AKC Retriever Hunting Test Advisory Committee Report

2018 AKC Retriever Hunting Test Advisory Committee (RHTAC) Report
Master National Retriever Club’s Annual Event
October 19, 2018
Douglas County Fairgrounds Roseburg, Oregon

Bill Teague delivers HT Advisory and MNRC Foundation report

On behalf of this committee, I express our thanks to Master National, the AKC Retriever Hunting Test Advisory Committee (RHTAC) Report, President Kevin Bunnell and American Kennel Club for the opportunity to make this report. There are copies of the charge, responsibility and authority for the committee, its membership and this report available for you here today at the Check In table and we encourage you to communicate your ideas on how to improve the retriever hunting test program to any member of the committee. It is not designed to be a ‘gripe’ session but rather tries to look at the overall benefits of any potential change to the entire program. The committee has operated mostly by e-mail and telecoms this year and has received an abundance of submissions. I know this info is “old hat” to some of you but it is included here for new participants in the sport that might be here for the first time.
At this time, I’m honored to introduce the committee members who are listed on the roster distributed here today. I’m asking each of those in attendance to stand. (Introduce each as listed on the 2017 Roster)
You’ll note this committee is annually appointed by the AKC’s Executive Vice President for Sports & Events, Mr. Doug Ljungren in consultation with AKC’s Field Director for Sporting Breeds, Mr. Jerry Mann. Jerry retired from full time employment with AKC after over 20 years of exemplary service on July 31 this year. Simple words on plain paper don’t adequately describe our thanks to Jerry but we’ll keep his institutional memory since he’ll serve as an AKC contractor and we’ll probably see him at some events and seminars. Former AKC Field Representative, Mr. Russ Reavis is now Field Director for Retrievers and will be here Sunday & stay thru the event.
AKC Representative Mr. Joe Rinehardt  is here and will be here for the entire event.  Each of these gentlemen has been very supportive and the knowledge, guidance and support they provide is most helpful. Many of us remember Russ; he was MNRC president in 1998 and judged the 2005 event in Palestine, Texas. In addition to Jerry Mann, the AKC has added the following Contractors, Lyle Steinman, Kevin Bunnell, & Greg Lister, and we’ll be seeing more AKC reps in the field at our events. We applaud these appointments and welcome each of our friends from the AKC.
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. We’ve tried to keep everyone who submitted items up to speed on the results of their submissions, but if you’ve submitted something and haven’t heard from the committee, please accept our apology and let us know; your submission will be addressed and you will get a response. Only written submissions to the committee are accepted to reduce the chance of misinterpretations.
The submissions are discussed in detail and a committee decision is reached.  The decision may be by ‘consensus’ (all five agree) or by ‘majority’ (4-1, or 3-2 vote). Once the committee has agreed on a recommendation, it is sent to AKC. AKC can accept, reject, or modify the recommendations. Additionally, the AKC can implement changes in the regulations and guidelines without consulting the committee.
AKC made the announcement that this committee had been reorganized and activated at this meeting in 2010. Since that time, the committee has operated openly and sincerely appreciated each submission. I know our time on the program is limited, so if you have questions, any member of the committee will be happy to discuss them with you later.
Since our report last year, the Committee has reviewed multiple submissions and recommended only one change in the Regulations.
NOTE: It is expected the regulations will be used in good faith, good sportsmanship, with the intent of the regulation fulfilled and not abused or used as not intended.
Currently, the committee has reviewed or is reviewing many issues submitted that requested the regulations be reviewed and/or revised. Samplings of issues include:

  • No talking to honor dog at master level (Committee recommended this be implemented; no decision as of this report)
  • AKC develop a ‘new regulations’ area on their website allowing judges & participants to see all ‘new regulations’
  • Clarify the AKC Event Entry Service Fee regulation
  • Review the ’15 minute’ regulation for a dog that does not ‘show’ at a hunt test
  • Allow one set of judges to judge both Senior Tests on Sat/Sun
  • Find a way to allow dogs on Entry Express’s ‘wait list’ to be entered into test if vacancies occur after test closes
  • Review eligibility requirements to become a judges
  • Concern over very high passing rates on master dogs at hunting tests
  • Find a way to allow amateurs to enter master tests easier

Please note that with the one exception noted above, these are samples of issues submitted to the committee, so please don’t leave here saying they are new regulations. Each is being reviewed and is being discussed but no decisions have been made on them!
I take this opportunity to publicly express my heartfelt gratitude to each of my colleagues on the committee. They have diligently addressed each submission with the goal of improving the retriever hunting test program, and I’m honored to serve with them.
We also take this opportunity to express the committee’s appreciation to each of the submitters for 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 & Jerry Mann at AKC and John Stracka at Entry Express 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. The committee reminds you that any regulation change implemented will be carefully monitored and, if deemed appropriate, additional recommendations will be made.
President Kevin, thank you again for the opportunity to bring this info to the assembly and we wish you and the MNRC the very best.
Members of the RHTAC:
Keith Maready, Eastern Time Zone
Carol Hynes, Central Time Zone
Dave Coffey, Mountain Time Zone
Patricia “Patty” Polish, Pacific Time Zone
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the RHTAC by Bill Teague, Chairman

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