Field trial events require the highest level of skill and competition to achieve success. Field trial stakes include the Derby, Qualifying, Amateur and Open stakes. Placements and points are awarded to the top competitors in these events. The points earned apply toward titles awarded by AKC, including Qualified All-Age (QAA), Amateur Field Champion (AFC) and Field Champion (FC).
The Derby stake is for dogs under two years of age. The Qualifying stake is for intermediate level of skill in preparation of the transition to the All-age stakes (e.g., Open and Amateur). The Amateur and the Open stakes require additional refinement of skill and performance excellence. The Amateur stake is only open to Amateur handlers; Professional trainers can not enter the Amateur. The Open stake is open to both amateur and Professional handlers. Each of the stakes, from Derby to the Open involves an increasing level of skilled performance.
Every year top qualified Amateur and Open dogs compete in the week long National Amateur and Open National Championships.