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

Posted in MNRC Board News & Updates | 5 Comments

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!

Posted in MNRC Board News & Updates, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

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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Tommy Fairchild dies

Tommy Lerue Fairchild
July 16, 1951 – January 25, 2015

TommyFThe Master National community has lost a dear friend and supporter.

Tommy Lerue Fairchild, 63, of Estill Springs, MS.  passed away January 25, 2015 at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.

Tommy died of complications due to his diabetes. He was involved in our hunt tests for many years, and judged the 1998 Master National in Seattle.

A native of Forrest County, MS, he was the son of the late Halbert Lerue and Marie Scruggs Fairchild. Mr. Fairchild was a retired teacher from the Tullahoma City School System.

He was an avid Waterfowl hunter and member of the Middle TN Amateur Retriever Club. He was often described as a “classic curmudgeon” a quality everyone loved about him.

Tommy is survived by one son, Cabot Fairchild of Atlanta, GA; one sister, Jeanna Lofton of Hattiesburg, MS; three nephews and former wife, Gloria Fairchild of Sunnyvale, California.Fairchild_2012MN(2)

The family has requested memorial donations be made to the Bird Dog Foundation or to Vanderbilt Diabetes Center.

We are saddened to hear this news and know we have lost such a valued member of our retriever family.  Our sincere condolences go out to his family.

Read the Eulogy delivered by Tommy’s son, Cabot

Posted in MNRC Board News & Updates, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Central Minnesota Retriever Club Advanced Judges’ Seminar

CMRCCongratulations to the Central Minnesota Retriever Club on being the Region 2 recipient of the Master National Retriever Club seminar grant.

Their AKC Retriever Hunt Test Advanced Judges’ Seminar will be held on Saturday, April 18 and Sunday, April 19, 2015 from 8 a.m. until 5  p.m.

Two day seminar with one-half day spent indoors and one and a half-day spent outdoors developing and running tests. Participants will have an opportunity to actually watch and judge or score dogs as they perform. In order to better understand what has been presented in the classroom presentation, the group will critique each dog’s performance in the field after they have run the tests.

The classroom portion of the event will be held at the Best Western PLUS Kelly Inn in St. Cloud.

Best Western Plus Kelly Inn
100 4th Avenue S
Saint Cloud, Minnesota, 56301
Phone: 320/253-0606

A special rate for hotel rooms at the Best Western Plus Kelly Inn in St. Cloud has been negotiated for
all seminar participants. Please mention you are attending this seminar when you make your
reservation to receive the special rate. The Best Western Plus Kelly Inn in pet friendly and also has a
bar and Green Mill Restaurant attached for your convenience. The grounds of the Central Minnesota
Retriever Club is located within a ten minute drive of the hotel.

The field experience will be held on the grounds of the Central Minnesota Retriever Club.
Central Minnesota Retriever Club
2232 Golden Spike Road NE
Sauk Rapids, MN 56379

Registration fee $85 includes all seminar materials, continental breakfast and lunch each day.

Register online at Entry Express or
Register by mail:
Gordie Schlichting
24306 County Road #2
Cold Spring, MN 56320
Email or call 320-248-8532

Registrations required by April 1, 2015

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Waterloo Amateur RC Advanced Judges’ Seminar

waterlooThe Waterloo Amateur Retriever Club will hold a judges seminar on May 16-17, 2015. 

Format:    The two-day seminar includes one-half day spent indoors and one and a half-day spent outdoors developing and running tests.  (Participants will have an opportunity to actually watch and judge or score dogs as they perform.   In order to better understand what has been presented in the classroom presentation, the group will critique each dog’s performance in the field after they have run the tests.)

Start Time:  8:30 a.m. promptly on both days

Location: Saturday, May 16th — classroom work will be held at Redmark Kennels in Lexington, TX followed by fieldwork in Lexington and Manheim.

Cost: $55.00 for 2 day seminar (Coffee & Donuts provided; Onsite lunch for $8.00)

Registration:  Registration form is available via email request at

Directions: To be provided upon Registration.  Located in Lexington, Giddings, Elgin area

This Advanced Seminar will be an exciting and interesting way to bridge the gap between the normal classroom seminar and actual Hunting Test situations. Topics covered will include judge’s duties prior to and for the test, land & water marks and combinations, blinds and other important considerations.

For more information contact:  Roger Hillhouse – email:   phone:  (210) 367-3959  Or go to Entry Express and register online:

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2015 H. Cooper Black Slideshow

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Take a look at some photos taken in December of  the H. Cooper Black Field Trail and Recreation Area in Cheraw,  South Carolina.

The 2015 Master National will be hosted by The Cooper River, Neuse & Lumber River Retriever Clubs on Oct. 15-25.

Posted in Event Information - General, MNRC Board News & Updates, Slide Shows From The MNRC, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Survey on MNRC Growth Strategies

Dear Master National Handlers and Member Clubs,

DSC_0161The Master National Retriever Club Board of Directors handed out almost a 1,000 copies of the Growth Strategies Survey  at the Master National.

To date we have received only a few back from the membership and handlers. We want to hear from you.  Your comments and input is important to us!

Please take the time before the holidays to submit your opinions and comments on this important issue.  Deadline for submissions is Dec. 31, 2014

The Survey Can Be Found at the END of the Growth Strategies document.   Please send your completed survey to MNRC Secretary:
Elaine Goodner
2817 Duell Ave
Medford, OR

Thanks.  Elaine

Posted in Event Information - General, MNRC Board News & Updates, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

2014 MNRC Hall of Fame & Retiring Dog Videos

HOFThe 2014 Master National Retriever Club Hall of Fame & Retiring Dog videos have been posted online.

Congratulations to the new MNH title holders, three qualifications at Master National events have made you eligible to enter the Master National Retriever Club Hall of Fame.

And Congratulations and Good Luck to all of our wonderful retrievers who have retired from Master National competition this year. Your great work,and handler’s dedication set you apart from the rest! Enjoy your retirement!Retiring

To view both videos go to the Master National Retriever Club website

Click Here to view the 2014 MNRC Hall of Fame video

Click Here to view the 2014 Retiring Dog video

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