Lifetime Achievement Award Nominees


In its endless pursuit to recognize outstanding members of the fancy, The American Kennel Club Lifetime Achievement Awards were established in 1998 to honor our best. The purpose of the awards is to celebrate those individuals whose many years of dedication have led to significant contributions to our sport on a national level.

As in the past, this year's nominees were selected by AKC member clubs that cast their votes for one nominee in each of three categories: Conformation, Companion Events, and Performance. The three nominees receiving the most votes in each category were selected as the finalists. Member clubs have now been asked to cast their vote for one nominee in each of the three categories. This final round of balloting will close on Friday, September 26th, 2014. A special awards presentation will be held in conjunction with the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship in Orlando, Florida in December 2014.

The AKC is honored to present photos and bios of the nine finalists who were selected by our member clubs in recognition of their exemplary participation in the fancy.

Nominees in Conformation

Edd E. Bivin

Edd E. Bivin

Edd E. Bivin, of Fort Worth, Texas, acquired his first purebred dog, a Pomeranian bitch, at the age of twelve. This dog introduced him to the sport and became the foundation of a breeding program that led to his producing and exhibiting top-winning Pomeranians. He began judging toy dogs at match shows at the age of fifteen and was approved to judge Pomeranians at championship point shows in the US in 1961. Edd is presently licensed to judge all sporting, working, terrier, toy, and all non-sporting breeds plus several herding and hound breeds.

He has judged many all-breed and specialty shows in the United States and abroad, including Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show in 1999. Edd has also taken great joy in judging many national specialty shows of various breeds.

Professionally, Edd pursued a career in education, serving for 32 years as an administrator at Texas Christian University with 18 of those years spent as Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services. He retired from the university in 2003. He and his wife Irene enjoyed breeding and exhibiting Doberman Pinschers and Dachshunds during her lifetime.

Edd has been heavily involved in Take the Lead, a charitable organization assisting individuals in the sport suffering from life-threatening illness or injury. He has found it very satisfying to give back to a sport that has given him so much.

Dr. Elizabeth E Trainor

Dr. Elizabeth E Trainor

Dr. Elizabeth E Trainor, VMD of Oxford, Massachusetts, has spent both her personal and professional adult life committed to the education of individuals interested in the perpetuation of healthy, quality, purebred dogs.

Betty was a 1949 graduate of the University Of Pennsylvania Veterinary College, one of only four women in her class. She served her internship and residency at Angell Memorial Animal Hospital in Boston where she accepted a regular position and remained there until 1957. In December of 1957 Betty married professional handler Bill Trainor; they often joked that it was more of a merger than just a marriage, but it produced a son and a daughter and lasted forty years until the passing of her beloved Bill.

Subsequent to her marriage to Bill her interest in purebred dogs became more serious. She initiated her solo practice dedicated primarily to dog breeders of all breeds. She lectured at seminars nationwide on topics that included canine structure, reproduction and the use of cooled and frozen semen. She maintained an AKC approved canine semen freezing facility in Oxford, MA under license to Canine Cryobank. By 1977 Betty had received AKC approval to judge her first four breeds, among them Portuguese Water Dogs. She gained approval for several more breeds over time.

Portuguese Water Dogs were to be her and Bill's last dogs. Their association with Herbert and Deyanne Miller led them to a great personal interest in the breed. In addition to being an active club member Betty became Chairman of the PWDCA Judges Education Committee traveling extensively to organize and present workshops and seminars for eight years.

Betty maintained decades-long active memberships in PWDCA, Ladies Dog Club, Wachusett Kennel Club, Nutmeg Portuguese Water Dog Club, Mayflower Portuguese Water Dog Club and until 2010 at a very young 84 years of age was still a member of the board of the New England Sporting Group Association.

Sylvia Hammarstrom

Sylvia Hammarstrom

Sylvia Hammarstrom, of Sebastopol, CA, showed her first Schnauzer at the age of 10, winning the points. She established**Skansen Kennel in Sweden in 1951 and left for the United States in 1960 to learn handling with Jane Kamp (now Forsyth). She later worked as a TWA flight attendant while raising Schnauzers and Doberman Pinschers on her ranch in Sonoma County, California.

When Sylvia pictures her ideal Giant Schnauzer, she looks for a dog that is structurally well-balanced with a strong gait, excellent health, an abundance of energy, and a dedication to his owner. She works to improve the health, character and beauty of each generation bred. Sylvia's first interest in dogs was obedience and she put more than 100 obedience titles on her own dogs. Today, Sylvia takes great pride in seeing her dogs win around the world. To date, she has produced more than 1,000 champions and Skansen Giant Schnauzers have won more than 350 all-breed Bests in Show.

