HISTORY OF OUR ANNUAL AWARDS

The Encouragemt Trophy
Our very first Annual Trophy was presented in 1968. In order to encourage more members to show their dogs the club decided to award an Annual Trophy to the dog who had accumulated the highest number of points at selected shows where a club sash for Best of Breed and Best Opposite Sex of Breed would be awarded. This award was originally named the Ross Greenfield Trophy after a young club member who was tragically killed in a car accident. The first recipient of this trophy was John and Gretta Tombs’ bitch Lantana Honeyflower. The following year the award was renamed the Encouragement Trophy.

The Achievement Trophy
In 1971 a new Annual Award was created for the top Golden of the year called the Achievement Trophy. Points for this trophy were awarded at selected shows. The Encouragement Trophy was now limited to non champions and points for this trophy were awarded at club fixtures. That year the Achievement Trophy was given to Taumac Kennels’ Ch Taumac Golden Keela and the Encouragement Trophy to Pebbleridge Kennels’ Pebbleridge Kelly Gold.

The Challenge Winners Trophy
In 1977 it was decided to have an annual competition for challenge winners. The winner of this award was the dog gaining the highest number of challenge points during the year. The Challenge Winners Trophy was awarded for the first time to Glenstuart Kennels’ Ch Castiewood Woburn Gold. Later the rules were amended and the dog and the bitch with the highest number of challenge points were both awarded a Challenge Winners Trophy.

Club Medallions and Statues
Club medallions were first awarded to club members whose dogs gained their Champion titles in 1969. This tradition continued for conformation, obedience, retrieving and field titles until 1993 when the committee commissioned a ceramic Golden Retriever Statue which was presented to Champions of all disciplines, and dogs earning a Utility Dog title in obedience. Medallions continued to be awarded for all other titles. In 1993 at our AGM the club was very pleased to present seventeen statues to conformation Champions, two statues to Field Trial Champions and a statue to a brand new Dual Champion in retrieving. It certainly was a grand start to a new tradition. Today statues are awarded to members who make up Champions in all disciplines – conformation, obedience, tracking, retrieving, field and agility.

Junior Handlers Awards
Puppy of the Year Award
The Obedience Award
The Working Dog Award

During the next few years several new awards were introduced by the club. The purpose of the new awards was to continue to encourage members to compete in these disciplines with their Golden Retrievers. Junior Handler classes were already a regular event at club competitions and two annual awards were presented for two age groups. The Obedience Award was first presented in 1981 with points earned at all Victorian obedience trials. The Puppy of the Year Award was also a new award in 1981. In 1983 the Challenge Winners Award was presented to both the Dog Challenge Winner and the Bitch Challenge Winner. The Working Dog Award was first presented in 1984.

RT Ch Atawhai Tangaroa CD CM Perpetual Trophy
In 1983 the RT Ch Atawhai Tangaroa CD CM Perpetual Trophy was donated to the club by John and Vicky Lawton in memory of their dog, Tang, who had been tragically killed. The first recipient of this trophy was Guldbrae Hiland Echo CDX in 1984.

The Gretta Tombs Encouragement Award
In 1985 the Encouragement Award was renamed the Gretta Tombs Encouragement Award in honour of Life Member Gretta Tombs who had passed away suddenly.

The Novice Award
The Open Award
The Utility Award

The Obedience Award was a single award for the best obedience dog competing in any level of obedience until 1989 when three separate awards were introduced. Obedience Awards offered that year were the Novice Award, the Open Award and the Utility Award. A Tracking Award was also introduced.

The Retrieving Award
The Field Award

Similarly the Working Dog Award was a single award for the dog gaining the most points in Field and Retrieving Trials until 1990 when two separate awards were presented. The Field Award and the Retrieving Award were added to our list of presentations. 

Dual Purpose Award
In October 1993 a one time Dual Purpose Award was presented by the club to the Golden Retriever who earned points in conformation points and points in obedience, retrieving or field in the award period. This award was a beautifully framed limited edition print of International Champion and International Field Trial Champion David of Westley which had been donated to the club by A Titterington and Seawyf Kennels. This prize was won by Dual Ch (R) Allanora Xmas Holly CD and proud owners Kim and Steve Burke.

The Tracking Award
Although created in 1989, the Tracking Award was presented for the first time in 1994. The winner of the award that year was Ch Tulzean Tollara TD handled by Kerry Barfus.

Dog and Bitch of the Year
In 1995 the Challenge Winners Awards were renamed Dog of the Year and Bitch of the Year. Dogs earning reserve challenges now also accumulated points towards this award. The following year it was decided to present separate awards for dogs and bitches for the Achievement Award, the Puppy of the Year Award and the Gretta Tombs Encouragement Award.

