a competent trial secretary. Apparently there was another similar glitch with the 2005 NCC and the ECSCA is becoming concerned. The Field Trial Committee shall try to encourage all field trial secretaries to be more diligent and direct any questions to Sue Rose.
The ECSCA Board of Directors also discussed the possibility of holding a set of field trials in conjunction with the National Specialty in 2009 in Pennsylvania in the towns of Lancaster and Chester Springs. This would coordinate with the Pennsylvania trial dates as follows:
April 12 Hunt Test
April 13 Tracking Test/ Tracking Test Excellent Test
April 14-18 Specialty Show
April 19, 20 & 21 Field Trials
The FTC has asked Martin Bell to check with Mike Gilpin and the Mid Atlantic Hunting Spaniel Club to see if they have any interest in hosting this event. These are the options that the board gave us: 1) Amateur National (over Sat & Sun), 2) 2 Amateur Trials (Sat & Sun), or 3) 1 Amateur and 2 Open Stakes (over Sat & Sun) in that order. An Amateur National was rejected due to the time of year for bird quality.
The ECSCA Board of Directors will make a final decision on the Hunt Test breed style description based on a conference call to be set up between the FTC and the HTC (Hunt Test Committee). The BOD is not willing to delete the terminology “merry temperament” from the description as it is also included in the conformation standard. This telephone conference call will be set up in the near future. The FTC revisions to the original HTC version is on Fieldcockers.com.
We currently have approximately 25 qualifiers for a National Amateur Championship Stake. At the present time, the minimum entry required is the same as a regular stake: 10. The National Open stake went from 5 years, to 3 years and may possibly be lowered to 2 years. All 2006 NCC participants were qualified within 2 years. The FTC unanimously supports a 5 year qualification status for the first National Amateur which can be adjusted as needed.
Although no formal complaints were made, there has apparently been some criticism received regarding spousal (or other family participation) of trial handlers in key roles such as gunning and bird planting. This committee wholeheartedly rejects the notion that any impropriety has taken place or will take place. In fact, this Field Trial Committee unanimously supports any cocker enthusiast who chooses to participate in any trial process in which he or she is qualified. It has been standard procedure thus far for all trials workers to conduct themselves in a sportsmanlike manner. We have been fortunate in our sport to have nothing but ladies and gentleman involved. There shall be no “nepotism rules” emanating from this committee.
The qualifications for membership on the Field Trial Committee came up for discussion. Since the FEC has been divided into the FTC and the HTC, a new set of qualifications should be defined. The FEC membership qualifications are listed in the 7/31/04 minutes that can be found on Fieldcockers.com. Ultimately, the BOD of the ECSCA appoints and approves all committee members; however we would request that the following criteria be considered. We would like to see a cross section of ECSCA members who are active field trial participants of the highest caliber. They should have a minimum of 5 years experience in handling and/or training an English Cocker. They should own, handle or have trained an English Cocker that is qualified for the NCC as of the date they are appointed. Some exceptions may be considered by the current FTC for recommendation to the Board.
The FTC is currently made up of 4 Regional Representatives and 3 members at large, which includes the Chairman. There was some discussion that at least 1 Professional Trainer/Handler should be included and perhaps even two. Rumi would like to see the regions dived into 7 sections, but was not present at this meeting to elaborate. We want to hear her ideas before we make any final decisions.
The new “live bird” rule for Hunt Tests that concerned Barbara Haupt has been resolved through interpretation of the language. The rule says that a live bird “should” be thrown, not that a live bird “must” be thrown. At the discretion of the test club, committee &/or judge a dead bird, with a shot fired, may be used if the alternative is considered unsafe. Therefore, at the discretion of the judges, a freshly killed dead bird, with a shot fired, may be used.
