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Trophies – The Great Ones!

Last time we talked about the sort of “oops” trophies- the unusual, the less than ideal, etc. so now we have the great trophies.

Some of these trophies are great because of the event they represent. Polishing silver comes right below nail trims on an aggressive Chihuahua on my list of “fun things to do”. However, if that silver happened to be a big time trophy from Westminster I would be out buying special cloths and silver polish by the gallon.

Dani and Diva – Original portrait sculpture of two beautiful Belgians by Jennifer Stewart

In the meantime, most of us are thrilled to get a trophy from a breed specialty. High quality artwork seems to top the list of desired trophies. That could mean a beautiful print, etchwork or sculpture of some sort. My dogs have a growing collection of works by Jennifer Stewart – prints and a stunning hand painted vase for passing the VST at one National Specialty. For those who like the lighter side of things, a Mike McCartney piece would be a great trophy to bring home. A gift certificate for a custom portrait would also be a wonderful award.

Artwork does have the drawback of needing to be framed but most people cheerfully take on that cost. Of course, if your dogs are highly successful you may run out of wall space! Rotating photos and prints is always an option.

A nice embroidered grooming table top is always a welcome trophy!

Useful items with the club logo are also high on my people’s lists. Embroidered crate or grooming table covers, towels for dogs or humans, tote bags. Karyn Cowdrey’s Wyld Creations provided beautiful embroidered items for the big Belgian Tervuren entry at the Louisville cluster. All of those items can be used but still proclaim your achievement.

Pottery and ceramic pieces are also wonderful trophies, especially if they can be used in “real life”. The piece might have your breed incorporated or it might simply represent your breed in some way – such as color. We were fortunate to win a couple of beautiful pieces by Carol Wolfram at our national in 2013. I admit we have not eaten off them or served anything on them yet but we could.

Fused glass plate is 2013 American Belgian Tervuren Club National Specialty BOB/BISS by Carol Wolfram

I have offered pottery for years at our local kennel club show for my breed, Belgian Tervuren. Art Baird of Acorn Pottery makes wonderful mugs, bowls, etc that can be put in the microwave or the dishwasher. I simply request “Terv color” and he delivers in rich mahogany tones with black or blue accents. I now get exhibitors calling ahead of time to request a bowl to finish off their set or whatever! People get a useful and beautiful award and I support a local craftsman. Win/win as far as I am concerned.

Pottery from Central NY Kennel Club show made by Art Baird of Acorn Pottery

I don’t envy the artists asked to do trophies for a specialty however. What do you do when the breed has a number of colors or patterns? Do you try to incorporate all of them in your artwork? Do you go with the most popular colors? Silhouettes might work but a silhouetted Belgian Tervuren could be a Belgian Sheepdog. Sometimes an artist will do one piece of artwork for trophies and another for the specialty logo to go on things like t shirts.

In a breed like mine, there is a great deal of difference in appearance between dogs and bitches (or at least there should be :). So, what if you make the Best of Breed item with a dog and a bitch wins? I find bitch owners in general are still happy to take that trophy home. Dog owners aren’t always so happy when their dog goes Best of Opposite and ends up with a bitch trophy but most of them adjust. Maybe the BOS status bothers them more than the trophy itself!

Please share comments on photos on trophies that you absolutely love.

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Comments
  • Charlene Stone
    Charlene Stone March 19, 2014 at 4:20 PM

    The most unusual trophy I received was a very large potato at a showin Idaho.

  • Deb Eldredge, D.V.M.
    Deb E March 19, 2014 at 4:24 PM

    I LOVE it Charlene! did you eat it or bronze it? :)

  • Scott Kellogg DVM March 20, 2014 at 4:22 AM

    We always give the identical trophy for both BOB and BOS at our National–in regular classes and sweeps

  • Deb Eldredge, D.V.M.
    Deb E March 20, 2014 at 5:46 AM

    A good option Scott

  • Jan S March 20, 2014 at 7:25 AM

    For our west coast specialty we do bath sized towels, Gold color for breed, red for BOS and Purple for BW, Blue for WD and WB. They are monogramed with the club initials and year. We also pin to each towel the scissored off top of a previous win ribbon. The BOB towel will have a small BOB ribbon attached etc. This really helps the ring steward and trophy chair.

  • Deb Eldredge, D.V.M.
    Deb E March 20, 2014 at 8:02 AM

    Our local ASCA club does towels too. My daughter went off after college graduation with a complete set of nice towels that also have special memories :)

  • Mihaela March 20, 2014 at 11:18 AM

    it would be a great trophey if they would make crystal 3D dog for each breed…at least on speciality shows. :D

  • Deb Eldredge, D.V.M.
    Deb E March 20, 2014 at 2:05 PM

    I have a gorgeous crystal of a Terv with a glove that my Dani earned at a Natl years ago – Ms Dani is now almost 15 & & a Champion Tracker but I treasure that TD award :)
    Another great suggestions Mihaela!

  • Laurie Savoie March 22, 2014 at 11:28 PM

    A trophy that is indentified with the location of the show…I treasure two handcarved First Nationals works from British Columbia,. native art in cedar and abalone, from the Pacific Northwest. A wonderful memento of win and place.

    One was Group and the other BIS.

  • Deb Eldredge, D.V.M.
    Deb E March 23, 2014 at 3:46 PM

    Those sound stunning Laurie! Can you post photos?

    • Laurie Savoie March 24, 2014 at 11:59 AM

      sure…what addy do I send to? Not sure how to do this w/px??

  • Katie N March 25, 2014 at 8:12 AM

    always look forward to reading your articles Deb.

  • Deb E March 25, 2014 at 10:43 AM

    Thank you Katie – always nice to hear a good word :)

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