Region 1 – Ohio
It is an honor and privilege to be selected by the Region 1 Master National Retriever Club member clubs as one of their Master National judges for 2015 but I believe this selection also carries a great accountability. I will do my best to respect all the handlers, my co-judges, the volunteers, and the Master National staff who faithfully and accountably manage each year’s Master National event.
My entry into the retriever world began in 1991 when I brought home a black lab male puppy named Sam. We put a Junior Hunter title on him a few years later. My first “field dog” Dan, taught me how to “play the game.” We worked together through the Junior, Senior, and Master titles and qualified for the Master National in 2000 at Syracuse, IN.
We did not finish the event but we learned a great deal. Since then, I have been fortunate to have participated in the 2011, 2012 and 2013 events. Tank, a black lab male, and I successfully completed the Master National event in 2011 held in Vienna, MD. What an experience! Tank is now retired but I have another group of three young males I am working with for which I have high hopes. I do all of my own training.
My local club, the Ohio Valley Retriever Club, has been a great support group as has my local training group for advice and encouragement. We regularly train together and hunt as often as we can. I must also thank my wife, Chris, for her support, patience, and understanding.
I understand the charge of the Master National event and I will strive to assist in setting up challenging but fair tests, to judge each team fairly, and to show the respect that each team has earned.
It has been my goal to be a Master National judge for two reasons; first, to give back to the sport for which we so deeply care, and second, to learn.
Good luck to all and do your best.
Region 1 – North Carolina
It is an honor to be elected a Master National judge. To the Region 1 Clubs, I sincerely appreciate the confidence you have shown in me, and I promise to do my best as one of your representatives.
I will strive to be a competent and fair judge at all times, one who upholds the AKC standards and adheres to the AKC Rulebook.
To my training group at home in North Carolina, I appreciate your support, encouragement and patience over the years as I have tried to learn the skills to become successful in this sport. You are all great friends and fun to be around.
Who knew that one crazy loveable lab that needed obedience training could lead me to such a great sport and give me such a wonderful group of lifelong friends.
I have always loved dogs and hunting, but it wasn’t until I had a lab, who truly loved to retrieve, that I “went to the dogs” as my wife, Mollie likes to say. I thank her for letting me pursue this passion, and it is a passion. There’s nothing I enjoy more than being out in the field with my dogs and my buddies.
I must give special thanks to one dog-savvy friend who has suffered through trying to teach me to be a decent handler. Buddy, I know your blood pressure has spiked on many a training day as you watched me “mess up a good dog.” However, without your help, I could never have had the success I’ve had or passed two Master Nationals.
My nerves can still cause me to be a DAH, so perhaps that is why I appreciate watching a good handler and dog working quietly and precisely to figure out a difficult hunting scenario together. The joy of judging is getting to watch such great teamwork.
To each team participating in the 2015 Master National, Congratulation on earning your spot and good luck to you all! Don’t forget to enjoy the ride.
Region 2 – Wisconsin
First and foremost, thank you to all the Region 2 handlers for allowing me the privilege of judging some of the country’s best dogs at the 2015 Master National.
I was both honored and humbled when selected to judge at the 2012 Master National. I am honored and humbled again. This event is predicted to be even bigger than 2012. I’m looking forward to the challenge.
My husband Tom, and I live with three golden retrievers and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
I have put Master titles on four dogs. I sent my second Master hunter to the 2003 Master National with a pro, as I was not able to attend, and he brought home my first, Master National plate. I have since attended the 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009 Master Nationals. Even though I did not finish any of them, I will keep trying to earn that plate myself! In fact I just qualified my current dog for the 2015 Master National. I plan to run him at the 2016 Master National.
I am an active member of the Madison Retriever Club having held the positions of board member, treasurer and hunt test secretary. I am also a working member at the Wisconsin Amateur Field Trial Club.
I’ve been judging since 2002, and feel very strongly that judges need to be on both sides of the pencil. I like to set up tests that challenge the dog and handler team. I believe that good bird placement is the key. I like to see a hunt in the area of the fall, good line manners, and the team work it takes to pick up a blind.
