Important Notice from the AKC: RHT Entry Process

March 17, 2015
To:    All Clubs Licensed to Hold Retriever Hunting Tests
This communication is to inform your club that there have been four changes to the Retriever Hunting Test Regulations.  Specifically, clubs that limit the number of entries they will accept in their Master level test:
(1) must advertise a date and time when entries will start to be accepted,
(2) must establish a “first in – first out” waiting list, and
(3) may choose to set aside 15% of the Master level test entries for event workers.
A fourth recommendation is to allow the use of shotgun simulators in Retriever
Hunting Tests.
With the relevant additions/changes underlined, the new Regulations are as follows:
Chapter 1, Section 3.  Making Application.  Starting after paragraph 3.
New Paragraph
Clubs that limit the number of entries in the Master Hunter Test must advertise an opening date for its Hunting Test.  In order for there to be transparency for all participants, the opening date shall be the Wednesday closest to three weeks prior to the first day of the event.  The opening time shall be 8:00 pm Central Time.
New Paragraph
Clubs that limit the number of entries in the Master Hunting Test must establish a waiting list in order that entries that scratch prior to the closing date and time can be replaced.  The waiting list shall utilize a “first in – first out” approach.
Chapter 1, Section 4.  No Special Inducements.  
A hunt-test giving club shall not accept an entry fee other than that published in its premium list or entry form, or in any way discriminate between entrants.  Except a club with a limited entry in Master test may set aside up to 15% of the Master entries for event workers.  Remainder of the paragraph remains unchanged.
Chapter 3, Section 8.  Gunning.  Fourth Paragraph.
Either shotguns or shotgun simulators may be used.  If a shotgun is used, it must be a 20, 16 or 12 gauge shotgun. Gunners firing live ammunition must be 21 years of age or older.  Gunners firing popper loads or shotgun simulators must be a minimum of 16 years of age and if less than 21, must have successfully completed a Hunter/Gun Safety course.
The three changes regarding the entry process become effective when a club’s contracted entry service is prepared to implement them or no later than July 1, 2015.  The use of shotgun simulators becomes effective April 1, 2015.
The Performance Events Department appreciates the dialog and input it has received from the Retriever Hunting Test Advisory Committee in addressing the issues that led to the development of  these changes.
This e-mail was sent to the President and Secretary of all clubs licensed to hold Retriever Hunting Tests. 
You are encouraged to forward this information to any one that might be interested.
General comments can be e-mailed to the AKC at
Special Note from the Retriever Hunting Test Advisory Committee:  
Below is a copy of the E-mail sent to those who submitted suggestions, recommendations and concerns regarding Limited Entry Master Retriever Hunting Tests on March 17, 2015 by RHTAC.
As promised when you kindly provided your thoughtful submission(s) on how to deal w/Master tests hosted by clubs who chose the limited entry option, this is our follow up to your submission. As you know, the issues are complex and multiple, so it has taken considerable time to get them addressed and your patience is appreciated. The committee has provided multiple ‘interim’ reports to the public, which have been highly publicized in Retriever News, at the Master National Retriever Club’s annual meeting  in October 2014 and on the Master National Retriever Club websites in an attempt to keep folks informed. EE will also publish a copy of the contents of this mail in their next edition.
The committee has received almost 80 submissions with over 200 suggestions on how to address the issues. If you know someone who provided a submission but didn’t get this response, please forward it to them or let me know and we’ll follow up. We’ve diligently tried to keep track of all submissions and reply to each but it’s always possible we’ve inadvertently missed someone and want to provide this info to each submitter.
Before getting into specifics, some general comments are in order. First and foremost, we believe the challenges associated with the limited entries are the result of an incredibly successful AKC program and in my opinion; this is a very good thing. Entries in the Master tests are up almost 15% and for the first time in history, entries in the Retriever Hunting Test program exceed entries in the Retriever Field Trial program.
Second, with rare exception, your submissions have been thoughtful, amicable, supportive and well-intended; this is greatly appreciated. Additionally, the telecoms we’ve had with various folks followed similar attributes.
Finally, I tip my hat to both AKC and Entry Express for their substantial collaboration; they have worked well together for the good of the overall program and performed admirably; we are deeply grateful for those efforts and are proud of each of them. They deserve our respect and admiration for their individual & collective efforts!
As the committee reviewed the issues, it became apparent there were two totally distinct issues involved. The first was equality; did everyone who wanted to enter have a fair shot at getting into the test. The second was quantity/capacity; did everyone who wanted to enter get to enter.
The recent approval by AKC of new regulations (copy of notice sent to the Presidents & Secretaries of all clubs licensed to hold RHT’s by the AKC) is published on the MNRC Blog. Recent system’s changes by Entry Express are designed to primarily address the issues dealing largely with the equality issue and will be published shortly. I think they have done a good job and leveled the playing field. The quantity/capacity  issue still needs some work and if you have ideas on how this issue can be addressed, please let us know. The goal is to expand the capacity of master tests to accommodate everyone who wants to run a master test. For example, some clubs have moved from a 60 dog, two-day test to a 90 dog, three-day test. That expands the capacity by 50%. Other clubs have exercised the recently approved regulation to have 5 or 6 events instead of the previous limit of 4 events; that too has increased the capacity. It’s realized some clubs will not be able to make changes like the above but all clubs are encouraged to take a look at how they might increase capacity in the Master Tests. What ideas do you have? Send them to the RHTAC.
Please note the three AKC Regulations regarding the entry process become effective when a club’s contracted entry service is prepared to implement them or no later than July 1, 2015. The use of shotgun simulators becomes effective April 1, 2015. 
Thank you again for your submission, guidance and support of this great sport and if you have any questions, feel free to contact the AKC, EE or any member of the RHTAC. We wish you & your dogs the best in your efforts!
Best regards,
Bill T. Teague, Chairman Retriever Hunting Test Advisory Committee
Robert Rascoe, Eastern Time Zone
John Blackbird, Central Time Zone
Keith Winch, Mountain Time Zone
Tom Quarles, Pacific Time Zone
American Kennel Club
Bill T. Teague, 734 CR 630, Nacogdoches, TX 75964 Phone: 713-252-3918

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