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WELCOME to the Official Blog of the 2014 Master National Hunting Test, October 9-19, 2014, brought to you by the Retriever News and written by Tina Styan and Gwen Jones. We hope you enjoy these daily updates on the 2014 Master National, held this year in and around Corning, California.


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Monday, October 13, 2014

DAY 3: Flight D: Bill Blochowiak and Mike Jespersen; Test 2 “Speed Bump"

"Speed Bump" is a water triple with a blind using all ducks which takes place in a pond with a small island in front of the line and another small island to the left of the line. Bird number one is located on the far side of the pond, thrown to the right at 61 yards. The second bird also lands on the far bank and is thrown to the left at 48 yards from the line. The third bird down comes out from the handlers left, landing in the water 35 yards from the line. The water blind is straight in front of the handler. They must swim the first piece of water, cross the left-hand point of the right-hand island, continue swimming to the far shore where they pick up the bird, located at 68 yards from the line.

149 dogs began the 2014 Master National in Flight D. 125 arrived at Test two called "Speed Bump." We watched eight dogs run this test during which time there were five handles. The bird that seemed to cause the most trouble was the middle bird … the first bird down. The dogs missed this bird both on the right and left side, requiring the handlers to become involved and guide them back to the bird. The word from the gallery had more than half of the dogs handling on this test. The test took approximately 5 minutes per dog. 

Judges Bill Blochowiak and Mike Jespersen 

#56 Jandybean's Rocky Dawg MH, "Rocky," with handler Rody Best

#58 Wolfs Indy MH, "Indy," with handler Bill Cox

Indy's time lapse blind … another way of looking at the blind work.

Finally found a California COWBOY!


DAY 3: Flight C: Mike Collson and Corrine Clavey; Test 2 “Puck”

This test, "Puck," is a land/water triple with a double blind and a walk-up. The Judges requirements are that after all three of the birds are down, you must pick-up one bird of your choice and the handler must then turn to his left and run a land blind under the arc of bird number one at 59 yards. After completing the land blind, the contestant picks up the remaining two birds in the order of their choice and then runs the water blind up the middle. 

As the handler approaches the line, a duck is thrown and lands in the water 35 yards to the left of the line. Then bird number two, far right of the line, is thrown to the left at 110 yards. The flyer is then shot up a hill, landing 124 yards in front of the line. After the handler picks up a bird of his choice, he has to run the land-blind under the arc of bird number one, 59 yards to the left of the line. After the other birds have been picked up, the second water blind crosses three pieces of water and two points of land located 110 yards in front of the line.

The wind was blowing across this test from left to right. Of the first eight dogs that we saw run, there was one handle on the left-hand bird. There was some very loose work on the water blind.

Rex Gibson and Dorothy Ruehman

Judge Corrine Clavey 
#39 Hickory Sticks Eclipse, "Clipper," with handler James Lowry

The handlers view the line during the re-bird.

#42 Lance's Do You Wanna Dance MNH4 MH, "Dancer," with handler Paul Lance
BOY, they grow 'em big in California!!


DAY 3: Flight B: Megan Baker and Allyn Foster; Test 2 "Clays”

"Clays" is a land triple using all pheasants with a blind and an honor. The first bird down is to the left of the line, thrown to the left at 48 yards. Bird two is an out-of-order flyer shot to the right at 102 yards. The third bird, to the far right of the line, was thrown to the right. The blind was run under the arc of bird three, crossing a small piece of water, placed 119 yards from the line. The placement of holding blinds for this test made it more difficult. The holding blind of bird one and flyer station two were almost in line with each other which seemed like it was in "flower pot" configuration; the judge referred to it as a "cornstalk."

Flight B started the Master National with 143 running dogs after scratches and they started this second test with 120. The breeze at this test was rolling across from the handler's right to left. We watched ten dogs run this test. There were four dogs that had to be handled on either the left short bird or the flyer. Some of the blind work appeared difficult, but everyone got the bird. If they blew past the left-hand bird, they found themselves in a large open area and were often drawn to the flyer.

Jack Morris describes the test at "The Clays."

Mike Witt of Purina with AKC Rep Jerry Mann

#31 Morgan's Hard Time Player MH, "Player," with Handler Colby Williams

Judge Allyn Foster

Flora and Fauna


DAY 3: Flight A: Blake Lemish and Michelle Love; Test 2 “The Corner”

This test, "The Corner," is a water triple with a blind using ducks. The first bird thrown is 76 yards from the line in the right corner of the pond. Bird two is located on the left side and is thrown right onto the island at 45 yards. Bird number three is across the pond from the mat at 97 yards and is thrown to the right on the far shore. The blind is under the arc of the left-hand bird across the point of the island and to the far shore at 85 yards.

Flight A started the 2014 Master National with 143 starters after scratches. 126 contestants came to this second test. The weather was beautiful today. The wind was light and the water was glassy and the visibility was excellent. This test takes approximately five minutes per dog and seemed to be problematic for both dog and handler. Of the first seven dogs that we watched today, there were five handles. When the dogs were released by the judges to run the marks, it was never clear which bird they would pick first. The go-bird was the middle bird, however, many dogs were unable to get past the bird on the island. Some recovered, but many required a handle. When running the blind, the judge had asked the contestants to get all four feet "dry" on the island. Most contestants were able to achieve this.

… Another beautiful sunrise

Janet Peters and AKC Rep Russ Reavis 

Judge Blake Lemish
Tom Kielty  

Ray Shanks


Master National Running Order

Flight Draw & Running Order

2014 MNRC Test Descriptions

Donut Hole


The Valley

Rifle Range

The Corner

Speed Bump




Meet Your 2014 Judges

2014 MNRC Schedule of Events

2014 MNRC Qualified Dogs

2014 Master National Training Grounds Guide