The FTC would like to begin the process for selecting the NCC judges for 2008. All names suggested will be considered by the FTC and the top contenders will be voted upon by the owners of qualified dogs. The distribution and publication of these minutes shall serve as notice for name suggestions from the cocker community at large. Please contact your Regional Representative or anyone on the FTC.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:20PM PDT and the next meeting tentatively scheduled for 2 weeks from today (June 6, 2007)
6.13.07 ECSCA FTC Minutes
Telephone Conference Call Meeting
Meeting was called to order at 5:00PM PDT by Chairman Vicky Thomas. Present: Martin Bell, John Leininger, Dave Barto, Rumi Schroeder, Tom Calabrese, Paul McGagh, Barbara Haupt, Sue Rose, Tawney Crawford
A few very minor adjustments were made to the gun guidelines and they will now be prepared for presentation to clubs hosting cocker trials. We will ask for each club to ratify the guideline or express their reasons for rejection. FTA regional representatives are asked to provide Tom Calabrese with the contact names for club presidents &/or representatives so that he can mail a hard copy. All suggestions will be considered before the final version that will be given to the ECSCA Board of Directors. When the final copy is finished we would like to approach the ESSFTA with a suggestion to meld the two programs into one “Spaniel” version. At present, gunning at a cocker trial does not count towards springer gun certification; although the reverse is true since qualified springer guns will be grandfathered into the cocker program.
Although a request was put out with the last minutes, only 9 nominations have been received for 2008 NCC judges. We will extend the date until July 1st, but a ballot must be prepared shortly thereafter.
Now that gun program is nearing completion, we discussed forming a committee to address a program for qualifying judges. No guidelines currently exist and clubs can ask anybody to judge a cocker trial. The springers require the total number of previous trials judged to equal 12, divided in any combination between the two judges. Another suggestion was that there should be a maximum number of trials that a judge could officiate. We would like feedback from the cocker community regarding their ideas and interest in being on such a committee.
NCC qualifications were discussed with a suggestion that an FC must qualify every 3 years, or perhaps indefinitely. Dogs that are not FC’s would have to qualify every year. This might increase participation in regular field trials. One consideration would be keeping track of living dogs because owners of FC would always be able to vote on judges. (Not discussed, but I suggest the judges ballot have a statement certifying that the dog is still living and still AKC registered to the person voting.)
Mike Gilpin said that his club is not interested in putting on an Amateur stake in conjunction with the National Specialty. They would prefer to put on their usual two open stakes and do not want to change their location, which is approximately 3 hours from the other specialty events. So a joint venture will not work in 2008, but may be pursued in 2009.
New clubs may be forming in North Dakota, Minnesota and Ohio. This is very encouraging for the prospects of setting up circuits.
Rumi reports that the 2007 NCC to be held in Wisconsin is coming along fine, especially now that official logo has been determined. The committee offered any support we can give.
It is time to start thinking about nominations for the Harold Bixby Award to be presented at the next NCC. This will be discussed further at the next meeting.
Also tabled for the next meeting are the requirements for FTC membership. Please be prepared to discuss both these subjects.
The next meeting, also a telephone conference call, will be June 27th at 5 pm PDT.
7.11.07 ECSCA FTC Minutes
Telephone Conference Call Meeting
Present: Vicky Thomas, Rumi Schroeder, Sue Rose, Paul McGagh , Martin Bell, Barbara Haupt, Tawney Crawford
These minutes are combined with a brief meeting held June 27th. Nancy Murphy also present at that meeting.
Vicky is investigating the possibility of including an electronic field trial entry system into Fieldcockers.com. Joe Cody has created such a program that is in use in Canada. It also includes an automatic catalog system. Buzz Benson has been asked to chair a committee to look into the Canadian programs. He, along with some other key individuals, will determine the viability of electronic entries. It would be some time before this could be implemented and it would require the complete approval of the trial giving club. Thoughts are that payment could be made through PayPal, which takes a 3% commission. The website could also take a 2% commission to help support field trial events like the NCC. The Fieldcockers website costs $120 a year that is currently being paid privately by Sue Rose. Because of its non-profit status with the Internal Revenue Service, the ECSCA has not been involved with Fieldcockers.com.
The 2008 NCC judge’s ballot will include the top 8 names selected by the FTC committee. Sue Rose will assemble the final list to be sent to the owners of qualifying dogs. The ballot should be out about the first of August.
Rumi says 2007 NCC is coming along fine. Fox Valley English Cocker Spaniel Club is continually reviewing the grounds and keeping them groomed. Sue Wilson is in the process of composing the letter to send out for patrons.
