2017 MNRC Foundation Handler Awards Announced

Jack Morris, Bob Neipert and Bill Teague

The Master National Retriever Club Foundation is proud to announce the 2017 ‘Handler of the Year’ and “Youth Handler of the Year’ recipients.
The Bill T. Teague Handler of the Year Award was earned by Bob Neipert of Lexington, Texas.
Bob began his retriever career when 16 years old in Iowa hunting pheasant, quail and ducks. He’s continued his love for retrievers and has been running retriever hunting tests since 1999. An amateur trainer and handler, Bob has placed a dog on the National Derby list, earned QAA with two dogs and four earned AKC’s Master Hunter titles. All four Master Hunters qualified and entered the Master National Retriever Club’s annual event.
Bob has attended thirteen Master National events. His dogs have earned eleven pewter plates for passing the MNRCHT and two of them are MNH (or higher) and are in the MNRC’s “Hall of Fame”. His current dog, Steller’s Proud Mary, MNH6 (call name Mary) has passed six MNRHT’s; prior to the 2017 event.  Just, 23 dogs in the history of the MNRC have earned this title .
Bob is well known for being a hard worker whether it be a training day at home, a local retriever hunting test or a Master National event. Bob is a highly respected handler, volunteer and trainer. He gives credit for his early handling and training education to Patsy Martin and the Waterloo club members. He also gives longtime training partner, Jack Morris of Giddings, Texas a lot of credit for his success.  Bob is a member of two retriever clubs, Waterloo Amateur Retriever Club and Heart of Texas Retriever Club. He’s also active in his home club where he currently serves as Treasurer in the Waterloo club. He  was nominated by the Waterloo Amateur Retriever Club.
Neipert was awarded this top award from the MNRCF based on his quality and expertise as a handler in American Kennel Club Retriever Hunting tests and the Master National Retriever Club’s annual event. His dog, RCF based on his quality and expertise as a handler in American Kennel Club “Stellar’s Proud Mary, MH, MNH-6”, an almost 8 year old black Labrador, is one of only 23 retrievers in the country to have passed six Master National tests.
Bill Teague, President of the MNRC Foundation, presented the award at the monthly  meeting of Bob’s home club, the Waterloo Amateur Retriever Club in Austin, Texas. Bob was cited for  his dedication, commitment and support of the AKC Retriever Hunting Test program as well as his expertise as a handler. Bob & his wife, Nancy, live in Lexington, Texas.  MNRCF Director, Jack Morris, and Bill Teague represented the Foundation board at the presentation. Other members of the MNRCF board are Gloria Mundell (Colorado), Jimmy Hughes (Alabama) and Kevin Bunnell (Oregon).
Both awards consist of the recipient’s name placed on a perpetual plaque, an individual plaque and a check for $1,000.  Presentation to youth handler Mary Emma Simon in Monticello will be made at a later date.
The presentation to Bob Neipert was held on February 1, at Tres Amigos Restaurant & Cantina, in Austin. The presentation of both awards will be recreated at the Master National Retriever Club’s annual business meeting in Roseburg, Oregon, October 18, 2018.
Mary Emma Simon successfully met the criteria for the first “Handler of the Year, 13-17 year old” category and becomes the first youth in that category to earn the Award since the award was implemented in 2015. Mary Emma, who lives with her parents, Tim and Sylvia and her younger brother, Pete,  in Monticello, Arkansas, got her first Labrador retriever, (Cherokee Jenny’s Pistol Sadie Simon MH, call name ‘Sadie’) when she was 13 years old and Sadie was six weeks old.
She read all the books on retrievers she could find and found a professional trainer, Ronnie Lee, Duck Roost Kennels in Louisville, Mississippi, whom she credits with much of her success. She learned how to train Sadie to find downed birds the dog saw fall, birds she did not see fall, trainability, obedience and much more. She handled Sadie to American Kennel Club (AKC) titles as a Junior Hunter, Senior Hunter and Master Hunter.
She qualified Sadie to enter the 2017 Master National in Tennessee Colony, Texas October 11-22; Sadie was in Flight A, dog 104. Although Sadie did not pass all six series at the MN, Mary Emma handled the dog well, knew all the American Kennel Club Regulations for the hunting test and exhibited outstanding sportsmanship.
However, Mary Emma says it almost didn’t happen. Her mother was diagnosed with cancer in January 2017 and when she learned the news, she was devastated. She ran to get Sadie, took her to her room and covered up in her bed and cried. She credits her family and Ronnie Lee for supporting her, getting her back into training and eventually getting to the MN. The presentation will be recreated at the 2018 MN event in Oregon this coming October. Mary Emma was nominated by her mother, Sylvia Simon.
The Foundation congratulates these two, fine recipients of the 2017 awards and encourages nominations of qualified handlers for the 2018 event in Oregon; nominations must be received within 30 days of the completion of the event.
The Foundation offers two ‘Youth Handler of the Year Awards’; one for 12 year olds and younger and one for 13-17 year old handlers and the ‘Bill T. Teague Handler of the Year Award’. No submissions were received for the 8-12 year old category this year.
For further info on the awards, contact Bill Teague at ta9@hughes.net or 713-252-3918 or 734 CR 630, Nacogdoches, Texas 75964.
Youth Handler & Handler of Year Award Requirements

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