Attention Master National Clubs

A Message from the Master National Secretary:

If you are a Master National Contact or Delegate and have not received ballots for the 2 proposals being submitted to the Master National membership, please contact me with your correct e mail address.

I have sent out over 400 emails and a few have bounced back. I am working to find the correct addresses but I need help so all clubs can have the information in a timely manner.

Special Note: We are getting requests to change the name of the Club Delegate or Club Contact:

If a member club wishes to change their Contact person or their Delegate a “Change of Contact/Delegate” form must be sent to the MN secretary via U.S. mail (2817 Duell Ave. Medford, OR 97501) or e mail (

This form documents that the change is approved by the club’s membership.  The form can be found on the Master National web site.
Click Here for the Notice of Contact/Delegate Change Form
Thanks for your help.
Elaine Goodner, Master National Secretary

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Important Notice to MNRC Clubs: Proposed By-Law Changes

The Master National Retriever ClubAll Master National Retriever Club contacts and delegates have been emailed information about two proposed changes to the MNRC By-Laws.

One  proposal made by the MNRC Board of Directors and supported by several clubs has a change to the current by-laws that would exempt Hall of Fame dogs (MNH title holders) from having to re-qualify for the Master National each year.

To view the Proposed “Hall of Fame Exemption” proposal CLICK HERE

To view the entire By-Law HOF justification for this change CLICK HERE

The second proposal was made by Western New York Retriever Club, Ohio Valley Retriever Club and Presque Isle Retriever Club of Erie, PA.

This By-Law change would require a dog to pass 6 of 8 Master Hunt Tests at MNRC clubs to qualify for the Master National event each qualifying year.

To view the entire Proposed “6 of 8 Tests” change  CLICK HERE

To view the justification for the 6-of-8 pass rate change CLICK HERE

Please note: Ballots must be returned to Elaine Goodner, MNRC Secretary by email: or US mail: 2817 Duell Ave., Medford, OR 97501

Deadline is June 5, 2015.
Only Ballots with Club Names will be counted, these have been sent to each club.

Results of club ballots will be posted on the Master National Retriever Club web site.


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Proposed Change : Exemption of HOF Dogs from Annual Re-Qualifying

Proposed By-Law Change for Hall of Fame Qualifying Exemption

Exemption of Hall of Fame Dogs from Annual Re-Qualifying

SECTION 3  Number of Contestants, Eligibility and Entry Fee

(a)  Contestants shall be limited to the following:

(4)  Dogs having passed three prior MNRC annual events are exempt  from the requirements of Paragraphs (2) & (3) of this section and are qualified for all future MNRC annual events.



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Exemption of Hall Of Fame Dogs from Annual Re-Qualification

Exemption of Hall Of Fame Dogs from Annual Re-Qualification

Purpose of the Amendment:
A dog passing its 3rd Master National and earning Hall of Fame status has proven that it belongs in the annual event and re-qualifying every year does not add any value to their worthiness.

The average age of a dog earning its HOF in 2014 was 6 ½ years. These dogs will be 7 ½ years old when they return to the annual event. There are only so many retrieves left in a dog when they reach this age and using them up by re-qualifying is not in the dog’s or our event’s best interest.

Master National Retriever Club
Board of Directors

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Proposed Change: Revisions to Qualifying Standards (6 of 8)

Change to Article IX  MNRC ByLaws 



SECTION 3. Number of Contestants, Eligibility and Entry Fees
(a) Contestants shall be limited to the following:
(1) Qualifying dogs of the previous year’s Master National Hunting Retriever Test shall receive credit for two qualifying scores.
(2) All contestants shall be required to obtain qualifying scores in a minimum of six (6) Master Hunting tests conducted by member clubs. Contestants who enter exclusively in Alaska must obtain qualifying scores in a minimum of four Master tests by member clubs and have an MH title.
(3) Dogs, domiciled in Canada, running exclusively in CKC Master Hunt Test events, that passed the most recent CKC Canadian Master National Hunt Test prior to the July 31st MNRC qualifying end date.
(b) In order to be counted towards the qualifying requirements, hunting tests at which qualifying scores are awarded must have a beginning date falling between August 1 of the year preceding the current National Master Hunting Retriever Test and July 31 of the year of the National Master Hunting Retriever Test.
(c) Each entrant must pay an entry fee, to be determined by the Board of Directors.



