What is an NBHA Trial?

The National Bird Hunters Association hosts 11 separate championship events including both National Open and Amateur Championships with a second series required to win plus National Open and Amateur Invitational Championships open to the highest point dogs from the previous field trial season. A National Free For All Championship plus six Regional Championships round out the slate. The NBHA is looking forward to renewed interest in our walking trials as the new rule changes are absorbed by the field trial community. Please join us in enjoying your dog in the field.The NBHA has a Rule Book complete with by-laws. All NBHA trials must be run in accordance with these standards. Any questions about the standards please call your local or national officers. Many problems can be averted in this manner. The NBHA trials are walking trials held on a singe course as near natural hunting conditions as possible. Quail are liberated around the course before the trials starts. Birds are planted in objective areas where you would expect your dog to encounter wild birds. There are enough birds planted around the course so each dog has a fair opportunity to be judged on his hunting ability. We usually plant approximately thirty birds before the trial starts. They are replaced by bird planters with gloves when they fly off course. The course is reseeded after lunch or any other extended period or interruption, with half that many birds. A finished walking shooting dog is required to handle, point, back and retrieve. There are seven recognized stakes in the NBHA. The Open Stakes are open to both professional handlers and amateur handlers. A professional handler is anyone who takes any form of compensation for handling or training a dog. An amateur handler is anyone who does not take any form of compensation for handling or training a dog.

The stakes are categorized by the dog ‘s age. The recognized stakes in the NBHA are:

OPEN STAKES
Puppy
Derby
Shooting Dog
Restricted Breed Shooting Dog

AMATEUR STAKES
Puppy
Derby
Shooting Dog

The NBHA Rule Book and by-laws detail the minimum requirements of performance and qualifications for each stake. Please read these carefully and ask questions.

The dogs are drawn in each stake by pairs. There are two judges for each stake. They can remain the same throughout the trial or you may use different judges for different stakes. It is desired that the club procure the judges early and advertise their names and the stakes they will be judging in your field trial ad. The judges evaluate the performance of each dog and compare his performance to the other dogs in that stake. They may choose there dogs if there are six starters in each stake and place them first, second and third: or they may withhold any or all placements if the minimum requirements for the stake have not been met. The judges ride horses and the gallery may be on foot or horseback. There is a handicap rule, for people to ride horses. There are numerous levels of competition in the NBHA. They are: Club Trials, State Classics, Regional Championships, Futurity and National Championship events. A state organization must have Three or more clubs. If a state does not have three or more clubs, the existing clubs are assigned to the nearest competing state. The state organizations are grouped into regions. Each club elects a Director to represent them at the state level. Each State elects a Director to represent them at the National Level. State Directors elect the National Officers.