A Night for Awards
Friday June 7th, was the SCOA annual Awards Dinner. As always, this event was not to be missed!
The evening started with National Show Chair Debby Forry auctioning the table centerpieces, calling out and thanking the volunteers (thank YOU too, Debby!), and topping it off by announcing the winners of the Costume Contest, one of our most popular events.
Of course, prior to the evening, all the trophies must be gathered from the different parts of the country. Some have been brought in by members, others shipped in from afar. All of the trophies must be unpacked, carefully checked for damage, cleaned and prepped for display. All day on Friday, Shirley Bauer carefully lays out the trophies on display for the evening to come and the passing of them on to their new homes for the next year.
Following comments from SCOA President Mike McLeland, including the announcement of next year’s National Specialty to be held in Weirton, West Virginia, Sam Emmons and myself took to the stage to present this year’s awards, with help from Leslie Miller who presented the Junior Showmanship awards.
The first trophies to be presented were those which can only be earned during the National Specialty week, the highlight being, of course, the winner of the National Specialty itself. What could be better than to have a nearly 9-year-old “Winston”, owned by Mat and Abby Hughey, walk out with the purple and gold ribbon? Versatile? Yes, Winston’s done some shows a few years back – but mostly he lives a dog’s life, working with Mat by day and hunting his brains out through the fall. Sweet!
Other conformation trophies competed for and won that week were for Best of Opposite Sex, Winners Dog, Winners Bitch, Goldfly Cup for Best Puppy, and the Field Dog Award. Performance trophies awarded were the High in Trial Trophy for Obedience, Field Legends Award for Nationals’ hunt test performances, and the Junior Handler Trophy.
There were several awards given for accomplishments in the preceding year, recorded in points earned by the AKC. Those were the Junior Handler of the Year for the top junior Spinone handler in the AKC Junior Handler Recognition Program, the Rico Cup, for the top Spinone of the 2018 National Owner Hander Series, and the Top Show Dog of the Year in Breed Points earned.
There was also the VC cup, for Spinoni earning the coveted title of a NAVHDA VC, or Versatile Champion. Unfortunately, there were none in 2018. There will not be one in 2019. Let’s see what we can do about 2020 – maybe we can have more than one VC in 2020?!
And of course, there are the trophies presented through the Awards Committee, consisting of Sam Emmons, Becky Tevis, Shirley Bauer, myself, and our longtime chair Diana Cannon. The recipients of these are the dogs or people who have been nominated by SCOA members to receive these prestigious awards. These are always the toughest decisions for the Awards Committee, as many worthy dogs are nominated, but only one will receive the award in a given year. Hopefully the nominees not winning will be nominated again next year!
Those awards are the Kemo Cup (for field excellence in the preceding year), The Rufus Cup (for achievement in both the show ring and field), The Ty Cup (for dogs excelling in 3 or more activities), The Cos Cup (for the ultimate companion dog), Asti’s Compassion Award (for therapy work), The Award of Recognition (for a Sire or Dam producing notable offspring), and the Volunteer of the Year.
And finally, no awards presentation could be complete without the AKC Outstanding Sportsmanship Award.
This, to me, is the best of all the beautiful awards and trophies that the Spinone Club of America can award, yet it’s only a simple golden medallion. Unlike any of the others, you can’t compete for it, you cannot accrue points towards it. There are no ribbons earned along the way, no entry fees or travel. There is no training for it.
As stated by the AKC, this award, established in 2006, “honors those individuals who deserve special recognition that have made a difference in the sport of purebred dogs, embodied the AKC Code of Sportsmanship, and have been an active and valued member of an AKC member club.”
AKC further states that “Medallions are awarded solely at the club’s discretion.” In other words, it’s optional – it’s not something required by the AKC of our club. We don’t gotta’ do it.
I had the honor of presenting that award this year.
But before putting together the presentation, I consulted my various sources for some detail. This particular person has bred Spinoni, shown them, hunt tested and hunted them, and been a mentor to many people. She has been a member of the Board and has worked on about a bazillion committees. But I thought it was best put this way when one member wrote that this person “has been a member of SCOA since 1998 - that's 21 human years, or 147 dog years (and she sure looks good for her age). That's about all I can tell you except she always seems to be everywhere you look when it comes to SCOA.”
I couldn’t agree more. That person is, of course, our very special Bobbi Benson.
It was an honor for Sam and I to present to many worthy people and their dogs these wonderful awards. Who will you nominate for next year? I hope you’re there in West Virginia to witness our awards night in 2020!
To learn more about SCOA Awards, click here. Click for Descriptions and Nomination Form.