S P O N S O R E D   B Y

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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Friday, October 19, 2012

Retriever Hunting Test Advisory Committee Report

Bill Teague, the Chairman of the Retriever Hunting Test Advisory Committee addressed the remaining crowd at the New Era Building.

He provided the following report:

Retriever Hunting Test Advisory Committee Report (RHTAC)
Master National Retriever Club Annual Meeting
October 19, 2012
Greensboro, Alabama

NOTE: The RHTAC has submitted these recommendations to the AKC Performance Events Department with the understanding the AKC may modify, accept or reject any or all of the recommendations as they deem appropriate before making their recommendations to the AKC Board. The committee further understands the AKC may submit recommendations without consulting the committee.

General: The five member committee was reorganized by the AKC in December 2010 and has received numerous submissions. Submissions have been generated from members of the retriever enthusiast’s community, the committee members and AKC representatives. All submissions have been fully discussed by the committee and each individual submitting the topic(s) has been acknowledged and promised notice of the committee’s final decision on their recommendation(s).

History: The committee’s 1st set of recommendations were submitted to the Performance Events Department on May 9, 2011. After review, the Department submitted the recommendations to the AKC Board. They were approved by the Board in October 2011. The changes were communicated to club secretaries by the Performance Events Department November 22, 2011.

Note: the AKC has reported back to the Advisory Committee and we indicate those findings below in RED....

Current: a total of nineteen (19) submissions were received since the last report. The committee concurred with five (5) submissions and submitted the following recommended changes to AKC:
11.  Current ‘approximately 100 yds’ be revised to ‘approximately 150 yds’ for senior (exclude) and master tests;
22. Clarification of the definition of ‘triple marks’ be clarified to read, “three (3) birds (falls) must be presented before a dog is sent to retrieve either a mark or blind; Okay per AKC.
33.  Apprentice judges be required to have the same eligibility as current judges as it relates to ownership, training, etc.;  Okay per AKC.
44. Electronic devices within 50’ of the line shall be muted or on vibrate to prevent interference with the handlers and/or dogs. This excludes devices used by judges and marshals in the conduct of the test but all devices used shall be used discriminately to avoid interference.
55. Add language, “the dog must successfully complete the test”.  Not necessary per AKC.

This spring, the Performance Events Department requested the Advisory Committee address the issue of limiting entries at events. After considerable discussion, a recommendation has been submitted to allow clubs to have the option of limiting entries in master retriever hunting tests to 60, 90 or 120 entries on a first come first serve basis. We recommended no change in regulations regarding days required for testing.  Okay per AKC.

One submission was referred to the AKC because the committee felt it was not within the purview of the committee. That submission was to give clubs the option of having a pro and amateur master test where only dogs handled by the respective handlers could enter. The submission further suggested separate AKC titles for each would be approved and that there be a national ‘pro’ and ‘amateur’ as separate tests.

Presented on behalf of the committee (see other side) by Bill Teague, Chairman
October 19, 2012


The AKC Retriever Hunting Test Advisory Committee

It is the responsibility of the RHT Advisory Committee to provide input to the AKC Performance Events Department with regard to the Retriever Hunting Test Regulations. This may involve clarification of existing Regulations or new Regulations that are felt to enhance the sport. Topics for Advisory Committee discussion may originate from RHT participants or from the Committee members themselves. The Performance Events Department may also direct ideas to the Committee for consideration.

The Performance Events Department values the input of the Advisory Committee but is under no obligation to agree or act upon their suggestions. The Department may also, on occasion, act without Committee input.

Members of the Retriever Hunting Test Advisory Committee are:

                                                          Term Expires at end of:
             Eastern Time Zone Representative
Rich Young                     rrducksdogs@windstream.net                              2012
3072 County Line Rd         610-845-7826 (H)
East Greenville, PA 18041  267-374-1992 (C)

             Rocky Mountain Time Zone Representative
Jeff Schoonover                  jschoonover@verusboc.com                             2013
1432 Red Fox Circle           970-686-0714 (H)
Windsor, CO 80550            970-227-1284 (C)

              Central Time Zone Representative
Richard Pyka                 uprwoodlndsrtvrs@hotmail.com                        2014               
W 235 N                            262-229-3031 (H)
9544 Mt. Vernon Dr.
Colgate, WI 53017

