A two-year-old Labrador Retriever from Maple Ridge returns home a champion.
Rain was honoured with the 17th annual Purina Outstanding Derby Field Trial Retriever Award after “a rock-steady, consistent performance.”
Handler Karen Nelkenbrecher was presented the award at a banquet dinner in Thomasville, Georgia in March.
“The event was an awards ceremony held by Purina to recognize outstanding retrievers in the Derby, Open & Amateur stakes of retriever field trials in the U.S. in 2019,” Nelkenbrecher explained.
A field trial is a competition for dogs to test their levels of skill and training.
Rain achieved 88 points, the highest number of accumulated points in all the Derby stakes she was entered in retriever field trials in the U.S., making her Top Derby Dog in the U.S., she added.
Rain is also considered top dog in Canada with 37 points, 19 more than the second place Canadian Derby dog.
“The recognition means a lot to me as it validates the training and success of myself, my husband and our professional trainer who all worked as a team to handle Rain in the Derby stakes she competed in,” Nelkenbrecher said. “To be the first Canadian to win this award and to have such a successful Derby dog in the U.S. is a significant achievement.”
Rain resides and trains with Nelkenbrecher in Maple Ridge during the summer months and in the southern U.S. with her professional trainer, Dan DeVos of Baypoint Kennels, during the winter months.
“I bought her as a pup, born November 13, 2017 from a breeder in Washington,” Nelkenbrecher said. “Her sire is the nephew of a once-in-a-lifetime lab I lost too young to cancer a few years ago which is why I picked her from this litter.”