Real Game or Dummies

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Real Game or Dummies

Postby Joe Vella » Thu 04 May 2023 11:29 pm

I start by saying , Here we go again.

We have a Retrieving Rule Review happening or just about to happen and the noise coming out of Queensland and its supporters is, the inclusion of rubber and plastic dummies in the ANKC Retrieving Rules for Gundogs.

I have been a part of the ANKC Retrieving Game for 40 years and have never witnessed such goings on by the Administration of our retrieving game.

It started with the usual in Queensland, and this year Dogs Queensland decided that real Game will not be used in the conduct of Retrieving Trials in Queensland.
I think this action had been calculated with one goal in mind.

It seemed that everybody in the administration of the sport hit the panic button. National Raft intervened and managed to persuade Dogs Queensland to reverse its decision but at who's expense.? I suggest the ANKC Retrieving Trials for Gundogs as we currently know them.

It is the National Raft which made the recommendations to conduct this Rule Review to the ANKC and the ANKC accepted the recommendations of the National Raft.

I ask what happened to the usual consulttion process between the National Raft, State Raft Committees and the Rank and File? These decisions were made with complete lack of consultation with the rank and file of Retrieving.

This Rule review is being rushed and is not following the usual normal steps of the Retrieving Rules Reviews process of the past.
It is very Limited in time and it is demanding the process be limited to the Inclusion of “Artificial Game and Game usage and Management” and nothing else.

The time factor,
This does not allow for the normal proper debate which then produces an accurate result.

We the members of Dogs NSW have not had the opportunity to meet and discus this issue. In NSW we have not had the opportunity to hear other opinions and speakers for or against in order to make an informed decision and vote accordingly.

What is being generated through the consultation paper which had been prepared by Dogs NSW Raft is not an accurate vote, and it is resulting in being a secret vote between the member and Dogs NSW and the National RAFT and the ANKC. There is no real Transparency and this Is all due to lack of time. For some reason this is being rushed by National Raft and the ANKC. Who is benefiting from all this? Its not Retrieving Trials as we currently know them. All this is designed to ensure easier access for Queensland's long term wish to include plastic and rubber dummies in the Retrieving Rules.

Artificial Game,
Member Bodies representatives at ANKC level must understand that it is a nonsense to think that the so called Artificial Game which is nothing else but plastic or rubber can thoroughly test Gundogs for the field, as the ANKC Retrieving Trials for Gundogs currently do and have done since their inception.

Game Usage and Management,
Retrieving Trials have been conducted by clubs Nationally for so many years, Why is the ANKC asking this now and does the ANKC think we handle Game in any other way but humanely.
Game which is used during the conduct of ANKC Retrieving Trials is dead, Live game is not used in Retrieving Trials and the ANKC is aware of this so why all this and since Dogs Queensland cancelled the use of Real Game in their Retrieving Trials.

All of this is being done to appease Queensland and with disregard to all who participate in Retrieving Trials and the thorough testing of Gundogs.
The ANKC must understand that it is the members nationally which take part in every discipline which make up the ANKC and not just the Representatives from each member Body.

The thorough testing of our Gundogs must suffice.

During the 2018 Rules Review I proposed the creation of a new discipline which would cater for the sole use of Plastic and Rubber Dummies to test Dogs. Rules to enable the New Discipline to function accompanied the proposal which would give National Raft a head start if in fact these rules required further modifications. This proposal was submitted to the ANKC by Dogs NSW.

The proposal was debated and accepted by the ANKC National Raft, I believe with some minor modifications.
I believe this was also accepted and ratified by the ANKC executive. The new discipline is ready to run and it would be conducted as a separate entity and to consist of its own championships etc.etc. as its participants may deem it to be.

I will never be supportive of the polluting ideas of including Plastic and Rubber dummies in the list of real game, as these will not aid in producing a better talented Gundog than what we currently enjoy, but, I do realise that we are all different and that there are people out there which want to take part in such a trial where dummies are used to test dogs and do not wish to have their dogs tested as rigorously and as thoroughly as they would be at the ANKC Retrieving Trials for Gundogs.
This is the reason why I proposed the creation of the New Retrieving Discipline. The argument should be had at National Raft to commence the conduct of the New Discipline. If this is supported by other States it would eliminate all of the arguments which arise during the conduct of Rules reviews by Queensland and by supporters of plastic or rubber dummies.

In addition to the above,

How can a Judge throw Plastic or Rubber dummies amongst decoys which are made of Plastic, and then expect dogs to make the correct retrieving choices.

