It's all a sign of the times. Revisit the early years where there were 10 or 15 dogs in a Master mostly trained by amateurs, sometimes a pass rate of only half dozen dogs. Two kinds of people ran AKC hunt tests, those who were disgruntled with field trials or those like myself field trialers who"dabbled" in hunt tests as a nice diversion from trials.
Then came the Master National in 1991 preceded were two Master Invitations in 1990 maybe more? Going by memory and I am old, testing the waters for interest. The AKC took off more then anyone realized, even some of the founders were surprised. Money was to be made with training and handlernfees. Many, many pros, some who were field trial pros jumped in. My fondest memory were a couple watching or peeking from behind a vehicle while theirPro ran their junior dog!
I said to myself geeze what's wrong with this picture 65 bucks handler fee to run a dog in a junior, plus the monthly training fees of 400 or 500 plus a months plus birds! Then the breeders got involved tacking titles behind their dogs, more money. AKC loved it more money. To this date where pros dominate all levels of the game, especially at the Master level 700,800 to infinity to qualify for the Master National, " I am surprised there isn't a Junior National" ,not speaking the Canadian version of the derby either. More and More money. Now people are buying their way into the hunt test game as many do in the field trial game. They buy multiple dogs, thousands of dollars in training and handler fees. More pros, everyone is a pro, title one junior dog become a pro, hang your shingle up, more money. Folks it ain't gonna stop get used to it , the money flows, the monster was created, and the future well, more Nationals, regional nationals, amateur nationals, more money. One man's opinion on the limits.