Saturday, September 17th & Sunday September 18th
9 am – 3 pm
Rebel Ridge Farms
295 Woods Road, Elkton, MD 21921
Something for everyone, including:
- AKC-licensed Spaniel Hunting Tests (two days, two tests) on Saturday and Sunday. These tests welcome all flushing-eligible breeds.
- WD (Working Dog) hunt tests for selected spaniel breeds on Sunday only.
- On Saturday only:
Although the mock hunt tests start at 9 am, mock test and Open House attendees may arrive as early as 8 am (and spaniel hunt testers likely will be arriving even earlier). To be sure the lunch buffet is ready by 11:30, please arrive and drop off your potluck dish before then. Our use of the property ends at 4 pm.
The rest of this web page is about the Pointing and Retrieving Mock Hunt Tests and the Open House, all on Saturday. Follow the links for information about the Spaniel Hunting Tests and WD Tests, and also for where to stay & eat nearby. Please do not call Rebel Ridge for information and recommendations!
MSDA’s Fall Hunt Test Weekend has traditionally been focused on flushing breeds. Last year, we added an “open house” for members and prospective members. This year, we are expanding further to provide mock junior AKC hunt tests for pointing and retrieving breeds. If you have done some hunt training, including perhaps at MSDA’s Field Day, and are either curious about pointing or retrieving hunt testing, are getting ready for your first hunt test, or just need a bit of extra practice (and some feedback), this is a great opportunity for you. The mock tests will be conducted similar to actual junior hunt tests but, unlike a “real” test:
- No pressure! You’re just there to have fun and gain some experience. There’s no passing or failing, qualifying or not qualifying, at stake.
- If you’re new to this, knowledgeable volunteers will explain how the tests work and what is expected of you and your dog. When these mock tests differ from the real thing, this will be noted (e.g., in a real test, there would be at least two judges; on this day there may only be one.)
- Callbacks will not be used: dogs will not be excused early for failing to achieve a passing score on any part of the test.
- A very experienced AKC hunt test judge or hunt tester will provide you with your score sheet as well as some written notes and also verbal feedback about where improvements are needed.
- There will be time specifically allocated for Questions & Answers.
- Your dog does not need to be registered, or registerable, with the AKC to participate.
- No ribbons or other prizes will be provided, and no results will be posted to the AKC or anywhere else.
- The entry fee will be less than an actual hunt test.
Please note that, just like the real thing, the mock hunt tests will go on rain or shine. Also, because there will be a licensed AKC Spaniel Hunting Test on the same property, bitches in season will not be allowed to attend.
Updated 7/5 … Look who’s coming! So far, we have one or more of the following breeds signed up for the mock hunt tests: Flat-Coated Retriever, German Shorthaired Pointer, Golden Retriever, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Vizsla, and Weimaraner. There are still plenty of spaces available for both pointing and retrieving mock hunt tests, though the morning pointing session is already half-filled.
Read on for much more information about both the Pointing and Retrieving Mock Junior Hunt Tests, as well as Saturday’s Open House and potluck lunch. An entry/registration form is at the very bottom of this page.
MOCK POINTING JUNIOR HUNT TEST:
- The Mock Pointing Test will consist of two dogs running in a brace on a single course, with no bird field, for up to 30 minutes.
- This will be a walking test: no horses or ATV.
- If the weather is particularly warm, be sure to bring water into the field for your dog. You may be required to show your water bottle before proceeding with the test.
- Dogs at this mock test may drag a check cord or wear an e-collar or tracking collar.
- Testing will start at 9 am and will finish by 4 pm. When signing up, entrants will select whether to run in the morning or afternoon session; the hunt test chair will assign individual dogs to braces within the session. Tentative running orders and approximate starting times for each brace, along with other useful information, will be emailed to all entrants on Wednesday, September 14th.
- Chukars will be used for all Mock Pointing Junior Hunt Testing. We will endeavor to provide each dog the opportunity for two bird contacts.
- There will be no live gunfire, but a blank pistol or cap gun may be fired when a bird is flushed under appropriate conditions. If your dog is not acclimated to the sound of gunfire, do not sign up for this test! Handlers must be pre-approved by the hunt test chair to handle or fire any gun, even one utilizing only blanks.