How does a Judge set wounded retrieves through the use of dummies

How do judges score mixed game multiple retrieves for hardmouth, would hardmouth be scored on Real game but not when Dummies are used. Am I wrong in thinking this would result in a double standard in judging

These are but a few examples, the worst fault with Gundogs is hard mouth, this is not being considered by the supporters of plastic and rubber dummies.

The inclusion of dummies in ANKC Retrieving Trials for Gundogs would create many negative issues for judges, the thorough testing of Gundogs and the over all ability of our Gundogs will not improve and Retrieving Trials will become a haven for Hardmouthed dogs.

I believe there is only one way to satisfy all and at the same time preserve the current Game of Retrieving and that is, the conduct of two separate disciplines.

All you guys who believe as i do with regards the inclusion of dummies stand up and have your say and be counted because if Queensland and its supporters have it their way the Retrieving Game you currently enjoy will no longer be there for you and your dogs.

Joe Vella
Last edited by Joe Vella on Fri 19 May 2023 10:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Can we test for hard-mouth without using natural game?

Postby Peter Butterfield » Fri 05 May 2023 6:32 am

Sure we can!
Introducing Peter’s Popping Perforator (trademark pending)
In the absence of real game being available I test my dogs by having them retrieve a canvas dummy wrapped in a layer of bubble-wrap (bubbles side down). The feel and texture of this concept is quite similar to a fresh bird and any 'crunching' activity is both visible and audible. Would the introduction of something like this satisfy the natural game brigade as an alternate test?? Hopefully it demonstrates that any problem can be overcome given enough thought. Let's find solutions and move on.
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Re: Real Game or Dummies

Postby Joe Vella » Fri 05 May 2023 4:42 pm

Hi Pete,
That is a double banger of an idea, we can test them for Hard mouth as well as gun shyness when the bubbles pop.
It is good that supporters of rubber and plastic are trying to find ways which could possibly check for Hard mouth but unfortunately you will not find one. Pete there is only one way to test for Hard mouth and that is through the use of real game and nothing else.
But i encourage you to keep trying.
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Re: Real Game or Dummies

Postby Bob Pickworth » Sat 06 May 2023 5:53 am

I have recently returned to the competitive ranks of NSRT after a 15 year “recess” due to juggling family, career etc. I am disheartened to see the potential for our sport to move away from the use of game (which is mostly pigeons and occasionally rabbits and hares which are feral pest species). The feral species used are legally obtained, humanely euthanised and reduce an ecological threat to our environment (which is also important to me as a proud Gundungurra man).
Most of us, get a kick watching our dogs work and retrieve - what our sport is all about, but we should not lose sight of what they were bred to retrieve.

If we are concerned about threats to our sport, maybe we should think of exclusively using pigeons, rabbits, hares.

I fully support the use of “artificial game” (needs to be defined) as an adjunct to, but not a replacement for real “game”. To have a dog titled, suffixed with “A.G” to my mind would satisfy all parties.
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Re: Real Game or Dummies

Postby Cathie J » Sat 06 May 2023 7:50 am

Joe, I feel compelled to reply ASAP to correct some information here. I understand the passion with witch you approach this matter and always have.
Firstly, it was not Queensland AT IT AGAIN. This was raised after Dogs NSW sent a request to ANKC last year after the National, regarding the use of LIVE GAME in Retrieving Trials and requesting this to be stopped.
This request then followed the correct procedure and was dissemenated to ALL STATE BODIES. Dogs Queensland Board viewed this, and THAT is when it became an issue for Queensland and they made their directive for Qld to cease using live game (a term introduced by NSW) and forwarded that to the ANKC for their next meeting.

Secondly, it was in fact myself (RAFT Sec) and Ron (RAFT Chair) who requested and audience with Dogs Qld, and backed by great research on game rules by Paul Hamson, gave a 40 minute presentation of our Sport and our plea to CONTINUE to use euthanased game, explaining that the term used by NSW Board of 'Live Game' was misleading. From this plea BY US, Qld, the direction was rescinded, for the time being. You should also know that the request to the ANKC was to stop ALL GAME, which we managed to subdue by suggesting the inclusion of Replica Game being an option. The ANKC, or Dogs Australia as we are now directed to call them, at their most recent meeting then made the decision to begin an ''éxtra ordinary" rule review addressing the use of game only, and requesting that the OPTION of Replica Game be inserted into Rule 8K, allowing Clubs and States to have the choice. Understand, it is a CHOICE.
Can I add here, that you have no idea what Ron and I went through during those months and the stress of trying to save our sport and be able to conduct trials for Queenlsand in 2023, thanks to that original email from NSW Board and issues during the NSW National. Stress which was heightened by the fact that fingers were pointed at Ron by NSW for supplying birds to NSW, when they could not get any, causing Ron to questioned further on the matter of game procurement and treatment, including suggestions of being investigated as to his procedures etc. So please, do not cast blame where you do not understand all the facts.

