Not that many years ago, the Club Secretaries job for putting on a Hunt Test was incredibly difficult. All the entries were received via what is now called “snail mail” mail. Oftentimes special deliveries were overnighted and came pouring in hours before the deadline approached. The envelopes were put in a grocery bag and shaken up. Usually several members gathered together for the “drawing” of the names and thus created the running order. (inevitably some would show up the next day and calls had to be made to very unhappy folks that didn’t get their entry in in time). Development of the catalog for the event was at least a weeklong process of inputting information in some semblance of order, creating a complete production before each event. It was archaic and a nightmare and usually before each test Club’s were scrambling for new Secretaries as no one would ever want to do this insane chore more than once!
Then along came Entry Express (www.entryexpress.net). Secretaries all over the country were skeptical at first. How could one website gather all the information; create catalogs; store results virtually forever; and produce and get catalogs to secretaries in plenty of time for secretaries to get them to the test. But they did it! They streamlined a system at a time when the hunt test program was just starting to explode! They filled a niche and did so economically and efficiently, and have maintained their track record for over ten years now.
Now for the novice handler to enter an event, you simply go to the website and first create your own account. Then you add your dogs information, just once. You list the owner and handler information (and be sure and answer the amateur/pro questions), then hit save, and they will add your data to their database. Don’t worry – this is a very secure site! My dogs have been on it for years and years without any problems whatsoever. If you have any concerns, Entry express staff is very responsive to anyone using their site. Email them at email@example.com.
Once Fido’s information has been entered, you are ready to enter him in an event. Scroll back to the Entry Express Home page. On the left side of the page click on “Hunt tests” or “Field trials”, whichever it is you want to enter. There are also usually other special events such as seminars etc listed that you can scroll through. Once you’ve clicked on what it is you want to enter, it’ll take you to a chronological calendar of all the tests in the United States that have been approved, or are pended until the entries open. The entry open and close dates are set by AKC, and Entry Express manages the open and close dates in accordance with the AKC policies in effect. Move your cursor over to the right column and you’ll see the dates of the events and the last date to enter. Then scroll through the calendar until you find the event you want to enter. Double click on it and read all about it in the premium. (I usually print them for reference later, as they’ll have maps, special instructions and so forth in the premium. Also, if you have a question that isn’t answered in the premium, there’s numbers of club members you can contact.) After you KNOW you’re at the right event, back up to the screen that says “enter event”. Hit that button and a screen with all your dogs will come up. Be really careful that you enter the right dog on the right day, at the right level he’s running. Once you click which stake you want to enter, follow the instructions and it will take you to the pay screen. The cost for the service is $4.50 per event per dog. Cheap considering what you get for your money. Over the years you can go back in and check your dog(s) records and pass fail results for each test. Entry Express also tracks all the Master passes for the newly formed Master Amateur Retriever Club, which is a whole nother story!
After you’ve successfully entered an event, you’ll immediately get a receipt via email – so that’s your confirmation. I also go back in and check and be sure my dog is now listed as one of the entered dogs. That’s my guarantee! When you do that, you’ll see (scratch?) behind your dogs name. Nobody else can see that. That means that YOU are the only one that can click that button and scratch your dog (ie a female comes in season, becomes injured, or you realize you can’t attend.)
Please take some time and read through their policies and understand there are penalties for withdrawing after the closing date. Understand that clubs have hired judges, workers, ordered supplies including live birds for your dog based on your entry ~ its very expensive to everyone when you have to cancel – so only do so if you really need to and understand the scratch policy for every test you enter, (they vary from club to club).
Once you’ve entered your first event, you’ll quickly appreciate how quick and efficient Entry Express is to use, and how much Clubs and Club Secretaries appreciate what they’ve done for the program and how this company is a model of efficiency for the Performance Events of AKC.