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Running HTs

Running HTs

Postby SubMariner » Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:38 am

We are volunteering to run a club Hunt Test in March, but are complete newbies.

If anyone can supply hints, tips, suggestions, checklists/software, and general all 'round advice, we'd be grateful.

Thanks!
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Re: Running HTs

Postby Greg Jennings » Mon Jan 18, 2010 6:23 pm

AKC-sanctioned hunt test or non-sanctioned "club test"?
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Re: Running HTs

Postby Brushbustin Sporting Dogs » Mon Jan 18, 2010 6:52 pm

If it AKC and its in march your going to get fined $100($50 a day) as your to have your paper work in 90 days before the event...
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Re: Running HTs

Postby SubMariner » Mon Jan 18, 2010 10:58 pm

Brushbustin Sporting Dogs wrote:If it AKC and its in march your going to get fined $100($50 a day) as your to have your paper work in 90 days before the event...


Thanks for the info, but we were already made aware of this.

We just made contact with our initial group of judges; at this point it appears they will all be available. <fingers crossed>

Meanwhile, any advice as to actually organizing & running the HT would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
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Re: Running HTs

Postby SubMariner » Mon Jan 18, 2010 10:59 pm

Greg Jennings wrote:AKC-sanctioned hunt test or non-sanctioned "club test"?


AKC.
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Re: Running HTs

Postby snips » Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:45 am

Good birds and good gunners. Makes a HT.....
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Re: Running HTs

Postby jetto » Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:33 pm

If you haven't done so already go to the AKC website and to "rules and regulations". Download the Pointing Breed Hunt Test and Field Trial Procedures Manual. It's mostly hunt test related and will give you alot of good info. Kristi
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Re: Running HTs

Postby Dave Quindt » Tue Jan 19, 2010 3:04 pm

If at all possible, run your test as either a single course, or continuous course, with no bird field.

I don't know what's traditional in Florida, but in much of the midwest and Great Lakes most HTs are run as a single course WITH bird field.

Bird fields are a pain in the a** and can drive down the pass rate, as they put dogs in some pretty extraordinary and unusual situations.

JMO,
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Re: Running HTs

Postby SubMariner » Tue Jan 19, 2010 3:04 pm

This is good... keep it coming!

It would be great to also get tips on scheduling, paperwork, etc.

Thanks again,
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Re: Running HTs

Postby phermes1 » Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:24 pm

Get Don's software. It will cut your time spent on paperwork down by 75%.

http://www.fieldeventsoftware.com/
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Re: Running HTs

Postby Greg Jennings » Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:12 am

snips wrote:Good birds and good gunners. Makes a HT.....

AMEN!

Would add to that a good course. It's obviously best if the course is circular. You don't want the course idle while the judges run the whole course in reverse to get back to the line.

No one in SH or MH wants to spend 20 minutes in the bird field. Yet, the more time the JH can spend in the bird field, the better. Also, the JH are better off with a plethora of birds while the SH and MH are not. So, if you can run the JH on a completely different course, you're better off.

As mentioned, the SH and MH are not helped by a lot of birds. It's good to put a minimum amount on the back course and "just enough" in the bird field. The JH course should be well-salted.

The gunners should have a supply of birds so that call backs can be handled expeditiously on the spot without waiting around.

Also:

Have *good* food either free or at reasonable prices. When it's cold, chili or stew goes down very well and is easy to cook and serve.

Some kind of "score board" to keep everyone aware of what brace is running. A brace hustler to find people and keep event management aware of people that haven't shown up, etc.

Have a wooden shotgun outline painted orange for those folks that forget that they're required in MH. Have a spare blank pistol and caps for those folks that forget, lose or break theirs.

More later....

EDIT: BTW, what Dave said above about single course, no bird field is ideal if you can make it happen. If you don't have many SH and MH dogs, it's easier.
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Re: Running HTs

Postby Greg Jennings » Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:30 pm

More as promised:

o Run SH, MH then JH. Clean up the stray birds afterward. Helps the dogs, helps the folks.

o Make sure you provide drinks and snacks to the judges, gunners, marshall, etc.

o A really nice touch is to have a volunteer take digital pictures of the qualifying dogs and handlers and email them out...and maybe post them here on GDF (hint hint)

o If your venue doesn't have a club house and it's raining, put up tent shelters to give people a way to get out of the weather.

o Be organized and on top of things both in execution of the test and in preparation. 'For example, I was really torqued at one club when they *assumed* that I was going to show up to gun after not returning my calls and emails.
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Re: Running HTs

Postby phermes1 » Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:47 pm

Oh, and actually plant birds for JH, and put them in good spots.
This would seem like a silly request, but I've been to more than one HT where the bird planting was horrendous and caused many nice-working dogs to go birdless.
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Re: Running HTs

Postby SubMariner » Wed Jan 20, 2010 3:18 pm

phermes1 wrote:Get Don's software. It will cut your time spent on paperwork down by 75%.

http://www.fieldeventsoftware.com/


GMTA... talked with him last night. ;)
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Re: Running HTs

Postby phermes1 » Wed Jan 20, 2010 3:31 pm

SubMariner wrote:
GMTA... talked with him last night. ;)


The reports are great and the running order function makes doing the draw a cinch. Well worth the cost.

