Saturday July 7, 2018

Opening Banquet

Welcome to the running of the 2018 Canadian National Retriever Championship, hosted by the North Bay and District Retriever Training Club. The Callander Community Centre serves as a perfect venue for the banquet. The Callander Fire and Rescue Squad managed the bar with all proceeds going to the Nipissing Childrens’ Christmas Fund.Great home cooking with roast pork loin, mashed potatoes, vegetables and salad. And don’t forget the fabulous pies curtesy of club members Shiela Andrew, Lynn Maeck, and Pat Barber.
Opening Banquet is always a time to catch up with old friends and make a few new ones as well. The community centre was packed with contestants, judges, and club members, all having a good time and enjoying the camaraderie.



Right on time for dinner, the head table was piped in. Hubert Shank, Master of Ceremonies led the way, followed by Dan Yeomans, judge representing the southern Ontario Zone, Dawne McKenzie, judge from the Central Zone, Daniel Shnitka, judge from the Western Zone, Purina Rep Bill Kennedy, Diane and Jim Ling, Past President of the National Retriever Club, Heather Stewart, Chief Marshal, and Tanya Andrew, President of the North Bay and District Retriever Training Club.

Head Table: Tanya Andrew, Heather Stewart, Jim Ling, Diane Ling, Bill Kennedy, Daniel Shnitka, Dawne McKenzie, Dan Yeomans, Hubert Shank.

Master of Ceremonies, Hubert Shank introduced the Head Table, the then raised a glss to toast the Office of the President of the United States and the Queen. Then Gerry Burmaster was called upon the lead the group in singing the US and Canadian national anthems.
Next up was the President of the North Bay and District Retriever Training Club, Tanya Andrew. Tanya thanked the members and friends that shave stepped up to help host this National, many working tirelessly behind the scenes. A special lifetime membership award was presented to Jim Andrew, Hubert Shank, and Bill Fleming by their daughters. This award recognizes their past and current contributions to the club. Tanya also wanted to remember Chip and Shirley Stroud who were founding members of the club and have sinced passed.

Left to right: Tanya Andrew, Jim Andrew, Hubert Shank, Carolyn Vankeuren, Bill Fleming, and Sarah Fleming
Thank you also went out to Shirley Greener who stepped up as Field Trial Secretary even though she is not a member. And to Dona Martin for the internet coverage and Karen Carson who is keeping all of the Facebook followers up-to-date.

Daniel Shnitka spoke on behalf of the judges and explained that tests may not be in the order as anticipated but will meet the criteria for a National. The judges concern for the heat and health of the dogs is foremost on their mind. Daniel thanked the setup crew, Shirley Greener, Dave Thompson, and the Chief Marshal Heather Stewart. Setup dogs gave the judges a good understanding of the tests they were setting. Daniel mentioned he has learned alot already about deer flies and mosquitos, none of which are on Vancouver Island where Daniel lives.

Next up, Jim Ling Past President of the National Retriever Club of Canada. Jim acknowledge the huge contribution our sponsors make and thanked Purina, the Official Sponsor of the Canadian National Open and Canadian National Amateur Retriever Championships, Official Dog Food Sponsor, Avery Sporting Dog, Garmin official e-collar supplier, Ducks Unlimited Canada supplier of the finalist gifts, Zinger Winger, Retriever Results our partner in reporting Field Trial Results, and Animal Portraits by Connie Swanson for supplying a portrait to the winner. NRCC pins were presented to the Purina Representative, Bill Kennedy and Connie Swanson for her contribution of original portraits for the winners of each National and National Amateur. Jim followed up with awarding NRCC pins to FT Chair Hubert Shank, Chief Marshal Heather Stewart and Field Trial Secretary Shirley Greener. Next the judges were also present NRCC pins, Dan Yeomans representing the Souther Ontario Zone, Dawne McKenzie from the Central Zone and Daniel Shnitka from the Western Zone.
Dennis Voigt spoke on behalf of Di Howard in presenting the Charlie Howard Memorial Award. Dennis outlined the criteria for being nominated and provided a brief history of past recipients. This year the award was presented to Jim Andrew for his contribution to the Field Trial sport at the national, provincial and local levels. Jim can always be relied upon to step up and help whenever needed.



Next up the Chief Marshal provided the instructions from the judges regarding no bird protocol, dealing with deer flies bothering the dogs etc. and announced the first test would be a Land Triple.
Everyone attending the dinner was eligible for the draw to win a large gift basket which was donated by Bill and Carol Fleming. Dave Broomhead was only too pleased to be the lucky recipient.

As well, Garmin, one of our major sponsors donated the contestant bibs, 2 Pro 550 e-collars as fund raisers for the Host Club and money to offset expenses. Ken Crosby held the lucky card and won one of the collars. Thank you to Garmin for their generous donations. It is sponsors like Garmin that help to make our National events successful.
Before the judges headed out for the night, club President, Tanya Andrew and Master of Ceremonies, Hubert Shank, presented them with judges gifts.

Once the judges had retired for the night we got down to the serious business of the Calcutta. David Thompson was the Auctioneer, Bill Kennedy introduced the dogs and presented the hats and bibs, and NRCC Director, Richard Dresser presented the contestants with NRCC pins.