The purpose of the John O. Blackbird Memorial Award is two-fold. First, it is to honor, celebrate and perpetuate the life lived, the accomplishments, the lasting influence and legacy of John Blackbird.
Secondly, it is to honor a recipient who has demonstrated through their own work and efforts that they, too, have made significant contributions to the retriever hunt test program through training and handling retrievers as an amateur. Also, working and judging local hunt tests, being a leader in local, and perhaps regional or national, clubs and mentoring and supporting others in the retriever games.
The award will be presented at the Master Amateur Invitational (MAI) and may reflect the work a person does to work within or for the Master Amateur Retriever Club (MARC) and MAI or the effort to bring a dog to a national event. But, this award isn’t just about a single event. This memorial award is to recognize those folks that are cut from similar cloth as John O. Blackbird. An individual who not only shows up to an event and makes an impact, but also makes an impact on the retriever world throughout the years wherever they go. A person who is dedicated to the local clubs at the grassroots level, a “worker bee” when needed or a chair or secretary, someone who is a mentor to others, a person who trains and handles their own dogs to the highest level.
The work the individual does at the local level is perhaps even more important than what happens on the national stage. No person gets to a national event without going through a number of local weekend tests. What people do in their own backyard is paramount to their future success regardless of what stage or venue it may be.
The recipient will be announced at the Handler’s Meeting/Opening Ceremonies of each MAI.
There will be a “perpetual” plaque to be displayed at each MAI that will outline recipients name and year awarded. An individual award will also be presented to the recipient. The award recipient need not be present to receive the award.
See Below for Previous Award Recipients ...
How To Nominate:
Any person(s), regardless of MARC membership, can nominate an individual for this award. Multiple parties may nominate an individual and/or a club or group of clubs may submit a nomination.
Complete the Nomination Form located on the MARC website at www.masteramateur.com, the MARC Facebook page or contact any member of the Master Amateur Board of Directors. There are two (2) ways in which to submit the Nomination Form; 1) print, complete and mail the form to the contact outlined at the bottom of the Nomination Form OR 2) complete the Digital Nomination Form found on the MARC website. (see the form links below also)
The Nomination Form shall include the name of the nominee, the nominee’s address, phone number and email, and list the nominee’s home club(s). Also include a narrative of the accomplishments, leadership positions and other evidence, which supports the work, character and lasting impact the nominee has had on the retriever community.
The person(s) and/or club or group making the nomination must include their own personal contact information so the selection committee may reach out to them for further questions or details, if needed.
Nominations are due no later than January 1st.
Nominations will be submitted to the Chairman of the John O. Blackbird Memorial Award Committee as appointed by the MARC Board of Directors.
After all nominations have been received, the MARC Board of Directors, and/or special committee, will review the nominations and supporting evidence and may also make separate inquires vetting the nominees to determine the recipient of the award.
For More information click below to view the full John O. Blackbird Memorial Award Brochure: