2020 Master National To Be Canceled

It has become clear that we cannot provide for the health, safety, and well being of our participants, judges, hosts, and sponsors while at the same time conducting the event in a manner that respects and protects the integrity of our sport. After many months of meetings, calls, analysis, and countless conversations with our various constituencies, we have decided that the 2020 Master National will be cancelled. We are devastated to share this news with you. “Getting it done” is what we have done since the beginning.

A month ago, we were cautiously optimistic.  Our hope and belief was that as summer moved along the pandemic numbers would get better. Since then, the average new cases per day has risen in 45 of the 50 states.  24 states have significant travel restrictions.  Civil unrest is prevalent, creating many unknown risks for cross country travel.  These circumstances developed and deteriorated rapidly since we last communicated.

We understand the gravity of the situation for all who work with us and look forward to the Master National each year.  Our board and local host team has been wonderful, working daily trying to put together a workable plan, adapting to the evolving circumstances over the last few months in an effort to try to make this event viable.  Unfortunately, the numbers have continued to worsen.  

First and foremost is our obligation to consider the safety of our hosts, our judges, our participants, our sponsors, and our wonderful retrievers.  We do this for the camaraderie, for the experience, and the celebration of our accomplishments.  This will be missed.  Our only comfort is that our constituents will not be put in harm’s way in any form, for that would be a burden we could not bear.  We know this is the right decision based on what we know today.

We appreciate everyone that has shared their views on re-imagining the 2020 Master National. We are exploring options for the transition to 2021 and will provide those details no later than August 1. We will continue to work hard to be fair to those that sacrifice to make our event what it is and what it will be. The ideas and recommendations will be valuable as we establish our path forward.

Allen Dillard, 2020 MNRC President



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Deadline Nears for Hall of Fame and Retiring Videos

UPDATE: MNRC will produce the HOF and Retiring Videos for 2020.  They will be posted Online.  And shown at the Handler’s Banquet in 2021 in Idaho.

It’s time to get your information together so we can include your dog in our Master National Videos. The videos will premiere at the Handler’s Banquet at the 2020 Master National in St. Cloud, Minnesota and will be posted on the Master National website following the event.

Each year the Master National creates two videos. The 2019 Hall of Fame Retrievers (retrievers who qualified at the 2019 event) and the  2020 Master National Retiring Dogs.

If  you have decided to retire your retriever from Master National competition you can submit a request to retire him now. You are still illegible to run him at the 2020 event, but not after that in the Master National.

Here’s what you need to know. Click on the Hall of Fame Video form or the Retiring Dog Video Form on the page below.  Fill out the video form, and email the form with a JPG photo as soon as possible!  Information on the form tells you what quality photo we need and how to email us.  Thank you and see you soon in Minnesota September 14-October 4.

The deadline for submissions is July 25st.

2019 Hall of Fame Form

2020 Retiring Form


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Idaho to Host 2021 Master National

Congratulations to the Treasure Valley Hunting Retriever Club . TVHRC has been selected to host our 2021 Master National event in Valley County, Idaho.

Dates will be September 30 until October 10, 2021.

Located 112 miles north of Boise, Valley County is a rual county located in the Salmon Mountains in est central Idaho.

Treasure Valley Hunting Retriever Club is an AKC Licensed Hunting Tests per year, including a large double header event near McCall, Idaho.  2021 Event Committee includes Laura and Allyn Foster, Dave Alexander and Dave Snider.

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Special Notice: MNRC Professional Trainers & All Handlers

On behalf of the Master National Retriever Club Board of Directors, and with fervent support from president Allen Dillard, Michelle and Rex want to express our collective concern about your personal, family and kennel health, safety and well-being.  We trust all are doing well during these weird times.  If there is anything we might assist with regards to you and yours safety, please reach out to us.

We have been put in an unprecedented situation which has totally disrupted our sense of normal.  With a goal of conducting the MNRC 2020 this fall around St. Cloud, Minnesota, while at the same time considering the health and safety issues presented by the pandemic, we are forced to be creative and innovative.