SECTION 3. Number of Contestants, Eligibility and Entry Fees
(a) Contestants shall be limited to the following:
(1) Qualifying dogs of the previous year’s Master National Hunting Retriever Test shall receive credit for two qualifying scores.
(2) All contestants shall be required to obtain qualifying scores in a minimum of six (6) out of eight (8) Master Hunting tests conducted by member clubs. Contestants who enter exclusively in Alaska must obtain qualifying scores in a minimum of four out of six (6) Master tests by member clubs and have an MH title. Dogs entered in an event, but not scratched for approved medical reasons prior to the published starting time of the event, shall be scored as Failed if they do not complete the event. If a dog has run and/or after the published starting time of the event is injured or not able to complete a test due to medical reasons a vet certificate must be submitted to the Hunt Test Secretary addressing why the dog was unable to complete the test. This certificate must be received by the Hunt Test Secretary prior to the conclusion of the event to be considered as a non-completion and not a Fail. This circumstance may only be used ONCE per dog per qualifying year. All other scratches during a started event will be counted as a Fail. Once a dog fails three (events) within the qualifying time period that dog will not be eligible to enter that year’s Master National.

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Proposal for Revised Qualifications (6 of 8)

Proposal for an Master National Retriever Club By-Law Change

I am writing on behalf of the Western New York Retriever Club as we would like to submit a proposal for an additional strategy to be submitted to all MNRC member clubs for the
“Strategic Proposals Survey”.

Strategy overview:
To change the requirements to qualify to run the Annual Master National Retriever Club Event it would now state you must pass 6 out of 8 tests you run between August 1 and July 31. (This would be having a 75% or greater pass rate)

Due to the increased number of dogs qualifying for the Master National every year, there is an increase number of dogs entering and competing at the Master National Event. As a result, the way in which dogs qualify needs to be addressed. Over the years there has been an increase in number of Clubs running events and even running more events per year, as a result, getting 6 Master passes in the time span of Aug 1-July 31 every year is very doable especially when many dogs run 15+ weekend events to achieve this.

Obviously a dog that takes 15 or even 10 tries to get 6 passes is proving to not be very consistent and will not be running the caliber it needs to pass a national test which is essentially two events run in one week.

All dogs qualifying would be representing the same consistency rate whether they are
Amateur or Professionally Handled.

Pros would no longer have an advantage over “working” amateurs who are not able to
run as many weekend events to qualify.


It will be easier to get into weekend tests! Because it takes less TRIES to qualify, there
will be more openings in weekend events which will help Amateurs greatly as well as
everyday local competitors that are just looking to get titles.

The number of dogs qualifying for the Master National will subsequently decrease which
will decrease the number of dogs entering and running the national.
– Because less dogs are running the national, judges can take their time in testing
each individual dog’s performance and not be pressed for time.
-There will be less dogs in each flight and/or less flights needed resulting in less needed resources to hold the event.

It will be harder for inconsistent dogs to qualify Many will bring up the points that held this proposal back in the past including:

“Handlers will judge shop”- due to the limiting of entries now implemented, this will have no affect on the clubs hosting events. The events will fill as they do currently, people that would “judge shop” are the ones that already do!

“People will scratch their dog from a weekend event after it already started in order to avoid a fail and then run another event”- It would simply be stated in the requirements to qualify that, a dog cannot be scratched from an event that has already begun unless it has been injured during the test and is immediately taken to the vet for evaluation and a vet note is submitted addressing why the dog was not able to continue to compete.

Also, this circumstance may only be used ONCE per dog per qualifying year. Any other scratches during a started event will be counted as a Fail.

