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ASC Grand Challenge Trophy

The American Spaniel Club Grand Challenge Trophy

The American Spaniel Club Grand Challenge Trophy For Best Sporting Spaniel
Kate Romanski (center) with Marilyn Spacht and Alvin Grossman. (Photo by John Ashbey)

The American Spaniel Club Grand Challenge Trophy For Best Sporting Spaniel was unveiled at the January 2004 ASC Flushing Spaniel Show.

The oldest ASC show catalog in the Archives is dated 1922. This trophy is listed as a prize from 1922 to 1928 and does not appear again after that year. It appears in the Westminster catalog as early as 1915, but after 1925 the trophy is no longer listed. At this writing we are still trying to determine the year the trophy was established and it is my hope the older documents at the AKC Library, which are currently out for restoration purposes, will solve the mystery. My conclusions at this time are… the trophy was established in 1915 or earlier and was retired in 1928 by William T. Payne of Midkiff Kennels.

The trophy was discovered in the fall of 2003 through an email to ASC President, Marilyn Spacht.

Subject: rare trophy
Date: 10/15/2003 3:46:01 PM Central Daylight Time
To:asc president
Sent from the Internet
I am writing you for help on finding information on an antique trophy (silver plated tray) my family has had in its possession for quite some time. It is a very large silver tray, probably at least 75-100 years old. On it the engraving reads...” American Spaniel Club Grand Challenge Trophy For Best Sporting Spaniel to be won five times. Won by W. T. Payne.”

My father was an antique dealer in Northern Ill. area for many years and probably bought it from an estate. We are trying to find out more as to the date it was given or any info. on W.T. Payne. Any information you or your associates could provide would be most appreciated. Thank You...
Tom Kotenberg

William T. Payne

William T. Payne bred and owned Ch. Midkiff Seductive. She was a b/w parti and the very first cocker spaniel to win a Best in Show at Westminster. Billy was a tall robust man with silver hair from Pa. He had an eye for a dog and no doubt could have lived a life of great wealth had he concentrated on his patents in the coal mining business but his preferences for happiness lie elsewhere. When Billy and Herman saw the new stud dog at Robinhurst it was said they recognized his quality early on. Although Judge Scudder gave away free stud services to Foreglow it was only after the dog’s ownership changed hands and he came to live with Billy at Midkiff that his full breeding potential was realized. This acquisition brought about dramatic changes to the breed and wins for the offspring such as dreams are made of. Foreglow produced Red Brucie who produced Ch My Own Brucie, two time Westminster BIS winner and Foreglow bred to Ch Midkiff Seductive produced the 2-time ASC BIS winner Ch Midkiff Miracle Man.

Billy Payne is listed as an ASC member from our earliest records 1922 to 1938 but the records are incomplete. Sometime between 1938 to1945 his name disappeared from the roster of ASC members

At the request of the Archivist, Jill Ozechowski, Life Members, Kate Romanski and Joanne Thorpe sat out on a mission to approve the legitimacy and estimate the condition of the trophy. It is due to their evaluations that the trophy was retrieved. We send special thanks to Kate for her generosity in the restoration of the tray. Kate said. “Frances would have wanted the trophy returned and its restoration is my gift to ASC”

Awarded to William T. Payne in 1928, the trophy has come home. At the January 2004 ASC Flushing Spaniel Show “The American Spaniel Club Grand Challenge” trophy was unveiled during the Annual Meeting.

Wilma Parker, ASC Curator

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