Sunday September 9, 2018

Updated: Tuesday 10:00 pm
Sorry for the lateness of this post. Technology doesn’t always cooperate.


Opening Banquet

The 2018 National Retriever Championship, hosted by the Red Deer Retriever Club, kicked into high gear at the opening banquet. Field trialers from across Canada and our friends from south of the border, converged on the Community Hall in Spruce View Alberta, to renew friendships with old friends and make a few new ones. Sometimes this event is the only chance to catch up on how the family and dogs are doing.
Having a Good Laugh

Catching Up

After the head table was piped in, Jim Swanson stepped forward to “Pay the Piper”. For anyone who knows Jim, he is only too willing to help out the club and raise a glass with the piper.
Paying the Piper

Piping in the Head Table

The Master of Ceremonies for the evening was Colette Prefontaine, who started off by introducing the Head Table. Stu Mead, Field Trial Chair, Diana Mead, field Trial Secretary, Judges Mark Laberge, Trevor Dickens, & Al Lanigan, Canadian Kennel Club Retriever Council Rep, Rob Littlemore, Chief Marshal Doug Shepherd and his wife Elaine, Dona Martin, National Retriever club of Canada Secretary / Communications Officer. Colette welcomed everyone to the 2018 National and asked Stu Mead to Toast the Queen and the Office of the President, followed by Colette offering grace.
To the Queen

Master of Ceremonies

Dinner was an excellent roast beef dinner with yorkshire pudding, gravy and all of the trimmings. Alberta is known for its quality beef and no one was disappointed. After dinner, Jim Swanson entertained the crowd with some tall tales and light hearted humour. Daniel Danforth, NRCC Director from Alberta, spoke on behalf of the NRCC President Graham Tyler. Dan welcomed the contestants the thanks the Red Deer Retriever Club for hosting the 2018 National, and especially thanked Stu and Diana Mead for being the driving force behind hosting this National. Next, dan thanked the landowners without whose generosity in permitting the use of their properties, we could not hold these National events. Thank you to Stuart & Diana Mead, Allen & Janice Murphy, Robin & Shanna Mundell, and Joel & Ginger Christian. Dan went on to thank our sponsors. Nestle-Purina 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. Thank you as well to Ducks Unlimited Canada supplier of the finalist gifts, Zinger Winger official remote launcher supplier, and Animal Portraits by Connie Swanson for supplying portrait to the winner. Without these sponsors and donations from, local contributors, businesses catering to the needs of field trialers, National events like these would not be possible. Thank you. Jim then presented the judges Mark Laberge, Trevor Dickens and Al Lanigan with NRRC pins. Followed by NRCC pins presented to Field Trial Chair Stuart Mead, Field Trial Marshal Doug Shepherd, and Field Trial Secretary Diana Mead in recognition of their hard work in hosting this National. Dan concluded with wishing the competitors straight lines and fair winds.
Dan Danforth

Jim Swanson

Canadian Kennel Club Retriever Council rep, Rob Littlemore provided a little insight into the history of the Red Deer Retriever Club, recognizing the years of contribution by Don Pollock and thanking Stu Mead for picking up the torch and hosting his first field trial in the Spring and the National all in the first year running the club. Thank you and well done. Rob remarked on the calibre of dogs. Entries were small but the included the elite few.
Chief Marshal, Doug Shepherd provided the instructions from the judges and then thanked the setup crew for their hard work in the days leading up to the National. Thank you to Dick Curran, Kerry Curran, Jim Nichols, Brian West and Bill Young. We heard how tirelessly they work and How Jim Nichols managed to get stuck in a field that has seen drought all summer. Unfortunately, Jim will be leading the caravan and parking for the week.
Chief Marshal


Trevor Dickens spoke on behalf of the judges thanking Stu and Diana for their hospitality and the hard work put in by the setup team. He commented on the great grounds that allowed the judges to set demanding tests and wish all of the contestants good luck. The judges then excused themselves and retired for the evening. Judges cannot attend the calcutta, which immediately got under way with auctioneer Tim Kriel. Tim did a great job of convincing the handlers to part with their hard earned cash and make some money for the host club. At the end of the evening, dog #2 was selected as the starting dog. For that honour, Marg Murray received a large ceramic dog which she was thrilled to receive.
Judge - Trevor Dickens

And the winner is ...

Table Talk