S P O N S O R E D   B Y

WELCOME to the Official Blog of the 2015 Master National Hunting Test, October 15-25, 2015, brought to you by the Retriever News and written by Tina Styan, Gwen Jones and Kelley Hall. We hope you enjoy these daily updates on the 2015 Master National, held this year in and around Cheraw, South Carolina.


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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Welcome to the 2015 Master National

W E L C O M E  to  the  2 0 1 5  
M A S T E R   N A T I O N A L

The Indoor Sports Complex at Coker College 

The contestants arrive at Coker College

Dog and handler teams have come from all points of the country to converge at the Headquarters in Hartsville, SC for the start of the 2015 Master National competition. This is the largest AKC Performance event ever held with 1139 qualified and 920 dogs entered, divided among five flights.

President Sam Ferguson welcomes everyone.
The Banquet was held at Coker College which serves as the location for the Opening Ceremonies and tomorrow's meeting. Current President, Sam Ferguson, introduced South Carolina's own, Candice Glover. She is best-known as the winner of the 12th season of Fox's reality vocal competition, American Idol. After a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem, Candice dedicated the song "A Hero Lies in You" to all the dogs entered in this year's Master National. Both songs brought great rounds of applause from the audience.

Candice Glover sings the National Anthem

Someone's got to hold "the shoes..."

Following this, Sam read a letter from the Governor of South Carolina welcoming the contestants and wishing everyone good luck. Next, the ten judges were introduced to the contestants. Thanks were extended to the Sponsors of this year's event and to all the workers who have been involved in making the event happen. Reminders were issued that this college area was a tobacco-free zone.

Everyone quieted down to watch a video of the Master National dogs that had retired this year. A special pin has been designed and awarded to the owners of each of these dogs.

A tradition continued when Frank Barton and his duck dog, "Miss Delta," were called to the front. The tradition goes that all the contestants stand and then be allowed to sit down after their draw number was pulled from a pile of numbered bumpers by Miss Delta. They were whittled down from groups of ten to the final number which is the starting number for 2015. Each of the five flights will start with dog number 22.

"Miss Delta" chooses the starting number

Frank Barton and Miss Delta
Three of the five "lucky number 22!"
The crowd was reminded to return to the same area tomorrow outside the meeting room for the bitch check. Wally Elliot said Grace with the inclusion that God bless the 920 dogs that are entered.

Wally Elliot says "Grace."
After a delicious meal of beef and chicken, everyone settled in for the famous live auction. The auctioneer had help displaying the auction items to the crowd from Wendy Marady and Alice Rodriguez. The bidding was lively with many of the items personalized with the Master National logo. Following previous year's tradition, the stage was filled with people who purchased shots of the famous "Miss Emma" and toasted the dogs... the proceeds of which went to the local clubs.

Live Auction items

Mark Atwater of UpClose Photo is the Official Photographer at this event.

The Judges had custom name cards … very nice touch!
Wendy Marady and Alice Rodriguez show the goods!

Michelle Love shows off this custom artwork!

Towards the end of the evening, folks were getting a little "punchy!"  :-)


Master National Running Order

Flight Draw & Running Order

2015 MNRC Test Descriptions

Palmetto East-Land

Wood Duck Pond-Land/Water

Byrd's Campground-Land

Goose Pond-Land

Mallard Pond-Land/Water

Bruce's Farm-Land/Water

Wood Duck Pond-Water

Byrd’s Campground-Land/Water

Mallard Pond-Water

Goose Pond-Land/Water

Furr's Pit-Water

Palmetto West-Land

Goose Pond-Water


Meet Your 2015 Judges

2015 MNRC Schedule of Events

2015 MNRC Qualified Dogs