Tracking Club of Victoria

The history of the tracking dog of the year trophy

It all began when the Tracking Club held monthly tracking groups for people wishing to learn about tracking.  Unfortunately these are no longer conducted under the Tracking Club umbrella.

At one of these training days I had a gentleman from Geelong come along, his name was John Bell.  When we had finished training and sitting around having a cuppa talking about what we did and what we were going to do, John said he was going up to his sister and brother in-law's farm at Talbot in Victoria to do some tracking among the sheep the following weekend. Well you could image my ears picking up at that, so I asked a few questions like how big the farm was and if he could ask if the Tracking Club could run a trial there.


The next time John came down he told me that if we wanted to have a look around the property to see if it was suitable for tracking we would be most welcome to run a trial there. Jim and Sandra Fields owned the property up at Talbot amongst the gold fields and sheep.  Lynn Klecka, Dawn and Peter Howard and I went up during the Christmas break to have a look around and boy the weather was hot.  But what we saw we liked and that is how we acquired our first tracking ground.  Before that we had to ask other clubs if we could use their grounds.


Sadly before we could hold our first trial at Talbot John passed away from cancer.

Jim and Sandra were still happy for us to run our trials there.  Jim and Sandra also asked us if they could give something to the Club in honour of John.  The committee of the day decided on a John Bell perpetual trophy. This also meant that we had to design a points system, so we could give this award to the best tracking dog for the year.  Hence the Tracking Dog of the Year Award was born.

Jim and Sandra paid for the initial trophy and we now engrave it each year with the name of the dog gaining the Tracking Dog of the Year Award.

The Club ran trials at Talbot for five years from August 1997 to August 2001 and this only ceased when Jim and Sandra sold their property just after our August trial in 2001.

Andrea Sciberras


how to become tracking dog of the year

This trophy is awarded annually at the Club’s Presentation Night.

The winner is decided on a points system.  An EXCELLENT pass is equal to 4 points, a VERY GOOD pass 3 points, a GOOD pass 2 points, and a PASS 1 point.

Eligible qualifying certificates are from the current calendar year only.

Members must submit a copy of their qualification certificates with their application.  If a tie occurs a count back system will be used on the most excellent passes received, followed by the most very good passes, etc.

The member winning the award will receive a plaque to keep and the Memorial Board will be held by the Club, with the winning team’s details, (handler and dog) engraved accordingly.

To be eligible to apply for this trophy you must be a financial member of the Club at the time of gaining the passes and at the time of presentations.

Please download the Tracking Dog the Year Application and email it along with your certificates to

Tracking Dog of the Year