American Field
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Thomas Johnson, Owner of Manitoba Rap

Aug 09, 2019
Thomas Johnson

In the field trial sport of the United States and Canada, Thomas Johnson was one of the most active participants since 1886. His kennels housed both setters and pointers, and he spared no pains nor expense to secure the best bloodlines obtainable.

Sport afield with dog and gun, and  good competition at field trials, all in true sportsmanlike manner, are subjects which ever stir his enthusiasm.

Largely through his energy and initiative the Manitoba Field Trial Club was organized. It held its first trials in 1886. Even at that early date, he owned and bred dogs many of which were winners.

Mr. Johnson many times acted as a field trial judge, both at trials on prairie chicken and quail. His activities covered a wide field . . . on the Atlantic Coast, the Pacific Coast, and in the great chicken country of the  Middle West.

He also was conspicuous as a writer and published many valuable contributions in the interest of breeding, training, hunting and field trial competition.

To the visiting sportsmen he is princely in his hospitality.

Physically he is a man of magnificent proportions — a true athlete . . . Besides his fame as a sportsman he is renowned as a curler. His curling team was a successful contestant a number of times at the great yearly curling tournaments.

In an edition of the Manitoba Free Press in 1906, there was a column treating of the Manitoba sport of “Twenty Years Ago.” Mention was made of Mr. Johnson’s Dash B that won the Derby in 1886 and his Manitoba Mike that won the championship in 1906. Being brought to his attention, he remarked: “Yes, it is quite a record. Twenty years in the field trial game and still solvent.”

Those who know how great are the expenses and how small the receipts of the average contestant at trials will appreciate the point of the remark.

Thomas Johnson was born in Manchester, England on April 7, 1852. He emigrated to Canada in 1871, taking a job as a traveling salesman based in Toronto, Ontario.

He eventually arrived in Manitoba and sold supplies to the builders of the Canadian Pacific Railway. In 1891 he went to work for the Blue Ribbon (tea) Limited, eventually becoming its manager before his retirement in 1910.

Thomas Johnson died at home on January 7, 1914.

Maj. J. M. Taylor

“Field Trial Record of Dogs

in America—1876-1907”

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