If you are new to Field Trials, or never done one, then by all means do not be afraid to go to one. The easiest way to find a field trial in your area is go to the AKC Event Calendar and search for one. CLICK HERE Not only can you filter by State, Competition Type, but you can also filter by “all future events” which will help.
Remember different breeds offer different types of Field Trials. German Shorthaired Pointers are “Pointing Breed.”
From there you will see the Club hosting the event, the dates, and the City it is located. But this is unfortunately not enough information to get there. For directions, running order, services available, and nearby hotels you need a Premium. Premiums are available from the Trial Secretary. So if you click on the Club Name from the search you will be redirected to an Event form. From there e-mail the Event Secretary and request a Premium.
Once you have the Premium it will give the order of events. Usually something like Open All Age to be followed by Amateur Gun Dog, etc. Feel free also to ask the Event secretary when they think the dogs will actually run. But they have no way of knowing exactly or until a couple of days before the event when all the entries are in. Each brace is 30 min and trials usually start at 7:30am to 8:00am so you can do the math if you have a running order.
Also if you are just going to visit introduce yourself when you get there. Everyone is usually more than friendly and welcoming of a new face. Most stakes are run on horseback so unless you have a horse there is not a lot to see in the field, but Hunt Test are all walking and very similar to Field Trials and a great way to get acquainted with the game.
Be aware that the 2 people in front are the handlers. The 2 people next are the judges. Everyone else must remain behind the judges. Spectators should stay on the path and behind the judges whereas Scouts for the handlers are free to move side to side. Depending on the cover, some of most of the run of the dogs goes unseen, but the action on the point is always a beautiful thing to watch. Plus being a spectator allows you to learn as a handler by watching how others handle it.
If you would like to ride horseback ask the Event Secretary BEFORE going if anyone has a horse to rent and/or borrower. Also let them know if you will need a saddle as well. This is a sport you can do with little resources and you don’t need a stable full of horses or the $100K trailer to pull them.
So go, have fun, ask questions, and by all means participate.