The Amesian Standard
Excerpt from National Field Trial Champions 1956-1966 (William Brown), page 8:
Hobart Ames judged the National Championship for the first time in 1902. The last National he judged was in 1941 when Ariel won the first of his three National Championship titles. In that span, Mr. Ames was a judge of the National a total of 31 times, more than any other individual.
Alambagh, a setter dog won the National in 1905, the only Ames-owned dog to do so, albeit about ten years later, Powhatan came close on three occasions, gaining the newspaper distinction of runner-up.
It cannot be said that too many knew Hobart Ames well. Nor were very many familiar with his ideas of what constituted the ideal shooting dog. In the quiet precincts of his library, there were times when he would expand on his opinions, and it was these sessions, as much as anything, that provided the material which enabled Clarke Venable to phrase the type of performance sought in the National Championship and which became known as “The Amesian Standard.”
THE AMESIAN STANDARD
The dog under consideration must have and display great bird sense. He must show perfect work on both coveys and singles. He must be able quickly to determine between foot and body scent. He must use his brain, eyes, and nose to the fullest advantage and hunt the likely places on the course. He must possess speed, range, style, character, courage, and stamina—and good manners always. He must hunt the birds, and not the handler hunt the dog. No line or path runner is acceptable. He must be well broken, and the better his manners the more clearly he proves his sound training. Should he lose a little in class, as expressed in extreme speed and range, he can make up for this, under fair judgement, in a single piece of superior bird work, or in sustained demonstration of general behavior. He must be bold, snappy and spirited. His range must be to the front or to either side, but never behind. He must be regularly and habitually pleasingly governable (tractable) and must know when to turn and keep his handler’s course in view, and at all times keep uppermost in his mind the finding and pointing of birds for his handler.
1905 National Champion Alambagh