No, I don't get a commission. :)
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Re: Running HTs

Postby SubMariner » Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:19 pm

phermes1 wrote:Oh, and actually plant birds for JH, and put them in good spots.
This would seem like a silly request, but I've been to more than one HT where the bird planting was horrendous and caused many nice-working dogs to go birdless.


I'm pretty sure our club plants for all levels, but since this is the first time we'll be putting one on (as opposed to running Zio) I guess we'll have to see. ;)
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Re: Running HTs

Postby SubMariner » Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:19 pm

jetto wrote:If you haven't done so already go to the AKC website and to "rules and regulations". Download the Pointing Breed Hunt Test and Field Trial Procedures Manual. It's mostly hunt test related and will give you alot of good info. Kristi


Already done... thanks! :D
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Re: Running HTs

Postby SubMariner » Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:23 pm

Many thanks for the continuing good advice. I knew I'd get this kind of feedback here.

Again, anyone feel free to jump right in! :D
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Re: Running HTs

Postby phermes1 » Thu Jan 21, 2010 2:25 pm

SubMariner wrote:I'm pretty sure our club plants for all levels, but since this is the first time we'll be putting one on (as opposed to running Zio) I guess we'll have to see. ;)


NF has always been pretty good in my experience. I just had to throw it in there anyway. :)
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Re: Running HTs

Postby SubMariner » Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:27 pm

phermes1 wrote:
SubMariner wrote:I'm pretty sure our club plants for all levels, but since this is the first time we'll be putting one on (as opposed to running Zio) I guess we'll have to see. ;)


NF has always been pretty good in my experience. I just had to throw it in there anyway. :)


Thanks. I'll make sure to email you a map of all the bird planting. <wink-wink-nudge-nudge, say-no-more, say-no-more> :twisted:

:twisted: ***KIDDING!!! JOKE!!!!*** :twisted:
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Re: Running HTs

Postby Greg Jennings » Fri Jan 22, 2010 6:24 am

SubMariner wrote:I'm pretty sure our club plants for all levels, but since this is the first time we'll be putting one on (as opposed to running Zio) I guess we'll have to see. ;)

I've been in more than one stake where the judges took the braces down a different route than was planted....


PS: You did catch the note about the food, right. Good and reasonably priced.
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Re: Running HTs

Postby SubMariner » Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:13 pm

Greg Jennings wrote:
SubMariner wrote:I'm pretty sure our club plants for all levels, but since this is the first time we'll be putting one on (as opposed to running Zio) I guess we'll have to see. ;)

I've been in more than one stake where the judges took the braces down a different route than was planted....


PS: You did catch the note about the food, right. Good and reasonably priced.


<lol> Got you loud & clear, Greg. :)

FWIW, the last HT Pearce & I worked on (chaired & secretaried by other club members) there were two courses: SH/MH and JH. As you mentioned in a previous post, they were planned in a circular pattern so that people didn't have to go back 'round at the end, where they could possibly run into the next brace. Since we weren't running our own dog, I don't know how the bird fields were set up for the courses. Or whether there was a specific bird field for JH. Again, I expect we'll find out more about this in the near future.

Thanks again,
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Re: Running HTs

Postby CherrystoneWeims » Fri Jan 22, 2010 5:30 pm

Be sure to purchase insurance through the AKC before running the test!!!

I was involved in a serious accident this past Sat. while judging and thankfully my club has insurance.
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Re: Running HTs

Postby RayGubernat » Fri Jan 22, 2010 11:14 pm

Any kind of event like this goes better with planning.

Some of these things were already mentioned:

Plan out the course so the judges do not have to dead head back. Saves tons of time.

Ribbon or otherwise mark the course so there is no doubt about which way you are to go.

Have a team of dedicated, knowledgeable bird planters lined up and ready. Make sure each bird planter knows when they will be asked to plant, how many braces and who their relief is.
It is far easier to ask four people to plant for two hours each than one person to plant for eight. Also if folks know just how long they are volunteering for and who it is that is supposed to take over, they will be far more likely to say yes.