Nominations for the Harold Bixby Award are now being accepted by Chairman Vicky Thomas. Committee members are asked to send their nominations to her with a letter of explanation as to why they think that person is worthy. If possible, the winner of this award is to be kept secret until the NCC Awards Banquet. If it is certain that the winner will not be at the banquet, then a special invitation should be sent. A discussion at the June meeting determined that FTC members are eligible for nomination.
Only one club has ratified the Gun Program so far however, it is possible that all the club &/or groups have not had a chance to meet since they were sent out. An observation from the general community was that a gunner should have a valid hunting license, but not necessarily from his/her home state. This is an excellent suggestion and will be changed in the final version.
Vicky brought up again her concerns about the loss of trials and would like to discuss this at the next meeting. A joint meeting between the HTC and the FTC has still not materialized but is still wanted. Nancy Murphy will continue to try and put this together.
The next telephone conference meeting will be determined by email.
7.24.07 ECSCA FTC Minutes
Telephone Conference Call
Members present (for all, or part, of the meeting): Vicky Thomas, Paul McGagh, Barbara Haupt, Tawney Crawford, Sue Rose, Rumi Schroeder, Martin Bell
Two nominations have been received for the Harold Bixby Award. Vicky would like the FTC to come to a join decision as to the recipient, however this would be difficult since both nominees are members. Comments regarding the nominees should be sent to Vicky by private email.
The Gun Program has been approved by the Maine and Mid Atlantic Clubs.
(At this point, Tawney had to leave the meeting and Sue Rose took over the minutes. Thank you, Sue.)
Vicky has formed a sub-committee to work on Judges Criteria. Paul McGagh will chair, current members will be Tawney Crawford and Martin Bell. Sue Rose was asked about non-ECSCA members serving on the committee. She responded that all ECSCA committees must be ECSCA members; other non-ECSCA persons can be used for reference or resources to further the committee’s activities. Paul will be selecting persons, including a few “resource persons” who are not ECSCA members, that will assist the sub-committee with their assignment.
Fall 2007 field trial schedule:
October 3 & 4, C Conn SFTC (my e-mail from Vicky said this was the 2nd & 3rd)
October 6 & 7, SAWNY (NY)
September 14, 15, 16 ECSCA (Crane MT)
Oct 24 & 25 ECSCA NCC FT WI
Hunt Test Report, Vicky talked to Nancy about the HTC joining in on a FTC meeting and Nancy is hoping that Danae Steele and Karen Fremuth will be joining the meeting on Aug 21. Vicky brought up the discussion about the HTC and the FTC versions of the “ECS Hunt Test Style;” that needed to be discussed between the two groups.
Paul had a few points that he brought up for discussion:
1) The possibility that dogs be “ferried” to the line (by a trailer) and not walk back and forth in the fields before going to the line.
2) Possibility that gunners be directed to shoot birds that flush when a dog is on a retrieve. All dropped birds to be retrieved; nothing left in the field.
3) Possibility that a brace mate be sent for a bird that is shot/falls on its side of the field after the flush on the other side of the field.
4) Possibility of more “eye-wipe” and double retrieves.
Martin added to this list:
5) The development of guidelines as to the number of trials a person could judge in a year’s time. Currently with only 30 trials nation wide, a judge that is judging two or more sets of trials is making a large impact on what style of work or whose dogs are winning that year.
Sue Rose brought up a request to the field community from ECSCA Education Committee member Bonnie Threfall conveyed a dog show this past weekend. The Education Committee would like about 3 minutes of clear, bright digital movie to be added to the Disk that is used in English Cocker Spaniel breed education seminars to cover ECS working into, under and out of heavy cover and woods to augment the breed standard size and shape “form follows function;” and shots covering the carriage if the game as to neck and muzzle strength and proper eye placement. There was a lot of discussion on how this would be accomplished. It was decided to put it in the minutes and open it to others.
The next meetings will be on August 7th and 21st.
Meeting adjourned at 9:37pm.
8.7.07 ECSCA FTC Minutes
Telephone conference Call
Present: Sue Rose, Nancy Murphy Martin Bell, Vicky Thomas, Paul McGagh, Barbara Haupt, Tawney Crawford
Meeting called to order at 5:10 PM PDT
A letter drafted by Sue Rose was unanimously approved to be sent to the American Spaniel Club and English Cocker Spaniel Club of America presidents for signature and forwarding to the AKC to request approval of the qualifications for dogs entering an ECSCA National Cocker Amateur Championship. The letter has been approved by the American Spaniel Club Field Trial Committee. To qualify to enter a National Cocker Amateur Championship Field Trial, the dog must have placed in an Amateur Stake at an AKC Field Trial in the past 5 (five) years.
