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Top Field Trial Dog in North America by David Dibblee

I felt it was high time that there be a trophy awarded to the Top Field Bred Springer Spaniel in North America. As close as I will ever get to that - well that day has long passed - occurred at the CCCQ trial in June of 2005 at Quebec when I ran all five of my dogs: the dam Ripple born in 1993, sons Ace and Rampant born in 1998, plus son and daughter Rocky and Star born in 2000. All five were Canadian Field Trial Champions at that time and thus were in competition with each other as well as all of the other dogs entered in that trial. An article, An Unique Trialing Experience, was published in Spaniel Journal detailing that event. I won with Star and finished fourth with Ramp. Ripple, who was almost 12 at the time, held her own!

To my knowledge, nothing like that had happened before, or has since, in either country. As an Amateur, I have trialed on many occasions in both countries. I have run my dogs on something like 400 occasions, have enjoyed those experiences immensely, and have met many many very fine people all across both countries.

I felt it was high time to:

  • Acknowledge and pay tribute to Ripple who had made all of that possible for me over the past 12 years
  • Recognize her contributions to the betterment of the breed
  • Encourage field trialers of both countries to compete in the other

Thus the idea for a trophy to be awarded annually to the best dog in North America

Last October in Ontario, at the last AGM of CNSFTA, here in Canada, I was granted the privilege of donating a new trophy - to be awarded annually at the banquet associated with our Canadian National Field Trial to the Top Field Trial Dog in North America.
Top Dog Trophy

I gave a lot of thought to the trophy itself. I wanted it to be unique and the idea of a "silver" (real or plated) bowl or the like mounted on some form of base, while eye catching and "nice" would not be unique.

I also wanted it to be something that the winner could easily display, be proud of, and with care, could be used - not just put in a case or hung on a wall. Thus the birds eye maple tray with the attached cherry bowl.

The trophy was made by Eric M. Levy. Eric is an artist and a very skilled Nova Scotian craftsman who also owns field breed springers, is a member of the Scotia Springer Club and who guns our trials. He hand carved the tray and turned the bowl. As I asked him, he has the tray on its obverse.

Then there was the matter of the need for a protective a case for the trophy. Eric also made the case - from boards which I provided to him and which came from a 200 year old pine tree from my farm here in New Brunswick. The tray is sitting on the case in the attached photo. Needless to say, both the trophy and it's case are works of art. It has just been completed and is quite beautiful and unique, if I do say so.

This new trophy will be awarded for the first time at our 2008 Canadian National - to be hosted by the Devils Creek Club in Winnipeg in early October this year. In that manner, the US field trialing community may be made aware of the existence of this new trophy, and one would hope, would be interested in securing it's award on an annual basis.

To be eligible, the dog must have competed and placed in trials in both countries. The "year" is the designated period from our preceding National to the next. To ensure some degree of fairness, recognizing that your amateurs and professionals greatly outnumber their opposite numbers here in Canada, there are a few criteria that must be met.

Criteria for the award includes:

  • A requirement that the winning dog has placed in one or more CKC/AKC sanctioned Open/Amateur trials in both countries in the past 12 months (Oct. 2007 - Sept. 2008)
  • A weighted points system will be used to determine the number of points awarded to each dog

It will be awarded by the CNSFTA on Saturday night, October 11th, (together with the other high point trophies awared annually by that organization ) to the owner of the North American High Point Dog. The trophy is for annual award by the CNSFTA. If present at our National, the winner will be permitted to take home the trophy, retain it for ten months and then pay for shipping it back to the Field Trial Secretary of the subsequent Canadian National. That is the policy of CNSFTA for all of it's trophies.

David Dibblee

David Dibblee acquired his first field bred springer spaniel, Glenrock Rickmansworth "Ricky" in 1969 from none other than Dr. David "Doc" McCurdy. (See the article on The Doc by Shirley Woods published in Spaniel Journal's May-June 2005 issue.) Ricky was out of CFC Saightin's Sort and Saighton's Samantha - both dogs having been bred by Talbot Radcliffe in Wales and sold to the Doc. Samantha was the first female that Talbot sold with breeding privileges.

Back in the late Ď60ís and early Ď70ís, David was actively involved in the formation of the Scotia Springer Club including helping to draft itís trial standards - well before the recognition of the club by the CKC. He served as itís third President from 1971 through 1972. Thereafter, while enjoying my Springers, Ricky, then later, Candy and Ruff, the pressures of business precluded any serious trialing on Dibblee's part during the period from 1973 until 1993, though he trained his dogs and hunted them each fall whenever he was able.

In 1993, Ruff was eleven and the Doc agreed to sell Ripple to David - with breeding rights. He acknowledged that his breeding days were coming to an end so, if Dibblee wished to establish his own line, he could choose a female and be free to breed her if he so wished. David Dibblee says that he owes a great deal to Dr McCurdy. He also credits John Mitchell who has been his trainer, as well as my dogsí trainer, too, from time to time.

Ripple was Dibblee's first female. He bred her to Flushing Wing Jake the Snake in 1998, when she was five. She had six puppies of which he kept two: Rampant and Rawdon, and his son-in-law bought a third, Ace. Rampant and Ace showed real promise. Rawdon was given to his grand daughter, Myriam, in Quebec.

Based on Ripple's performances afield, and upon the promise being shown by Ace and Rampant, David bred her again in 2000 to Flushing Wing Jazz Man. Dibblee had had Jazz for six months, hunted him throughout the Fall of 1999 and was very impressed. Ripple was his first bitch. He made a good choice for Ripple's second mate as Jazz was championed early in his career and named the high point dog in Canada in 2003 and again in 2004. He has been bred many times since Ripple and has sired a number of other champions.

Rosemountís Star and Rocky are two of the three dogs from his first breeding. As with Rippleís first breeding, Dibblee kept two and gave the third (Risser) to his daughter Diana. He has four daughters - and they have eight springers in their families... seven of which are from Rippleís breedings - four of which are champions. The other three are just great family dogs.

Ripple achieved her championship with her win in PEI in 1998. Ace received his in 2000, Rampant in 2001, Star in 2003 and Rocky in 2005. Star and Rocky are also registered with the AKC. All five dogs have also placed in championship - both open and amateur - stakes in the USA.

Dibblee comments, "I have enjoyed training and trialing my dogs in both countries. Iíve made many friends because of our common interests in springer spaniels. I hope to be able to continue to run my dogs in both countries for many years to come and to continue to enjoy the camaraderie that comes with sharing days afield with great dogs and good friends."

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Spaniel Journal - your source for flushing spaniel training, hunt test, field trial & hunting information