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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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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

DAY 5: Flight D: Bill Blochowiak and Mike Jespersen; Test 3 “Lakeside" Con't

The “Lakeside” test is a land/water triple, double blind, walk-up and a diversion shot. The first bird is the walk-up thrown to the left at 38 yards to the right of the line, bird two is thrown to the left down the pond at 70 yards and the flyer is shot to the left at 66 yards right to the left of the line. The first blind is under the arc of the flyer at 109 yards. Blind number two is directly across the pond at 97 yards, landing up a hill under heavy cover. This test took an average of six minutes per dog.

Arriving back at Lakeside today, it was 68 degrees, the skies were clear and bright, with the wind at 10-15 mph coming at the handler's back as they faced down the channel. This test has quickly earned the reputation as being one of the most difficult at this year's 2014 Master National. The first two dogs that we watched both had to be handled on the middle bird. As we sat on a high ridge, overlooking this test. The gallery was quick to note a wind change. The wind is now coming in over the handler's right shoulder. Whether the wind made the test change or not, it was hard to tell because most of the dogs continued to handle on the middle bird. The blind work was good. From our vantage point, we could see where the dogs had worn a path up the hill to the left-hand blind, but this may not have been visible at the dog's eye view.


DAY 5: Flight C: Mike Collson and Corrine Clavey; Complete Test 3 "Rifle Range" and Move to Test 4 "Speed Bump"

“Rifle Range” is a land triple with a blind and an honor using all pheasants. The first bird is thrown to the right at 84 yards. The second on the handler’s right is thrown to the left at 104 yards. The flyer is the third bird and is to the handler’s left and is shot to the right 110 yards. The blind is to the left of the flyer at 125 yards. The terrain for this test is very uneven, throwing the dogs off-line both left and right. This test took an average of five to seven minutes depending on the work of the dog.

Arriving at the "Rifle Range" today, we saw that the wind was still in the face of the handler. The breeze is now 15-20 mph, 65 degrees and clear and bright. The word in the gallery today is that most everyone is doing this test. The wind has been the handler's friend; not only for scent, but the winger on the right is often not putting the bird behind the mound. Of all the dogs we watched today, there was only one handle. This was reflected in the callbacks when only six dogs were dropped from Test 3, the "Rifle Range."

"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.

Judge Mike Collson gives the test Scenario for Speed Bump

Test Dog #1, "Tonka," at "Speed Bump"

Test Dog #2, "Indy," at "Speed Bump"

At 2:18 pm, Test Dog #1, "Tonka," came to the line. He had a small hunt on the left bird, smacked the right-hand bird and had to handled on the troublesome middle bird. He completed the blind for a total of seven minutes of running time. At 2:26 pm, Test Dog #2, "Indy," came to the line. She had a very nice job on the left-hand and went straight to the right-hand bird, but once again there was a handle on the middle bird. Indy did a very nice job on the blind. The gallery was worried that the middle and right-hand marks were so close where they felt that dogs would think that they had been there and would not go back in again, forcing a handle. Of the first six dogs that ran, including the test dogs, there were five handles.

Test Dog, "Tonka"

Test Dog, "Indy"


DAY 5: Flight B: Megan Baker and Allyn Foster; Test 3 "Eucalyptus” Con't

"Eucalyptus" is a water triple with a blind using all dead drake Mallards. The scenario is a small duck hunting pond with several channels. The order is left to right. Bird number one is thrown to the left at 85 yards. Slightly to the right of this bird at 65 yards, bird number two is also thrown to the left. The handler and dog turn to the right for bird number three. It is thrown to the left, landing 101 yards from the line. To reach bird number three, the dogs must cross two pieces of water. The 116 yard blind is run to the left of bird number one to the end of the pond, exits the water and finds the blind on the left side of a mound.

When we first arrived at Flight B today, we heard that the wind was once again in the favor of the handlers and their dogs. A gentleman in the gallery advised us that during set-up week, not a single dog could find the right-hand bird. That has not been the case late yesterday or early today. The Tangelo tossers are throwing these birds high and long. They are beautiful to see. The first two dogs that we watched did an excellent job on their marks and blind. Then the wind started to change. Five of the next seven dogs had to handle on the middle bird.

Chris Akin explains the "Eucalyptus" Test

A Big "THANK YOU!" to the many Sponsors supporting this Master National event 
"Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. David Kress!"

#8 Pacific Expresso Riley MH, "Riley," with handler Michael O'Bannon
Traffic Committee can be a lonely job!
#11 Foxfires Maker's Mark MH, "Smooth," with handler Colby Williams 

#12 Magicgold's Celtic Causeway MH, "Keltie," with handler Cherly Baca

#16 Wood River's Double Barrel Believer MH, "Barrel," with handler Barbara Martin
#74 CH Coastalight Mistaya Scout MH, "Scout," with handler Judy Teskey
Dean Reinke of Purina with Chris Akin
BIG RIG Parking, only…

The Eucalyptus trees from which this test got its name


DAY 5: Flight A: Blake Lemish and Michelle Love; Test 3 “Valley”

“The Valley” is a land triple with both a blind and an honor and the mat set in the shade of a grove of trees. All birds were rooster pheasants. The test was shot from right to left. The first bird located 70 yards to the right of the line was thrown to the left. Bird two was the flyer station located in front of the line and shot to the right at 85 yards. The third bird was to the left of the line at 63 yards and was thrown to the right. The single blind was run to the far left at 80 yards under the trees. Five to seven minutes appeared the average length of time to run the test.

This morning it was 58 degrees with a brisk breeze out of the southeast, swirling in this low area. The sky is partly cloudy with good visibility and the ground is still wet from last night's rain. Additional comments from the Judges this morning instructed the contestants to handle their dogs rather than have them leave the area of the fall and establish big hunts. We watched eleven dogs run this test today. There were two pick-ups and three handles. The problem area continued to be the flyer. Some dogs went left of the flyer blind and others got far too deep. There were also some very nice jobs. The test continued to average about 5-6 minutes per dog. Everyone seemed to be doing a good job on the blind.


THANK YOU to all our Blog Sponsors!

On this Wednesday, the "halfway" point of the Master National, we would like to thank our Sponsors once again for their support.

A GREAT BIG THANK YOU to our 2014 MNRC Blog Sponsors!

A big round of applause and heartfelt THANKS to all of this year's Blog Sponsors! 
You make this all possible!!

If you know these business owners, please be sure to tell them thank you, 

and be sure to check out their websites and support them! 


Master National Merchandise Store

A great day to go shopping … the Master National merchandise store will be open today with mark-downs on remaining inventory. Get your souvenirs while they last! Many thanks to the volunteers who run the store – they do a great job! Open today from 11 to 3 pm. HURRY!


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