Club Members might be interested to hear of the process that is used by the Field Day Staff to determine who gets the ribbons for Hound of the Meet and Runner Up Hound of the Meet.
In years past the Master of Hounds determined who would be Hound of the Meet, no further consultation occurred. The awards were presented then and there, most people had left for the day by the time a decision is reached.
A different process operates now. During the course of the field day the field day stewards record the results of each run by the hounds. Results are recorded on tablets and information is available immediately. The field day records indicate whether a hound has successfully completed an event but can also take note of a lot of other factors.
These can include:
- Working together as a pack
- Disrupting other hounds on the same run
- Following the scent laid, including accuracy against GPS tracking if used
- Vocalising, or showing enthusiasm, at the start of the run
- Able to be easily managed (i.e.: caught) when finishing the run
At the end of each field day the Master of Hounds reviews the results and any comments made by the stewards and once complete forwards the field day results document to all of the field day stewards. These Field Day Ranking reports when completed can be viewed on the Club Web Site or at the following field day. The MoH should be approached to discuss any issues related to these results.
The stewards then have the opportunity to put forward their thoughts on which hounds did really good on the day via an email discussion and usually a majority consensus is reached.
These discussions have been known to take up to a week or more to be completed. The Master of Hounds takes into account all comments and advice from the stewards and makes a final call if a majority decision is not reached in these discussions.
Additionally, the stewards take into account any recent awards and performances. A hound that has done well on previous field days but has really excelled on any field day is more likely to be put forward in the voting. Also a hound that has received an award in one field day season may not be put forward for the remainder of that season. Occasionally a first time at a field day performance is recognised as exceptional and gets an award.
Invitations to run with the next higher qualified group and promotions to next group follow club guidelines and are at the discretion of the Master of Hounds on advice from the stewards and are based on the same Field Day records and rules. The agreed club guidelines for invitation and promotion are available at every Field Day and can also be viewed on the Club Web Site.
At the end of the year Christmas Party the awards for the Pack Leader and Runner Up Pack Leader are awarded to the Pack Hounds that perform the best throughout the field day season, using the same process as the field day awards.
In recent times a “Field Day Steward’s award has been created. This award is chosen by the stewards and all hounds (excluding Pack Hounds) are eligible for this award.
Every member of the club thinks their hound is special and has a high opinion of their abilities at the field days. As can be seen from the process awards for Hound and Runner up Hound of the Meet is not just one person deciding or based on favouritism but an open and democratic process.
The main aim of every field day is for everyone to have a good day and enjoy time with other members and your hound.