Ballots for the NCC judges have been sent out to 57 people who are the owners of 87 dogs that are qualified for the 2008 NCC as of the date of mailing. There were very few missing &/or incorrect addresses. All of those were known by someone of the FTC and will be contacted for correct information.
The Bixby Award used to be decided by the host club of the current NCC Committee. The FTC decided that, since members of the FTC are currently nominated, it would be best to have the NCC host club make the final decision. Nominations are requested from the general cocker community to be made to their FTC Regional Representative. The FTC will discuss the nominees and then submit up to 6 names to the NCC host club for consideration. We suggest the following guidelines for consideration:
The Bixby Award is to be given annually to recognize an individual who has continually endeavored to promote English Cockers working in the field. It recognizes the individual who, during the course of the year, has unselfishly and distinctly given of themselves to advance the cause of English Cocker field work. This person is selected to exemplify the sportsmanship and high standards set by Harold S. Bixby, the award’s namesake, whose generosity and unselfish support has contributed enormously to our breed’s success in all field events.
A joint meeting of the FTC and HTC (Hunt Test Committee) is scheduled for August 21st by telephone conference. A discussion between the chairmen of the committees (Vicky Thomas and Nancy Murphy) disclosed many topics that were to be discussed. Barbara suggested that some of the concerns may be regional as she felt that the Hunt Tests in the East were very well run and organized. Tawney questioned the FTC’s involvement in Hunt Tests beyond contributing to the hunt test breed style description as this collaboration was agreed upon in previous discussions. The FTC has two liaison members (Rumi Schroeder and Barbara Haupt) and they should report back to the FTC of anything we should be aware of or any requests for help. Tawney suggests that the FTC has enough business to conduct regarding field trials and, since the ECSCA formed a separate committee for Hunt Tests, we should work together through our liaisons. Vicky said that attendance to the joint meeting was voluntary.
Paul McGagh has taken only the most preliminary steps in forming the Judges Committee and has nothing to report at this time.
Vicky asked Sue Rose to further explain what Bonnie Thelfall wants for the video. Bonnie has requested approximately 3 minutes of digital video of field bred English Cockers working in and out of heavy cover. She would like it to include retrieving to show how birds are carried. All that she has available is some footage from British field trials and she would like to include some American dogs. This video is to be put on a disc used by the ECSCA Educational Committee in educational seminars and is to be given to conformation judges to illustrate how “form follows function” in the breed standard. Barb, Vicky and Martin volunteered to take some footage and Barb has agreed to put it together. Paul will contact Jameson Parker for permission to use footage from a television series which featured English Cockers. Tawney has concerns about using field bred cockers to illustrate a show dog standard.
Buzz Benson reports that the costs for an electronic entry system could cost up to $2,000 a year if the Canadian program is used. This is far too much for the limited amount of trials we have a year. More research will be done to see if there are other programs or if a new program could be developed at a more reasonable price.
Paul asked about Sue to check into a statistics error regarding the High Point Trophy for 1994 and 1995. These early years are part of our precious history and should be accurate.
Vicky is working on a field trial evaluation form that would be voluntary for clubs to fill out and return to the FTC. We will discuss this at a future meeting.
Paul’s comments regarding challenging our cockers in creative ways were very enthusiastically received by the majority of the FTC. Discussion included more ideas and ways to implement them. Sue suggested it should be part of the guidelines in the Green Book. Another suggestion would be to have an article printed in Spaniel magazines. This could have a great effect on the future of cocker trials. Barb will write up something and send it out for review by the FTC.
