National Retriever Championship

Saturday, November 6 through Saturday, November 13, 2004
Montgomery, Texas

Saturday, November 6

Photos from the cocktail party

The weather couldn't be any better and it looks like it will be nice for the duration of the event. The Oklahoma University football team was staying at the headquarters hotel and is currently playing Texas A&M in College Station, TX. The athletes with four legs will soon be competing for the title of National Field Champion.

Minutes of the 2004 Retriever Advisory Committee

The Retriever Advisory Committee meeting was held at 2pm at the headquarters hotel. Chairman Nelson Sills opened the meeting and gave the introduction.

Bill Speck gave an overview of the latest AKC news regarding online litter registration and the new availability of the Online Breeder Classifieds.

Pete Simonds, Chairman of the Sub-Committee, reviewed the 3 rule proposals on this year's ballots. Proposed Ammendments to the Retriever Field Trial Rules and Standard Procedures for Retrievers:

1) Amend paragraph 8 of the Standard Procedure (as it has been most recently amended by vote in 2003) by adding at the end of said paragraph the following sentence:
"No blinds should be place in the field in a marking test except in accordance with the provisions set for above in this paragraph or for the purpose of protecting the running dogs from injury by unseen hazards."
2) Amend paragraph 8 of the Standard Procedure (as it has been most recently amended by vote in 2003) by adding at the end of said paragraph the following sentence:
"No dry guns should be stationed in the field and visible to the dog while a marking test is run, or while the marking portion of a combination mark/blind test is run."
3) Amend paragraph 6(c) of the Standard Procedure by deleting the words "may wear collars while under judgement and", and insert the words "and collar" after the word "leash" when it last appears in paragraph 6(c) so that the amended paragraph 6(c) will read:
"In Derby Stakes, solely at the handler's opinion, dogs may be brought to the line and taken from the line on leash or off leash, the leash and collar being removed from the time of arrival on line until departure."
Pete also reviewed the Junior Handler Program. The program would be something similar to - Allowing old Dogs, including FC's to compete for a JAM (only) in the Derby or Qualifying Stake if handled by a Junior Handler. If the dog performed acceptably, it would get a JAM and if it did not, would not be called back and/or compete.

Pete also explained the intent of the program was for it to be inclusive of all handlers, regardless of pro/amateur status of parents.

Pete raised the current concern of entry size and the impact it was having on the sport. The floor was opened to discussion on what could be done to raise the quality of competition by reducing the entry size. There was discussion on the economic impact this would have on clubs. The first suggestion was to increase the number of conflicting clubs by simplifying the process of starting a field trial club. It was discussed that the milage conflict would be changed.

A second suggestion to help increase the quality was to reinforce use of the restricted stake.

A third was to ask pro trainers to submit a schedule of trials they expect to run in a given year. AKC would be sent the list and compile how many pros there would be at a given field trial. This would allow all competitors to know the number of pros running at that given trial.

It was mentioned that this is something all people involved in the sport need to think about or there is no easy solution.

Location of 2005 Event

After the RAC meeting, the location of the 2005 National Retriever Championship was announced at the National Retriever Club meeting. The event will be held in Cheraw, South Carolina.

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