Tammy Adsitt, President
Western New York Retriever Club
Co-sponsored by:
Dave Gaul, President
Ohio Valley Retriever Club
Robert Samios, President
Presque Isle Retriever Club of Erie, PA

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Master National ‘Hat Survey’

Handlers Hat

Just one of 6 styles of Hat– check them out and vote for your favorite!

News from the Master National Event Store

MNRC Store Managers Pam Bunnell & Terri Elliot decided this year to do a hat survey of the hat-wearing folks to see what would be a good choice to sell at the Master National event store.  These are NOT the hats provided to all handlers’ just the ones we sell in the store at the event.

Attached is a PDF file with photos and descriptions of several hats that we have to choose from. Next to each is a Ratings Box where we hope you will fill out and email back to us.

Email Pam Bunnell or Email Terri Elliot with your top choice!

We’d like to have it back by April 30th so we have time to order the most popular one chosen by you all. (or y’all).

If you don’t want to fill out the whole survey but you want to vote, just send the email back with the style number in the message area!

Each hat will have the MN logo on it in the normal front spot.

Click Here To See All Six Hat Styles 

(Note: if the PDF won’t allow you to type, save it to your computer, type in your answers, & then save it again to be attached to your reply)

Thanks everyone! Pam & Terry

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Important Notice from the AKC: RHT Entry Process


March 17, 2015

To:    All Clubs Licensed to Hold Retriever Hunting Tests

This communication is to inform your club that there have been four changes to the Retriever Hunting Test Regulations.  Specifically, clubs that limit the number of entries they will accept in their Master level test:
(1) must advertise a date and time when entries will start to be accepted,
(2) must establish a “first in – first out” waiting list, and
(3) may choose to set aside 15% of the Master level test entries for event workers.

A fourth recommendation is to allow the use of shotgun simulators in Retriever
Hunting Tests.

With the relevant additions/changes underlined, the new Regulations are as follows:

Chapter 1, Section 3.  Making Application.  Starting after paragraph 3.
New Paragraph
Clubs that limit the number of entries in the Master Hunter Test must advertise an opening date for its Hunting Test.  In order for there to be transparency for all participants, the opening date shall be the Wednesday closest to three weeks prior to the first day of the event.  The opening time shall be 8:00 pm Central Time.

New Paragraph
Clubs that limit the number of entries in the Master Hunting Test must establish a waiting list in order that entries that scratch prior to the closing date and time can be replaced.  The waiting list shall utilize a “first in – first out” approach.

Chapter 1, Section 4.  No Special Inducements.  
A hunt-test giving club shall not accept an entry fee other than that published in its premium list or entry form, or in any way discriminate between entrants.  Except a club with a limited entry in Master test may set aside up to 15% of the Master entries for event workers.  Remainder of the paragraph remains unchanged.

Chapter 3, Section 8.  Gunning.  Fourth Paragraph.
Either shotguns or shotgun simulators may be used.  If a shotgun is used, it must be a 20, 16 or 12 gauge shotgun. Gunners firing live ammunition must be 21 years of age or older.  Gunners firing popper loads or shotgun simulators must be a minimum of 16 years of age and if less than 21, must have successfully completed a Hunter/Gun Safety course.

The three changes regarding the entry process become effective when a club’s contracted entry service is prepared to implement them or no later than July 1, 2015.  The use of shotgun simulators becomes effective April 1, 2015.

The Performance Events Department appreciates the dialog and input it has received from the Retriever Hunting Test Advisory Committee in addressing the issues that led to the development of  these changes.

This e-mail was sent to the President and Secretary of all clubs licensed to hold Retriever Hunting Tests. 

You are encouraged to forward this information to any one that might be interested.
General comments can be e-mailed to the AKC at

Special Note from the Retriever Hunting Test Advisory Committee:  
Below is a copy of the E-mail sent to those who submitted suggestions, recommendations and concerns regarding Limited Entry Master Retriever Hunting Tests on March 17, 2015 by RHTAC.

