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Sometime in the 1930's, the Club changed itís name to the Victorian Gundog Club to better reflect itís activities. The Cocker Spaniel Club had been formed in 1931 and informal water tests instituted to better accommodate the talents of retrievers and spaniels. These water tests were open to all breeds of hunting dog.

The second World War interrupted competitive Field Trials, but informal Water Tests continued. The first Labradors had been imported from England and the Kennel Control Council allowed retrievers to compete with spaniels in the field. This decision signifies that formal field trials for spaniels and retrievers must have taken place although there are no records of these events.

After the war, returning ex-servicemen were attracted to shooting sports - including duck hunting - and official Water Test rules were drawn up. Reflecting their origin from Coursing, these became the Rules for the Conduct of Non-slip Retrieving Trials in 1942 ("non-slip" was not dropped from this title until the mid 1990ís). Retrieving Trials open to all breeds of gundog are still popular today. Run on cold game and similar in format to the American retriever trials, they are dominated by Labradors and other retriever breeds - although occasionally a spaniel or GSP will get a Retrieving Trial Champion title (RTCh). This can only be achieved by beating the Labradors (and other retrievers) at their own game.

At the same time, the Rules for the Conduct of Field Trials for Pointers and Setters as well as those for Spaniels and Retrievers were formalised and rabbits became the quarry of choice for the latter. These rules reflected the earlier competitions. The dogs were drawn on the day in pairs.

"The handlers of the dogs shall go together as if it were a brace of dogs and hunt said brace in the stake as in ordinary shooting, so that the dogs shall be on equality as to ground, opportunities for finding, etc, each handler must keep his own ground and not cross to his opponentís ground unless directed to do so by the judge."

"All dogs, when required, shall wear collars: red for the dog with the higher position on the card, white for the dog with the lower position on the card. Generally, while handers are together in competition, the handler of the red dog will walk on the left side and the handler of the white dog will walk on the right."

"The judge and steward shall keep the competitors at an even pace and as near a line as possible."

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