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Field Trials and walking events Part 2

Field Trials and walking events Part 2

Postby Gordon Guy » Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:17 pm

Since the previous thread has taken a new direction I thought I would start fresh

There have been a few folks/posters that have said in a previous thread that they have many walking trials in their area and that they are well attended.

Those clubs/geographic areas that have strong attendance at their "Walking" trials, were those events always well attended from the beginning or did they start slow and built a "following"?
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Re: Field Trials and walking events Part 2

Postby birddogger » Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:19 pm

That is a great question and I am looking forward to the responses.

Charlie
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Re: Field Trials and walking events Part 2

Postby brad27 » Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:01 pm

I haven't been at this FT stuff long enough to tell you from experience, but i looked up some numbers from the AKC website for a walking only grounds (hastings island) in Rio Vista, CA. (i think they are walking only. Chukar12 might know for sure.) since july 2008 there have been 21 trials held on these grounds with an average entry of 71 dogs per trial. 118 was the high in the all breed trials. 50 the low, again in all breed trial. from 2008 to 2011 the number of dogs entered per trial has gone up. don't know if this helps.
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Re: Field Trials and walking events Part 2

Postby Sharon » Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:03 pm

Gordon Guy wrote:Since the previous thread has taken a new direction I thought I would start fresh

There have been a few folks/posters that have said in a previous thread that they have many walking trials in their area and that they are well attended.

Those clubs/geographic areas that have strong attendance at their "Walking" trials, were those events always well attended from the beginning or did they start slow and built a "following"?


A healthy club meets needs.
Our club is very old.
It started out with HB only and morphed into walking trials also as the need arose.

http://region13fieldtrials.blogspot.com/
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Re: Field Trials and walking events Part 2

Postby Vision » Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:23 pm

Gordon Guy

Great Question. I will share with you my experience when I was president of the GSP club of Utah, now this was back in the 90's. The principles are the same.

Our club was struggling. I was just a young buck but was elected President in a landslide(only one naive enough to stand for the position). I spent some time thinking about why the club was struggling. I came to a few conclusions.

1. Same local judges at every trial.
2. Dwindling entries (related to #1)

So I set about to change things up, which is not always easy to do because you have to fight the attitude of "this is the way we have always done it". Our club treasury was small because of the decline that club had experienced. My plan was this.

1. Out of State Judges. I know we wore a few out judging all the broke dog stakes, but we only had them in once every 3 years or so.

2. Get the Pros to come in to increase the entries and make the club profitable again.

We had not had any pros in for years due to the homer effect. What we did to get the pros in was to have a money stake on Friday. It was run under AF rules judged as an hour shooting dog stake with a $1500 purse with the winner getting a $1000 and runner up getting $500. The club did not have the money to cover the trial expenses, plus the purse if we did not get the entries. Most of the club members got on board with the idea luckily. I then got on the phone and started inviting the pros to come and run in the money stake. The crazy thing about our trial date is we had 2 pros drive through Utah on their way to the Nationals in Eureka the week of our fall trial. We had to give them a reason to stop. Money talks and stop they did. The first year we had Tim Schilleroff, and RJ Marquart, plus a hand full of amateurs from Idaho come in for the money stake. We had enough entries to cover the prize money for the money stake on Friday. With the additional entries we made a nice profit on the weekend AKC trial and away the club went. We ran the money stake the next year. We had Bob Deitering, Johnny Merrell, come that year plus RJ, and TIm down again. After that year we fired up the region trial for our area and the pros kept coming because they could catch the weekend AKC trial and the region trial during the following week. It was a heck of a lot of work but it was successful for many years. I have done the same thing since that time with other interests.

So my point is if you build it they will come. It will take years to build it, but it will grow every year. One of the critical things needed for success is to advertise the event dates way earlier than you think you will need so that people can plan on attending. Plus you want everyone to have fun. Food, and fun seem to go together. I know it adds work, but having a nice meal on one of the nights will add to the event. You have plenty of area around Boise to find a nice venue for a walking trial. It takes effort to build anything worth while. Don't be afraid to put in the effort. You don't need all knowledge to do ti either, just some desire and not being afraid to ask questions of others to learn from their experience. One of ideas that has been floating around my head since this thread started was to have bird fields for the broke dog stakes. If they are close enough to the gallery then it becomes more of a spectator sport. Just an idea. It may add a dimension to the trail that has been missing. Along those lines I read about the Utah Fall AKC trial having the 1st bird shot on course instead of call backs for retrieve. The comments I read were highly favorable. It's funny how things change. We used to have a bird field, then went to 1st bird killed on course, and then to call backs for retrieve, and now the clock turns back again. A walking wild bird stake out West would be a blast. I know of a place. I am going to investigate it further this Fall.
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Re: Field Trials and walking events Part 2

Postby Buckeye_V » Thu Jul 28, 2011 6:50 am

Well-run walking trials in our area draw consistantly good entry numbers (higher than 70) every year and season. This is for about the last 5 years I have been involved.
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Re: Field Trials and walking events Part 2

Postby Gordon Guy » Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:54 am

Thanks to all that replied. I will take that information and run with it. I didn't realize one could get that kind of info (Numbers of entries) from the AKC website, I'll have to dig around in there. It would be interesting to compare the entries for HB stakes vs walking stakes within the same area and see if there's a trend.

I like the idea of a walking wild bird trial out here in the west. But ....baby steps.

I was at the AKC Pointing Dog National last April and during the retrieving stake they shot the first bird encountered on the course...for what it's worth. I think it saved a lot of time.
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Re: Field Trials and walking events Part 2

Postby phermes1 » Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:13 am

We hold 3 trials per year, all of them walking. We average between 90-110 entries, which more often than not, are the biggest entries in the state.

I think a large part of it is your 'target market'. There are a lot of walking handlers down here and not a huge amount of people with horses. If we were in an area where everyone had a horse, things might be entirely different.

How well the trial is run is probably the biggest factor. If people enjoy themselves and feel they got a fair shake from the judges, they'll be back.
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Re: Field Trials and walking events Part 2

Postby Buckeye_V » Thu Jul 28, 2011 10:11 am

+1 Paul
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Re: Field Trials and walking events Part 2

Postby Dirtysteve » Thu Jul 28, 2011 10:14 am

Vision
Your name wouldn't be George would it? Im trying to figure out who you are.
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Re: Field Trials and walking events Part 2

Postby Vision » Thu Jul 28, 2011 5:58 pm

George Wilson?

I'm not George. I'll PM you.
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