Saturday September 7, 2019

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Opening Banquet

Welcome to the 2019 Canadian National Retriever Championship, hosted by the Labrador Retriever Club of Central Ontario in Brighton Ontario. A big thank you goes out to the club members and friends who worked tirelessly behind the scenes getting ready for this event. There is anticipation and excitment in the air, as the best dogs and handlers across Canada and some from the US, have come to compete to determine who will be the top dog. Contestants have travelled from as far away as Alberta to compete.
After a little catch-up time with old friends and making a few new ones, the opening banquet got underway with the piping in of the Head table by Fred Alderman. Jne Tompson lead the group in singing the American and Canadian National anthems. Randy Buettner toasted the Office of the President of the United States, followed by Howard Simson toasting the Queen. Cheryl Ritchie, Field Trial Secretary, said grace. Before being seated, Master of Ceremonies, Jim Ling asked for a moment of silence for our NRCC President, Graham Tyler who passed away on August 22 after a lengthy battle with cancer.

Head table from left to right: Jim Ling, Master of Ceremonies, and his wife Diane, Randy Buettner, Assistant Marshal, NRCC President, Jim Andrew and his wife Shiela, judges, Sharon van der Lee, and Chris Bayles, Field Trial Chair David Thompson and his wife and biggest supporter, Jane, Jacqueline and Bill Kennedy, Purina rep. (Absent judge, Gerry Pozzebon)
Following a fabulous home cooked dinner of roast turkey, mashed potatoes, all the fixings, and home-made pies, Jim Andrew, President of the NRCC, took the podium. To begin, Jim welcomed everyone to the 2019 National Retriever Championship and thanked the host club, the Labrador Retriever Club of Central Ontario. This hard working club hosted the 2017 National as well. Thank you for all of your hard work.
Jim thanked the National sponsors, upon whom the NRCC and National events depend on to ensure the high quality of the events. Thank you to: Purina, the Official Sponsor of the Canadian National Open and Canadian National Amateur Retriever Championships, Official Dog Food Sponsor and the Official Dog Food Supplier to the National Retriever Club of Canada, Avery Sporting Dog, Garmin official e-collar supplier, Ducks Unlimited Canada, Zinger Winger, Canine Field Co, Kent Cartridge official ammunition supplier, and Retriever Results our partner in reporting Field Trial Results. Purina representative Bill Kennedy and Canine Field Co. representative Kevin Riddell, came forward to receive NRCC sponsor pins as a token of our appreciation.
Next, the judges were asked to come forward to receive their NRCC pins. From the Western Zone, Sharon van der Lee, and from the Eastern Zone, Chris Bayles. Absent was Eastern Zone judge, Gerry Pozzebon who was feeling a bit under the weather.
At each National we recognize retiring Director who have fulfilled their term of 3 years, and welcome new Directors. First, Jim acknowledged the contribution Graham Tyler made as President and past Director representing BC, before thanking Directors who have accepted nominations for an additional 3 year term. British Columbia - Jane Spearing, Alberta - Gord Benn, Southern Ontario - Connie Swanson, Nova Scotia - Mike Zelman. Welcome to Susan Shearer from BC who will fulfill the remaining term for Grahm.
National Retriever Club of Canada pins were then awarded to FT Chair - Dave Thompson, and FT Secretary- Cheryl Ritchie in appreciation for their contribution to the success of the 2019 National. Absent was Chief Marshal - Greg MacInnis
Jim then proceeded to announce the host club for the 2020 National Amateur would be the Northern Ontario Retriever Association and the event is scheduled to take place in Iron Bridge Ontario from July 19-25. The judges will be from the Western Zone, Peter Muursepp and Dan Danforth, and from the Eastern Zone, Scott Adams. Should be a great National Amateur, so mark it on your calendars. The 2020 National will be hosted by the Manitoba Gun Dog Association from September 14-19, in Balmoral Manitoba. The Eastern Zone judges will be Dave Wardle and Boyd Rutledge with the Western Zone judge to be determined at a later date.
The FT Committee for this National are as follows:
  • Committee Chair - Chief Marshal - Greg MacInnis
  • FT Chair - Dave Thompson
  • Western zone - Dan Danforth
  • Eastern zone - Ken Crosby
  • Eastern zone - Karen Carson

On behalf of the host club, Jim Ling presented the judges, Chris Bayles and Sharon van der Lee with thank you gifts. then, Chris Bayles spoke on behalf of the judges, thanking the host club and setup crew for all of their hard work. Chris indicated that the judges have made a sincere effort to set demanding tests for both handlers and their dogs. Good luck to all and enjoy the week.
Next, Randy Buettner, Assistant Marshal, followed up with instructions from the judges, before they were excused for the evening so that the serious business of the Calcutta could get underway. The Calcutta is a Canadian tradition at Nationals to auction off competing dogs to the highest bidder as a fund raiser for the National. Let the fun begin.
Scenes from the Banquet


At the end of the night the starting dog number was drawn. Dog number 52 FC-FTCH-AFTCH Sweetwater's Ten Deuce All In will start the 1st series which is planned to be a Land Triple. The caravan will leave headquarters at 6:30 am sharp.