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The Early Days of Bird Dog Field Trialing

Jeffery Fraser

Among his professional activities, Jeffery Scott Fraser has invested in a startup company called Job Pose, which seeks to provide a better match between employers and job seekers. In his spare time, Jeffery Fraser enjoys bird dog field trialing.

Bird dog field trials are competitive events where pointers compete with each other. Long enjoyed by both hunters and dog owners, the first recorded event took place in Britain in 1866, while North America was not far behind, holding its first official field trial near Memphis, Tennessee, in 1874. The winner of that inaugural event in Tennessee was a black native setter called Knight by its owner H.C. Pritchard.
During the early days of field trialing, an organization named The American Field sponsored the events, and the competition was limited to breeds such as the English, Irish, Gordon, and native setters as well as English pointers and droppers.
The owner of The American Field, Dr. Nicholas Rowe, was a major contributor to the founding of the American Kennel Club (AKC), which is now responsible for national field events. The AKC first hosted a field trial event at the English Setter Club of America in Medford, New Jersey.

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