Silmaril Kennel Trophy

in memory of

PREAMBLE: The award is made to the person or animal who best furthers the human-animal bond. Since Golden Retrievers are known for their kind, gentle and affectionate ways, this award is intended to acknowledge the importance of the breed not only in conformation, obedience and field, but also in companion activity. The animal in whose memory this trophy is given, was a long-term family pet. He taught young children not to fear “big” dogs. He was a faithful companion both at home and in the field (during one hunt in Northern Ontario bush country, he kept his owner warm while trapped in a sudden overnight snow squall). He was protective of water-skiing children who fell, and he’d dive in to “rescue” them or talk and “scold” them if swimming too far from the dock. He was an inspiration in returning to obedience and conformation competition for children and parents alike. While “leggy” by the breed standard, this animal was echo negative for SAS, had normal thyroid function, no eye diseases and OFA excellent hips. His temperament was exceptional and characteristic of the breed; he was a healthy, happy dog and a loved companion.

FREQUENCY: The award need not be given every year, if no suitable nominees are found. There need be no particular frequency of award to human vs. animal nominees. Unsuccessful nominees in one year may, at the discretion of the awards committee, be considered in subsequent years with or without further submission.

AWARDS COMMITTEE: The award will be made by simple majority vote of an awards committee comprised of the club directors for each region which submits a nominee, and the president of the GRCC. A tie breaking individual may be appointed by the committee themselves if necessary.


In decreasing order of emphasis:

  • Impact on preservation of human life
  • Impact on quality of human life
  • Impact on the furtherance of understanding the human/animal bond
  • Ethics in breeding
  • Impact on quality of Golden Retriever life and breeding facility
  • Purebred registration
  • Genetic soundness
  • Breed standard
  • Membership in the GRCC
  • Positive public relations value of behaviour

THE AWARD: The permanent trophy will be engraved with the name of the animal or human recipient and date of the award. The trophy will be given to the human winner or to the owner of an animal winner for one (1) year, after which time, it will be returned to the chairperson for club awards. The club may choose to award a keeper award or plaque, medal or keepsake on return of the trophy.

QUALIFICATION: The award may be made during the individual nominee’s lifetime or posthumously. A maximum of two pages, single spaced, typed, will be considered by the committee when a proposed nomination is made. Further, letter(s) of impact from those directly involved, may be considered at the committee’s sole discretion. The resumes (for all nominees) might be published in Golden Leaves (at the editor’s discretion), to acknowledge the contribution of all goldens to companion status.

ANIMAL NOMINEES: Submission of nominations should include an outline of the act/or acts, which justify nomination; these may include, but not be limited to, acts of heroism, bravery, kindness, or impact on human life. Impact statements should be verified by accompanying statements of those directly involved, and may include longer term, less dramatic impact statements which typify the attachment of humans to Goldens over time, such as visitation animals or special needs dogs. Typical recipients might be visitation animals, animals who rescued humans at risk to themselves, special needs animals (including Leader dogs, Hearing-ear animals or aides to handicapped individuals) or those whose consistent behaviour demonstrates typical Golden behaviour.

Simple pets are not meant to be excluded by any of these examples.

Animals will be (have been, if posthumous) owned/co-owned or bred by members, in good standing, either at the time of the behaviour/acts or at the time of nomination.

Animals will be purebred, individually identified and registered with the CKC or equivalent registration authority (The Kennel Club, AKC, etc).

While phenotypic genetic soundness is desirable, faults should not exclude a nominee from consideration.

HUMAN NOMINEES: Nominees will have made a significant contribution to the recognition of Golden Retrievers as companion animals. They might have been involved in rescue situations, pet visitation programmes or development of programmes to improve the breed. The breadth of behaviours might include the maintenance of superior or truly exceptional kennel facilities for breeding/boarding Goldens. This award might be given to a breeder who consistently teaches new clients, provides a community outreach programme about kennels, anti-dog legislation, etc.. These are people whose behaviour towards the breed is emulated by others. These are humans who help Goldens to achieve a better life in companionship with their human partners. This award is intended to recognize effort and maximum use of available resource, rather than dollar value spent. Nominees will be members in good standing of the GRCC.

Trophy Winners

1993 – Penny Manning
My husband Robert and I had been involved with Golden Retrievers since the mid-1980s and we often used our driveway for training. One morning in 1990 when I was working with a couple of our dogs for an upcoming obedience trial, a car pulled into the drive and out popped a gangly and very exuberant puppy of about 10 months. His owner, dressed in an airline captain’s uniform, explained he was on his way to the Richmond Hill (Ontario) animal control centre to drop off the pup before he headed to the airport. It seems that before he purchased a dog, he had not given much thought to his work schedule, who would take care of the pup when he was away for several days at a time and the amount of training a young Golden required.
He could not remember the name of the person he bought the dog from and he really did not want “Cyrus” to go to the pound (at that time Richmond Hill animal control kept dogs for 72 hours before euthanasia or shipment to research) so he offered the dog to me. Cyrus lived with us for a while, learned how to be a Good Boy and was re-homed to a wonderful family. The word spread through various local animal rescue programs that Rob and I were willing to take unwanted and abandoned Goldens for re-homing — and thus began Golden Rescue!
Over the following months there were many Goldens in great need that passed through our door in Richmond Hill and as the number increased, many Golden breeders and owners stepped up to the plate to lend a hand. Some took in dogs to assess and train, some paid out-of-pocket for necessary veterinary procedures, some dropped off bags of dog food and others tucked money into my hand at dog shows so the program could carry on. The rescue would never have succeeded without these wonderful volunteers and donors.
In 1993 I was surprised and honoured to receive the first Silmaril trophy for founding Golden Rescue. But the real heroes of this organization were always the good people who donated their time, expertise and money to provide a helping hand to Goldens that had the misfortune to become unwanted. That Golden Rescue still thrives as an organization today (it’s been 27 years!) speaks volumes to the work of these founding volunteers and I am so proud to have played a small part in its history.
1994 – Shirley Goodman
1996 – Oriana Fenton’s Abel TD AVD III – D. Fenton
1997 – Chadgroves Johan Sebastian CDX, Melissa (Gerrard) Toland
2004 – Suzi Beber
(from Mary Shillabeer’s 2004 National report)
We are particularly proud of our association with Suzi Beber and “The Smiling Blue Skies Cancer Fund”, a special cancer fund that has been set up through the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College Pet Trust Fund at our banquet.   At our banquet, Suzi was the recipient of the GRCC’s Silmaril Kennel Trophy for her work in raising money and awareness of cancer research for Golden Retrievers.  This award is made to the person or animal that best furthers the human-animal bond. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house as we all remembered and thought of those that are affected by this terrible and far too common disease.  As a result of a silent auction item donated by Suzi and by “passing the hat” we raised almost $700.00 for The Smiling Blue Skies Cancer Fund.  As well, the National committee purchased handmade ceramic tea light holders center pieces made by Suzi Beber.  One lucky person at each table won this lovely memento.   The money we paid for each of the center pieces will go directly to Suzi’s cause.
2007 – Suzi Beber