I wish all the 2015 handlers a safe and successful Master National and no matter what happens, take the time to enjoy the game and appreciate all that our dogs do for us.
Region 2 – Minnesota
I would like to begin by saying that I consider it a privilege to be selected to be a Master National Judge and am flattered that I was selected. I am looking forward to the experience as a judge. Thank you to Region 2 Master National Clubs for your confidence in me.
My journey into hunt test began with our third lab. Our first two were pets and hunting companions.
After continual urging from friends to try hunt tests with these dogs, I finally tried a DU Fun Trial and was successful with our six year old that was dying of cancer. That encouraged me to decide in 1997 to start fresh with a new puppy, who eventually achieved his Master titles in AKC and NAHRA. I have been active with our next 4 dogs in running AKC hunt tests and field trials, NAHRA, HRC and SRS.
Our dogs are a part of our family and they live in the house with us all of the time. We currently have three labs; ‘Prize who is 11 years old, Sam who is 8 and Ziggy who is 3. Sam is our only dog that has qualified for Master National, and he earned his 3rd MN Plate before he was 4½ years old. He qualified for the Master National in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.
My wife, Patty, and I have had our own consulting firm for 38 years; this has allowed flexibility to spend more time recently running dog events and hunting. We bought a cabin in South Dakota 11 years ago, and with high speed internet available, this allowed us the opportunity to spend more time with friends pheasant hunting. The dogs spend over six weeks each fall/winter chasing wild pheasants in North and South Dakota.
I am currently a member of four retriever clubs. Lake Country Retriever Club in Prior Lake, MN was where I got started. I served several years on the Board and two terms as President. Working with members of these various clubs and training our dogs have been instrumental in making some great friends who are an important part of our lives.
I am looking forward to the experience of judging at the Master National. The teams that have qualified have already demonstrated their talents to get to Master National.
I want to congratulate all of the teams that have qualified for the 2015 Master National. That in itself, is quite an accomplishment, and no matter what the outcome, enjoy your journey.
Region 2 – Missouri
I am honored to have been asked to judge the 2015 Master National. I have been involved with the Master National since 1993 and have served on just about every committee. I was privileged to judge the 2008 Master National in Virginia, MN. Jane and I currently have four dogs: 2 goldens and 2 labs. Our oldest lab, Moon, retired after the 2013 Master National and is in the Hall of Fame. Our 2 goldens are master dogs and our youngest lab is working on finishing her senior title and entering the master ranks.
Over the years this sport has changed immensely. Equipment, training methods and the quality of dogs has made quantum leaps to where we are today. The introduction of the hunt test program in the 80’s opened up the sport to many people who would never have tried to compete in the retriever sport.
The introduction of the Master National opened another door in the sport that allows the best dogs in the hunt test program to compete at a national level. Anyone in the retriever world knows the effort, time and sacrifices that have gone into getting you dog to and through a Master National.
To all of you who qualified for the 2015 Master National, stand proud of yourselves and your dog’s accomplishments. You are a team and I look forward to seeing and judging that team. My co-judges and I will do our very best to make the test a fun, rewarding and memorable experience.
Region 3 – Texas
I’ve owned and hunted with Labrador Retrievers for over 40 years, mostly hunting ducks and doves in the southern and coastal parts of Texas. I began competing with my dogs in AKC (field trials and hunt tests) and HRC events (retriever and upland tests) in the mid-80’s and it wasn’t long before I also began judging AKC field trials and hunt tests.
I now have a young pup that I hope will become my sixth generation master hunter. One of my dogs’ favorite things is doing pickup of pheasants at tower shoots and drives since they get LOTS more birds than I can ever shoot for them — and, unlike most of the birds they see in training, the birds are really fresh.
I have participated during setup for the MN event on five different occasions. I served as Region 3 VP in the late 90’s until Y2K computer processing remediation (remember that) work required too much of my time. I was one of the judges at the 2001 MN event in Oklahoma and was the HT Chairman for the 2005 MN held in Palestine, TX. All that experience has made me intimately familiar with the necessity for careful attention to time management and I know how difficult it is to create tests that fit the time constraints while still being worthy of master hunters.
