Fred Rayl ~ Judging Endurance Grouse Dogs
The interview was conducted with Fred Rayl on his completion of judging the 2012 Armstrong-Umbel Endurance Classic. The following is the standard that was written by the Black Ash Grouse Dog Club for judging the Classic:
Armstrong-Umbel Endurance Classic Judging Standard
The purpose of the Armstrong-Umbel Endurance Classic for grouse dogs is to test the physical strength, endurance and mental fortitude of dogs over a two-hour period.
Bird work should be held to the high level of championship performance on wild birds. It should, however, be kept in mind that grouse and flight woodcock pose particular difficulties in the spring. Dogs should not be over-penalized for unproductive stands and leniency should be given to stop-to-flushes as spring birds are often running and skittish.
As in all field trials, the dogs should exhibit class and style in their performances. Their effort on the ground should take highest precedent, showing maturity and focused hunting efforts over the two hours. The dogs may show short periods of fatigue in the latter part of the stake, particularly in trying conditions, but must finish hunting with independence and determination. A strong finish to the front is highly sought after in this stake.