National Geographic : 1937 Jan
FIELD DOGS IN ACTION Photograph by Edwin Levick "WHOA, GIRLIE, WHOA!" With the scent of game birds hot in her nostrils, this fine English Setter has snapped into a point. Now her handler, with gentle words, holds her steady while with upraised hand he calls the attention of the judges and spectators to the correct actions of the dog (Plate I and pages 85 and 91). they remain as a bevy or covey on the ground. The other dog, when he sees his rival on point, is expected to stop immedi ately and back the point. The game is flushed by the handler, who fires a small pistol, while both dogs remain steady to wing and shot. After the first round of competition, the judges call for the dogs they have selected to run in the second round, and so on until the two best dogs compete in the final. A COSTLY CANINE MISTAKE A single mistake at the last minute may disqualify a dog that had seemed a certain winner. Take, for instance, the celebrated black Pointer, Tap, owned by the late Wil liam Arkwright, of England, author of that mammoth work, "The Pointer." Beginning as a puppy in 1892, Tap ran with notable success every year until 1896, when he very nearly won the principal stake at the International Field Trials at Bala, northern Wales. One mistake at the end spoiled his record. Tap had drawn up on point when a young grouse fluttered above the heather right un der his nose. The temptation was too much for the old dog, which went in and gave the bird a nip. It cost him the championship. The beauty of a dog is not considered in field trials. Performance is all that counts. Sometimes the midget, the smallest of all the competitors, wins the stake. A good ex ample was the female Irish Setter, Coleraine Diamond, bred and owned by the late Rev. Robert O'Callaghan, "son of the last Irish gentleman who fought a duel on Irish soil."