              Pacific Time Zone Representative
Tom Quarles                    autumnretrievers@juno.com                               2015
12725 Jordan Road                360-691-2650 (off)
Arlington, WA 98223-9409   425-377-3793 (C)

              RHTAC Chairman
Bill Teague                      ta9@hughes.net
734 CR 630                         936-559-9007 (H)
Nacogdoches, TX 75964     713-252-3918 (C)


Handler's Meeting

At 1 pm, the Handler's all reconvened in the New Era Building for the Handler's Meeting. There were many announcements and we are still recording much of the proceedings, but we wanted to get the word out on what was actually the most important part of the meeting: The pairing of the judges and the announcement of the flights and their first set of test's names:

Flight A will begin at "Oh No, Mr. Bill!"
Judges: Sydney Williams & Jim Charboneau
This is a land/water test with ducks.

Flight B will begin at "Double Trouble."
Judges: Bruce Bachert & Michelle Love
This is a land test with pheasants.

Flight C will begin at "Are We Having Fun Yet?"
Judges: Bill Teague & Carol Hynes
This is a land test with ducks.

Flight D will begin at "Butterfly Slots."
Judges: Mike Jespersen & Rich Pyka
This is a land test with pheasants.

All of the tests will start at the Cattle Ranch tomorrow, Saturday October 20, at 8 am. Everyday after, the tests will begin at 7:30 am.

The Rotation: 110 -- 140 -- 170 -- 20 -- 50 -- 80

Scratches will be posted tonight on the Master National website.

A special announcement for Flight D, #114, will move to the back of the rotation where he will stay.

No Birds: First No Bird, move back three; second NB, go back six; third NB, go to the end and stay there.

There are some rules that must be adhered to at the Forever Wild Grounds...
The main one is to be respectful of the Residents. Under no circumstances may you take photographs of them, even from a distance out in the field. Please be mindful of what is in your viewfinder. Please, no tipping, alcohol or cigarettes may be given to the Residents. Be careful of your possessions and make sure that you are careful about putting away your phones and cameras and such.

Marisa Melo, the youngest junior handler at this event, pulls the judge pairings from a hat...


Friday Check-in Day

The New Era Building parking lot was full this morning as we drove up and veterinarians and handlers were busy at the bitch check. Inside, it was even more busy with the Handlers Registration and the MNRC store which had begun selling the 2012 apparel. (We put our purchases under the Retriever News table as we started seeing the groups of people and their families coming...) The line for the Delegate and Proxy Registration formed early and was quite long. Starting at 11 am, the Committee Chairs met with their workers for everyone to get their assignments for the week. They held up laminated signs and it was impressive to see how everyone fell into place in their respective corners of the meeting room.


Opening Ceremonies

The Residents from the Cattle Ranch formed a Trio and sang to the delight of the people assembled outside the New Era Building in Demopolis, AL! See video below.....

The Opening Ceremonies had the crowd assembling before five o’clock. The main attention was first outside the New Era Building in Demopolis. As old friends reconnected, we were serenaded by a trio of residents of the Cattle Ranch. Both young and old seemed to enjoy the music while we awaited for the arrival of the Blackhawk helicopter. After quite a delay, it was announced that due to mechanical problems, the helicopter would not be arriving . We were encouraged to go inside and enjoy cocktails and a selection of fruits and cheeses and mini quiches.

The Kansas Contingency for the 2013 Master National!

Frank Barton and his dog Double Down Delta Blues “Delta,” came out and by a process of elimination through the retrieval of numbered bumpers, it was announced at 6:50 pm that dog number 110 would be the starting dog in each of the four flights. All evening long, projectors were continually looping photographs of the recipients of the Master National Hunter title. A segment was also devoted to the dogs who passed away in the last year.

John Blackbird, President of the Master National
Gunter Guy, Commissioner of the Dept of Natural Resources

Skip Lannon, President Black Warrior Retriever Club

Read Holland, Chairman of the Hunt Test Committee

The speakers started with dignitaries from the City of Demopolis, the Chamber of Commerce and Forever Wild. Their message to the audience was to say thank you for making Demopolis and Forever Wild the hosts of such a large national event. Bill Teague gave a moving Benediction and then we had a delicious meal catered by Full Moon Bar-B-Que consisting of smoked chicken, fried catfish and pulled pork. 


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