As promised when you kindly provided your thoughtful submission(s) on how to deal w/Master tests hosted by clubs who chose the limited entry option, this is our follow up to your submission. As you know, the issues are complex and multiple, so it has taken considerable time to get them addressed and your patience is appreciated. The committee has provided multiple ‘interim’ reports to the public, which have been highly publicized in Retriever News, at the Master National Retriever Club’s annual meeting  in October 2014 and on the Master National Retriever Club websites in an attempt to keep folks informed. EE will also publish a copy of the contents of this mail in their next edition.

The committee has received almost 80 submissions with over 200 suggestions on how to address the issues. If you know someone who provided a submission but didn’t get this response, please forward it to them or let me know and we’ll follow up. We’ve diligently tried to keep track of all submissions and reply to each but it’s always possible we’ve inadvertently missed someone and want to provide this info to each submitter.

Before getting into specifics, some general comments are in order. First and foremost, we believe the challenges associated with the limited entries are the result of an incredibly successful AKC program and in my opinion; this is a very good thing. Entries in the Master tests are up almost 15% and for the first time in history, entries in the Retriever Hunting Test program exceed entries in the Retriever Field Trial program.

Second, with rare exception, your submissions have been thoughtful, amicable, supportive and well-intended; this is greatly appreciated. Additionally, the telecoms we’ve had with various folks followed similar attributes.

Finally, I tip my hat to both AKC and Entry Express for their substantial collaboration; they have worked well together for the good of the overall program and performed admirably; we are deeply grateful for those efforts and are proud of each of them. They deserve our respect and admiration for their individual & collective efforts!

As the committee reviewed the issues, it became apparent there were two totally distinct issues involved. The first was equality; did everyone who wanted to enter have a fair shot at getting into the test. The second was quantity/capacity; did everyone who wanted to enter get to enter.

The recent approval by AKC of new regulations (copy of notice sent to the Presidents & Secretaries of all clubs licensed to hold RHT’s by the AKC) is published on the MNRC Blog. Recent system’s changes by Entry Express are designed to primarily address the issues dealing largely with the equality issue and will be published shortly. I think they have done a good job and leveled the playing field. The quantity/capacity  issue still needs some work and if you have ideas on how this issue can be addressed, please let us know. The goal is to expand the capacity of master tests to accommodate everyone who wants to run a master test. For example, some clubs have moved from a 60 dog, two-day test to a 90 dog, three-day test. That expands the capacity by 50%. Other clubs have exercised the recently approved regulation to have 5 or 6 events instead of the previous limit of 4 events; that too has increased the capacity. It’s realized some clubs will not be able to make changes like the above but all clubs are encouraged to take a look at how they might increase capacity in the Master Tests. What ideas do you have? Send them to the RHTAC.

Please note the three AKC Regulations regarding the entry process become effective when a club’s contracted entry service is prepared to implement them or no later than July 1, 2015. The use of shotgun simulators becomes effective April 1, 2015. 

Thank you again for your submission, guidance and support of this great sport and if you have any questions, feel free to contact the AKC, EE or any member of the RHTAC. We wish you & your dogs the best in your efforts!

Best regards,
Bill T. Teague, Chairman Retriever Hunting Test Advisory Committee
Robert Rascoe, Eastern Time Zone
John Blackbird, Central Time Zone
Keith Winch, Mountain Time Zone
Tom Quarles, Pacific Time Zone
American Kennel Club

Bill T. Teague, 734 CR 630, Nacogdoches, TX 75964 Phone: 713-252-3918

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2015 Winter Board Meeting

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The Board of Directors meeting was held Feb. 7 & 8, 2015 in Hartsville, South Carolina.  In attendance was MNRC President Sam Ferguson, Past President Janet Wood, Secretary Elaine Goodner, Treasurer Jimmy Hughes, Region 1 VP Jack Combs, Region 1 Director Bob Swift, Region 2 VP Jace Tramontin, Region 2 Director Allen Dillard, Region 3 VP Larry Kimble, Region 3 Director Keith Winch, Region 4 VP Kevin Bunnell and Region 4 Director Randy Frager.

