I'll make this short and sweet.
How many of you true blue hunt testers have seen the percentages of pro handlers in Senior/or Master tests grow over the last 20 yrs or so?
A couple weeks ago at the Tejas HT, I looked up while sitting in a Master test gallery, and noticed this beautiful F-250 pulling a big dog trailer, heading to the Junior test, while being followed by an entourage (sp?) of 7 or 8 trucks. Obviously filled with clients and their friends. The incident motivated me to pull out a catalog from 1993-94 and look up the number of pros back then. The pros made up about 30-35% of the handlers. This spring the Master pro numbers were up around 65-68%.
I have also noticed that the number of FC/or AFC sired dogs has nearly tripled, while the number of passes have gone down. Of course, the tests have become a little more demanding over the past few years.
Better dogs? Better handlers? Just a thought to ponder.