Retriever Field Trial News
About the Retriever Field Trial News
RFTN is a publishing corporation that is jointly owned by the National Retriever Club and the National Amateur Retriever Club. The two national clubs are owned and sponsored by their member clubs all across the nation. Your local club has an ownership interest in RFTN. RFTN is a not-for-profit operation. Officers and a Board of Directors, elected by the two sponsoring clubs manage it. The directors and officers serve with no compensation. Mary Knapp, Editor, manages the business under the supervision of the officers and directors. She has two assistants.
RFTN is the successor to FIELD TRIAL NEWS, which was the publication of the Wisconsin Amateur Field Trial Club. Field Trial News was started in 1942 as a mimeographed newsletter to the members of WAFTC. It was edited by Mr. John Fraser, Jr. Originally it covered springer spaniels and bird dogs, as well as retrievers. At that time there were only 12 AKC member clubs or licensed retriever trial in the country. The rapid growth of retriever field trial interest called for a communication, which reported field trial results and other "news" of the sport. Jack Fraser had the interest, dedication and talent to respond with a publication which met that need and FIELD TRIAL NEWS became the only nationally recognized publication serving the retriever sport. Jack Fraser passed away in 1963, leaving a legacy that couldn't be denied. The publication was ably continued by the WAFTC, with Irving Puchner the editor and publisher.
On January 1, 1965, all the assets, subscriber lists, and good will of "FIELD TRIAL NEWS", was purchased by the two Nation Retriever Clubs. "The "RETRIEVER FIELD TRIAL NEWS' was established to succeed "FIELD TRIAL NEWS" in serving the retriever community, under the able leadership of Mr. Tom Merritt as President and Managing Editor, and Mrs. Toni Reynolds as Editor. The transition was made so smoothly that many were unaware of the change. In April 1988, Mrs. Toni Reynolds retired having served since 1960, and Mary Knapp picked up the reins.
RFTN has continued for 40 years.
The policies and basic format are much the same as they were developed by Jack Fraser. Of course, it has grown in these 35 years. In the late 1980's coverage was expanded to include the then new AKC licensed Hunt Tests. In 1964, the last year of the WAFTC publication, there were six issues published with a total of 138 printed pages. In 2001 there were 11 issues with a total of 720 printed pages. Total circulation has grown from 500 in 1964 to about 4,800 in 2003.
In late 1998, RFTN acquired Working Retriever Central, a website created and developed by David Wallace. It's purpose paralleled that of RFTN but had expanded beyond the competitive sport to include other important retriever activities.
The purpose of RFTN and WRC is the same today as it was in Jack Fraser's day: To bring the people of the Retriever Sport throughout the U.S., Canada, and now, the world, results of field performance and other matters of interest to owners, trainers, and breeders of retrievers. It is also to afford advertisers the opportunity to reach that very special market which our subscribers and participants represent.
RFTN/WRC has no official reporter except for those covering our National Stakes. We depend exclusively on the people of the sport for all information on field results and retriever performance. We are grateful to those who provide this information. We rely almost exclusively on people of the sport for other information and editorial comment. We of RFTN/WRC feel there is a wealth of editorial information and comment available from the people of the sport that would be of interest to our readers. Ours is a situation where almost all the knowledge and experience relating to our subject matter, that is available anywhere, rests with our own readers. We invite more participation from them, either of their own talents or by encouraging others to share their knowledge and experience.
RFTN/WRC is truly an enterprise Of, For and By the people of the retriever sport. We welcome your comments and suggestions.
President and Editor-In-Chief