Have someone fill the birdbags, so the bird planters don't have to.

Have a line marshal or dog truck to have the next brace of dogs in the crates, waiting at the line 15 minutes after the preceding brace goes out.
In general, get as many folks as you cand to do different things and have the work responsibilities well laid out for everyone. If everyone pitches in an hour of their time, nobody gets used up and burned out.

Do try to plant birds on the backcourse for SH and MH. Makes the judges' job easier and it is also easier on the "good" dogs. With a couple or three points on the backcourse, the dogs have worked out the mental kinks most of the time. the not so good dogs will also have weeded themselves out before they get to the birdfield, which can save the club a bunch of money in birds that don't need to be shot because the dog already X'ed itself out. If there are no birds on the backcourse and it is a race to the birdfield, the dogs, especially the ones that are really tuned up and rairing to go, can sometimes be so wound up that they crash and burn on the first contact.

Have someone designated(perhaps the dog wagon driver)to collect the cards from the judges as they go, so the secretary can update all during the test and not have a crush of work at the end of the day.

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Re: Running HTs

Postby Greg Jennings » Sat Jan 23, 2010 2:15 pm

RayGubernat wrote:Do try to plant birds on the backcourse for SH and MH. Makes the judges' job easier and it is also easier on the "good" dogs. With a couple or three points on the backcourse, the dogs have worked out the mental kinks most of the time. the not so good dogs will also have weeded themselves out before they get to the birdfield, which can save the club a bunch of money in birds that don't need to be shot because the dog already X'ed itself out. If there are no birds on the backcourse and it is a race to the birdfield, the dogs, especially the ones that are really tuned up and rairing to go, can sometimes be so wound up that they crash and burn on the first contact.


I believe the tests are now *required* to plant the back course. I think having a couple of points on the back course is WONDERFUL. On the other hand, if the back course is *salted*, particularly on a narrow back course, I think it's too much of a good thing for the SH and MH dogs.

While I'm thinking about it, most of the courses that I've been on have been too short. I HATE getting to the bird field with 20+ minutes left. It's nerve wracking.
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Re: Running HTs

Postby shags » Sat Jan 23, 2010 3:13 pm

About 4 months before -
Procure grounds
Apply to AKC
Set up committees and judges, gunners.
Send in premium to AKC.

A month before -
Send out premiums
Make sure you have secured horses if needed, portajohns if needed, tents, grills, or whatever you'll need for kitchen
Find judges' gifts. I think gunners deserve a nice gift, too.

Keep track of enties as they come in. Don't wait til the last minute to print off hard copies of emailed entries or phone entries if you accept them.
I keep a tally of handler with each of his/her dogs and the stakes (I do trials) entered. That makes it easy to keep current on scratches or substitutions, numbers of entries, and money coming in.

The week of the tests-
Draw Masters first, then Seniors, then Juniors. Run them in that order as well so the most demanding tests don't have the disadvantage of used fields/courses. Make some calls to confirm peoples' comittments to whatever jobs they'e agreed to.

Day before the tests-
Load ribbons and everything else you are responsible for into the car. Keep a copy of your running order by the phone because folks call wanting to know when they'll be running. Don't promise them a time, just tell them how many braces are in front of them.

Test day(s)-
Get there early and start on time or as close to it as possible. Tell the judges what courses you are using, and ride out with them to show them if necessary. Make sure your bird planters know where the birdfield boundaries are, and mark the boundaries. If 'stuff happens', take a deep breath and go with the flow. Stay on top of your paperwork. Make sure your judges and gunners are fed and watered. Keep the birdbags filled for your bird planters. Stay on top of your paperwork. Walk around and socialize a little bit and keep your ears open for gripes and helpful suggestions. Stay on top of your paperwork. As tests finish up, have judges sign their papers so they don't forget and drive off, and announce qualifiers or hand out ribbons as your club/committee chooses. Some wait til the test is finished, others give out ribbons as soon as individual scores are tallied and confirmed.

End of test weekend - hand out gifts, clean up your club's mess, write checks if necessary, hand out gifts, and finish paperwork and have it ready to mail on Monday (see, aren't you glad you stayed on top of your paperwork?). We usually put by a little food for the judges, gunners, and bird planters so they can refortify themselves at the end of a long day w/o having to think about where the nearest McDonalds is.

Good on you for taking on a generally thankless job! From that test on out, you will really really appreciate every event you enter but aren't responsible for :lol:
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Re: Running HTs

Postby Brushbustin Sporting Dogs » Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:26 pm

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Re: Running HTs

Postby Wyndancer » Tue Jan 26, 2010 3:56 pm

CherrystoneWeims wrote:Be sure to purchase insurance through the AKC before running the test!!!