Thirdly, the separate discipline set of rules you refer to from 2018 was in fact, NOT, approved by the ANKC, and is NOT, ready to implement. I, and your State Chair, have the minutes of that meeting where it plainly says, MOTION 1: That the submission from the working parting relating to AG rules not be accepted by the committee.
Joe, you have an issue with the wider community not being consulted, well so do I. The wider community did not get a chance to vote on those rules you proposed back then either. To include our community here in Queensland, I proposed an Opinion Poll (on facebook) to get a general idea of what our majority of Qld members thought, which was approved by our RAFT. That Poll clearly shows a large majority (currently around 85%) of Qld members would prefer to have the OPTION of Replic Game, if and when the need may arise. Perhaps other states have not offered their broader community the opportunity to have their opinion, I don't know.

Joe, you have the opportunity to come on to an Australia Wide public forum like this to express your opinions, which you are perfectly entitled to do, I just ask that you get facts straight. As a RAFT member, there is an expectation of confidentiality, which I may have just overstepped, but I could not let this information be broadcast without correcting some of the facts. (I have paperwork to back up all of my statements, which due to confidentially I cannot publicly share of course)
Catherine Jackson.
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Re: Real Game or Dummies

Postby Joe Vella » Sat 06 May 2023 8:10 pm

Hi Cathy thank you for your post.

Cathy I will say it again, Queensland is at it again.
Cathy Queensland has been trying to include plastic and rubber into Rule 8k. for as long as I can remember and to be exact since immediately after the big split through the argument that was had at your Raft Committee when one person walked away and some others followed.

There was never any suggestion of including dummies into Rule 8k prior to this split up. Through the action of certain people the Sporting Shooter Trials commenced which resulted with one group against the other.

Kathy if dogs NSW was at the time in error with regards live game being used in Retrieving Trials. then this should have been handled between Dogs NSW Raft and Dogs NSW Board as a local issue.

If the same error was made by Queensland Board then again its a local issue which should have been handled locally without the added complication of including Rubber and Plastic dummies in Rule 8k which is something you guys have wanted to have. By doing this you involved the ANKC and National Raft and the issues associated with a Rules Review. I believe this was a calculated step.

At the time when I proposed the New Discipline I spoke with prominent Queensland Sporting Shooter Trials participant about the new discipline and the response was, Queensland will not be in favor of this as it would impact on entry numbers when Sporting Shooter Trials are scheduled.

Kathy am I being misleading by saying all this? I can assure I am not.

As part of the 2018 Rules Review process Queensland would have received a copy of all the other States submissions, the New Retrieving Discipline which was proposed was part and parcel of the NSW Rules submission. ANKC would have directed these to National Raft to work through.
National Raft had a panel of delegates to look at the proposal and work through the rules which were submitted as part of the New Discipline. I believe the Discipline is ready to run.

Kathy, it seems to me that after all these years the old argument between people in Queensland is still on, and it is happening at the expense of the ANKC Retrieving Trials as we currently know them.

Kathy I have been coming to Queensland competing in your trials as well as judging them for a long time, I have had the pleasure of success and friendship, I suggest you guys need to genuinely think about the best interest of the ANKC game of retrieving.

People in Queensland which are not in favor of what is happening in Queensland need to stand up and be counted by having their say, and not on Face Book. Not all who take part in our game do Face Book.
People need the chance to express their views face to face and debate the issues vigorously if need be, to achieve the correct outcome.

Hard mouth and the deletion of certain tests to accommodate dummies are big issues and surely you and others in Administration are aware that some in Queensland do not enter ANKC Retrieving Trials because, Hard Mouth is picked up at ANKC Retrieving Trials through the use of real game.

Kathy my opinion is that there is only one way to stop all these arguments that erupt so vigorously every time ANKC conducts a Retrieving Rule review.

The conduct of two separate Retrieving Disciplines would achieve harmony within our game.

One is,
The current ANKC Retrieving Game to remain unpolluted by plastic or rubber

and

The second,
The conduct of the New Retrieving discipline which would cater for the inclusion of Rubber and Plastic dummies as items to be retrieved.


Kathy the conduct of the New Discipline is what should have been suggested to Dogs Queensland and not the inclusion of dummies which you guys have wanted at every Retrieving Rules Review.
My opinion is, Dogs Queensland would have probably accepted this as it would result in a real choice for handlers to participate in, and without ruining the Real Game of Retrieving as we currently know it.

