The Monterey Bay Hunting Retriever Club (MBHRC) (originally named the Central Coast Hunting Retriever Club) was formed in 1986. Inspired by the newly recognized American Kennel Club (AKC) Hunting Retriever Test program, a group of dedicated retriever owners, tasked themselves to do the preparatory work for organizing a new club. The inaugural meeting of charter members was held November 16, 1986. This new club for hunting retriever enthusiasts represented the area south of San Francisco and was made up of dog owners who spent a lot of time training and working their dogs in the field, but little or no time at field trials. The new AKC program was the “perfect fit” for their interests. The first MBHRC Board of Directors meeting was held January 12, 1987. Monterey Bay Hunting Retriever Club’s name was officially filed with the California Secretary of State on May 5, 1988.
John Culin, the man behind the initial effort to form the Club, felt so strongly about the hunting retriever test program that the By-laws specifically state ". . . to conduct sanctioned and licensed hunting tests under the rules and regulations of the American Kennel Club and to promote cooperation and good sportsmanship among its members in the training and testing of retrievers." John, together with six other "directors"—Pluis Davern, Suzi Bluford, Bernie Waymire, Hazel Welborn, Carol Bygdnes and Vicki Blodgett—established the underlying set of ideas for the function and purpose of the Club.
The MBHRC membership of 45 represents a cross-section of experienced and novice retrievers owners. The Club hosts an annual AKC Hunt Test at Los Banos Wildlife refuge in Northern California in February, and regular meetings and training days throughout the year. Special activities have included training seminars, a Singles Series and a pheasant hunt.
Don Campbell Memorial Service Trophy
Don Campbell became involved with MBHRC in 1989. Don and Ginger Campbell's "Campbellcroft Kennel" was a nationally recognized name. They produced numerous beautiful hunting caliber Labradors. Don believed in dual purpose retrievers and after MBHRC was officially qualified to run hunt tests which was in the very beginning of the sport, many of his dogs were qualified in various levels. He was also a hunter.
Don was always very interested in promoting our sport, and he served a couple of terms as President. He felt it was very important to introduce interested new people to this sport, and he was instrumental in acquiring many new members for the club, as well as creating a positive, cordial atmosphere for those who were just getting started with their retriever.
Because Don was such an important part of MBHRC, it was decided to have a perpetual trophy in his honor. His widow, Ginger, and close friend, Pluis Davern, picked several trophies for the club to choose from. The one we chose was named "Sunrise" and it depicted the way we all remembered him... always touching and looking at his dog. We received many donations to cover the cost of this trophy, including some from the East Coast.
In Don's honor, this trophy is awarded each year to the person deemed to have contributed, through their dedication, attitude and hard work, the most effort to continue the growth and interest in the hunt test program. The past recipients of the Don Campbell Award are John Culin, Lucy Bradford, Pluis Davern, Wendy Johnston, Pat Johnson, Gaylene Cranford, Trig and Angie Birkeland and Brian and Denise Iwata.