This falls in that idea of pushing on the balloon somewhere.
If you want it to pay out big, there's got to be a big influx of cash to fund it. Only a certain portion comes from benevolent sponsors. Usually, if you want to play for the big payoff at the table, you need to be willing to ante-up big amounts on the front end to be qualified to play.
In today's world, the gold standard is All Age trials in North America. Prize money is not part of the picture. For most, the value of qualifying for Nationals, and FC/AFC titles with points (and the prospect of winning against dogs trained by the best in the world) seems to be the allure.
For folks seeking local events, competing against dogs of a slightly lesser caliber of training... it may already exist. But it may require some travel.
Kurt, have you considered going pro?
Hang up a shingle and advertise for clients. You get the best of all worlds ... get to train dogs every day which you enjoy, get the competition rush, and most importantly, you get paid whether you win or lose! Sounds like just what you are asking for!
'Course you'll have to convince folks why they should let you run their dog. ;-)
If you want to play a dog game for money get yourself an English Pointer a couple of good Tenn Walking Horses and a horse trailer and hit the road. Run in a championship(after you qualify) and clearly beat the competition and watch them award(your) prize money(several thousand dollars) to someone else. Now go do it again next week. I did it for 20 yrs and finally got a belly full of that and switched to retrievers and I don't care if I ever look a bird dog in the butt again. Give me a ribbon and I'll go home smiling.
Gooser already nailed it early in the thread but if the OP really gets no satisfaction from a "handshake and a ribbon" then it's time to quit the games for good.
Due to a longer than expected period of unemployment I haven't trained much this summer and only went to one hunt test/OH qual. That weekend my dog jammed the first qual either of us had ever run then ran the best Master series he's run so far. Money wouldn't have enhanced the feeling of pride in my boy I had driving home Sunday night in the least. Especially after getting our heads kicked in when we ran Master tests before we were ready last year.
Thankfully I'm back working and once getting fully relocated to the L.A. area I'll be looking for a good club and training group to get involved with here in So. Cal and anxiously looking forward to my next handshake and ribbon on a Sunday afternoon.
I love going to hunt tests and don't mind helping at the field trials throwing birds because i know those guys running will throw birds
For me, and the whole purpose of all the training is to have a great hunting dog that wont screw up a hunt when a flock of mallards is circling to each his own but i am in college and couldn't afford a cash event don't butt me out of the games go find a different one that suits you better.