September 2019 Hunting Tests for Flushing Breeds

AKC Spaniel Hunting Tests
For All Flushing Breeds
September 14th & 15th, 2019
Rebel Ridge Farms
295 Woods Road, Elkton, Maryland 21921

Ready to sign up? Use our online entry, or scroll down for more information, including Premium Lists and mail-in entry forms. 

MSDA will hold two days — two separate events — of AKC Spaniel Hunting tests on Saturday September 14 and Sunday September 15, 2019 at Rebel Ridge Farms in Elkton MD. Junior, Senior, and Master Hunter levels will be held both days. There also will be Working Dog certificate testing on Saturday. Not just for spaniels, the hunting tests are open to all eligible flushing breeds. These are:

Airedale Terrier, American Water Spaniel, Boykin Spaniel, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Clumber Spaniel, Cocker Spaniel, Curly-Coated Retriever, English Cocker Spaniel, English Springer Spaniel, Field Spaniel, Flat-Coated Retriever, Golden Retriever, Irish Water Spaniel, Labrador Retriever, Miniature Poodle, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Standard Poodle, Sussex Spaniel, Welsh Springer Spaniel. Dogs of these breeds recorded with the Purebred Alternative Listing Program/Indefinite Listing Privilege (PAL/ILP) or dogs with Conditional registration are eligible to participate. Spayed and neutered dogs are eligible to participate. Bitches in season are not eligible to participate, nor are they allowed on the grounds. Dogs with Limited Registration are eligible to participate.

The Spaniel Hunting Tests on Saturday 9/14 (AKC Event #2019441907) and Sunday (AKC Event #2019441908) are sponsored by the Maryland Sporting Dog Association, Inc. Judges for Junior, Senior, and Master hunting tests on both Saturday and Sunday are Mary Lackey (AKC #74013) and Kate Ostrowski (AKC #103964). Jennifer Baynes (AKC #99263) will judge the Working Dog Tests. Chukars will be used for all test levels. Testing starts at 8 am each day.  Click here for the official Premium List, entry forms, and other information as a PDF file.

Much more information is below. Scroll down this page, or use these links to jump to a topic:

Test fees * How to EnterJunior Handlers * Deadline * Withdrawals * Call Backs * Working Dog Tests * Weather * Blaze Orange and & Other Requirements * Hunt Test Location * Onsite Lunches * Local Restaurants * Pet-Friendly Accommodations * RVs and Campers * Questions? * Online Entry Form * Premium List, Applications, and Other Info

Test fees are as follows:

  • For Junior, Senior, and Master hunt tests, $70 per dog per test. Except, if the dog is handled by a junior handler, the fee is only $30.
  • For the Working Dog flushing test on Saturday, the fee is $35. However, if you are also testing at the Junior Hunter level the same day, the WD fee is only $15.
  • Fees are the same whether you mail your check or pay online.

Here’s how to enter and pay for these events:

  • Use our online entry form to sign up for MSDA Spaniel Hunting and WD tests. Then, either mail your check or pay securely online. (We’re using Square to process online payments.) OR
  • Read and download the premium lists and entry forms for the spaniel hunting tests and the WD testing. Print out and mail the completed forms, with your check included as payment, to the Test Secretary. The mailing address is included in the packet and the Premium List (though not on the entry form itself).

Anyone up to the age of 18 is eligible to compete as a Junior Handler in hunting tests and other AKC performance events. MSDA is pleased to announce that, as an incentive to Junior Handlers, the entry fee for Junior Handlers at the September 2019 AKC Spaniel Hunt Tests is reduced from $70 to $30. To participate as a Junior Handler, you must obtain a number from the AKC by having a parent or guardian submit this form. (If you don’t yet have a Jr. Handler number, send in the AKC form and meanwhile write “applied for” in the space on the MSDA hunting test entry.) A good source for information about Junior Handling is

Deadline: No matter how you enter and pay (online or by mail), all spaniel hunting test entries and payments must be received no later than 8 pm Eastern time on Saturday September 7, 2019. Although you can register online now and pay at a later date, entries are not counted as complete until payment has been received. A random draw will be conducted at 8 pm Sunday evening 9/8, and tentative running orders will be available on Monday September 9. These will be e-mailed to all registrants and handlers who have provided valid e-mail addresses.

Entries may be withdrawn for any reason, with a full refund, up to the closing deadline (8 pm on 9/7) by e-mailing or phoning the Hunt Test Secretary (Pamela DeSmidt). After the deadline, refunds will only be provided if the dog is sick, is injured or has died, or for a bitch in season. A veterinary certificate is required for all health-related refunds.

On both Saturday and Sunday, depending on the number of entries and the weather, we are hoping to provide all participants the opportunity to be judged in all the elements of their test, rather than using “call backs” that reduce the number of dogs participating as the test proceeds each day. (AKC Regulations state that, “if a dog fails to qualify in a particular ability, it is important to score as accurately as possible in all other abilities to provide the handler with information to plan future training.”) We will assume that all dogs will be available in running order for all portions of the testing. Of course, if you choose to withdraw your dog at any point, you may do so simply by informing the marshal.

Before there were AKC Hunt Tests, MSDA held the first Working Dog Test for English Cocker Spaniels in 1977.  In keeping with that tradition, we are once again offering our annual Working Dog Tests (WD, WDX) for all AKC flushing spaniel breeds, subject to parent club approval, in association with our Hunting Test on Saturday September 14. You do not have to be entered in the AKC Hunting Tests to participate in Working Dog Tests, though we offer a discounted entry fee to dogs signed up for both Junior Hunter and WD since those can be judged simultaneously.

