Working Section – Rules and Code of Conduct
The Aim of the Beagle Club Working Section
The aim of the Beagle Club Working Section is to demonstrate that the hounds owned by the members retain their scenting instinct and remain fit for function.
Rules and Regulation
1. The Working Section is open to all paid-up members of the Beagle Club. There will be no joining fee to participate in the Working Section or cost per person attending but the cap per beagle will be £3.
2. The Field Master will decide on all matters relating to drag hunt meets and Field Trials; the Field Master's decision is final in all matters taking place on the fields. There will be 2 additional posts – Assistant Master (who with the Field Master will organise the fields used and the lines to be laid and the line layers) and Chief Whip (to organise the numbers and positions of the whippers in). Handlers will work their own hounds under the direction of the Field Master.
3. The land to be used will be checked by the Field Master, Assistant Master, the Chief Whip or person appointed by the Field Master prior to the meet with reference to any stock present, possible fencing problems and the numbers and positioning of whippers in required. A risk assessment sheet will be completed for each venue prior to the start of the meet.
4. Hounds of 12 months and over will be worked as directed by the Field Master. All hounds will wear a collar at all times with a tag conforming to the legal requirements. No hound may be brought to a Meet if it has contracted or been knowingly exposed to any infectious or contagious disease during the 21 days prior to the Meet; no bitches in season will be allowed to run or to be present at the Meet.
5. Members will be required to attend at least 1 training day prior their first meet. Newcomers will be welcome to observe at meets and volunteer to help if they come before they attend their first training meet. Each hound will be expected to pass a simple control test of a minute stay (multiple commands can be given) and a recall (this can be done on a long lead).
6. Prior to the meet the numbers of people required to whip in and line lay will be given to the members and if insufficient volunteers come forward the meet will be cancelled. There will be a minimum of 3 whippers in and 4 line layers required for each meet.
7. Groups for running the lines will be no greater than 9 hounds to allow them to be identified by different coloured coats with one hound able to run without a coat.
8. All members will be required to sign that they will follow the rules of the Working Section and collect their hound’s pre-allocated coloured coat and group, before moving off to the first line. All hounds not working must be kept on a short fixed lead (i.e. no flexi leads) by the Handler.
9. All hounds will be required to stay quiet both at the start of the meet and while the line is laid. Noisy hounds should remain in the car before moving off or be moved away from others until quiet.
10. Hounds must be caught up by the Handler on direction from the Field Master. Handlers shall not walk up the line or cross the line unless permitted to do so by the Field Master. All hounds will be held away from the start of the line and only those that are to run will be bought forward once the line layers ‘All Clear’ signal has been answered by the Master.
11. At the end of the season, the Working Section Field Trials will be held in either February or March. All hounds that have qualified under the regulations following may participate. Acceptance of Hounds for Field Trials will be at the discretion of the Field Master. The maximum number of hounds that may participate in the Field Trials is 32. In the event of there being more hounds eligible to attend, the following provisions shall apply:
(a) All hounds that hold a Working Certificate and who have attended at least four meets in the season shall be allocated a place at the Field Trials;
(b) Novice hounds shall be required to demonstrate their working ability to the satisfaction of the Fieldmaster on pre-qualification drags to be held at designated meetings prior to the field Trials before being selected and have attended either 5 meetings for Dogs or 4 meetings for Bitches.
12. Hounds participating in the Field Trials will normally be judged by two Masters of Hounds invited by the Beagle Club committee. The judges will award the following:
(a) The Beagle Club Working Certificate approved by the Kennel Club.
(b) The Perrystar Trophy for the Best Working Bitch.
(c) The Jesson Trophy for the Best Working Dog.
(d) The Perrystar Hare Trophy for the Best Working Hound.
(e) The Ch. Houndswood Havoc Trophy for the Best Veteran Working Hound.
(f) The Sharomay Emperor Trophy for Best Novice Working Hound.
(g) The Kentoast Napoleon Tankard for the Best Other Sex Novice Working Hound.
(h) The Kempton Hopeful Whip for the young person (under 16 years) who has been of most help to the Working Section during the season (to be won once only).
13. Any member attending any meeting is deemed to have accepted the above rules and regulations.
Code of Conduct
14. The Beagle Club shall organise and run Field Meetings on published dates at selected locations. The dates for each season can be published in the breed notes of the dog press at the beginning of each season and on the Beagle Club website with confirmation of each meeting given in the dog press one week before if needed.
15. Members attending must be aware that their participation in the running of the event is expected and they should be encouraged to bring additional handlers to hold hounds so that they can assist in the running of the meet. All Club members who intend to come to a meet should inform the Working Section Secretary before the event and not later than the Wednesday prior to the meet.
16. Long standing members will be asked to wear armbands showing that they are willing to give advice and mentor more novice members.
17. All participants should be aware that they are responsible for their hound at all times and must follow the Countryside Code .
18. Venues will only be used if they are free from stock or if the stock is housed.
19. At least 2 training days per season will be held to introduce newcomers to the ways of the Working Section and will cover how to lay a line, how to whip in and how to encourage hounds to follow a line.
20. The signal to release hounds at the start of the line will be a flag as a warning system utilising whistles will be used by the whippers in.
21. All hounds should be acclimatised to, and owners should be comfortable with, their hounds being off the lead.
22. Members that are not participating or holding hounds will be encouraged to stand in the centre of the field to try to monitor the performance of the beagles that are running.
23. The working section will aim to reduce ‘coursing behaviour’ by reducing the strength of the scent and introducing ‘harder’ lines.
25. Hounds that show no aptitude after a full season will be welcome to attend free of charge to observe a meet. However, the owner must still sign to confirm that they agree to be bound by the rules of the Beagle Club Working Section on the day.
26. Any member who wishes to raise any matter irrespective of its nature in connection with the Working Section must do so personally with the Working Section Secretary/Field Master if the member wishes consideration to be given to his/her comment.
For More Information Contact:
Working Section Fieldmaster: Mr Dave McSheehy Tel: 01825 890452
Working Section Secretary: Miss Jenny Forbes