We made a one-time change to the qualification requirements to try to adapt to the cancellation of Spring weekend hunting tests.  We will be implementing other safety procedures at the event; some that will be required by the local authorities and some that are just good, common sense.  These things will not be easy, but they must be done if we are to be able to conduct the event; and do so in a safe and healthy environment for all.

We are reaching out to you, as long-time participants, and handlers of multiple entrants, to support the MNRC 2020 as a sponsor or donor.  Your cash contribution will provide resources that will assist us in responding to these unexpected requirements so that we can make this event happen.  We do not know what we may encounter over the next three months.  Your cash contributions certainly will help defray the additional costs that we expect to face.

In summary, sponsorship and donor levels cash contributions available are:

CSLs Rex Gibson & Michelle Love

Gold – $4000
Silver – $2000
Bronze – $500

Master – $250
Senior – $100
Junior –  $25

Your contributions will be recognized in the 2020 MNRC Catalog.

You are such a cornerstone of this event.  We firmly believe the AKC Hunting Retriever

Test program is “ALL ABOUT THE DOGS.”  And the Master National is committed to holding an annual event that rewards the best of the best that meets the standard.  Please let us know how we can help you, and please contact either Rex or Michelle to confirm your commitment to the 2020 Master National as a Sponsor or Donor.  It is very much appreciated.

How To Donate:
Email Rex or Email Michelle, or call Rex @ 713-417-1245 or Michelle 803-463-1313 for details.  You can send a check to Treasurer Jimmy Hughes at P.O. Box 444, Columbia, TN 38402.

Rex and Michelle

Co-Corporate Sponsor Liaisons Master National Retriever Club
713-417-1245 / 803-463-1313








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Region 4 Names New 2020 Master National Judge

The Master National Retriever Club is pleased to announce that John Kinnard has accepted the invitation to judge at this year’s Master National. Kinnard will replace Ron Margiotta.Margiotta had to withdraw from judging.  John Kinnard will represent Region 4 in St. Cloud, Minnesota in 2020.

Kinnard lives in Washington and has judged two Master National events.   To read more about John Kinnard   

Thank you John for stepping into the position and we look forward to working with you September 24 – October 4.

Other judges for the 2019 event include:
Region 1: Megan Baker, Robert Johnson and Christian Ricker.
Region 2: Alan Bruhin, Jimmy Olsweski and Beth Trudel
Region 3: Willie Alderson, Laura Foster and Dale Langhorne
Region 4: Mike Black, John Kinnard and Mark Schlender

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Important Notice: Judge Change for 2020

The Master National Retriever Club is pleased to announce that Dale Langhorne has accepted the invitation to judge at this year’s Master National. Langhorne will replace Eric Fryer.  Fryer withdrew from judging due to health concerns.  Dale Langhorne will represent Region 3 in St. Cloud, Minnesota in 2020..

Langhorne lives in Idaho and judges the Master National in 2015 and 2017.
To read more about Dale Langhorne CLICK HERE.

Thank you Dale for stepping into the position and we look forward to working with you September 24 – October 4.

Other judges for the 2019 event include:
Region 1: Megan Baker, Robert Johnson and Christian Ricker.
Region 2: Alan Bruhin, Jimmy Olsweski and Beth Trudel
Region 3: Willie Alderson, Laura Foster and Dale Langhorne
Region 4: Mike Black, John Kinnard and Mark Schlender

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Updated List of Qualifiers for 2020 Under New Rules

An updated list of  qualifiers for the 2020 event has been posted.
As of May 1,  there are 1,475  retrievers qualified under the Special Criteria for 2020. The 2020 Master National will be held on September 24-October 4, in St. Cloud, Minnesota.  Hope to see you!

To view a current list of qualifiers:  Click Here


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AKC Issues Retriever Hunting Test Suggested Best Practices

As Clubs begin to schedule AKC Hunt Tests again, the American Kennel Club Wednesday issued its suggested Best Practices for the safety of the handlers, club volunteers and exhibitors.

