In 1993, David Dibblee, a Canadian field trialer from Nova Scotia, acquired his first springer spaniel bitch with breeding privileges - Glenrock Ripple - from David "Doc" McCurdy. The dog showed great potential at an early age. Never trialed as a puppy, she won her first placement in 1997.
She attained her Canadian Field Trial Championship (CFC) designation in 2001. First bred in 1998 to CFC Flushingwing Jake the Snake, she had a seven puppy litter. When bred again in 2000 to CFC Flushingwing Jazz Man, she had a three puppy litter. David kept two dogs from each breeding. Ace and Rampant were from the first litter, Star and Rocky came from the second. All four of these dogs subsequently also became CFCs.
Truly bitten by the trialing bug, David enjoyed trialing his five competitive dogs in both Canada and the United States. They competed in US trials held in the eastern United States by the Parent Club, Maine, Mid Atlantic, and Valley Forge Clubs. He also competed in Canada, participating in most trials held each year in every Province where Spaniel field trials were held since 1997. Ripple and or one or more of her offspring have competed in every Canadian National Open Championship since 1997.
Over the years, David met, trained with, competed against and judged a great many dogs and their owners and handlers in both countries. His love of field bred English springer spaniels and his interest in the field trialing game has resulted in a large number of friendships in both countries.
With a view to encouraging Canadians to trial in the United States and likewise, to encourage Americans to come to and trial in Canada, he initially donated a trophy to the Maine Spaniel Field Trial Club, to be awarded annually to a member of that Club whose dog had earned the highest number of placement points, with at least one such point earned in Canada. It met with such success that he subsequently approached the Canadian National Spaniel Field Trial Association (CNSFTA) and offered to donate a trophy to that organization for an annual award to the springer spaniel that earned the highest number of weighted points, with at least one placement earned in each country. Weighted points are determined by the dog's placement points multiplied by the number of starters in each trial with the national championship trials of both types in both countries excluded.
First awarded in 2009, it is a much sought after trophy. In 2011, there are currently 24 dogs in contention, six owned by Canadians and 18 by Americans. The top contender is Canadian bred but American owned! That surely is an illustration of the success of the idea behind the trophy which is to encourage cross border competition to determine the best field trial springer spaniel in North America.
It is felt that a significant number of the much larger field trialing community in the United States, both amateurs and professionals, but more likely amateurs, are not aware of the existence of the trophy. Hopefully the publication and circulation of this article will encourage greater competition in the future.
A photograph of the trophy is included. It is a beautifully hand crafted tray of birds eye maple, mounted with a cherry bowl, created by Eric Levy in Nova Scotia. A work of art!
Good luck to all current and future participants.
Donator of the Trophy