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Master Nat’l Retriever Club Test starts

10/09/14 -- Dogs mean business in Tehama County when the Master National Retriever Club (MNRC) holds its annual Master National Hunter Test at Rolling Hills Casino & Resort in Corning from October 9 to October 19. These highly esteemed dog trials provide an opportunity to showcase Tehama County as well as 600 highly trained retrievers, according to event organizers.

 Rolling Hills Casino & Resort in Corning hosting this year's Master National Retriever Club Hunter Test between now and October 19.
Rolling Hills Casino & Resort in Corning hosting this year's Master National Retriever Club Hunter Test between now and October 19.

"This is a very prestigious event and only retrievers that meet strict qualifying guidelines are invited to participate," said Laura Judd, Director of the Marin Retriever Club, which is the host club of this year's trials. "This year we have 600 dogs registered from throughout the US and Canada representing 450 member clubs," she added.

To qualify for the Master Nationals, dogs must have a Master Hunter title from the AKC and have passed 6 qualification events from member clubs between August 1 and July 31. All of the dogs are AKC registered retrievers. These include Irish Water Spaniels, Standard Poodle, American Water Spaniels, Boykin Spaniels, German Shorthaired Pointer, German Wirehaired Pointer, Vizsla, Weimaraner and Wirehaired Pointing Griffon.

 Clear Creek Sports Club, Corning, Tehama, rolling Hills, MNRC, naster national Hunter, AKC, Marin Retriever Club, Rolling Hills Casio & Resort,

The Master Nationals showcases each dog's retrieving abilities on land and in water in a series of trials. Photos courtesy of MNRC

The dog must pass each trial in order to proceed to the next. Dogs that pass the Master National Test for three consecutive years earn the title Master National Hunter on their pedigree. According to Judd, only 40 to 50 percent of the dogs pass the national trials each year.

"The master level tests are much tougher than the regional qualifying events," said Judd.

The MNRC holds the Master Nationals in a different region every year. This is the second time Rolling Hills has hosted the event.

"We chose to have our event here because of the close proximity to hotels, restaurants, and other services as well as a large outdoor area to hold the tests," said Judd. "We also love working with Brad Henman and his team at the Clear Creek Sports Club, and they provide high quality birds for hunting." Henman is the owner of Clear Creek Sports Club, which operates the hunt club at Rolling Hills.

"This event is a big deal to Corning and all of Tehama County," said Kate Grissom, Rolling Hills Marketing Director. "Area hotels and RV parks are booked solid, and we expect local businesses will be busy due to the influx of the hundreds of dog owners and volunteers participating in the event and their families. This is an opportunity to showcase all the great things our area has to offer including local wineries, olive and olive testing venues, specialty stores, galleries, and Mount Lassen."

Judd noted that a wide range of services not considered tourist oriented will also benefit, including auto service centers. When she was here for the event in 2010, she had to take her truck to an auto service center for repairs. She recalls that almost all the other vehicles being serviced were in the area for the Master Nationals. "When a person drives 2,000 miles from the East Coast, they are going to need an oil change," she said.

The dogs and their owners have already begun to arrive in the area to train on nearby ranches. "The dogs need time before the event to get acclimated to the differences in terrain and weather, and get back into a normal routine after their long drive," said Henman. "Many of the dogs are here from Alaska, Canada and the East Coast where the climate is already cooler. They need to get used to the warmer weather, the differences in terrain, the vegetation, and even the taste of the water."

The Master National Tests are open to the public to watch. Judd advises bringing a lawn chair to watch the trials. More information and schedules are available on the website.

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