I was involved in a serious accident this past Sat. while judging and thankfully my club has insurance.


Pam, sorry to hear about your accident.

Question. How will the club insurance cover you? I don't know the details of who's horse, who rented/wrangled.

Is it strict liability coverage?

I know all the AKC clubs that I work with all have insurance, but just wonder how the *claim* process worked.

Thanks...Dan

Never mind...found it here http://www.equisure-inc.com/canine/clubliability.html
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Re: Running HTs

Postby SierraMtnBrits » Sat Jan 30, 2010 12:07 pm

Good luck to you for a successful hunt test! They are a lot of fun when they go smoothly. All of these are really good suggestions.

Just an idea for your next hunt test, find another club to do one with you. Our club tries to match up with the GSP club here in Nevada to hold a double hunt test. They are usually really successful because people can run their dogs in 4 tests during the weekend, not just two. To avoid conflicts, the running orders for each club are opposite. Since one club is quite a bit smaller than the other club, they can help each other. We have a central camp area, then use one field for one club, the other side for the other.
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Re: Running HTs

Postby SubMariner » Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:23 pm

Well, we finally got the ok from AKC to run the Hunt Test. I'll be posting detail to the Events section very soon.

Thanks to everyone for the great advice. I hope we can put it to good use.

Pax,
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Re: Running HTs

Postby SubMariner » Thu Feb 11, 2010 8:53 pm

Ok everyone...

Here's a link to the HT info: viewtopic.php?f=90&t=22440

It's also up on AKC, but they got some of the info wrong for the 2nd day. Hopefully, they'll clear that up ASAP. :roll:


Anyone who wants a Premium emailed to them, please contact me via the email address in the Events post.

Thanks!
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Re: Running HTs

Postby SubMariner » Fri Mar 05, 2010 5:04 pm

The Event is this weekend.

Hope we got it right! :?
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The HT

Postby SubMariner » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:08 pm

First of all, I'd like to thank all the "unsung heroes" who gave their time & effort to help us with our first Hunt Test. People like Becky, Todd, Len, Debbie, the Gunners, and probably many others I haven't mentioned. I would also like to thank the Judges: Denise, Don, William, and Sue. And lastly, a big "thank you" to all the people who signed up for the HT. We had a lot of good people and good dogs out there!

And now a shameless plug for Don Bonnice's software. ANYONE who runs any sort of field event, be it a trial or a hunt test, should DEFINITELY invest in Don's Field Event Software. (http://www.fieldeventsoftware.com/) It makes the whole process much less painful and a helluva lot more organized than trying to puzzle through the huge packet of paperwork the AKC sends you (with NO explanation of how or why the stuff is to be used, BTW). Even better is that you can test drive it for FREE. What more could you ask? Someone else to input the entries maybe? <lol>

Of course most of the entries didn't come in until the last minute. While we were able to accommodate about 99% of them, in hindsight we think that our club should institute something like Paypal to make the whole registration/payment process smoother. It should be on the NFGSP website in addition to the email blast. In the end we had about 33 entries per day, the majority being in JH. Just a note to those entering these events: PLEASE fill in your forms completely, INCLUDING telephone & email address. I had to do a bit of sleuthing on more than one occasion just to ensure that the entry could go through.

The first brace in MH was basically on the line at approx 7:30am. (JH followed, around 8am.) It was pretty cold both mornings (by FL standards) but we hope the hot bevs & donuts each morning kept the blood going.

There were two courses: one for JH and one for MH/SH. I handled the MH/SH course both days, while my hubby handled the JHs. Thanks to the FE software, we had pre-printed score sheets for the judges. We simply put them all onto small clipboards for the judges while each of us handled the rest of the scoring paperwork (also pre-printed from the software!) So when they came back from riding a brace, the judges just handed us those sheets, then moved back to the staring line, where their next brace was waiting. We made sure that the next brace was "on deck" in advance so the judges could hand us the sheets & keep on going. The only glitch was that the pens needed to be attached to the clipboards to keep them handy (and from being lost.) Duly noted. ;)

BOTH days we finished by around 1-2 pm. Lunch was provided to all entrants & support people. (I also understand that the Sat night dinner was a hit although were were unable to attend.)

Ribbons were given out each day after the events were done. We even had a youngster applying for her Junior Handler in JH! :)

We hope any of the people who dropped by with new puppies to see what was going on were able to see what a great sport this is and that everyone, regardless of experience level, can participate.

Thanks for reading this... hope it wasn't too long & boring. :mrgreen:
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