Suggested Best Practices for the Well-Being of Dog Sport Participants

The AKC supports each club’s informed decision to reschedule, postpone or cancel their
respective events, as well as support clubs ready to hold events in locations that are open and permit gatherings. As events resume across the country, people need to feel safe while enjoying their dog activities. The AKC urges clubs to take precautions for the benefit of their exhibitors.

Events need to be held in a manner that emphasizes the safety of participants and event officials over efficiency.

The following is a list of suggested best practices that may be helpful when planning or attending an event. Event locations, facilities and dates will differ. With a situation that is continually evolving, it is up to the clubs to determine the guidelines that best fit their event. In order to inform participants, specific guidelines established by the club should be publish in the premium, pre-event communications, club website and posted on signage/flyers at their event.

General Practices
1. Clubs, officials and participants are required to follow state and local guidelines that apply to the area where the event is held.
2. Practice social distancing consistent with local guidelines. Avoid congregating to the extent possible.
3. Consider wearing masks when in close proximity to others.
4. Consider wearing disposable or washable gloves.
5. Have plenty of hand sanitizers placed for people to use.
6. Wash hands as frequently as possible. Have disinfecting spray at bathroom facilities for
people to spray door handles (or anything else they touch).
7. If you utilize portable toilets, please ask for a hand washing station to be delivered as well.
8. Avoid shaking hands or hugging.
9. Avoid touching dogs that are not your responsibility.
10. Avoid common use pens/pencils – bring your own.
11. Disinfect surfaces in common use areas as often as possible (tables, chairs, doorknobs, etc.)
12. Meals – Avoid or stagger group lunches/dinners if possible. It is recommended that clubs supply boxed lunches for judges and volunteers. Hospitality areas should avoid community items such as salt and pepper shakers, condiments, creamers, etc. Participants should consider bringing their own lunch/drinks.
13. Parking areas – Park with sufficient distance between vehicles if possible.

Event Practices
1. If practical, consider splitting tests (Junior, Senior, Master) to reduce congregating.
2. During the Judges description of the series, practice social distancing consistent with local guidelines.
3. Scheduling – Use a marshal’s sheet to group dogs efficiently to minimize the number of
handlers in holding blinds and on the line.
4. Suggest participants remain by their vehicles until just prior to their run if possible.
5. Marshal boxes should be equipped with hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, alcohol spray.
6. Any special instructions from the judges should be posted in the last holding blind.
7. Handlers should be invited to the line in smaller groups. Event Committee decides the
group size given local guidelines and the size of the event.
8. The gallery should be spread out consistent with local social distancing guidelines.
9. Handle the gun in Senior and Master tests with gloves. Gun should be wiped down between handlers. Handlers should consider bringing their own gun.
10. Periodically disinfect holding blinds and equipment including ATVs and chairs.
Workers should bring their own duck calls and chairs.
11. Anyone on the line should maintain adequate distance from the handler as blowing a whistle could potentially project a vapor.
12. Judges should bring their own pens/pencils. If possible, judges should bring their own
equipment including chairs and coolers. Clubs should provide the judges hand sanitizer.
13. Wear gloves when handling birds and bird crates.
14. Hunting Test Secretary – Consider wearing gloves to handle paperwork and catalogs.
15. Ribbon ceremonies – Hold outside if possible. Place ribbons on table or tailgate and invite handlers to come up to obtain their ribbon, no handshaking.
16. Clubs have asked if closing dates can be delayed (fewer days between closing and event) in order to provide flexibility to decide whether to hold the event. This also has the advantage of reducing the number of scratches after closing. The AKC Regulations only require closing three days preceding the start of the event. If clubs are not accepting entries themselves and are interested in delaying their closing , they should discuss options with their entry service provider.

