Field Trials

A field trial is an exciting and competitive event for gundogs

The Beginning...

Field Trials have been a part of recorded history since 1866 in Britain. The first field trial in history where the results were known and recorded was conducted on May 1, 1866, at Cannock Chase, near Staffordshire, England. 

In 1908 John McIlveen and a group of pointing dog enthusiasts formed the South African Field Trial Club. This club is the foundation of field trialling in Southern Africa. They hosted the first field trial on the Vereeniging Estate in South Africa on August 3, 1908.

In Europe, field trials developed differently for British breeds (Pointers and Setters) compared to Continental breeds (all other pointing breeds). The format varied slightly due to each breed’s typical range and ground coverage. British Pointing Breeds used a “wide search”, while Continental Pointing Breeds used a “hunting search.” This traditional distinction is still followed in field trials today, and in South Africa, we have the British Breed (BB) Trials and Continental Breed (HPR) Trials. BB Trials are run under the Rules and Regulations of the National Field Trial Association (NFTA), while the Hunt Point Retrieve (HPR) Trials are run under the auspices of the National Field Trial Association (NFTA) and the Kennel Union of Southern Africa (KUSA)

Hunt Point and Retrieve Field Trialling (Continental Breeds): An Introduction to a Unique Dog Sport

If you are a dog lover and enjoy outdoor activities, then you may be interested in exploring the world of HPR Trialling. HPR Trailling is a unique dog sport that combines hunting, pointing, and retrieving skills, and it offers an exciting challenge for both dogs and their handlers. 

What is Hunt Point and Retrieve Field Trialling?

HPR Field Trialling is a competitive sport that tests a dog’s ability to hunt, point at game, and retrieve it back to its handler. It originated in Europe and has gained popularity in various countries worldwide. The sport is typically practised with versatile hunting breeds such as German Shorthaired Pointers, Deutsch Drahthaars, Weimaraners, and Vizslas, known for their excellent hunting instincts and versatility in the field.

The objective of HPR Field Trialling is to simulate real-life hunting situations where a dog is expected to locate game, indicate its presence by pointing, and then retrieve the shot game to the handler. HPR trials test dogs in different environments, including varying terrain and water retrieves. Dogs are judged based on their hunting ability, style, and obedience. The sport is not only a test of the dog’s skills but also of the handler’s training and teamwork with their canine partner.

How to Get Involved in HPR:

  1. Choose the Right Breed: To participate in HPR, you will need a versatile hunting breed with the skills and instincts for the sport. Research different breeds and find one that aligns with your preferences and lifestyle.
  2. Training: Proper training is crucial for success in HPR. Enrol your dog in obedience classes and work with a professional trainer specialising in hunting and field trials. Training should focus on teaching your dog to hunt, point, and retrieve effectively and developing obedience and control.
  3. Join a Club or Organisation: Look for local HPR clubs or organisations in your area. These groups often organise training sessions, workshops, and field trials where you can learn from experienced handlers and compete with your dog. Joining a club also allows you to connect with like-minded individuals and build a supportive network.
  4. Attend Field Trials: Field trials are the competitive aspect of HPR. They allow you to demonstrate your dog’s skills and compete against other teams. Attend local field trials to gain experience and improve your handling techniques. You can participate in higher-level trials and even compete at national or international events as you progress.
  5. Continue Learning and Improving: HPR is a lifelong learning journey. Stay updated with the latest training techniques, attend seminars and workshops, and learn from experienced handlers. The more you invest in your knowledge and skills, the better you and your dog will become in the sport.


Hunt Point and Retrieve Field Trialling is an exciting and challenging dog sport that allows you to bond with your four-legged companion while enjoying the thrill of the hunt. By choosing the right breed, investing in training, joining a club, and participating in field trials, you can embark on a rewarding journey in HPR. So, grab your hunting gear, unleash your dog’s instincts, and prepare for an adventure in the world of HPR!

Field Trials 101

How does field trials work

“The Standard”

Standard of performance of the Pointing Breed

Field & Hunt Tests

What is Field and Hunt Tests