WELCOME to the Official Report of the 2011 Master National Hunting Test, September 30-October 9, brought to you by the Retriever News and written by Tina Ebner & Mark Koenig. We hope you enjoy these daily updates on the 2011 Master National, held this year in and around Vienna, Maryland.


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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Day 5 - Thursday, October 6, 2011

Brought To You By

MNRC Store hours for today are 9:00 am to Noon. Tomorrow, store hours will be 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. There are items on sale! So, grab your wallet or pocket book or whatever, and get some deals!
Tonight, we will be heading back to the Anatidae Pavilion for Frankie's Party! We look forward to another great party from the one and only, Frank Prendergast. See you there!
Steve Surfman, Official Photographer of the MNRC has multiple computers set up near the Pavilion where handlers can view the photographs that his team has taken of their dogs. There is a simple process where you input your phone number into the system in order to log on and see your photos. Just choose the flight and day and ENJOY.... All of the shots are available to purchase online. Steve has taken over 40,000 shots so far and expects the number to climb to over 75,000! So go take a look.

Flight A "Wet Willie" Land/Water Triple with a
Walk Up and Honor

Judges Dorothy Ruehman & Steve Elliott

Nicknamed "Wet Willie" because of the torrential downpour and sudden thunderstorm that called off work during test set-up, this test is a land/water triple with a walk up and honor.

There is a small pond of water in front of the line, surrounded by some high grasses. On the far side of the left corner of this pond, there are a few rows of standing corn. The wind was blowing at a steady 12 mph from the northwest, blowing in on the handlers from the right.

The first mallard drake was thrown from to the right, landing in a wet patch 46 yards away from the right of the line. The second mallard drake was thrown from to the left, landing straight away from the line creating a line through the small pond at 71 yards. The final bird was a flyer, shot from to the right, along the corn rows at 71 yards, shot far enough away that the dog needs to run through the small pond. The order was the flyer first, the right bird and then the middle bird.

Starting dog this morning was dog #157  at 7:30 am. There is a calm breeze and the sun is the sole proprietor of the sky; what a day!

Many dogs are hunting the left flyer as there seems to be an abundance of scent in the field of knee-high volunteer corn. The test is running smoothly and there are few whistles.

At 12:45 pm, dog #109 was at the line. They are expected to finish later today, callbacks to follow.

Mark Koenig, Retriever News reporter at large...

Steve Surfman, Official MNRC Photographer

Another beautiful day in the sunshine!

Of a total of 114 dogs, 108 are back, 6 were dropped.

The dogs called back are: 5, 6, 10, 12, 14, 15, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26 27, 28, 29 30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 41, 42, 43, 45, 47, 52, 55, 56, 57, 62, 63, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 72, 73, 74, 76, 77, 79, 80, 81, 82, 84, 85, 88, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 99, 101, 105, 107, 109, 110, 112, 116, 118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 123, 125, 128, 129, 131, 132, 133, 134, 135, 142, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149, 150, 153, 154, 157, 158, 160, 163, 165, 166, 172, 177, 178, 179, 181, 182, 183, 186, 187 and193.

The dogs dropped are: 3, 16, 19, 39, 64 and 141.

Flight B "4 Mil Pond" Water Triple with an Honor, Diversion Pop and a Blind

Judges Duwayne Bickel & Jim Wonnel

The fourth test of the Master National is a Water Triple with an Honor, Diversion Pop and a Blind. The water in this pond is lungable and swimmable. The birds used in this test are drake mallards. The first bird is thrown from the close shore of the pond to the right, over a small inlet to the opposite side of the pond at 83 yards. The second bird is also thrown from the close shore, but it lands 49 yards away on the left edge of an island. The final bird, a flyer, is shot to the left on the shoreline with the area of the fall varying in distance from the water. Upon return with the far left bird, there is a diversion pop to set up the blind. Finally, the blind is planted 75 yards out on the far shoreline of the pond. The line to the blind clips the right edge of the island. There are goose decoys placed on the middle-right area of the island, while duck decoys are placed between the island and the far shore visible when the dog clears the edge of the island on line to the blind.

Flight B began this morning with dog #1 at 7:40 am. The sun is high in the sky, no clouds and it is comfortable at 63 degrees. There is a very light wind present this afternoon with a few headwind gusts.

The dog work has looked very good. A few dogs left on the honor and there was one break noted. The test is running very quick and will end ahead of schedule, and should be done by 3:30 pm.

A resident of the Maryland Shore Pet Resort

A great vantage point!

Bill Teague and Mark Koenig

Beth Klein, from Kuranda Dog Beds, and David Kress

Of a total of 99 dogs, 90 are back, 9 were dropped.