The meeting was adjourned at 6:55 PM PDT
9.4.07 ECSCA FTC Minutes
Meeting convened at 5:00pm PDT
Present: Vicky Thomas, Barbara Haupt, Tawney Crawford, Paul McGagh , Sue Rose, Martin Bell
The Bixby Award currently has 7 nominees. Vicky asked if maybe we should set some protocol as to how many names should be submitted. Tawney said that it should be up to the NCC Host Club to sort through them. More discussion ensued regarding the possibility that some names may be questionable and should the FTC have the right to choose which names get submitted for consideration. Tawney said that any question should be discussed and voted upon by the FTC. There is a nominee in question who is well liked by everyone on the FTC and of the highest character. However this nominee may not meet all of the qualities sought for the recipient of the Bixby Award. The FTC member who made the nomination will be contacted to see if he/she does not mind if their nominee is removed from the final list. If the member does mind, the nominee will remain on the list and we will trust that the NCC Host Club will see the shortfall. (Since this meeting, another nominee, an FTC member, has respectfully requested to be removed from consideration.)
Vicky said that teleconference between the FTC and HTC was positive and productive. The FTC made clear their message that they were there to help, not to dictate or intrude. Items discussed were a brochure regarding field events from Working Tests to Field Trials, a Glossary of Terms, a “Green Book” for Hunt Tests, a “Beyond Master” test, and a mentor program. The breed hunting style description discussion has been postponed until another telephone conference meeting scheduled September 13.
Paul McGagh, chairman of the newly formed Judges Committee announced that the following have agreed to participate on this committee: Tawney Crawford, Martin Bell, Ernie Hasse, Dennis Joannides, and Dominique Savoie. Copies of the ESSFT judges requirements have been sent out to be used as a starting base to build on. Martin would like to see the added requirement for a maximum number of times per year that an individual may judge. Vicky suggested a review of judge’s requirements for both England and Canada.
Tawney moved that the ECSCA, ASC and ESSFT be contacted regarding a rule addition to the AKC Spaniel Field Trials Rules and Regulations. This new rule would accept a qualifying score at the Master Hunter level as an additional way to receive the water certification requirement for a spaniel to become a Field Champion. The motion was seconded and passed. Sue Rose will draft the letter to the parent clubs to see if they are in agreement.
Sue Rose has begun research regarding a discrepancy in a previous high point award. It will require more research through AKC records.
The television video has been obtained and permission granted for it to be used for excerpts in another video regarding form and function. It will be sent o Sue Rose who will forward it to Bonnie Threlfall.
Buzz Benson has met with the web designers of the electronic entry program. Sue Rose explained how electronic show entries work and that there is a $4.50 per entry fee. This system is excellent as it would streamline almost everything that a field trial secretary does. This includes automatically printing the catalog and a running order, once the numbers have been drawn and entered. The biggest obstacle is the price (approximately $2,000 a year), however it may be negotiable and might be affordable if split between all the trial giving clubs. The FTC may consider subsidizing a portion of it, too, with proceeds from the web site. Martin asked if the springer people are looking into it. If so, we might be able to join forces with them. The programmers would like to give a presentation at the Nationals in Wisconsin. Tawney says we see the presentation and invite anyone potential trial secretaries as long as it is understood we are under no obligation.
Vicky requests items for inclusion in the agenda for the FTC meeting in conjunction with the NCC.
The next meeting will be Tuesday September 25.
9.25.07 ECSCA FTC Minutes
Meeting convened at 5:00pm PDT
Present: Vicky Thomas, Barbara Haupt, Paul McGagh, Sue Rose, Rumi Schroeder, and Martin Bell
Barbara Haupt has resigned due to family commitments. The meeting opened with a discussion on who should replace Barbara. Vicky had thought of selecting a replacement individual for the few months until elections would occur, at which time the east coast could elect a replacement. Sue Rose had pointed out that any individual selected would need to be approved by the ECSCA BOD and therefore, would be replacing Barb for her original term which would end in January 2009. It was concluded that the best coarse of action would be to not make any selections but let the east coast vote on a replacement candidate. It was suggested that elections be held in November, however some subsequent discussion suggested the limited number of individuals voting from the east coast could make their election sooner.
Vicky had asked that the main body of tonight’s telephone meeting be devoted to organizing the general meeting to be held at 8:00 pm the first night of the NCC. All FTC members agreed the General Meeting should not run longer than 1-½ hours. Ideally, an hour would be preferable, but we had so many topics to discuss and if we allow everyone that wanted to slate an issue the opportunity to talk we are pressed for time. The precedence we wanted to establish was to have brief committee reports that would then be “approved” or “not approved” as a method to let the FTC know that everybody was in accord with the directions the FTC was moving. Vicky is going to draft a general report of the FTC activities and committee work which should help cover several areas of old business, such as the gun committee. However, we did want each committee head to make a 2-minute report.
