First of all, I'd like to thank all the "unsung heroes" who gave their time & effort to help us with our first Hunt Test. People like Becky, Todd, Len, Debbie, the Gunners, and probably many others I haven't mentioned. I would also like to thank the Judges: Denise, Don, William, and Sue. And lastly, a big "thank you" to all the people who signed up for the HT. We had a lot of good people and good dogs out there!
And now a shameless plug for Don Bonnice's software. ANYONE who runs any sort of field event, be it a trial or a hunt test, should DEFINITELY invest in Don's Field Event Software. (http://www.fieldeventsoftware.com/
) It makes the whole process much less painful and a helluva lot more organized than trying to puzzle through the huge packet of paperwork the AKC sends you (with NO explanation of how or why the stuff is to be used, BTW). Even better is that you can test drive it for FREE. What more could you ask? Someone else to input the entries maybe? <lol>
Of course most of the entries didn't come in until the last minute. While we were able to accommodate about 99% of them, in hindsight we think that our club should institute something like Paypal to make the whole registration/payment process smoother. It should be on the NFGSP website in addition to the email blast. In the end we had about 33 entries per day, the majority being in JH. Just a note to those entering these events: PLEASE fill in your forms completely, INCLUDING telephone & email address. I had to do a bit of sleuthing on more than one occasion just to ensure that the entry could go through.
The first brace in MH was basically on the line at approx 7:30am. (JH followed, around 8am.) It was pretty cold both mornings (by FL standards) but we hope the hot bevs & donuts each morning kept the blood going.
There were two courses: one for JH and one for MH/SH. I handled the MH/SH course both days, while my hubby handled the JHs. Thanks to the FE software, we had pre-printed score sheets for the judges. We simply put them all onto small clipboards for the judges while each of us handled the rest of the scoring paperwork (also pre-printed from the software!) So when they came back from riding a brace, the judges just handed us those sheets, then moved back to the staring line, where their next brace was waiting. We made sure that the next brace was "on deck" in advance so the judges could hand us the sheets & keep on going. The only glitch was that the pens needed to be attached to the clipboards to keep them handy (and from being lost.) Duly noted.
BOTH days we finished by around 1-2 pm. Lunch was provided to all entrants & support people. (I also understand that the Sat night dinner was a hit although were were unable to attend.)
Ribbons were given out each day after the events were done. We even had a youngster applying for her Junior Handler in JH!
We hope any of the people who dropped by with new puppies to see what was going on were able to see what a great sport this is and that everyone, regardless of experience level, can participate.
Thanks for reading this... hope it wasn't too long & boring.