AKC Retriever Advisory Committee Report

AKC Retriever Hunting Test Advisory Committee (RHTAC)
September 18, 2021

On behalf of this committee, I would like to express our thanks to the MNRC and the American Kennel Club for the opportunity to make this report.

It is the responsibility of the RHT Advisory Committee to provide input to the AKC Performance Events Department with regard to the Retriever Hunting Test Regulations. This may involve clarification of existing Regulations or new Regulations that are felt to enhance the sport. Topics for Advisory Committee discussion may originate from RHT participants or from the Committee members themselves. The Performance Events Department may also direct ideas to the Committee for consideration.

The Performance Events Department values the input of the Advisory Committee but is under no obligation to agree or act upon their suggestions. The Department may also, on occasion, act without Committee input.

The committee will address submissions by any individual involved in the retriever hunting test program, any club that holds licensed AKC events or from the AKC. Only written submissions to the committee are accepted.

I would like to thank the members of the RHTAC for their thoughtful and informed deliberations on the many issues we have reviewed. It is an honor and privilege to serve with them. Members of the RHTAC are;

Robert W. Montler, Pennsylvania (Eastern Time Zone)
Carol Hynes, Wisconsin (Central Time Zone)
Larry Kimble, Kansas (Mountain Time Zone)
Laura Judd, California (Pacific Time Zone).

Since the last report the committee has reviewed or is reviewing many issues submitted that requested the regulations be reviewed and/or revised. Samplings of issues include:

  • If a club so desires, they may use the wait list for a Limited Master Test up until the start of the event. The wait list will remain visible on Entry Express for a club’s use. (Committee unanimously recommended the adoption of this change. AKC implemented this change September 1, 2021)
  • Amateur Set Aside, in limited Master tests clubs must set aside either 25% or 35% of a limited Master Test for Amateurs only. Amateurs will enter on Tuesday when worker codes are used to enter. (Committee unanimously recommended the adoption of this change. AKC implemented this change April 1, 2021)
  • Allow judges to determine how the birds are delivered to them due to COVID. Either they could take them, or the handers could place them in a container (not light in color) or on a rack, but the judges still must watch the delivery from the dog. (Committee unanimously recommended the adoption of this change. This will become permanently effective January 1, 2022.)
  • Change in mileage restrictions between corresponding events from 200 miles to
  • (Committee unanimously recommended the adoption of this change. AKC implemented this change January 1, 2021)
  • Amend Section 4 of the “Regulation & Guidelines for AKC Hunting Tests for Retrievers” to allow the club to charge a $10 per dog fee for anyone handling more than 3 dogs in any one event. A club could choose not to exercise this but it would offset the cost of bringing in Judges for a second Master group and/or hiring more workers to help at the test. (Committee will not recommend this suggestion to the AKC.)
  • Request to the RHTAC for consideration of increasing the number of worker codes at Master tests. (Committee will not recommend this suggestion to the AKC.)

On behalf of the RHTAC we believe the implementation of a wait list, setting aside a percentage of limited Master entries for Amateurs and giving judge’s flexibility in taking birds from handlers are much needed changes that will help foster continued growth and stability in our sport.

We thank each of the submittersfor their interest in improving the retriever hunting test program; the vast majority were well thought out and presented well. We also express our deep appreciation to Doug Ljungren, Russ Reavis and Caroline Murphy at AKC for their superb collaboration on difficult challenges. Without exception, each has been open minded, progressive in their thoughts and strongly supportive of changes that will improve the program.

The AKC notifies the Club ‘secretary of record’ of AKC decisions on new/revised regulations via e-mail. Please insure your club’s records are updated with the AKC. Please insure the AKC has current contact info on your club secretary. The committee reminds you that any regulation change implemented will be carefully monitored and, if deemed appropriate, additional recommendations will be made.

Respectfully submitted on behalf of Jack Combs Chair, Retriever Hunt Test Advisory Committee

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