The dogs called back are: 1, 3, 11, 13, 14, 17, 19, 21, 24, 28, 31, 32, 33, 34, 37, 39, 43, 45, 47, 56, 59, 61, 63, 65, 69, 71, 73, 75, 76, 77, 78, 80, 81, 84, 87, 87, 90, 92, 96, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 108, 109, 118, 119, 121, 122, 123, 127, 128, 129, 132, 134, 135, 136, 143, 144, 147, 148, 150, 151, 152, 153, 154, 158, 159, 162, 163, 164, 165, 166, 167, 168, 169, 171, 172, 173, 174, 175, 176, 177, 179, 181, 183, 186, and 192.

The dogs dropped are: 26, 42, 46, 58, 62, 68, 94, 95 and 111.
Flight C "Crazy 8's" Land Triple with a Double Blind

Judges Dorothy Ruehman & Steve Elliott

Nicknamed "Crazy 8's" for the patterns of "8" that were mowed into the tall grass by Frank Durham, the landowner, is a land triple with a double blind. The Judges designed this test on the edge of corn rows, in the "Crazy 8's" field that sloped slightly away from the line and in grass that stood around 15 inches in height.

All birds used in this Flight are rooster pheasants. The first bird is a flyer shot to the right at 99 yards followed by the memory bird thrown from to the left and another dead bird thrown to the left along a tree line. There are two blinds in this test; the first blind is planted directly right of the line at 65 yards, along the rows of corn against the treeline; the second blind is planted 99 yards straight away from the line, between the falls of bird's one and two. The normal order of pick up has been the third bird, followed by the flyer, then the second dead bird at 75 yards, the short blind to the right ending with the straight-away blind.

Flight C continued this morning with dog #34 at 7:50 am. It was 63 degrees and warm in the constant sun - no clouds again today! The wind was blowing lightly from left to right.

Dogs have been averaging 6 minutes and 50 seconds for the test. According to workers, the dogs are doing a little bit better than yesterday with the wind not being as high. There were some handles on the flyer and a few on the middle bird, like yesterday but not as many. The left blind is not being much of a problem today because of the wind.

The test should finish at around 5:00 pm. At 11:45 am, dog #74 was at the line.

The Master "INTER-National"

The 2011 Master National is such a big event. The biggest list of entries ever ... over 200 first-time entries ... 8 days of tests running ALL day. Traveling hundreds of miles from all across the country ... or, the world!

Malcolm and Pamela Tyrie traveled far. The farthest to be exact. Oh, only around 11,000 miles. No, they didn't drive a dog truck, but after talking with them and experiencing their passion for these dogs, I bet they would have if they could have!

They are members of the Wide Bay Working Gundog Club in Queensland, Australia (the northeastern part of the country) part of the Australian National Kennel Council.

Malcolm and Pamela are the proud owners of the only dog in Australia to hold both the National and Field Champion titles. The dog, RTCH-FTCH Haighenhauf Golden One, won the Australian National in 2003 and the Field Trial Champion in 2004.

RTCH-FTCH Haighenhauf Golden One
 If you happen to see them among the Gallery, please spend a few moments with them. They are wonderful people and came all this way to share in our wonderful event.

Thank you for coming, Malcolm and Pamela. Enjoy your stay, and travel safe.

Frankie's Party

The Man of the Hour

Well ... I guess we know who these TWO steaks are for??!!

John Blackbird serves up the delicious fare.

All three Flights had completed their tests this evening allowing that little extra snippet of relaxation for the Judges and handlers. And what better way to relax than at Frankie's Party?!

By 6:00 pm people slowly began to trickle under the pavilion at Anatidae Farm. The sun was lowering in the sky and the comfortable temperatures began to dip a bit putting a chill in the air. Just before 7:00 pm, Frankie called the food lines open. The menu, for once during our abundance of MNRC parties, did NOT include crab! A releif for some, but an end of a long streak for others.

Frankie and his assistants were busy late this afternoon huddled around a trailer grill that could probably fit a family of pigs and a chicken or two, but they had it covered in steak...juicy, perfectly seasoned steak. The food lines started with linked sausages, baked beans, potato salad and coleslaw, then it all was topped off with the steak...the cherry on top of Frankie's Party.

As we all ate, cocktails were being poured, some whiskey's ,some vodkas and plenty of beers, and like every other gathering of this crew, there were plenty of laughs.
A massive bon fire was light once again warming anyone within 30 yards of it. And as mentioned before, it got chilly as it became dark, so the 15 foot flames offered a bit of comfort to those without long sleeves.The night began closing down with carrot cake and little ice cream cups. Whoever was slicing the cake must love to share, those peices were quite large!

As sugar rushes tookhold, there was a quick raffle of gift baskets containing some wine and vodka. A little bird told me one of these baskets ended up in the Headquarters hotel hallway with a group-attack of its contents. Those of you with headaches this morning are all suspects.

Thanks for another great party Frankie! Here's to you and the sponsors that help made it all possible. Thank you.


Master National Running Order

  • Flight Draw & Running Order

  • Dorchester Star Articles

  • September 30 Article
  • October 4 Article