The M. Barnett Lawley Forever Wild Field Trial Area (FWFTA) in Hale County will host the Master National Retriever Club’s 2012 Master National Hunt Test October 18-28, 2012. The Black Warrior Retriever Club (BWRC) of Alabama is the host club for the prestigious event. The annual retriever hunt test event showcases the best hunting retrievers in North America, and more than 700 dogs are scheduled to be tested during the week.
The BWRC is partnering with the State Lands Division of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) and the Chamber of Commerce of Demopolis to hold the event on the Forever Wild Land Trust property, formerly part of the State Cattle Ranch. The BWRC was selected over retriever clubs in Minnesota and Wisconsin that had also vied for the honor of hosting the 21st annual premier showcase retriever event.
The field testing for the retrievers begins at 8 a.m. on Saturday, October 20, and culminates with the closing ceremonies on Sunday, October 28. The public is invited to watch the hunt tests to observe how retrievers respond to their handler’s commands. Six different tests on both land and water will take place during the Master National, which is attracting retrievers, owners and handlers from all over the nation and Canada. Area hotels are at full capacity and the event is expected to give an economic boost to the area.
During fall of 2012 and spring of 2013, the FWFTA will host 19 sporting dog field trials and hunt tests offering additional positive economic impact to the region. In addition to field trials and hunt tests, the property hosts occasional free fishing days and youth hunting programs. It also contains a hunting area for people with physical disabilities. The Forever Wild Land Trust, Alabama’s public land acquisition program, and the ADCNR State Lands Division purchased the State Cattle Ranch property in 2008. For more information about the property, go to www.alabamaforeverwild.com, follow the links to Land Tracts/All Land Tracts, and then select the M. Barnett Lawley Forever Wild Field Trial Area.
The Master National Retriever Club is affiliated with the American Kennel Club and is a national organization dedicated to hosting one competition per year that showcases the best hunting retrievers in North America. More than 160 local clubs make up the Master National Club membership. Dogs become eligible for the Master National event by receiving qualifying scores at the numerous weekend AKC-licensed hunt tests held across the nation.
The Black Warrior Retriever Club is a non-profit corporation composed of retriever owners, handlers, trainers, hunters and persons interested in the retriever breeds and in working retrievers. The members are primarily from west central and south Alabama. The BWRC is licensed by the American Kennel Club to hold retriever field trials and hunt tests and is also a member of the Master National Retriever Club. BWRC was organized in 1999 and is one of the most active and dedicated retriever clubs in the Southeast.