So You're Chairing a Hunt Test.....
So, the "Flyer" thread got me thinking about all the planning and preparation that goes into Chairing a Hunt Test, which is often a thankless job which requires hours of work and many participants seem to gloss over the fact that the Test didn't magically happen. For those new to the sport or those who have never taken on this duty, here are some things that go into your opportunity to earn a ribbon. For those that do or have Chaired an event, THANK YOU!
Test site: apply/acquire permits or land owner permission, inspect grounds and arrange for cutting/grooming of grounds, plan site offerings for various stakes keeping time management a priority
Birds: get pricing for birds and pre-order well in advance of test based on guess-timation, arrange transportation and Bird Steward
Judges: work within the AKC rules to pair judges with proper experience/points, manage expenses for lodging/meals/travel, be prepared to call on several others after your first pick declines, have a back up plan for emergency changes, arrange for Judges dinner and set up times, judges Gifts
Workers: be mentally prepared for all your dedicated training buddies to not return phone calls when it comes time to ask for worker commitments, have sufficient number of workers to man each stake and/or rotate people, find experienced gunners, evaluate your people's attributes for organizing and delegating
Equipment: ensure that each stake will have enough wingers, holding blinds, popper guns, decoys, drying racks, boats, etc. and that everything is in working condition, Signage
Ammo: ensure there is sufficient amount of steel and poppers
Marshal Boxes: prepare boxes with radios, first aid, rule book, towels, white board and markers, marking tape, extra batteries, gloves, bird bags, ear protection
Coordinate with Hunt Test Secretary on getting the event application filed with AKC in a timely manner and up on Entry Express, multiple copies of books signed by judges and properly marked
Be prepared to address any issues with Judges or Handlers along with you HT Committee, be familiar with "Dealing with Misconduct" and the Regulations and Guidelines for Retriever Hunt Tests
Order porta-johns and arrange for placement, back up TP and hand sanitizer
Lunches: arrange for someone to make and deliver food to your workforce, coolers with ice and beverages
Inspect grounds at conclusion of test or verify that this has been done at each stake site, dispose of nasty birds, trash removal, equipment accounted for and stored
Now certainly many of these tasks can and will be delegated but ultimately the Chair is responsible for over-seeing it all. There is also the ultimate pressure of making a profit, and maybe, just maybe....run a dog. I think most folks are pretty good about thanking Judges, even workers, but don't forget to thank your HT Chair.