Sylvia applied to judge Schnauzers and started judging specialties in Scandinavia, England, Argentina, Mexico, and Japan. She gradually added 14 Working breeds and Greyhounds to the list of breeds she judges. A highlight for her as a breeder was judging her breed at Crufts. Her most unique experience was judging in Hiroshima, Japan in pouring rain. The show field was a lake so all dogs were put up on tables and judged standing still, soaking wet, all the way to BIS.

Nominees in Companion Events

Susan (Suzi) B. Bluford

Susan Bluford

Susan (Suzi) B. Bluford, of Carmel, California, got her start in the sport during the early 1970s. She has been an active participant in conformation, obedience, rally, tracking, retriever hunt tests and field trials, herding and agility. In 1977, her Golden Retriever, Streaker, was the number one obedience dog in the United States as well as a breed champion and an owner-handled group winner. Her Golden Retriever, Allie, qualified for the AKC National Agility Championship four years in a row.

Suzi is a member of National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors (NADOI) and served as the organization's corresponding secretary for six years. She is also a founding member and consultant for the therapy dog program at her local hospital.

Suzi is an AKC judge, approved for all levels of AKC obedience, rally and agility, and has judged many AKC hunt tests for retrievers at the Master Level. She has served as show and obedience chair for the NORCAL Golden Retriever Club specialty and also chaired the Del Monte Kennel Club's annual agility trials as well as their obedience program. For several years, Suzi wrote the obedience column for the Golden Retriever Club of America's magazine, The Golden Retriever News. She is a life member of Del Monte Kennel Club and received the AKC Outstanding Sportsmanship Award from the club several years ago.

David Nauer

David Nauer

David Nauer, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, has been married to his wife Karen for 35 years, and credits her with his start in the sport of dogs. Both of them grew up with German Shorthaired Pointers (GSPs) in Michigan, although the first dogs they had together were Dachshunds, beginning in 1981. Showing their dogs in conformation led to an interest in and love of dog sports. In the early 90s, the pair returned to breeding their first breed, the German Shorthaired Pointer.

As the Chairman of the German Shorthaired Pointer Club of America's (GSPCA) Versatility Program over the past decade, David strongly believes in participating in a mix of conformation, performance, and especially companion events. He has encouraged other GSPCA members to do the same.

David developed a love for the young sport of AKC agility in 1995 and has competed since then with his GSPs and a Papillion. He became an agility judge in 2005 and has judged the AKC National Agility Championship (NAC) twice, including the competition's final round in Tulsa in 2013, where he crowned the National Agility Champions. Nauer has been a member of the AKC Agility Rules Advisory Committee on two occasions, and supports the mentoring of new judges.

David has judged hundreds of all-breed agility trials across the country as well as dozens of national specialty agility trials, including the GSPCA national agility trial. He has also served as trial chairman for numerous specialty and all-breed agility trials, and as obedience and rally chairman for several GSPCA national events.

Robert Squires

Robert Squires

Robert Squires of Webster, New York, bought a German Shepherd Dog in 1966 after returning home from a Marine Corps deployment in Vietnam. He signed up for an obedience class and put a Utility Dog title on his GSD, but after training subsequent dogs, Bob quickly realized his first dog was an easy one! He later obtained a second GSD and Miniature Poodle that both completed their Utility Dog titles. Bob became a founding member of the Marumsco Dog Training Club, serving as Training Director and President.

Bob began judging obedience in 1969, and in 1975 he was approved to judge the Open class. He was then transferred to Okinawa, Japan, where he purchased his first Doberman Pinscher and trained him through Utility.

After retiring from the Marine Corps in 1983, Bob continued to teach and judge. He took a job with the American Kennel Club and held several positions, including Director of Obedience, where he oversaw the sports of obedience and tracking. Additional obedience representatives were hired and a tracking representative was added to the staff, allowing the AKC to assist clubs in conducting events and aiding those that were working to become judges. He also redesigned the obedience and tracking seminars and made them a permanent fixture in the sport and worked with Agility.

Bob chaired two Obedience Advisory Committees, which updated regulations requested by clubs, including lowering jump heights to lessen injuries to dogs. He assisted with and later oversaw several AKC National Obedience Invitationals, including the first one. Bob left the AKC in 1998 to return to judging.

Nominees in Performance

Jeannie L. Wagner

Jeannie  L. Wagner

Jeannie L. Wagner, of Elyria, Ohio, established Karrycourt Irish Setters in 1973 with the aim of producing dogs that could compete in the field, show, and obedience arenas. The Karrycourt bloodline has become the foundation stock of other dual breeders. She has titled both Irish Setters and Brittanys in obedience, hunt tests, conformation, and field trials, including her Dual/AFC Karrycourt's Rose O'Cidermill ROM.

