History of Four States HRC   
 
In the spring of 1991, a small group of retriever enthusiasts, hunters, dog handlers, a veterinarian, and a professional trainer from the local area founded a club to encourage and promote the natural hunting qualities in their retrievers and advance the breed through sportsmanlike competition in the course of hunting tests and field trials. Thus, the Four States Retriever Club was formed. The first club president was Curtis Treadway of Stamps, Arkansas.

The club struggled during the first years as it tried to associate with the American Kennel Club which only wanted to recognize established clubs at that time. Several retriever clubs in the area such as El Dorado’s South Arkansas, Little Rock’s Pin Oak, Ruston’s North Louisiana and Shreveport’s Shreveport-Bossier Hunting Retriever Clubs offered assistance in getting Four States Retriever Club recognized with the United Kennel Club and its affiliated program – the Hunting Retriever Club.

In 1995, the Four States Hunting Retriever Club, Inc. became an official UKC Hunting Retriever Club. The inaugural hunt test was held at Holly Mound Hunting Club, Lewisville, AR with Buster Riggs of Wake Village as the first president of the licensed UKC-HRC club. Forty eight dogs and thirty seven handlers participated with people traveling from as far as Houston, Dallas, Monroe, Little Rock, and Idabel, OK. It was truly a four states event.

Charter club members Curtis and Terrie Treadway recall the first couple of hunt tests, “We put on an excellent hunt test. We borrowed equipment including birds from neighboring clubs. In addition, the judges offered their services free of charge.”

“We didn’t have enough of our own members to handle everything. Club members from other clubs helped with all phases of the hunt test.”

“The first year the club’s bird throwers were four men and a couple of really young boys”, states Terrie Treadway. “The next year, a fourteen year old young man and six of his friends were hired to help throw birds. Unfortunately, a driving rain and sleet storm happened that year and the bird throwers were wet from head to toe and freezing by the end of the day. The ringleader of the bird boys said he would get his friends to come the next day, but they needed more pay to stay out in the bad weather conditions. Thus, what we called the “Four States Bird-Boy Union” was formed.”

“After the expenses associated with the first hunt test were paid, there was barely enough money to cover expenses for the next hunt”. In 2000, people from the Maud area became members and the club really started to gain momentum. The Four states Hunting Retriever Club now has most of the judges for the hunt test coming from within its own ranks as well as sufficient number of club members to stage the event. The club now has a reputation of hosting a well organized and outstanding hunt test. The Spring 2005 Hunt Test hosted over two hundred entries for the two day event. ”

The club has come a long way from its beginning. It has more than doubled its membership from its inception, and the club also has the honorable distinction of having five Grand Judges as members.

Contributed by Terrie Treadway

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