by Bonnie Hidalgo, AKC Field Representative
The Minot Retriever Club was founded in 1956 and ran sanctioned AKC events in 1956 and 1957. From that time forward they have held AKC licensed Field Trials and Hunt tests for Retrievers. The original club consisted of approximately twenty people. These far-sighted dog people pitched in to purchase the grounds that the club still owns today. They hold all club Field Trials and Hunt Tests at this area just northwest of Burlington, ND. The 39.6 acres has several ponds and is located just above the confluence of the Souris and DesLacs Rivers. Although the grounds are small, they offer many possibilities for test set-up.
Burlington is just eight miles west of Minot on US Highways 2 & 52, making the location quite convenient to Minot and all of the services there. Hunt Test Secretary, Ed Sehn introduced me to long time member, George Malaktaris who briefed me on the history of the club and its grounds.
Although the Club is just a shadow of its original size, it is made up of dedicated retriever people. The committee members were Chairman Richard Srejma, Secretary Ed Sehn, Mark Hays, Lance Werchau and Dick Sheldon. They and other club members have made many improvements over the years and kept up on the maintenance. The ponds have been dredged, the cattails are being controlled and a beautiful new bird pen was put to use at this hunt test for the first time. The pen looks like a palace; sporting two wading pools with a deck in between and plenty of food and water.
The Hunt test was a double event spread over three days. The total entry for the two events was 127 dogs. Each event had a Master Test as its headliner. The July 7 & 8 event attracted 46 dogs in its Master Test. It also had a Junior Test with an entry of 16. Master Judges were Gordon J. Schlichting II and Mike Gohman.
Gordon Schlichting II judged the Junior Test with Charles Wright. Fifteen dogs received Master passes; nine dogs received Junior passes.
The July 8 & 9 Hunt Test had 46 Master dogs and 19 Seniors. Judges for the Master Hunt Test were Chris Thomas and Pat Johnson. The Senior Test was judged by George Malaktaris and Charles Wright. Twenty dogs received Master passes; in the Senior Test there were 6 passes.
The extreme heat was the worst factor of the weekend. The wind became strong on Saturday which made things more difficult in the tests but more pleasant for the humans involved. Sunday’s cloud cover and cool temperatures were a welcome relief. This was a well run event, held in a quality setting. The Minot Retriever Club is to be commended for a job well done.
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