Retriever Hunting Test Advisory Committee (RHTAC) Report

Presented by Mr. Bill Teague at the Master National Retriever Club’s Annual Event, September 30, 2016, Purina Event Center, St. Louis, Missouri

Bill Teague RHTAC Chairman

On behalf of this committee, I express our thanks to President Jace Tramontin and AKC 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 include it here for some of the new participants in the sport that might be here for the first time.
At this time, I’ll introduce the committee members listed on the roster distributed here today and have each of those in attendance to stand. (Introduce each as listed on the 2016 Roster)
You’ll note this committee is appointed by the AKC’s Vice President for Sports & Events, Mr. Doug Ljungren in consultation with AKC’s Field Director for Sporting Breeds, Mr. Jerry Mann. Doug and Jerry are here today, and both these gentlemen have been very supportive and the knowledge, guidance and support they provide is most helpful. Additionally, AKC Representative Mr. Russ Reavis, Executive Field Representative & Mr. Joe Reinhardt; Contracted Field Representative.  Many of us remember Russ; he was MNRC president in 1998 and judged the 2005 event in Palestine, Texas. We 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 of the committee will be happy to discuss them with you later.

Since our report last year, the Committee has recommended and the AKC has approved and implemented regulations related to:

  • Improving the quality of birds used in retriever hunting tests
  • Holding only ‘Master Tests’ by clubs who have fulfilled basic requirements
  • Entry dates for ‘Coded Entries’

NOTE: It is expected the systems will be used in good faith and good sportsmanship and not abused or used as not intended.

Currently, the committee has reviewed or is reviewing about a dozen issues submitted by participants that requested the regulations be revised. Samplings of issues include:

  • Entries after closing
  • Proper attire for handler at the line
  • Changing the opening time of the opening of entries from 8 pm CT to 8 pm Local time;
  • Verification of exact handler of the dogs;
  • Open carry of weapons at the line by the handler;
  • Timing of required seminars, i.e., requiring a seminar prior to serving as an apprentice;
  • Two members of the same household judging the same test together;
  • ‘Stacked Series’; i.e., running a series over the same grounds as another series in the same test;

Please note these are issues submitted to the committee, so please don’t leave here saying they are new regulations!
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. While the committee understands AKC has no authority over Entry Express or their business programs, Entry Express has collaborated very well with AKC and those efforts are deeply appreciated.

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 Jace, 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:
Robert Rascoe, Eastern Time Zone
John Blackbird, Central Time Zone
Keith Winch, Mountain Time Zone
Patricia “Patty” Polish, Pacific Time Zone
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the RHTAC by Bill Teague, Chairman
The AKC Retriever Hunting Test Advisory Committee
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.
Members of the Retriever Hunting Test Advisory Committee are:
 Term Expires at end of:
Eastern Time Zone Representative
Robert Rascoe                                            2016
242 Fairfax Drive            336-765-9420 (H)
Winston-Salem, NC 27104
Rocky Mountain Time Zone Representative
Keith Winch                                              2017
11892 Hitching Post Trail  303- 805-0555 (H)
Parker, CO 80134              303-748-1838 (C)
Central Time Zone Representative
John Blackbird                                                 2018
1783 Johnsons Cartway
Mora, Minnesota, 55051      612-419-6433 (C)
Pacific Time Zone Representative
Patricia “Patty” Polish                         2019
235 Sutro Road                   775-246-5746(H)
Dayton, Nevada 89403        775-848-0252 (C)
RHTAC Chairman
Bill Teague                   
734 CR 630                           936-559-9007 (H)
Nacogdoches, TX 75964       713-252-3918 (C)
January 19, 2016

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