One of the larger tasks we wanted to accomplish before the NCC would be to have all clubs and area representatives to send Spring 2008 field trial dates to her. She has been posting the possible dates on fieldcockers.com. The information should include the number of Open Stakes and Amateur Stakes to be held. This way everyone could review the Spring Trial schedule at the general meeting.
Rumi had feedback regarding the selection of National Judges. At this time there are no set criteria for selecting a National Judge. The nominations come from the field trial clubs to the area reps. These names are voted on and short listed to 6-10 names. These are the final list mailed to owners of each qualified dog. Discussion was had as if a certain criteria needed to be in place to establish ‘qualification’ to judge a Cocker Nationals.
It was at this time we realized we did not have Tawney recording the minutes and Martin Bell volunteered to submit the minutes.
The FTC elections will be in November. It is agreed that the report Vicky complied would have the options discussed by the FTC over the past months so we could get some input from everyone. It seems that we have come to two general conclusions. The FTC should either be elected by expanding our areas and then those clubs make up the selection or we continue with the 3 elected members at large members, 4 area reps and at least one professional trainer possibly two included in the make-up.
Electronic entries. Much discussion has been had on the new electronic entry system. Vicky is working on the feasibility of costs but it is agreed that this system is a huge timesaver. The committee is inviting Joe Cody to the Cocker Nationals so the program can been seen by all. The system is currently in use in Canada for Springer’s, and in the US nearly all Labrador trials use a similar system. Please visit with Joe at the Nationals to learn more.
Tawney Crawford had proposed last meeting that the ECSCA, ASC and ESSFT be contacted regarding a rule addition to the AKC Spaniel Field Trials Rules and Regulations. This new rule would accept a qualifying score at the Master Hunter level as an additional way to receive the water certification requirement for a spaniel to become a Field Champion. Sue Rose gave us some very exciting news. Although Sue has not received anything from the ESSFT, The American Cocker Club has approved our request and the AKC is very positive about it. This is a huge accomplishment. It is accepted that a master hunter qualifying score is more than adequate, indeed challenging, as one 40-45 yard mark and one 35 -40 yard blind across water need be completed to get a passing score in Master.
We’d received a question regarding the Patron Program. It was agreed that we continue the policy for Clubs printing the Patron list in their trial catalogs be reimbursed for advertising costs. It was agreed that $50 should be paid to each trial club for advertising the Patrons list in their events catalog. A copy of the page must be sent to Karen Spurlin.
Vicky wanted to remind everyone to send in their names of Gunners and Gun Captain after events. These records are being kept on fieldcockers.com.
Discussion was had on the feasibility of holding an Amateur Nationals. At this time not enough dogs are qualified to hold an Amateur National. The consensus of the Committee is that the Open stake is the most important stake at this time but would continue to be aware of the growth in Amateur stakes and act accordingly in the future.
We’d received a question regarding Novice stakes as an alternative to Amateur stakes at a trials this fall. Sue Rose informed us that we already have an AKC ‘Novice Class’ and the rules are in the rulebook for those clubs interested in holding them. It is this committee’s opinion that there would not be enough participation to warrant such a stake. It has been tried on a couple of occasions in the past but the entries were too low to meet AKC requirements. However, the committee didn’t want to “micro-manage” what Trial Clubs decided to do.
Barbara Haupt’s ‘Cocker Challenge’ will be posted to fieldcockers.com. The article is an assortment of ideas from the FTC on how to challenge our dogs. It is not meant as a guideline but more as food for thought to make us excel with our dogs and train them for a variety of situations.
We are hoping the 2007 Cocker National Catalog will be on fieldcockers.com in color in a pdf format shortly after the trial. The catalog will be available for purchase from fieldcockers.com for $10 made payable to ECSCA/NCC. However, at some time after the event the pdf file will be made available free. It will not be in the same “printed catalog” format, but it will contain all the information and advertising.
The next meeting was scheduled for October 11th at 5pm Pacific Time. (Note: October 11th meeting subsequently cancelled)