- Since there will be no live gunfire, dogs will not be expected to retrieve shot birds.
- There will be opportunities for questions, answers, and discussion between each brace and, if time allows, at the end of each session (morning and afternoon).
Entries are limited to 16 dogs, 8 in the morning and 8 in the afternoon. The fee for the mock hunt test is $30 per dog entered. In addition, everyone is asked to bring a generously-sized potluck dish for lunch.
Dogs must be at least six months old to enter an actual licensed hunt test. If your puppy will be a bit younger than that on September 17th, please check with the hunt test chair (Sally Eck via Pointer@mdsportingdog.org) before entering.
Especially if you are not experienced at hunt tests, please download and at least skim the Regulations for AKC Hunting Tests for Pointing Breeds. If you have questions about pointing tests in general, pointing breed training, or about MSDA’s mock hunt test, please contact Sally Eck via Pointer@mdsportingdog.org.
Capacity is limited, so please sign up below. Entries close on Sunday, September 11th or earlier if the mock test fills up.
MOCK RETRIEVING JUNIOR HUNT TEST:
- The mock retrieving test will consist of two land retrieves and two water retrieves, though not necessarily in that order. Each retrieve is likely to be between 20 and 50 yards in distance.
- Dogs at this mock test may drag a check cord or wear an e-collar or tracking collar.
- Testing will start at 9 am and will finish by 4 pm, with a lunch break midday. All entered dogs should be on site and ready to go at the 9:00 am starting time. The retrieving mock hunt test is a single all-day session: dogs will be asked to perform two retrieves before lunch and two after lunch. If time allows, additional retrieving opportunities may be available.
- Tentative running orders, along with other useful information, will be emailed to all entrants on Wednesday, September 14th.
- We are expecting to use ducks for all retrieves, but may need to substitute pheasants or chukars in the unlikely event that ducks are not available. Birds will be thrown or launched from a blind. There will be no live flyers.
- There will be no live gunfire, but blank rounds will be used. If your dog is not acclimated to the sound of gunfire, do not sign up for this test!
- Some handlers will be asked to help with running of the test, for tasks such as blowing the duck call, launching birds, firing a starter pistol, maintaining the running order, hanging birds to dry, etc. New handlers are strongly encouraged to learn about these and other important tasks and will be paired with experienced volunteers. (However, you must be pre-approved by the hunt test chair to handle or fire any gun, even one utilizing only blanks.)
- A Q&A session will be held at the end of the day. If time allows, there also will be a group Q&A just before lunch.
Entries are limited to 20 dogs. The fee for the mock hunt test is $30 per dog entered. In addition, everyone is asked to bring a generously-sized potluck dish for lunch.
Dogs must be at least six months old to enter a licensed hunt test. If your puppy will be a bit younger than that on September 17th, please check with the hunt test chair (Dennis Durham via DDurham@mdsportingdog.org) before entering.
Especially if you are not experienced at hunt tests, please download and at least skim the Regulations & Guidelines for AKC Hunting Tests for Retrievers. If you have questions about retrieving tests in general, retriever training, or about MSDA’s mock hunt test, please contact Dennis Durham via DDurham@mdsportingdog.org.
Capacity is limited, so please sign up below. Entries close on Sunday, September 11th or earlier if the mock test fills up. (See refund policy below.)
OPEN HOUSE AND VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES FOR MSDA MEMBERS AND PROSPECTIVE MEMBERS:
MSDA members and prospective members, their family and guests may bring their dogs for an informal day at Rebel Ridge. Rebel Ridge Farms provides more than 250 acres of fields, ponds, and woods as well as a heated and air-conditioned clubhouse. Even if your dog is not entered in one of the hunt tests, you are welcome to come out to volunteer at one of the activities or to just enjoy the day on this beautiful property. If you are not currently an MSDA member, please learn more about us and consider joining the club.
The price of admission to the Open House is a generously-sized potluck lunch dish contribution. MSDA will provide water and a limited selection of other non-alcoholic drinks.
On the same day at Rebel Ridge, MSDA is holding a Spaniel Hunting Test as well as the Mock Pointing and Retrieving Junior Hunt Tests described on this page. Members and prospective members are encouraged to sign up for a hunt test if your dog is ready, head over to watch some of the action, and/or volunteer to also help at the test or in the clubhouse for at least part of the day.
