AKC Reports on State of Hunt Test Program

The following is a report prepared by AKC Representative Joe Rhinehart delivered at the MNRC Annual Meeting, Friday, October 19, 2018.
I have been tasked by the AKC with the assignment to present to you a brief report of the state of the Retriever Hunt Test program. Retriever hunt tests continue to be one of the largest performance events, however, the program is showing a slight decline. In 2017 total entries were down 0.8%. The entire decrease occurred at the Senior level. Junior and Master level entries were flat. Although we are seeing a slight increase in the number of events with 8 more events held in 2017 compared to 2018. We are seeing a downward trend in 2018 with year to date entries as of August down 1.7%.
Junior entries are down 4.7%, Senior down 4.1% and Master down 3.0%. At this time we are not sure why we are experiencing the decline.
Retriever Hunt Test Club numbers remain strong with an additional 5 new Retriever Hunt Test club applications submitted.
At the beginning of 2018, a regulation amendment occurred allowing clubs to hold a maximum of 8 tests at each testing level per calendar year in any combination or order. This is in Chapter 1, Section 3 Making Applications. Clubs for the most part are remaining with their traditional calendar dates and test levels.
For events held or planned this year as of the end of August:

  • 34% of the clubs held or plan to hold 1 event
  • 44% 2 events
  • 18% 3-4 events
  • 3% 5-6 events

A study was done for events held during January to April of 2018 found that 9% of the Master slots were unfilled.
The regulations for Retriever Hunt Tests continue to be reviewed. In addition to the items being looked at by the RHTAC, the Retriever HT program staff are also looking at the regulations. In May we attended a meeting and a number of topics related to the regulations arose. Quite a bit of the emphasis concerned providing better education for current and prospective judges as well as making it a little easier on clubs when hiring judges.
As a result, as of January 1, 2019, clubs will be able to assign one of their 2 judges at a test level to judge the same test level on consecutive days or consecutive back to back events. This will be found in Chapter 1, Section 6 Judges eligibility.
Lastly, we are well in to the age of electronic communications. Notification of the latest regulation update is always sent to the email address of all judges, club secretaries and presidents. We ask that you update your email addresses so that we have the current info in our records. To make updates of check an address please call Performance Events at 919-816-3908 operators standing by or by email at performanceevents@akc.org.
Updates and the latest regulations can also be found on the  AKC website under Regulation Resources.
Thank you for your time today. On behalf of the AKC Congratulations to all of you that are running this year’s Master National Hunt Test and good luck.
One bird at a time!
Submitted by Joe Rhinehart
October 19, 2018


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