Hunt Test Judges

Judy Gladson, Accokeek, MD (Hunt Test - Master)

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I grew up with mixed breed dogs and have not been without a dog since. My first purebred dogs were golden litter mates out of the newspaper, cause what did we know? They were awesome dogs, healthy into their teens and got me interested in the dog fancy and its many venues. My next golden was from a lovely multi-purpose breeding and he was pointed in the breed ring and had one MH leg (all handled by me) before I retired him due to life changes. I got my first flat-coat in 1990 and I haven't looked back. My passion is field work, but I do enjoy the multiple venues that flat-coats can do well in. I've had multiple CH MH and one GCH MH. I bred my first flat-coat litter in 1995 and have bred 18 litters in total. I started judging AKC hunt tests in the 1990’s and am honored to judge the GRCA National Specialty, thank you. I am also applying to judge flat-coats in the conformation ring and would be interested in adding goldens at some point. I am retired now, incredibly busy and I honestly don't know how I had time to go to work!  

Jan Masica, Dexter, MI (Hunt Test - Master)

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I have been in Goldens since 1985, having purchased my first Golden as a gift to myself after finishing veterinary school. Of course, I fell in love with the breed and since then have been owned by many talented Goldens. I have successfully competed in agility, tracking, obedience and field work and am especially proud that my totally owner-trained and handled Goldens have achieved upper level titles in many different venues (MH50, HTHF, CT, MACH2, ADHF, UDX2, OM4, WCX). I especially love field work and became interested in judging about nine years ago. I have judged several WC’s, WCX’s, Master, Senior and Junior hunt tests. I enjoy watching the team work in the field and love to see young or new handlers be successful and then get hooked by the sport! I am proud to be judging a Master series at the 2021 GRCA National. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity.  

Margaret Rathje, Pulaski, NY (Hunt Test - Master)

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I started training my first puppy in 1984 and through my own breeding have recently retired my 7th generation of Master Hunters, all trained by me. Being active in the NAHRA program they have acquired Grand Master Hunting titles along with field trial Derby points, Open points and Qualified All Age.

To my benefit there are numerous clubs in Central New York to which I am a member and have held official positions over the years.

My judging started with NAHRA in the 90's and with AKC in 2001. Since then I have had the pleasure of judging nearly 40 NAHRA events and nearly 50 AKC hunt tests, mostly at Master level.

I owe thanks to all the clubs that have provided me with great Hunt Test experiences from both the line and the judges chair. Looking forward to another one!  

Mitch White, Frazeysburg, OH (Hunt Test - Master)

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I have been hunting since I was eight years old and training retrievers for field work since 1988. I believe the bond between a dog and man in field sports is extremely extraordinary. As I judge I want to test the dogs to the standard, but also present a challenging yet fair test. The handlers should enjoy themselves even if they may be nervous and hopefully I can alleviate some of their anxiety through empathy. I have owned one Golden and trained many to all levels. I love all dogs, but Goldens do have a special place in my heart. I am honored to judge your Specialty and wish all the handlers good luck, but remember just have fun.  

Jim Bryan, Edgewater, FL (Hunt Test - Senior)

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I was born and raised in Ocala, Fla., and I currently live in the New Smyrna Beach, Fla., area. I have owned and hunted with Golden Retrievers since the age of 10. There's nothing more exciting than seeing a Golden Retriever perform in the field and that is why I can't wait for this year National Specialty.

I'm looking forward to seeing old friends, meeting new ones and enjoying the breed of dog we all love.  

Mike Greer, Columbus, GA (Hunt Test - Senior)

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The first time I attended a dog event sanctioned by AKC I was too young to understand what a dog hunt test was all about.

In the late 1950’s in Western North Carolina, our neighbors took my sister and me in as their surrogate grandchildren. Our parents were very supportive of our surrogate grandparent’s desire to treat us as their own and we got to take many vacation trips with them. My sister and I still carry fond memories from the many experiences that our surrogate grandparents created for us.

One memory I have is that they owned a small herd of beagles and I fell in love with dogs because of them. On several occasions we would take trips with all the beagles loaded on a trailer. At the time I had no idea why but later learned that these trips were made to run their beagles in field trials.

Because of the impression the beagles had on me at such a young age they continue to perpetuate my love of dogs. The first retriever I owned was a Golden Retriever named Champ. He epitomized everything that a Golden Retriever can be. He was a loving pet, a great hunter and easily a best friend. After college I began to travel with work and had little time to devote to owning another retriever.

A couple of years before retiring I started making a plan and created a bucket list. The first thing on the list was to add a retriever to the family. My wife and I fulfilled that bucket item and it has been non-stop ever since.

Lily, our Yellow Labrador Retriever, has taken us to many AKC and HRC events. She has earned hunt test titles from both AKC and HRC and has taken us places that we would never have dreamed. In another milestone, she was bred with an MH and a five-time GRHRC and gave birth to seven Chocolate puppies in November 2018. This litter is how we acquired Maggie, our second retriever.

I am a member of The Greater Atlanta AKC Retriever Club and treasurer of Old South HRC Club. I also volunteer with Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine in the Canine Performance Science Department. I am there one day each week and have the privilege of helping trainers teach Labrador Retrievers to become detection dogs.

Thanks to Lily, I have had the privilege of judging dog’s hunting test skills for both AKC and HRC and have been able to meet great people, have made lasting friendships and will continue to make new friends in this incredible dog enthusiast sport.  