Attendance at this day is not limited to field-trained dogs. Also, puppies, senior dogs and non-sporting breeds are welcome. Note, however, that there will be gunfire – live and blanks – on the property throughout the day. This may not be the place for a dog that is not comfortable with gunfire, even at a distance.
Whether participating in a hunt test or just enjoying the day, please note that Rebel Ridge is big, but it is not fenced, so please make sure you keep your dog on a leash or otherwise under your control at all times. And, of course, everyone is reminded that they ultimately are responsible for their own dog’s behavior.
We hope that everyone will have a great time, learn something, and make some new friends.
Planning to attend? Please sign up using the form below so we know how many to expect.
To participate in the mock pointing hunt test, mock retrieving hunt test, or open house activities, we’re asking you to contribute a generously-sized potluck dish in addition to any mock test entry fees. Please bring enough to serve your own group plus at least an extra 10-12 servings. Potluck dishes, supplemented with purchased items, also will provide the day’s lunch for the handlers signed up for the Spaniel Hunting Tests.
If it can be safely stored and served the next day (Sunday), please consider using a disposable or recyclable container (and we’ll have a limited supply of extra containers); we’ll happily polish off the leftovers at Sunday’s Spaniel Hunting Test. Rebel Ridge has limited refrigeration (about half of a not-too-big refrigerator is usually available to us). We’ll also plug in a power strip with a few outlets.
On the registration form below, we ask you whether you plan to bring a protein/entree, side dish/salad, or a dessert. If you change your mind about what you are bringing or need to cancel, please let us know. We’ll be shopping a day or two before the event to fill out the buffet and to make sure we have enough to serve everyone, including the hunt testers.
Questions? Contact Pamela DeSmidt at FieldDays@mdsportingdog.org.
SIGN UP HERE FOR THESE ACTIVITIES:
Registration for this event is online only. After completing the registration form below, when you click “SUBMIT”, you will be directed to PayPal to securely complete an online payment (if you have an amount due). Major credit cards and PayPal are accepted. You do not need to have, or create, a PayPal account to pay online. PayPal does not share your credit card information with MSDA. Once PayPal confirms your payment, they will send you back to this website and automatically email their confirmation (though it may not arrive immediately – PayPal has been a bit slow lately). You also will be sent a brief autoresponder confirmation from the MSDA website. If you don’t receive both of these confirmation emails within a few days (check your spam folder!), please contact Pamela DeSmidt at FieldDays@mdsportingdog.org .
If you need to change or cancel your registration, contact Pamela DeSmidt, at FieldDays@mdsportingdog.org . You may cancel a mock hunt test entry for any reason through Sunday, September 11th and receive a full refund MINUS a service charge of $2 per dog/test. After September 11th, no refunds will be provided, except for bitches who come into season and for waitlisted dogs as described below.
For a bitch in season, you must notify Pamela DeSmidt (in person or via email, voicemail or text message) that you are planning to request a refund no later than 8:00 am on Saturday September 17. A veterinary certificate may be required. If a refund is granted, a service charge of $2 per dog/test will be withheld.
We will try to keep the registration page updated, but, if the mock hunt tests fill up too quickly, you may be placed on a waitlist. You will be notified of this when you receive your detailed confirmation email. If you are waitlisted, you may cancel for any reason as described above. If you remain on a waitlist and do not get a spot by Monday, September 12th (the day after the deadline), you will receive a full refund.
All attendees, including children, will be required to provide a signed MSDA liability release. Many of you have already signed this on your membership form or when attending another MSDA activity, and blanks will be provided when you check in for the day. But remember, you do not need to be a member of MSDA to participate in the Open House or the mock hunt tests!
Owners and handlers are reminded that they are responsible for their own dog’s actions and that good sportsmanship is expected at all times. If dogs (or humans!) exhibit inappropriate behavior or aggression, you will be directed to leave the event immediately and may be excluded from future MSDA activities. Such decisions are made by a hunt test chair or other event committee member.
If you encounter problems registering or need to make changes to a previously-submitted registration, please e-mail Pamela DeSmidt at FieldDays@mdsportingdog.org .