I still think there is a place for the 3 hour Free For All.
-I agree but not for me. I'm happy with an hour.
To most folks, a dog that can win 3-hour stakes on wild birds is a dog you might wont to breed to.
Hmmm. I run shooting dogs and I don't want my dogs taking it easy for the first hour believing that they will be going three hours. I guess breeding to a three hour dog wouldn't put that in them but it won't help them either. Getting ready for an hour, we'd always work a dog for an hour and a half or maybe sometimes two hours, but never for three. Working them three taught them to "take it a little easier" that first hour so they could last - imho.
I do like to run on wild birds, trained on them a lot back in the day but if you're running trials on box birds all the time, you might want to work on a few of them once in a while! When I worked dogs with Vince Golden in Highland County Ohio, we'd try to work on both wild and pen quail. With Gene Uhlman in western PA, we'd work on wild pheasant first and then on pen quail. The dogs didn't seem to mind which kind they found although I had one big Pointer that flagged on box birds. He was a good running dog (out of a grdau of Jungle and Gunsmoke) and pointed good on wild birds but that tail never stopped moving on pen birds. I sold him to a guy in Alabama, worked him down there on wild quail and that guy couldn't get his check book out fast enough. I told him that "Jake" didn't like pen quail much if at all, but he told me that what he wanted was a classy wild bird dog to hunt. And that's what he got.
I think a lot of it is How they are gaited. Special dogs are just faster than most and can outrun and find birds first. this does take that special nose. The same dog with that long striding driving race can Run three hours fast barely cracking his mouth open in decent weather. Lunges were developed or he inherited it. I think this comes from Lots of hunting fieldwork with a dog that has an extreme desire to find birds. This seems to come easy for some dogs if you're lucky enough .