Working on throwers

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Working on throwers

Postby Paula Davidson » Sun 02 Sep 2018 3:48 pm

Retriever dog clubs, Trial managers, Judges and competitors have been asking, pleading, begging for people to step up and work on throwers at Trials, with little or no effect for a very long time. Still, we see cohorts of competitors, who think it’s OK to compete in trials, without contributing in this regard. When asked why they won’t work on throwers, they use common excuses of “you wouldn’t want me out there. I can’t do it” or “It’s dangerous. I’m not doing that” or something similar. And yet they are happy to receive birds thrown by fellow competitors, often at detriment to those fellow competitors own dogs’ performances, as their dogs remain confined in cars for long periods, compared to the frequent attention of the the non-contributing people to their dogs, who may exercise or train their dogs, while they await their turn, free of any work restraints.
This situation is unacceptable and unfair. We need to do something about this.
This forum may well throw up some better ideas, but let me offer some of my own to start the ball rolling.
Firstly, the equipment used as throwers at trials needs to be safe for people to use. Some Clubs are not maintaining safe throwers. These throwers may have worn or very old perished rubbers that are likely to break under load, possible with an operator’s hand on the bird in the pouch, when this occurs. Ouch! Throwers have been seen to have faulty ratchets, which release inadvertently, faulty pulleys, faulty release catchers or no pegs to hold the throwers legs in place. Pouches that are so worn that they release birds, if the operator takes their hand off the bird, for even a few seconds before pulling the release catch, will result in many “no birds” being thrown. This ruins the fairness of the Trial, as some dogs will get “no birds” and some won’t. A possible solution to these thrower maintenance issues is to have the RAFT Committee appoint a “Safety Inspector”, who must be independent of the Club running the Trial, to check equipment, prior to the commencement of each and every Trial. This must entail that Inspector actually firing each thrower at least three times before allowing any Triallers to operate the throwers. Some Clubs will need to update their equipment, as some equipment is antique and not fixable.
Secondly, it should be compulsory for every Trialler wishing to compete in Restricted or All Age events to
1. have achieved competence using a thrower, evidence thereof being signed-off on a “Compliance Form” , by x3 different Novice Judges, who have seen that person successfully operate a thrower in at least x3 separate Trials(similar to a QND sign off)
2. sign the above Compliance Form indicating that they are willing and able to work on throwers in their future Restricted and All Age events.
It is commonplace now, in all walks of life, for people to have to partake in “work” behind the scenes, if they are to be allowed to take part in the “play” or “success” part of the activity. Even beauty pageants these days expect the girls to compete not only on their beauty, but on their ability to raise funds for charity or do good works. Insisting that Triallers behave as good citizens for their sport is long over-due. Some people will never step up and become competent, unless it becomes mandatory.
I hope this kick starts a useful and respectful discussion and results in the desired outcome of each and every Trialler contributing, by working competently on throwers.
Paula Davidson
Posts: 49
Joined: Tue 27 Jul 2004 12:26 pm
Location: Melbourne

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