The Agility Award
The first Agility Award was presented in 1998 to acknowledge this new working discipline. It was awarded to Pam and Janelle Convery’s dog Diogenes Jackpot AD.

Point Score Shows
Although the club’s awards are named Annual Awards, the conformation awards are earned by gaining points at selected shows. These shows became known as point score shows and our awards are often referred to as Point Score Awards. During 2000 the club’s point score conformation awards were suspended pending a review of the whole conformation award system. Input from club members was sought to revitalise the whole awards concept. The only conformation awards presented in 2000, 2001 and 2002 were The Gretta Tombs Encouragement Dog Award, The Gretta Tombs Encouragement Bitch Award and the two Junior Handlers Awards.

In July 2001 a system of feature shows was introduced. Twelve feature shows were nominated for the next twelve months and the club donated sashes or rosettes for all the best of class winners at these shows. The idea was to increase the number of Golden Retrievers entered at these feature shows and to foster competition at these shows. Unfortunately the feature show concept was not successful in increasing the numbers of Golden Retrievers competing at conformation shows, so the concept was discontinued after the last feature show in August 2002.

A new system of point score shows was adopted in 2002 and at the end of the awards year in 2003, these new awards were presented:
Baby Puppy of the Year
Minor Puppy of the Year
Puppy of the Year
Junior of the Year
Intermediate of the Year
Top Dog of the Year
Top Bitch of the Year

Points towards the awards were earned at nominated point score shows throughout the year. Special certificates were also designed and awarded at the nominated point score shows to the winners of Best of Breed, Runner Up Best of Breed and the best of each class. In addition a Challenge Dog of the Year award and a Challenge Bitch of the Year award were presented. These Challenge Awards were awarded to the dog and bitch awarded the highest number of challenge points at Victorian Championship shows. The two Gretta Tombs Encouragement Awards were renamed The John Tombs Encouragement Award for the best dog and The Gretta Tombs Encouragement Award for the best bitch.

This new point score system has been popular with members because this system has continued up to the present day with the amendment in 2004 to add these two awards:
Aust Bred of the Year
Open of the Year

The Jumping Award
2003 also saw the new working discipline of Jumping recognised by the club with the addition of a Jumping Award. Jumping is a competition which sits under the agility banner.

The Bert Kewish Memorial Trophy
In 2004, Phyl Kewish donated a new Annual Award in memory of Bert Kewish. The Bert Kewish Memorial Trophy is awarded to the dog or bitch winning the highest number of challenge points at Victorian Championship shows. The first winner of this trophy was Dianne Lee’s bitch Ch Santamaria Annaliese.

The John and Gretta Tombs Puppy of the Year Award
Also in 2004 there were some changes to the encouragement awards. That year the club presented the John Tombs Award for the best dog competing at club events and the Gretta Tombs Award for the best bitch at club events. Points for these awards are earned at the club’s Open Show and Member’s Competitions. The John and Gretta Tombs Encouragement Awards for dogs and bitches were superseded by these two awards. Unfortunately the lack of support for our Member’s Competitions and their subsequent discontinuation has meant that the last recipients of the John Tombs Award and the Gretta Tombs Award were Vicky Johnson’s Loganbay Standin Ovation and Denise Bristow’s Emperosgold Aussie Idol in 2007.

This marked the end of a long club tradition because although these two awards were fairly new, the awards they replaced have existed basically in a similar format since the early days of our club. The encouragement award was first awarded for competition at our club events in 1971. To continue to recognise these two members of the club, in 2008 the Puppy of the Year award is to be renamed The John and Gretta Tombs Puppy of the Year Award.

Obedience Dog of the Year
Agility Dog of the Year
Tracking Dog of the Year
Retrieving Dog of the Year

2008 saw our annual award year become calendar based and not aligned with the date of our Championship Show as had been traditional. The rules for the working disciplines were reviewed which resulted in one significant award being presented in each discipline to the best dog in that field.  The new Obedience Dog of the Year Award is awarded to the dog that has excelled in that field, irrespective of the level of competition he is competing at. The new Agility Dog of the Year is awarded to the best dog competing in both Agility and Jumping competition.

The presentation of our club’s Annual Awards continues a long tradition of encouraging competition by Golden Retrievers in various fields of endeavour and rewarding those dogs that perform with distinction. 

Ch Lantana Country Boy

Ch Anbria Sands (Imp UK)

Ch Sandvalley Rufantuf
Ch Sweetwater Spirit