Since I do run and judge field trials, I also feel it is very important to distinguish HT’s from FT’s by the types of tests presented to handler-dog teams. Hunting tests should look like hunting and not try to be “field trials in camo”. At the same time, a master hunter must demonstrate control at all times, cooperating with the handler anytime handling is required. It must demonstrate the ability to cleanly retrieve a triple mark while, at the same time, showing the willingness to accept handling away from a mark or diversion to pick up a blind retrieve.
The MN event, since the entry consists of dogs which have repeatedly demonstrated master hunter level ability, should be a showcase for dog-handler teams which demonstrate consistently high standards of performance. It is my hope that the judging panel this fall in Alabama will be able to construct tests which rely on careful bird placement to reward those teams successfully performing at that high level while everyone enjoys the challenges presented as well as the company of their fellow retriever enthusiasts.
Region 3 – Texas
The opportunity to Judge the 2015 Master National in Cheraw, SC is a very special honor that means a lot to me and I want to thank my Region 3 Clubs for electing me.
It is my goal to represent our Region with professionalism, respect for handlers, my co-judges, and maintain high Judging standards.
Congratulations to all my co-judges for being selected by their respective Regions. I am looking forward to meeting each of you and working together to give our Master National Club and Handlers an event they will enjoy and be proud to participate in.
I moved to the North Texas area from Corpus Christi, TX in 1972. I grew up with Quarter Horses. When I married my husband, Richard, we built a Horse Boarding Stable and Rodeo Arena in Corpus Christi. We trained Barrel Racing, Roping, and Western Pleasure Horses. I ran barrels, roped and competed in Youth Rodeos, Amateur Rodeos and Horse Shows.
After moving to Arlington, TX it was an easy transition from horses to dogs. I have Labrador Retrievers and Border Collies. We have competed in Conformation, Obedience, Agility, Herding and Hunt Tests. I am a member of the DFWLRC, Metro-Alliance Retriever Club and the Cowtown HRCClub.
My first Lab, Legacy’s YellowRose of Texas, was an English Yellow Labrador Retriever. I quickly learned that English Labradors could be Master Hunters as well as Breed Champions. I bred and qualified for the 2012 Master National…CH HRCH Yellow Roses’ Rio Bravo WCX, MH…who is the #48th Champion/Master Hunter in the USA. He has produced 3 of my5Master Hunters. I have three generations of AKC Breed Champions and Master Hunters. I have bred and handled 5 Labradors to their Master Hunter Titles with 8 qualifications for the Master National.
I have competed in two Master Nationals and hope to earn one of those elusive plates soon. My MH girl’s ages are 5, 5, and just turned 3. It has becomemy goal for 20 plus years to be a Breeder of Breed Champions and Master Hunters.
I have always admired Judges for what they were willing togive back to the Sport and found, through my dedication to the Sport, a strong desire to also give back.
I believe that, as a Judge, my obligation is to maintain a high standard while being fair and consistent. I want dogs to clearly see the marks and demonstrate a superior sense of teamwork. I strive for fair, but challenging concepts and blinds while incorporating all the factors available.
The Master National is a time to honor you and your dog’s accomplishments. I’m looking forward to the privilege of Judging your outstanding Athletes. Congratulations to all Qualifiers!
Best Wishes… See ya at the Line!
Region 4 – Idaho
I would like to thank all the members of the Region 4 clubs who voted for me to judge the 2015 Master National. It is truly an honor and privilege to represent you and I am deeply humbled by your confidence in me. I also congratulate my co-judges and look forward to a fair, consistent, challenging and fun 2015 Master National.
I have been involved in the AKC hunt test program since 1992 when my wife Maggie and I got our first Chesapeake puppy “Fremont’s Jumpin Jake Flash CDX MH. I am blessed that my wife Maggie shares my passion for retrievers and hunting. Together we have raised, trained (with lots of help), competed and judged retrievers in field events for some 23 years.
Our kennel Deepwater Chesapeake’s has produced some outstanding hunt test, field trial and just plain good hunting companions over the years. I have competed in the 2006 and 2014 Master National’s and I am a member of last year’s host club, the Marin Retriever Club.
