October 11, 2018 4:05 a.m. (updated at 9:00 a.m.)
The largest retriever event in the United States is coming to Roseburg and those participating are already starting to arrive.
The Master National Retriever Club is expecting around 700 dogs from 49 states to be in the area for the Master National. The local Umpqua Valley Retriever Club is the host organization. At least 600 people are coming to Roseburg, accompanied by the dogs. Opening ceremonies, which are are only open to participants, will be next Thursday afternoon October 18th at 5:30 p.m. at the Douglas County Fairgrounds.
Local organizer Kevin Bunnell said people taking part come early so that their dogs can get acclimated to the local climate. They will spend the week training on property all around the county.
The Master National consists of 9 or 10 days of competition with a combination of land, land and water, and water tests. Within the tests, the dogs will simulate what a hunter and his dog will do in the field. Ten judges are paired to conduct five tests. The dogs have to retrieve multiple birds, work with their handler with whistle commands and hand signals, according to organizers. There will be approximately 130 dogs per flight and after each series, dogs have to be invited back to continue to the next test. All tests will be held on properties in the area of Sunshine Road and Glide. Unlike a traditional dog show, the dog and handler are competing against a standard, and not each other.
Competition will begin next Saturday October 20th and will continue through the next weekend.
Bunnell said with hundreds of people filling motels and eating at restaurants for up to two weeks, the economic impact of the national event should be several million dollars.
For more information go to www.masternational.com or check the organization’s Facebook page.
Kevin Bunnell was on the Morning Conversation Thursday on News Radio 1240 KQEN talking about the Master National. That interview is a KQEN Podcast at www.541radio.com