Policies that Have Been Temporarily Suspended
1. Event Application Late Fees – Event application late fees are waived through the end of
October. This provide clubs more flexibility in planning or rescheduling their events.
2. For events cancelled in 2020, AKC will apply Event Application fees to the club’s next
event of the same type.  Clubs may not develop event guidelines that are inconsistent with AKC Rules/Policies. Participants are expected to follow state, local government, facility and event guidelines. Clubs should be prepared to enforce the guidelines that apply to their event.

CDC – How to Protect Yourself and Others

These Suggested Best Practices may be periodically updated. Please check the AKC Retriever Hunting Tests website (www.akc.org/sports/retrievers/hunting-tests/) for the most up-to-date version.

For questions or additional suggestions, please contact the Performance Events Department  at performanceevents@akc.org

Stay Safe – Enjoy Your Dogs

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MNRC Makes Changes to 2020 Master National Qualification

The Master National Board of Directors is committed to providing updates regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the 2020 event.  The Board has completed an initial assessment and analysis of available 2020 qualification information, AKC hunt test cancellations, and the potential impact of these on the AKC hunt test community and the 2020 Master National.

The MNRC Board has decided the 2020 MNRC Qualifications will be determined as follows:

1.    MNH dogs (3 MNRC qualifications) remain qualified for life.

2.    MNR dogs (2 MNRC qualifications) are automatically qualified for the 2020 event.

3.    MH dogs that qualified for the 2019 event are automatically qualified for the 2020 event.

4.    MH dogs with at least 4 MH passes during the current qualifying year (08/01/2019 – 07/31/2020) will be qualified for the 2020 event.

There will be no adjustments to the MNRC standard of judging or test requirements for the 2020 MNRC Event.

There will also be changes to other elements of the event such the conduct of the various meetings, parties, and other ceremonies.  These will develop as we determine what life after the COVID-19 pandemic may hold for us.

This effort was not easy as the information was voluminous and the circumstances were changing daily.  The conversations and opinions were many and while the discussions and debate were rigorous, they were also thoughtful and respectful.  I am proud of the manner in which this Board developed this one-time solution to what we hope is a one-time issue.

We thank you for your continued support of AKC performance events, our hunting test sport and the Master National Event.  We continue to hope for an end to the pandemic and until then, we wish everyone good health and sincerely look forward to seeing everyone in St. Cloud, MN on September 24, 2020 for Opening Ceremonies of our 29th Event.

Allen Dillard, President MNRC

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Master National Retriever Club: COVID-19 Status Update

A message from President Allen Dillard:
The Master National Retriever Club is continuously monitoring the status of the COVID-19 event and is committed to keeping you informed of any updates, developments, or changes that will impact the 2020 Master National Hunt Test.

Since our last communication, many more areas of our country have implemented restrictions on entertainment and recreational events in an effort to implement social distancing policies and requirements. As a result, many more hunt tests have been cancelled, further reducing the opportunities for Master Hunters to complete the qualifying requirements for the Master National Hunt Test.

The MNRC is first and foremost concerned with the health and safety of the hunt test community. We encourage our member clubs to take whatever actions they deem necessary to respond appropriately to the guidance and direction of their local health authorities. While these decisions are difficult, we support our member clubs in their decisions to protect their community.

We will be implementing a modification to the qualification requirements for the 2020 Master National Hunt Test only.  This modification will be based on a thoughtful and thorough assessment of the information available at this time. The modification will be as fair as possible to as many as possible, while recognizing that the Master National Hunt Test is a showcase event for those retrievers that have demonstrated a level of excellence in Master Hunt Tests.

We are completing this analysis and assessment and plan to communicate the modifications in a few days, in advance of the resumption of a normal hunt test schedule so that people can plan accordingly. Our hope is that the COVID-19 event will eventually subside and do so in time for the conduct of the 2020 Master National Hunt Test. We feel this one-time adjustment will help to facilitate that in an orderly fashion and without a detrimental impact to our member clubs and their events.

Be safe and responsible. Thank you for your support of the Master National.

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