Also present at the meeting were Master National Hunt Test Secretary Frank Barton, Merchandise/Store Manager Pam Bunnell, Corporate Sponsor Liaison Alice Rodriguez and Communications Director Mia DiBenedetto.

The Board was treated to a comprehensive tour of the test grounds and Coker College meeting facilities by Host Club representatives Michelle Love and Laurice Williams and Butch Driggers, H. Cooper Black  Memorial Field Trial Area Manager.

The Board spent the weekend making plans to ensure a terrific event for 2015 as well as other MNRC business.  As most folks know, the 2016 Master National site was selected and will be held at the August A. Busch Conservation Area in Weldon Spring, MO Sept. 29- Oct. 9,  2016.  Congratulations to the Host Club King River Retriever Club!

Also on the agenda was some difficult and heated discussions concerning the complex issues facing the future growth of our sport. The Board reviewed the comments and suggestions put forward by individuals and clubs and are working hard to develop strategies for growth and the immense challenges ahead.

Details on action plans and proposals will be posted as it becomes available.

Many thanks to Board Member Randy Frager for taking such terrific pictures!

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25th Anniversary Master National 2016

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The 2016 Master National will take place in St. Louis, MO. Congratulations to Host Club River King Retriever Club!  Other retriever clubs will become involved in helping River King as plans come together to present an amazing event.

The 25th Anniversary of the Master National will take place at the August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area on September 29 – October 9, 2016. The Busch Conservation Area represents almost 7,000 acre conservation area that is owned and managed by the Missouri Department of Conservation.

The property is located in Weldon Spring, MO, which is an extended suburb of St. Louis.  The terrain includes hills, valleys, flats, tree lines, crop fields, clover, prairie  grass and fescue fields.  Bodies of water include features consisting of islands, points and various shaped shorelines.  Other features include old gravel service roads, casting mounds, cover strips, swales and waterways.

In addition Purina Farms, Nestle Purina PetCare Company in 2010 opened an 84,000 sq. ft., multi-million dollar event venue specifically to host shows and trials for canine enthusiasts. This facility complex will be host to the Closing Ceremony for the 2016 Master National event.

The Host Hotel has NOT been selected, and many details have not been determined, but the MNRC will let the community know as soon as details are final.  We are told there are over 3,600 rooms available in the hunt test area.

Thanks for your patience and we look forward to working with the River King Retriever Club and all the great folks in St. Louis.

River King Retriever Club on Facebook

More about the August A. Busch Conservation Area:

In 1947, Mrs. August A. (Alice) Busch Sr., donated monies to the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) to purchase the land from the U.S. government as a memorial to her late husband. During the early 1940’s portions of the area were used by the Weldon Spring Ordnance Works and the Department of the Army for the production of TNT and DNT to support the effort of World War II. There are 100 old bunkers formerly used for the storage of TNT still in the area.

The Busch family (Anheuser-Busch Corporation) has a long history of being avid sportsman and conservationists. It should come as no surprise that they would continue that with their generosity and contributions. Also noted, August A. Busch Jr. was a Missouri Department of Conservation commissioner serving in 1964-65.

In addition, the Busch Conservation Area is nearly 7,000 acres with approximately 600 acres of water available. The area is labeled as a multi-use area and offers the public an array of outdoor activities including many managed hunts, educational events, fishing, hiking, bird watching, nature walks and use of state-of-the-art archery and shooting ranges.

The first National Retriever Championship event was held at Busch in 1950. Since that first national event the Busch Conservation area has held more national retriever events than any other grounds, public or private, in the North America. It also continues to hold a multitude of local sporting dog events each spring and fall including beagle braces, retriever field trials, retriever hunt tests, breed specialty field events and NAVHDA events.

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