About Working Trials
The Bloodhound Club runs two Championship Working trials each year, one in Spring and one in Autumn. Each trial consists of four stakes, which become progressively more difficult as the hound wins its way through.
Bloodhounds hunt natural human scent (known as ‘clean-boot”) and no drag or artificial scent is used.
How Trials Work
At a trial, a ‘’runner’ leaves an item of clothing or similar, on a white flag, and then walks a predetermined route using a map, and then at the allocated time, the hound is set off to hunt the runner.
The hound is followed by a judge who has a map of the line taken by the runner.
Before entering the trial the hound must gain a working permit, and this is a two part procedure which can also include a livestock test. Those with the stock test are then able to hunt their hounds free, but those with just the basic hunting test must hunt their hound leashed.
(Note that to compete at Senior stake level, a hound must have a stock test although its at the handlers discretion whether they hunt free or leashed in the trials)
Novice stake is 1 mile long line on half hour cold scent.
Junior stake is 2 miles long on one hour cold scent.
Intermediate Stake is 2.5 miles long on one and a half hours cold scent.
Senior Stake is 3 miles long on a two hour cold scent.
From the Senior Stake, a hound can win a KC Working trial Certificate and with two of these awarded, becomes a Working trials Champion (WTCh).
Other criteria have to be met to be awarded a Certificate, such as successfully identifying the runner form a line up of three people at the end of the line.
As well as the Kennel Club working trials, the Bloodhound Club holds two “Special Stakes” per year.
These are by invitation only.
Special Stakes Qualification
The best of the year's senior working hounds are invited to compete for the Kelperland and Millvery Trophy Special Stakes.