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.

PROS
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.

ALL DOGS WHO QUALIFY WILL HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO RUN THE NATIONAL THEY HAVE WORKED SO HARD TOWARDS!

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.

CONS
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

This entry was posted in MNRC Board News & Updates, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Proposal for Revised Qualifications (6 of 8)

  1. Melissa Goodman says:

    I think the best way to handle the Master National would be to require it be open to any and all dogs with a MH that wish to participate. 1) The hunt test program was designed to be non-competitive. There is no justification for rewarding “elite” in the same context. To do so erodes the spirit of the program, as has been seen to occur. 2) The reason so many people enter tests every weekend, whether their dog is trained and/or handled by a pro or themselves, is because they want to participate. Needing 10 or more tests to pass 6 doesn’t matter to them, they just want to play. Let them play! 3). The MN would naturally control itself if there was no limit. The more entries, the longer the MN would take. Anyone who can’t spend 2 weeks just won’t enter, or won’t go after entries close and it is known what the schedule is. Clubs who don’t have the grounds or workers to manage a test that takes 2 weeks just won’t volunteer to host it. Judges who can’t spend 2 weeks will not accept the assignment. The MN as it exists today will slowly die the death it deserves, and the hunt test program will go back to it’s intended purpose. Dogs who are bred to be good hunting dogs will be rewarded. Junior and Senior entries will grow, and new people and dogs will come into the Master stake. The “elite” will go play the field trial game and enjoy the Qualifying National, or maybe the Amateur and Open if they so choose!

    • Thomas gibbs says:

      What a great and truthful post.

    • David Boothman says:

      I think you are right on Melissa. I’d like to see us get back to realistic technical hunting tests instead of a focus on credentials, maybe set up informal regional organizations with inter-club competitions; think an SEC for hunt test competition with owner-handlers required, including pros running their own dogs. Unless all those dogs so well-trained by the pros are eventually field-proven by their owners what is it all for except titles and personal status. Perhaps the whole thing is being taken so seriously those owners are simply too nervous to run their dog with anyone watching. I know some owners are definitely like that, so sad for both them and their dog and we’ve encouraged it. With us now pretending to shoot birds at 150 yards we should be done with it, put on white coats, call it Junior Field Trial and then go back to a hunting test. I’ve run in Derby and Qualifiers and it’s fun but its a game and it doesn’t resemble hunting. Striving to do what we currently do has led to a large number of dogs being bred to be barely controllable demonstrated by how many go out with a break at the Master level, something downright dangerous in hunting and around loaded weapons.

      • Lin Gelbmann says:

        Yes indeed Dave… no longer are they hunt tests, but skills test. If you get a set of judges that actually set up a hunting scenario at Master, their test gets labeled as a Senior/gimme test. This just happened at a test… one set of Master judges set up what people called a tricky MN series and those same judges teased the other judges about their Senior Master test. This is another topic I know, but, the rules are too vague and then you have those who make up their own rules like in Minnesota where you cannot have 2 handles in a test and still pass….

  2. Susan Carpenter says:

    Love this. Melissa can I share this ?

  3. Lin Gelbmann says:

    You are so correct Melissa and I totally agree. I have been in the game since it started and continue to wonder why the Hunt Test became the feeder program for the MN….Let the MN be its own program and leave the Hunt Tests for the amateurs for whom it was intended. The Hunt Test program was alive and well at all levels prior to the MN. Now the JH and SH numbers are dwindling. I judged several tests last year where I had less than a dozen Junior and Senior dogs and in one test only had 6 JH and 7 SH. Several clubs that I know of are considering dropping their MN status because they simply cannot manage the numbers and are losing money There is a test in Iowa in May that is not a MN club and they have plenty of MH entries and no Pro’s. Instead of going through all this limiting of number of passes, which creates other problems … please consider Melissa’s idea…so let’s all start sending it to AKC!

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