Copyright © 2005
East Tennessee Retriever Club

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Copyright © 2005.
All rights reserved.
March 17, 2021.

The East Tennessee Retriever Club, Inc, ("ETRC") is a "not for profit corporation" founded in 1985 by a group of dedicated Tennessee sportsmen. ETRC is licensed and governed by the American Kennel Club, and is also a member of the Master National Retriever Club. The club is based in the Knoxville, TN, area and draws most of its membership from the East Tennessee region and the surrounding states of Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, and South Carolina. ETRC conducts only AKC Hunt Tests for Retrievers, which we hold in May and October.

Back in 1985, the club was in its infant stage, and things were different. Our name then was "East Tennessee Amateur Retriever Club", and we ran both Field Trials and Hunt Tests in our club events. The Club had to run club trials and fun tests for 2 years before the AKC allowed us to run an official Hunt Test. Of course with such a young club, the club events were Puppy, Junior, and Senior events. Most of the club events were held either at the Charlie Browder farm in Sweetwater, TN, or the Chuck Atchley farm in Sevierville, TN, which is still being used today. All of the early AKC tests were held at the Browder farm. In 1987 we held our first AKC sanctioned "A" Hunt Test, and during that same year we held a joint club trial with the Chattanooga Retriever Club. With these back to back events, our club learned much more about running official events. Our proud day came in November when the ETRC held its first AKC sanctioned Hunt Test. We had a small start, with 61 Junior, 15 Senior, and 9 Master entries, but it was a successful start.

In February of 1989 the East Tennessee Amateur Retriever Club, dropped the "Amateur", and became the East Tennessee Retriever Club (ETRC). We also changed our logo to the current logo, which was included on our May 5, 1989, newsletter for the first time. In 1992 the club joined the Master National Retriever Club, which allowed passes earned by dogs at ETRC’s AKC Master Hunter Tests to count towards qualification for the Master National Retriever test held each year by the Master National Retriever Club.

1993 proved to be a tense year for the club because the Charlie Browder dairy farm was being auctioned off and sold into tracts. The farm was auctioned off in April, but with the help of one of our founding members, Jim Holcomb, we were able to use enough of the property to hold our final AKC Hunt Test at the Browder farm in May. The committee assigned to search for new grounds located a new farm for Hunt Tests and training, the Calvin Holt Farm, and the club conducted its first Hunt Test on the new grounds in November of that same year and continued through 2006.

In 2007, we began a search for new grounds on which to hold our training days and hunt tests. We still needed a place to hold our hunt tests during the search and secured Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge in Birchwood, TN. for our spring 2007 AKC Hunt Test.

We continued our search for new grounds for training and hunt tests. We looked at several locations and were granted permission from Mr. Richard Kinzalow to use his 450-acre farm.  The farm has large fields and two large ponds. We held our AKC Hunt Tests at the Kinzalow Farm in fall of 2007 and continued to hold the spring tests at Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge. In 2010 we moved all of our AKC Hunt Tests to Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge and continue to use the Kinzalow Farm for Training.

In our 2002 Spring Hunt Test we had the most dogs entered in our club’s history. A total of 458 dogs were entered to run over the course of the weekend. WE SURVIVED IT!! In March of 2000, we finally became a Member Club of the American Kennel Club, which gave us voting privileges at AKC meetings. A Delegate was elected to represent us at AKC meetings and vote on behalf of the club and report upcoming changes or recommendations to the club.

What began as a group of 22 people sharing an interest in the sport has grown to a club with over 54 members. As you can see the East Tennessee Retriever Club has come a long way since 1985, and we are still striving to give the members of the club opportunities to advance themselves and their dogs in our quest to achieve the Hunt Test standard. With a little "southern hospitality", great weather, really tall tales, and a beautiful farm to train on and wonderful grounds to hold events on, the sky is the limit. IT DOESN'T GET ANY BETTER

click photos to enlarge

James (Jim) Holcombe
Founding Member

Jim Pierce & Penny

John Guinn & Diesel
2010 Gun Dog of the Year

Brent McCoy & Ella
2010 Puppy of the Year

Shelia Nelson & Trey & Foxx

Carol Stone & Rio