Clubs To Vote on Increasing Pool of Judges

Please take a few minutes to read this important message from the Master National Retriever Club.  The Master National faces an impending crisis with our current pool of judges.
In some areas of the country 70% of the current eligible judges have already judged our event. To increase our pool of judges the Master National Board of Directors is asking Member Clubs to amend our Bylaws and drop the requirement that judges must have handled a dog in a previous event.  This change will more than double and in some cases triple the number of eligible judges in a region.
Below is a detailed description of our current situation and a solution for future events.  MNRC Secretary Elaine Goodner has sent each member club this information which we hope has started a discussion among club members on how to vote at this year’s Annual Meeting in Roseburg, Oregon.  Thank you for taking the time to consider this matter.  If you have any questions please contact

Proposed Bylaws Amendment


SECTION 6.  Judges for the Master National Hunting Retriever Test shall be amateurs, thoroughly experienced in handling and training of retrievers and in the requirements of retriever work. It is strongly recommended that each judge have judged at least eight Master tests in AKC licensed events. However, the Board of Directors, in any year, may adopt a minimum number of events judged less than eight.  All judges for the Master National shall have handled a dog at a previous Master National or have previously judged the Master National. No member of the Board of Directors of the Master National Retriever Club may be nominated, elected to, or serve as a judge for the annual event, even if they resign, during their respective term of office.
Why do we need this change?
The Master National has experienced unprecedented growth over the past 10 years. We have grown from 373 dogs in 2009 to an event approaching 1,000 dogs in 2019. To accommodate this growth we have increased the number of flights from 2 in 2009 to as many as 6 flights for the past two events.  In addition to more flights we have increased the length of our event to 9 running days.
While we have seen tremendous growth in the number of dogs and tripled the number of fights we use to test our dogs, the number of eligible judges we rely on for our event has remained relatively static. Note: over time we have determined that flights no larger than 150 or so dogs are necessary to complete 6 series, two weekend tests.
When we were an event with two flights selecting a single judge from each region did not place undue strain on our judging pool. Over the past few years we have routinely elected 3 judges from each region,12 judges, enough for 6 flights.
The following chart shows the number of eligible judges who have run the Master National by region for this year and the number who have already judged the event. Many of those eligible want to run their own dogs and others decline for other reasons.  It is strikingly clear the number of eligible judges varies greatly by region. It is also clear that region 4 is approaching a crisis in that 15 of the 21 eligible judges, 70%, have already judges the event. Similarly 50% of region three, 40% of region one and 33% of region two have already judged!

8 Point judges who are in good standing with the AKC and are current with AKC judges’ requirements. (They are current with test and seminar dates, and they have qualified a dog in a Master test within the past seven years.) Pros, MN Board Members, AKC employees and judges who have asked that they not be considered are removed from the pool.
The next chart shows what our judging pool would look like if we adopt the proposed change in bylaws.
Each region more than doubles the size of their judging pool! We also see the proportion who has already judged is considerably smaller.

Master National Region
1 2 3 4
8 Point Judges 102 93 67 51
Judged MN 17 10 14 15
Ran MN 43 29 28 21
(Data as of May 1, 2018)

If you have questions, comments or would like to discuss this proposed amendment, please contact Jack Combs, Region1 VP, via email at

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