A longtime member of the Irish Setter Club of Ohio, Wagner serves as club president and has chaired field trials, hunt tests, specialty shows, and other events. As a member of the Irish Setter Club of America (ISCA), she has served as Secretary and Chairman for the National Field Trial, and on National FT Advisory Committee, NFT Executive Committee, and the National Walking Gun Dog Championship Committee. Jeannie also judged both Hunt Test and Field Trials. Although retired from judging now, she continues to remains active promoting dual-purpose Irish Setters and performance events. The ISCA presented her with the Outstanding Sportsmanship Award this year.

As Secretary/Treasurer of the Associated Bird Dog Clubs of Ohio for 38 years, she helped work with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) to save field trial grounds in the state when U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service closed areas to field trials. She continues to work with ODNR on grounds at Tri-Valley Wildlife Area.

Jeannie is a supporter of youth in the sport and has served as a 4-H Dog Project Advisor and President of Lorain County 4-H Dog Council. She has also been advisor for the local FFA Dog Judging Team.

As a writer, she has earned six Dog Writers Association of America awards and she currently writes the field performance column that appears in the ISCA Memo. Her article on field trial gallery etiquette published in the AKC Gazette was later included in the AKC field trial rules and guidelines.

Sandy Moore

Sandy Moore

Sandy Moore of Gardnerville, NV has been training dogs her entire adult life. She started with a Sheltie and a Cocker Spaniel, given to her at the age of eight by her sister and brother-in-law, Sue and Ed Haase. As a child, she became involved in 4-H and trained her dogs in obedience, eventually qualifying for the Gaines Obedience Championships with her Shetland Sheepdog Burgie at the age of 17.

In the ensuing years, Sandy helped train protection and search and rescue dogs, ventured into the dog show ring to finish the championships on five dogs, and assisted the Reno Humane Society as well as other organizations with rehabilitating dogs with behavioral issues.

In the early 1990s, she discovered her true passion in the sport of herding and was mentored by stock man Rupert Poe. Sandy has put hundreds of herding titles and many AKC and American Herding Breed Association (AHBA) herding trial championships on numerous breeds. She has also finished several Working Trial Champions in the Australian Shepherd Club of America herding program. She has achieved more than 25 High in Trial specialty wins with various breeds, including German Shepherd Dogs, Belgian Sheepdogs, Belgian Tervuren, Belgian Malinois, and Australian Shepherds. She has enjoyed being the national herding tester for the German Shepherd Dog Club of America during the national specialty and has been very active within the club as a herding committee member since 1993.

Sandy has traveled across the United States and several countries as an AKC and AHBA trial judge and clinician, gaining experience in many techniques and styles of herding along the way. She currently co-owns Sheepcamp Kennel & Livestock in Gardnerville, NV with her business and training partner Terri Jones.

Albert Kenneth Engle

Albert Kenneth Engle

Albert Kenneth Engle of Liverpool, Pennsylvania,retired from the US Navy as a Senior Chief Aviation Electricians Mate in July 1985 and went back to his first love -- raising Basset Hounds. He and his father got their start in Bassets in the 1950s. Albert, or Ken, as most Basset people know him, attended his first Basset Hound Club of America (BHCA) field trial in 1951, where he placed second with his dog and got hooked on the sport. Over his 60 years of involvement in the breed, his Basset Hounds have earned many AKC Field Trial Championship titles and a few conformation titles, in addition to BHCA Grand Field Championships and other titles at BHCA sanctioned hunt tests. Ken is an AKC field trial judge for Basset Hounds and a judge for the BHCA Hunting Performance test. He has judged field trials and BHCA Hunting Performance tests at the national specialty.

A BHCA member since 1960, Ken has served in a variety of positions, including Vice President, Director, Field Trial Chairman/Secretary, and Hunting Performance Test Chairman/Secretary. He has been awarded BHCA Life Membership, the 50-Year Membership Award (which was initially given in 2000 to honor his father, the first 50-year member of BHCA), and the first AKC Outstanding Sportsmanship Award presented by BHCA.

Ken has been a member of the Susquehanna Basset Hound Club since its formation in 1955 and has served on every committee and in every office except president. He is the club's current Secretary and Treasurer. He is also a member of the Valley Forge Basset Hound Club, where he has served as president, vice president, director and field trial committee member, as well as a member of the Capital District Basset Hound Club, the Patroon Basset Hound Club and the Lenape Basset Hound Club.