If you are interested in working dog tests, please register ASAP since approval to hold these tests must be obtained separately from each breed club. We are currently planning to seek approval for Clumber Spaniels, Cocker Spaniels, English Cocker Spaniels, English Springer Spaniels, Sussex Spaniels, and Welsh Springer Spaniels. However, don’t assume that such approval has been obtained! Sign up early to be sure we get follow-through from your breed’s parent club. Use our online entry form to register for working dog tests along with or separate from the Junior, Senior, and Master hunt tests. Or, a PDF version of the Working Dog Test entry form (that you can fill out and mail) is included in this PDF file. Please check with your parent club for WD test requirements and judging guidelines.

There is an entry limit of 10 dogs being judged only for WD. (Dogs signed up for both JH and WD do not count toward the limit.) Assuming approval has already been obtained from your breed’s parent club (we’ll post these as we receive them), WD-only entries must be received no later than Wednesday, September 11th.

Dogs entered in both the AKC Hunting Test and the WD test must be ready to start at 8 am on Saturday. Dogs entered only in the WD Test will be run at the conclusion of the Junior Hunter land series.

For more information about MSDA’s WD testing, please contact Steve Roth, .

Weather: Hunting tests go on rain or shine. The average early morning low temperature at Elkton in mid-September is below 60(F); the average late afternoon high is in the upper 70s. MSDA provides chilled water as well as some sports drinks at the fields. On particularly hot days, we also have chilled wet towels to keep you cool, and we may require you to show the marshal that you are carrying water for your dog before you enter the field. The ponds, when not being used for testing, can be used to cool your dog and are always available in an emergency.

The AKC and MSDA require that all people in the field wear blaze orange clothing. A cap by itself is not sufficient to meet this requirement. A limited number of plain blaze orange t-shirts (mostly size XL) will be available for sale on site for $5.00 each.

Severe correction or discipline will not be allowed on any part of the grounds at any time. Training by entered dogs and handlers is not permitted.  Dogs can be aired or exercised only in designated areas (areas that will not be used during the course of the tests). Please scoop poop from where people will be walking and deposit the poop bags in trash receptacles.

Once again our hunt tests will be at Rebel Ridge Farms located at 295 Woods Road, Elkton, Maryland 21921.  Convenient to I-95, a variety of restaurants, hotels that welcome dogs, and an RV/camping site, this beautiful property provides more than 250 acres of fields, ponds, and woods as well as a heated and air-conditioned clubhouse. Most GPS will find it easily using the address. After you turn in to the property, drive very slowly approaching the dip before the bridge! Follow the driveway in and stay right at the fork. The clubhouse is the last low building on the left. Pull in there to check in and pick up a catalog.

Lunches each day are being provided by MSDA volunteers. Lunch donations onsite will be very much appreciated, since the amount allocated from the test fees will not be enough to pay for quality lunches!

For dinners, some local restaurants include:

  • Baker’s Restaurant: 1075 Augustine Herman Hwy Elkton, MD 21921. Known locally for: American/comfort food. If you’re looking to join a group of fellow hunt-testers, you’ll probably find some at Bakers on Saturday evening.
  • The Blue Crab Grill: 322 Suburban Plaza Newark, DE 19711. Known locally for: Seafood
  • Chesapeake Inn Restaurant: 605 Second St Chesapeake City, MD 21915. Known locally for: Upscale (!) seafood & American
  • Grain H2O: 270 E Main Street Newark, DE 19711. Known locally for: Burgers & more, specialty beers
  • Jo Jo’s Super Dogs: 214 E Pulaski Hwy Elkton, MD 21921. Known locally for: Diner style, breakfast favorites
  • Maria’s Italian Restaurant: 2525 Augustine Herman Hwy Chesapeake City, MD 21915. Known locally for: Italian (duh)
  • Schaefer’s Canal House: 208 Bank Street Chesapeake City, MD 21915. Known locally for: Upscale (!) seafood & American
  • Tender Bones Rib Shack: 2504 A Red Lion Rd, Bear, DE 19701. Known locally for: Ribs, cheesesteak & more
  • Woody’s Crab House: 29 S Main St North East, MD 21901. Known locally for: Seafood, especially crabs

And, here is information on some local accommodations: (Please read the notes below the list about nightly rates, pet policies, etc.)

Important notes:
In June 2019, we checked rates for a room for one person with a king bed, assuming a 3-night stay 9/12-9/15/2019. Average rates do not include any discounts or pet fees, but do include taxes.
“Pet friendly” hotels usually have restrictions such as a limited number of rooms, weight limits on dogs, limits on number of dogs and, of course, extra charges. Be sure to check pet policy carefully when booking, especially since we have observed that stated policies may differ from reality.
These are not complete lists and specifically there are many more hotels and restaurants in Newark DE, near the Univ of Delaware.
MSDA does not endorse or recommend any hotels or restaurants. The accuracy and currency of information listed here is not guaranteed. Note, however, that our experience in this area especially with respect to hotels is that “you get what you pay for”, i.e., there may be a reason that the cheapest hotel on the list is in that position.

Registrants who travel with an RV or camper are directed to Lums Pond State Park in Bear DE, about a 10-minute drive from Rebel Ridge Farms. Rebel Ridge is private property and does not provide overnight RV parking or camping.

If you have any questions about how the the hunting tests are conducted or would like to volunteer to help, please contact Steve Roth, .

Ready to sign up? Online Entry is available now for MSDA’s September Hunting Tests, including both days of Spaniel Hunt Tests and Saturday’s WD/WC testing. If you prefer to mail your entry, download the Premium List, entry forms, and other information in this PDF file.