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A Brief History of the English Springer Spaniel National Amateur Championship


The idea of amateur competition on a national level began more than ten years ago (1952) with James R. Dodson and Charles (Chuck) Goodall. Early efforts resulted in a National Amateur Shooting Dog Stake, an unofficial event, held in conjunction with the 1954 National Championship, Herrin, Illinois when Dr. Samuel Milbank, long-time successful owner handler and strong partisan of shooting dog stakes, was president of the National. Coming at conclusion of the National Championship, the stake proved somewhat anti-climatic and failed to receive sufficient support for its continuance. However, Dodson and Goodall were persistent in their cause for the amateur and an increasing number of clubs held amateur All-Age Stakes.

Robert McLean, president of the English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association and Richard H. Migel, secretary and AKC delegate of the Parent Club, initiated the first direct action toward official recognition of the stake. At the 1960 meeting of delegates to the National Championship, an organization committee was appointed by the Parent Club president to plan for Amateur Champion Stakes.

As a result of the committee's recommendations, the American Kennel Club adopted changes in its rules to provide for Amateur All-Age Stakes carrying points toward the title of Amateur Field Champion.

The committee, which included representatives from the East, the Mid-West and the Pacific Coast, set forth a number of recommendations, the most significant being ( 1 ) That procedures for Amateur Field Championship Stakes be similar to those for Open All-Age Championship Stakes, but that the two be kept in all ways completely separate. (2) If and when a National Amateur Championship be held, that it should be the responsibility of the Parent Club.

The inaugural National Amateur Championship was held at Wilmington, Ohio, November 30 to December 2, 1963. All dogs which had placed in a recognized (10 or more entries) Amateur All-Age since June 13, 1961 (the date the new provisions of the AKC became effective) were eligible for entry. There were 45 entries and 42 starters.

(This article was reproduced from a 1969 National Amateur Catalog.)

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