In 2014, I had the pleasure to run Maggie’s Labrador, “War Eagles Down N Dirty Dixie MH” successfully to a ribbon and plate–no pressure there. And yes we have a lab.
Recently we have moved to the great state of Idaho and are working to develop our home and training property. I am on the American Chesapeake Club Hunt Test Committee and have served over the years in many capacities for many clubs and know the efforts required to put on a successful event.
Kudos goes to the Master National Retriever Club Officers and Board Members for their efforts putting on this year’s event.
As a judge I believe in straight forward challenging marking situations, blinds that require good handler/dog teamwork and line manners representative of a highly trained dog. I love to watch how the handler/dog teams work together. I love to see very talented dogs drive to the mark or hold that line to the blind. I love to see handlers that put as much into the effort as their four legged partners.
To all the competitors I know the challenges and sacrifices you have faced to get here. You should all be very proud of yourselves and your dogs. Congratulations and the very best of luck.
Region 4 – Oregon
Being selected to judge the 2015 Master National by the Region 4 clubs is an honor and privilege. This is the highest honor one can achieve in the AKC Hunt Test venue and I appreciate the opportunity to pay it forward.
As everyone knows, I was a pro for many years and ran my first hunt test with a junior dog in 1994. Four years later, I was at my first Master National in Carnation, Washington. I passed all five dogs that I ran that year and was hooked on this dog game.
As an enthusiast of all dog sports, I have been fortunate to have participated in multiple retriever venues; AKC hunt tests and field trials, UKC, SRS, Gun Dog challenges, the World Retriever Championship and even did a little hunting on TV. However, my heart and soul is where I began, AKC hunt tests.
After retiring from professional retriever training in 2011, I have been giving back to the sport by judging hunt tests and field trials across the nation, enjoying the hospitality of different retriever clubs. I continue to enjoy training and running my own dogs, and look forward to running hunt tests again in 2016.
With the increasing limitation of land available for dog training, we have acquired 600 acres in western Oregon with plans on developing the land for use in all types of dog events; the first one being the Springer Spaniel National this year. We hope to have AKC hunt tests and field trials on the property as well. My wife Tracy and I continue to raise Goldens and Labradors for multi-purpose performance homes.
Congratulations to all of the Master National Qualifiers and good luck to all of the handlers. I look forward to working with my co-judges to set up fair and challenging hunting based tests. Remember to have fun. Here we go; “Dog to the line.”
Region 4 – Washington
It all started when I moved to Ephrata Washington to start a 31 year career of teaching, coaching and finally administration for Ephrata School District.
I was introduced to hunting by a friend who thought I needed a hobby to fill up my spare time. At that time pheasants were king in the Columbia Basin and I was told that a dog would help me find birds.
I decided to get a Labrador retriever because a lot of my friends hunted with them. My first dog was not trained very well but she did get the job done. Later a friend sold me a nice chocolate lab puppy in 1975.
I wanted to train the dog to be a very good hunter, while being a good citizen as well. After some research I bought the book Game Dog by Richard A. Wolters. I had a lot of fun training that dog who ended up being a great hunter. I trained seven days a week even with a busy teaching and coaching schedule.
A few years later I decided to get involved in the hunt test game. I went to my first picnic test which was put on by NAHRA club. It was a total disaster but with encouragement from my wife Margaret and more training I went back. After my second test I was hooked.
Over the years I ran both AKC and NAHRA hunt tests, and also have ran Derby and Qualifying stakes in the field trial game. I have received help from a pro trainer in the Yakima Washington area as well as many amateurs along the way. In 2006 I was able to make it to and qualify at the Master Nationals, which was a very exciting experience.
I got into judging shortly after because I enjoyed watching good dogs and handlers working as a team to qualify at any level in the hunt test game. I like to watch a good marking dog that enjoys doing the work required.
I think tests should be fair with no tricks and handlers should be aware of what is expected of them to complete the task at hand. I have judged in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, and Alaska. I am looking forward to South Carolina this fall.
I know the hard work and commitment it takes to develop a master dog. I wish all the handlers and their dogs the best of luck and hope they all have a fun and a safe experience at the 2015 Master Nationals.
Let me close by saying thanks to the Region 4 clubs for giving me such an honor to judge at this great event.