The Dewar Live Bird Trophy, presented by the firm of John Dewar & Sons, was a silver loving cup for competition among trap shooters residing in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut, excluding those who were manufacturers’ agents or considered professionals. The event was a handicap contest where shooters stood from 25 to 30 yards rise (distance) and the contests where held once a month until June, 1902, after which the cup became the personal property of the man having won it the greatest number of times. The first contest took place at Interstate Park on June 20, 1900.
At each contest the entrance fee was $5, and the winner received the entire amount, provided the amount did not exceed $25. All monies above $25 was paid out by shoot management in a division percentage system. The conditions of each contest was at 25 live birds, the cost of the birds being added to the entrance fee. The Manager of Interstate Park was Tom Morfey and he was in charge of all of the contests.
Dr. Ashley Webber, the expert revolver and live bird shot, who lived at 168 North Sixth street, was the recipient of the Dewar trophy, representing the Interstate amateur champion live bird shot. The trophy was a large silver cup, valued at $3000, and was donated by the John Dewar Company of Manhattan, and had been contested for by live bird shooters for two years. It represented the championship of the states of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania. The first contest for the cup took place at the new Interstate Park, Queens, L. I., in June 1890. Dr. Webber, who participated, killed twenty-five birds straight. He also was the winner of the second contest with a score of 24. In fact, he won each of the five contests he entered, only missing six birds out of 150, which were all grassed out of bounds. Dr. Webber always shot from the maximum of 30 yards, but after four wins, he was handicapped another yard. The law prohibiting the indiscriminate killing of pigeons at short range put a stop to the sport in New York. The Dewar Company desired Dr. Webber to further compete for the trophy in New Jersey, which he declined to do, and on September 18, 1902, he received word that he had been awarded the trophy anyway. The prize made a valuable addition to the already large collection won by Dr. Webber, both as a revolver and live bird shot. The trophy seems to have disappeared into obscurity as none of today's trapshooting historians have ever heard of the Dewar Live Bird Trophy. Hopefully it did not meet the fate of so many of the trophies of the era, when families reduced them to silver ingots and introduced them as currency in our monetary system.
- Brooklyn Eagle, June 5, 1900, page 16
- Brooklyn Eagle, September 19, 1902, page 20
|This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).|