On behalf of Bill Teague, Founder and President of the Master National Retriever Club Foundation, Lynn Teague delivered this report to the MNRC Community at the opening of the 2021 event in McCall, Idaho.
Lynn thanked the Board of the Master National Retriever Club for the opportunity to share the history of the MNRC Foundation. If you have already read the 2021 MNRC Foundation report, then you know that the Foundation was established in 2013 through the forethought and very generous initial donation of an anonymous friend of the Hunt Test Sport and MNRC in particular. The Foundation then began to fulfill its purpose to support MNRC. That initial donation was intended to be used to create awards and recognition of certain accomplishments within the MNRC event. With the permission of that donor, the Foundation is also allowed to use its funds to support certain other activities such as AKC Advanced Judges Seminars and certain MNRC funding requests.
As mentioned, the initial goal was to establish an awards program for MNRC funded by MNRC Foundation. In 2015 the Foundation established 3 awards, one for Handler of the Year, and two for Youth Handler of the Year based on age group. While I do not know how the Handler of the Year Award was named after Bill, I do know that he was honored and embarrassed at the same time. Hence, we now have the Bill T. Teague Handler of the Year Award. The award when presented includes a personal plaque, a permanent plaque that is displayed at each MNRC yearly event, and a monetary award. In 2019 the Humanitarian Sportsman Recognition was added to the awards list.
Recipients of the award deserve to be recognized on a more continuing basis. And my family is pleased to provide funding through the Foundation for a new pin which will become part of the award package. Pins will be presented at the MNRC event to each of the previous recipients at their individual stakes. These outstanding handlers are:
2015 – Ken Vidrine of the Lake Charles Retriever Club
2016 – Bill Autry of the Bently, LA area
2017 – Bob Neipert of Waterloo Amateur Retriever Club in the Austin area
2018 – Lyle Steinman of Castle Creek Kennels in Stewartsville, MO
2019 – Sallie Sullivan of Tallahassee Hunting Retriever Club of Thomasville, GA
It is our hope that they will wear them with pride and that as each of you encounter one of these individuals, you will ask them about their retriever handling experiences.
I also want to encourage all of you as you have trained this past week and as you compete in the coming week, to be on the lookout for someone whom you admire and respect as a handler. Someone who meets all of the criteria for Handler of the Year; who represents the sport in the most ideal way; who is always ready, willing, and able to assist in any and all areas of the MNRC annual event; and who consistently encourages and mentors up and coming handlers. You can find all of the criteria on the MNRC website.
The Bill T. Teague Handler of the Year nominations and other awards for 2021 must be submitted in writing to the MNRC Foundation. Submissions will be accepted by MNRC Foundation beginning at the conclusion of this year’s event for a period of 30 days.
I would specifically like to thank the MNRC Foundation Board of Directors, Jimmy Hughes, Gloria Mundell, Jack Morris, and Keith Winch, who serves as Ex-Officio, as the current president of MNRC, who have continued to support and guide the Foundation; the MNRC Board Secretary, Dede Patterson, who was instrumental in getting the pins designed; and Bill Baldwin, who provided professional guidance in the design and production of the pins.
On a personal note, I’d also like to thank all of the MNRC family for your kindnesses and support all during Bill’s illness and his passing. Retrievers, hunt tests (training, competing, and judging) were his passion. And as Bill often remarked, “All days are good, some are just better than others.” Cherish the journey and good luck to all the dogs and their handlers.