Since 1937 Basset Hounds have competed in AKC field trials. To become a part of that history your first step is to decide which type of field trial you wish to compete in. There are Brace, Small Pack Option, Large Pack and Gundog Brace field trials.
Brace trials, the oldest type of AKC Basset Hound field trials, are two or three Basset Hounds run as a brace and the dogs are judged primarily on how accurate they are at trailing the rabbit.
Small Pack Option trials are run with the dogs in packs of seven and they are expected to find and pursue the rabbit with enthusiasm while maintaining control of the rabbit’s trail.
Large Pack Trials are run on hare with the dogs in packs of up to twenty-five dogs. They are expected to run for a minimum of 3 hours in the Open class, which is the class where you earn points for a Field Championship.
In the Gundog Brace trials, the pairs of Basset Hounds are cast, or turned loose, to find their own rabbit and are judged on how well they search. They are then judged on how well they follow the rabbit and while on the rabbit’s trail, a gun is fired to test for gun shyness.
Once you decide which type of field trials you want to compete in, it is time to get a rulebook for brace, gundog brace or small pack option or for Large Pack trials.
Read the rulebook then read it again. Then locate a club near you and make that first contact with the Basset Hound owners. You can also find an event near you searching by state and month. I think you will find that most Basset Hound Field Trialers are very willing to discuss their hounds and what is going on at the event. This is a sport that is full of camaraderie and good times. Welcome to the wonderful world of Field Trial Basset Hounds!