Kathy I think I do have my facts right.

I conclude by saying to people out there which believe in the thorough testing of their Gundogs to have your say because if you don't, the Real Game of Retrieving could be lost forever. You should not sit back and just watch it happen, do something about it.

Joe Vella
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Re: Real Game or Dummies

Postby Cathie J » Sat 06 May 2023 8:53 pm

You will always have your opinion, others are allowed to have theirs.
I will correct you on one fact. Dogs NSW did bring this to ANKC after the NSW National, by requesting that no LIVE GAME be used at any Retrieving Trials in Australia again. Each of the State Boards and State RAFT received an email regarding this FACT. The ANKC sent out the request from the NSW RAFT to the National RAFT. FACT NSW brought this to the attention of Dogs Qld Board. That is how this has come to light again. FACT. I will stand against anyone accusing Qld of this and many of the people involved, especially RAFT members who received these emails know this is FACT. I do not know what information you have been given, but that is the FACT. No trailer or RAFT Member in Queensland revived this subject. All of the State RAFTs have been involved since the first email from the ANKC stateing that NSW had made this request. And I will not comment any further on your theory of Qld's instigation of this, as all the relevant people, including the National Raft Chair are aware of how and where this started.
There are no arguments, only facts, and then there is personal opinions.
It seems you either did not read my 1st reply fully, or you do not believe the facts I shared there.
It is unfortunate that you think that any trialers within a State who may be directed to use only Replica Game will be POLLUTING the sport, seems very judgmental to me.
The only avenue now is to pass all opinions on to the State Rafts, who will notify the NRAFT Chair, who will then advise Dogs Australia, as is the requested procedure. The it is over to Dogs Australia to assess the situation.
and it is, Cathie.
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Re: Real Game or Dummies

Postby Trevor Stevens » Sat 06 May 2023 10:46 pm

Oh my, don’t tell me that this bru ha about natural game versus artificial game has occurred because someone in authority has been advised that we use “live” game in Retrieving Trials. How could such misinformation occur? And how could it get so out of hand?
This renewed push to include artificial game in our definition of game seems to be framed in the context of animal welfare concerns. It seems that Queensland RAFT committee could not ensure that real game was legally and ethically sourced. However it should also be noted that for some years Dogs Queensland has been advocating the use of artificial game based its difficulty of obtaining pigeons.
I am not in favour of the amendment, and in my view it does not address the misinformation on which this rule review is predicated. That could be resolved by including the words “ no live game is to be used” in the definition of game.
It should be noted that 99% of the game that we use are pigeons that are either culled from racing lofts, or are trapped feral birds. These birds would be killed if used for retrieving trials or not. It shouldn’t be hard to ensure that they are killed humanely according to the relevant state RSPCA guidelines.
In my view, inclusion of artificial game in the definition does not address the supposed animal welfare issues. Euthanised game can still be used.
I don’t want to get in between Joe and Cathy having a good healthy spat, and I no longer serve in any official capacity on RAFT at either state or national level, however my recollection of the the consideration of this issue by NRAFT in the past was that
1 A set of draft rules for trials using artificial game was tabled by NSW as part of the 2018 rules review. The intention was that a separate discipline be established that used artificial game.
2 A working party was established to finesse these rules, so that something could quickly be implemented if it became necessary.
3 In 2020 the draft rules were accepted by NRAFT on the basis that they be available for use if it became necessary. It was noted that NRAFT did not have a mandate to introduce the new discipline at that time.
No secret about any of this. Its in the minutes.
It is up to the current committee as to how this is progressed.
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Re: Real Game or Dummies

