CORNING —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, CA from October 9 to 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, Irish Water Spaniels, Vizsla, Weimaraner, and Wirehaired Pointing Griffon.
The Master Nationals showcases each dog’s retrieving abilities on land and in water in a series of trials. 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% 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 ClearCreek Sports Club, and they provide high quality birds for hunting.” Henman is the owner of ClearCreek 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: http://mnrc.publishpath.com.
Rolling Hills Casino & Resort, located off the Liberal Avenue Exit in Corning California, is a popular Northern California destination featuring 800 slot machines, popular table games, 3 restaurants, fully stocked lounge, Carlino’s Event Center, Sevillano Links 18-hole golf course, 2 hotels, RV Park, hunting and fishing club, equestrian center and more. The resort employs over 500 team members, most of whom work full time with health care benefits and 401k options. The Casino’s turnover is exceptionally low with over 100 original team members employed since 2002. The Casino and the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians are strong community partners supporting local programs through generous grants and sponsorships. The Foundation donates over $600,000 to community organizations each year, with over $3 million dollars donated to benefit local health, safety and education programs. Each year hundreds of thousands of guests visit Rolling Hills Casino, bringing with them tourist dollars that benefit the local economy.
The Master National Retriever Club, Inc., is committed to the hunting tradition, devoted to the promotion, breeding, training, and best interests of retrievers. In order to carry out our commitment, Master Hunters will be tested annually in a non-competitive manner at the Master National Stake to the maximum of the standard as set out by the AKC. We believe firmly in supporting the hunting test program and that all participants should conduct themselves as good sportsmen. To obtain the maximum of the standard there shall be such utilization of terrain, bird placement, and natural conditions so as to provide a significant challenge to the abilities of a master hunting dog.
-from press release