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WELCOME to the Official Blog of the 2012 Master National Hunting Test, October 18-28, brought to you by the Retriever News and written by Tina Styan & Gwen Jones. We hope you enjoy these daily updates on the 2012 Master National, held this year in and around Demopolis, Alabama.


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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Day Two of the Master National

Day Two of the Master National started with a crisp breeze and clear skies....light jacket weather. Our first stop today was at Flight B at the test named "Double Trouble." The wind has shifted today, but this difficult test continues to cause problems for the handlers and the dogs. As the temperature rises today, the Safety Committee has provided a kiddie swimming pool under a tent if any dog needs cooling down. The gallery has come up with a new name for this test. It has gone from "Double Trouble" to "Double Handle." Please see previous posts for our test descriptions and photo diagrams provided by Frank Barton. Thank you, Frank!

After visiting with Flight B, we move to a different part of the Cattle Ranch and caught up with Flight A at test named "Oh No, Mr. Bill!" We found that the mechanics have smoothed out and this stake is rocking along at a steady clip. The troublesome long, left-hand bird continues to cause problems today as handlers try to figure which order to pick-up the birds in works best for their dogs. The setting for this test is the most picturesque of the four stakes we have had the opportunity to see. The fact that this is both a land and water test is a blessing for the dogs as the temperatures rise.

As we arrived at Flight C, "Are You Having Yet?" the sun was blazing and there was no wind. There was very little wind making shade a premium for the gallery. We found the gallery huddled under tents, umbrellas and up in the bushes at the tree line. The working dogs were also feeling the heat if they had any prolonged hunts. The word from the gallery was that it was tough morning, a little better this afternoon, but still quite a few handles. The announcer was trying to use a little "Roll Tide" humor to perk the gallery up.

The last Flight of the day we visited was Flight D at "Butterfly Slots." Since the test faced west, it was very obvious today to the gallery why this test was so named. The field was full of extremely active butterflies of many shapes and sizes fluttering among the wild flowers. We sat and watched ten or so dogs run and found four picked-up, two of those were due to honor breaks...one dog had excellent marks and blinds. With only six dogs left to run, they were hoping to close out this series before the sun in their face became too big of an issue.


Master National Running Order

Flight Draw & Running Order

2012 MNRC Test Descriptions

Oh No, Mr. Bill!

Double Trouble

Are We Having Fun Yet?

Butterfly Slots


Give Me A Brake

Oops I Did It Again

Eagle's Nest

Test 9

Meet Your Judges

2012 MNRC Qualified Dogs

Alabama State Cattle Ranch