Postby Cathie J » Sun 07 May 2023 6:46 am

Trevor, I understand that things have happened that you are not privy to. Of course all of those things you mention WERE clearly stated and thanks for extensive research by Paul Hamson, I was able to bring all the facts regarding procurement of game for Retrieving trial to the Qld Board, may of whom were unaware of what we do. And whether you believe it or not, most on the board were unaware of what we do at that time. As I said above, Ron and I requested an audience with the board, after we received notice that Retrieving Trials in Queensland were to cease using any version of live game. People were unaware of this happening as we were trying to spare the Qld community the upheaval, until we could see if we could appeal the decision. The Board had made a decision to write to the ANKC before we even knew it was happening. If people think we are lying about this, check with our NRAFT Chair, as he was informed from the start and was very supportive and helped us through, trying to get this overturned so we could continue to run on pigeons, which was exactly what we wanted to do. After our presentation and pleas to the board we were permitted to continue to run, for now. The Board agreed to allow us to run on the understanding that they would continue to bring the matter before Dogs Australia to reach what they considered a reasonable solution going forward. Trever, I know you understand the delicate balance of things we have to keep confidential when on these committees, and yes, i have probably shared too much, but felt pushed to reveal what we have been through, and yet people still do not seem to believe that position we were in when we were made aware that both NSW and then QLD board were submitting to the ANKC to have all REAL game banned, based on board members dislike of the idea, and fear that Animal rights groups would find out and bring Dogs Sports into disrepute. I am done trying to convince people of the truth. Whatever the Dogs Australia decision from here we will just deal with, and I wish everyone good luck, with getting trials back on track in all matters, including guns. CJ.
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Re: Real Game or Dummies

Postby Peter Butterfield » Sun 07 May 2023 7:48 am

READERS please be aware that Allan Bartram has prepared a statement on this topic but is experiencing some technical difficulties posting it. We hope to rectify this shortly.
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Re: Real Game or Dummies

Postby Joe Vella » Sun 07 May 2023 8:04 am

Hi Bob Pickworth,
Thank you for your post.
I am fully supportive of your comments, I agree that if Handlers are given the chance and the choice to participate in a Retrieving discipline which caters solely for the use of Artificial Game, it would be to the satisfaction of all.
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Re: Real Game or Dummies

Postby Trevor Stevens » Sun 07 May 2023 2:47 pm

Thanks for your post Cathy, and your further explanation of the involvement of Ron, Paul, yourself and others.
I don’t think there was anything in my comments that was in any way contradictory of what you said. My comments were from documented records. Please note however that you have again referred to “live” game when I am sure you meant either real or euthanised game. Careless words seem to be how this all started.
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Re: Real Game or Dummies

Postby Joe Vella » Sun 07 May 2023 5:28 pm

Hi Cathy and Trevor thank you for you posts.

Cathy please understand i am not trying to win points over anybody, through my posts i say it how i think it is, and by doing so I hope to help save the game from ruin.
Cathy i do not doubt that you and Ronnie put good effort with reference to your meeting with Dogs Queensland.
During your discussions with Dogs Queensland you guys recognized the opportunity to include Artificial Game (dummies) into Rule 8k and you suggested this to Dogs Queensland.
This resulted in the current Rules Review which is being conducted hastily and not as per the normal conduct of previous Rules Reviews. Debate on issues is non existent and voting is in secret form.

What i have been saying about the New Discipline being ready to Run has been vindicated by Trevor's post.

As the New Discipline and it's Rules were accepted by National Raft, the conduct of the New Retrieving Discipline should be permitted to go ahead, and as well as Trevor suggests, the inclusion of the words "No live game to be used " in the definition of game. Surely this should suffice?.

National Raft Chair. Allan Bartram and National Raft please consider actioning this, by doing so you will also be achieving peace and harmony among all who participate in this wonderful Game of Retrieving.
We cannot continue to be having the same arguments during every time a Retrieving Rules Review is conducted.
Joe Vella
Last edited by Joe Vella on Mon 08 May 2023 6:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Real Game or Dummies

Postby Cathie J » Sun 07 May 2023 5:59 pm

JO, interesting that you think you know what unfolded during a private meeting, or how things evolved, and what options were discussed and what the Board decided AFTER we left he meeting as no resolutions had been decided during the meeting, other than we begged them to rescind their directive to cease using real game. Are you psychic? Were you a fly on the wall? Because we did not know what was going to be the resolution of the Board until well after that meeting. You clearly think I am a liar, and am the mastermind of some grand scheme or conspiracy. I am pretty good, but I do not control what the Board of Dogs Queensland do, nor am I in control of what directives that the whole board of Dogs Australia choose to send out. Thanks for thinking I have that much power though.
I just thank God that there are other out there who know the truth and know that my heart is in the Sport that I have supported for 47 years.
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Re: Real Game or Dummies

Postby Joe Vella » Sun 07 May 2023 9:52 pm

Hi Cathy,
I am not psychic and i am not naive about what people say and do and why some act the way they do.
Cathy through the comments which i have posted on this topic, people out there know what has happened and what my views are with what is currently happening.
Cathy i have also been a part of this game for a considerable time, since 1980 to be exact, i will leave the mathematics for you to work out how long i have been involved in the Game, which is now under threat.
It seems to me that you are taking my posted comments to heart and it was never my intention to have that happen.
Don't deem rude if i do not reply to your next post as i feel that enough has been said.
Joe
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