People have relied on their dogs for help retrieving game for many years. Probably many, many, many years.
As often happens when people get together, they're compelled to see which dog is better. Thus the birth of competitive field trials.
Not everyone has the time, money or desire to compete in field trials, but they sure do like to show off what their huntin' dawgs can do! Thus the birth of the Hunting Retriever Club.
"Conceived by Hunters for Hunters" became the motto of the HRC. Judges strive to set up realistic hunting scenarios with duck calls and camo, real birds and handlers shooting shotguns (albeit with blanks).
Omar Driskill, Richard Walters and Bill Tarrant are some of the men instrumental in the founding of retriever hunt tests and the HRC.
I was lucky to be able to run my first HRC test under Omar and still have the ribbon he awarded my dog!
Watch the video to learn some history of retriever sports in general and the beginning of the Hunting Retriever Club in particular. I especially like the comment someone made about misnaming the Started stake. See if you can catch what he thought Started should have been called!
(video courtesy of the Hunting Retriever Club Inc.)