Search Menu

Retriever Hunting Tests: Articles

1st AKC Advanced Judges & Handlers Seminar

By Milton S. Holcombe

On the weekend of April 18-19, 2009, the first revised edition of the AKC Advanced Judges and Handlers Seminar was held at Forest Lake, Minnesota. This seminar was sponsored by the Northern Flight Hunting Retriever Association and the Lake Country Retriever Club.

Chuck Stokes was the lead person for Northern Flight and Chuck Beckman for Lake Country. These two gentlemen worked hard and did an outstanding job of making this a quality event, but Chuck Stokes’s wife Sheila outdid them both. She signed people in, had name badges for all attendees and AKC reps, had a seminar banner made, helped with set ups, threw birds, ran a dog, helped with lunches and much more.

All five AKC field representatives from the retriever venue were in attendance and participated in test set up and discussion for this first advanced seminar: Jerry Mann, Chuck Kimbrel, Phil Heye, Wayne Bleazard and me. The Saturday morning classroom portion was held at Gander Mountain. We had 51 eager and enthusiastic attendees. Phil Heye served as lead instructor for the classroom portion.

The Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning outdoor portions were held at beautiful Kelly Farms. There was also an AKC Pointing Dog Hunting Test taking place at Kelly this weekend, but luckily it’s a large property. It was just a little limiting on the available grounds.

Tests were set up on land, land/water and water for all three levels: Junior, Senior and Master level dogs. Dogs were run and scored and reasons for scoring discussed. Uses of terrain and bird placement were also discussed. The weather was about what you would expect this time of year in Minnesota, cool and then a little damp on Sunday.

It was a very well received seminar. All in attendance seemed to have quite a positive attitude as this new program is not only a great educational tool but can also count as a person’s second required seminar.

If your club/group is interested in sponsoring an advanced seminar please contact Jerry Mann for scheduling; 919-522-3991 or via e-mail at