Randall Gerbino, Stuart, FL (Hunt Test - Junior)

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I am honored and delighted to have been asked to judge an AKC Junior Hunter stake at the 2021 Golden National.

Originally from Western Pennsylvania, I have lived in Florida since the early 70's. I love the outdoors and, though I do not hunt myself, my husband hunts waterfowl and has always had a gun dog. After our children were in college, I was introduced to the AKC Hunt Test venue and I was totally hooked by this fun sport and how much the retrievers loved it. That was about 20 years ago and I've been blessed to have owned and handled many wonderful, interesting, sometimes quirky retrievers. I could watch dogs retrieve all day - each is an individual and all are special.

As a judge, I love watching the lower stakes dog/handler teams. It is rewarding to see the young/inexperienced dogs doing what they were bred to do. Though I believe in maintaining the test standard, I also love encouraging a dog/handler team in finding success at this great sport.  

Macy Swift, Vero Beach, FL (Hunt Test - Junior)

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Thank you to Mid-Florida Golden Retriever Club and GRCA for allowing me the privilege of judging the Junior stake at the 2021 National Specialty. Since 1985 I’ve had the pleasure of sharing my home with at least one golden, and more often multiple goldens. When I started raising labradors for Southeastern Guide Dogs in 1985 I sometimes exposed the puppies to retrieving birds, but it wasn’t until I became a breeder home in the late 90s that I felt I could actually train for and enter hunt tests. Since then I have enjoyed running and judging AKC hunt tests and WC/WCX events, as well as acting as Test Secretary for local and national events. Junior dogs are the best because they are such a bundle of raw talent and a joy to watch. Good luck everyone . . .remember to breathe!  

Christy Thomas, Vermilion, OH (Hunt Test - Junior)

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During my childhood, I wanted a dog more than anything, but I wasn’t allowed to have one due to my brother’s allergies. After I married, the opportunity came for me to finally get my very own dog and I chose a golden retriever!

Throughout the past 30+ years I have been blessed to be owned by six incredible goldens. Each one has taught me lessons along the way that have shaped the person, the trainer, the handler and the judge that I am today. These lessons taught me to be patient, to love, to rejoice, to accept disappointments and how to grieve. I've met some wonderful people along the way who have shared my passion for the breed and the work that they do.

The goldens that have owned me throughout the years: Tyko: Rusty Creek New Chapt’r at Skyefire CGC Born: 2019; Beau-D: CH OTCH10 Morgen's Lil' Bit of Skyefire UDX11 OGM TD MH27 AX AXJ WCX** VCX OBHF DDHF OS, School Therapy Dog, Born: 2010; Echo: OTCH Merichase Skye's Legacy UDX3 VCX2 SH AJ WCX OBHF CCA, Therapy Dog (2004-2017); Skye: OTCH Morninglo Fire in the Sky UDX4 MH NA NAJ WCX VCX OS, Therapy Dog (1997-2010); Indy: Santana’s Miss Independence UD JH WC (1992-2003); and Tandy: Thomas’ Tandy (1996-1991).

I became an AKC Junior and Senior Hunt test judge so I could give back to the sport that I’ve enjoyed for many years. I am also a member of the GRCA, CVGRC, BRC and CABTC, I’ve chaired the 2003 GRCA NS WC/WCX and will be chairing the GRCA WC/WCX at the 2022 National Specialty which CVGRC is again hosting. I am also a GRCA Statistician for the Triathlon Award and DDHF.

I am a retired elementary school teacher, a profession that I loved for 31 years. I’m co-owner of Canine Sports LLC in my hometown where I teach all of the competitive obedience classes. I’ve been married for 50 years to a very special person (Allan) who puts up with my dog obsession and we have an adult son, Joshua. A fun little note of trivia: Josh took horseback riding lessons here in Ohio from Kristin Ozmun Sipus (the chair of the 2021 Hunt Test) when he was young using her horse, Dove.

It is my pleasure to judge the Junior Hunt test at the 2021 GRCA NS hosted by Mid-Florida Golden Retriever Club. I would like to thank Kristin for inviting me. Good luck to everyone and enjoy!  

Carol Young, Medina, OH (Hunt Test - Junior)

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It is truly an honor and privilege to be selected to judge the hunt test at the 2021 Golden Retriever Club of America National Specialty. I am looking forward to watching our wonderful breed do what they were bred to do.

Growing up there was always a dog as part of my family. As I grew older I became the caretaker of our family dogs. I enjoyed teaching them tricks and basic obedience. They were my companions and confidants. My other siblings didn’t really have much interest in our dogs but they were an important part of my life. Raising them and taking care of them became the backbone for my love of dogs today.

I acquired my first Golden Retriever in 1990 and have had Goldens ever since. I was introduced to the sport of hunt tests with my first two Goldens. They were very forgiving as I learned how to handle and train them for field work and other competition venues. I currently share my life with three Goldens. My oldest, Crash, earned his Hunt Test Hall of Fame and the Master National Hunter title in 2017. He loves field work and has well over 60 Master Hunter passes under his belt. My young dog, Summit, is working on his Master Hunter title and also competes in agility and dock diving. My up and coming puppy, Punch, is learning the ropes and enjoying life.

Good luck to everyone entered in the hunt test! I look forward to judging and rooting for you and your teammate to do well.