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Purina Masterclass

Rody Best & Stephen Durrence

Topic: Cross-Training Retriever Athletes for Success


In this masterclass, I'm honored to have two respected guest trainers Rody Best and Stephen Durrence , joining me. Together, we will deep dive into the world of cross-training competition retrievers to excel in both hunt tests and field trials.

Here's what you can expect:

  1. Preparing Young Dogs for Dual Competition: We'll explore the essential strategies to set up your young dog for success in both hunt tests and field trials.

  2. Transitioning from Hunt Test to Field Trial: Learn the seamless techniques to transition your hunt test-focused dog into the exciting realm of field trial competitions.

  3. Challenges of Switching Between Games: Gain valuable insights into the unique challenges of switching back and forth between hunt tests and field trials and how to overcome them.

Presented by:

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PMC Best & Durrence 2023
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Rody Best

Rody is the owner of Best Retrievers- a 120 acre operation in the heart of Texas designed exclusively for retriever training.  With a team of seven professional trainers on staff, they specialize in training retrievers for hunting and competition.  They also do all-breed obedience, puppy training and have a professional whelping service for raising puppies.  


Rody is the Head Field Trainer and oversees the competitive dogs and advanced training. He has over 25 years of professional training experience.  Best Retrievers participates in the AKC Hunt Test Program (Junior through Master and Master National), AKC Field Trial program (Qualifying), and the Super Retriever Series.  Rody has trained over 100 Master Hunters,  13 Grand Hunting Retrieving Champions, won a Qualifying and trained a QA2, won 6 Super Retriever Series events, and qualified for over a dozen Super Retriever

Series Crown Championships.  

In 2020, Rody was honored with the first-ever "Humanitarian Sportsman Recognition" award by The Master National Retriever Club Foundation for rescuing people and pets from the floodwaters of hurricane Harvey. He also received the "Nike" Award from the Super Retriever Series in 2012 for his sportsmanship in the SRS.  


Rody's strengths lie in his ability to educate other handlers, show them how to evaluate and correct their dog's behavior, and help them become the best they can be through repetition, patience, and teamwork.

Stephen Durrence

Stephen Durrence, born and raised on a generations-old farm in south Georgia, cherished his rural upbringing alongside his grandfather, Odis, who instilled in him a love for animals and farming. While studying in college, Stephen's passion shifted to retrievers, influenced by his fascination with waterfowl hunting and the Great Outdoor Games on ESPN. In 2005, he and his
wife Kendra acquired their first retriever, sparking a deep interest in retriever training.


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After graduating from college, Stephen's commitment to retrievers led him to establish Taylor Farm Kennels, named in honor of his grandfather. Initially focused on producing high-end gun-dogs, the kennel evolved into a renowned facility for AKC and UKC hunt tests, minor stake field trials, and the SuperRetriever Series. Stephen's expertise has resulted in training 48 GrandHunting Retriever Champions, 19 Master National Hall of Fame members, andfour SRS Crown Championship wins, most recently in 2022.


Taylor Farm Kennels remains a family endeavor, with Stephen, Kendra, and their four children actively participating in various competitions. For them, it's a labor of love, where work is indistinguishable from enjoyment. It's not work when you enjoy what you do.

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