March Chairman's Report
-- AKC Canine Partners Program Celebrates Several Milestones --
I’d like to share an update with you on the AKC Canine Partners program. Since the program’s inception, cumulative trial entries have topped 30,000. Last year, 85% of the events that were eligible to allow AKC Canine Partners listed dogs did invite them to enter. That figure is up to 89% so far this year.
Clubs welcoming Canine Partners enrollees have allowed these dogs and their owners to experience AKC Agility, Obedience, and Rally. Those clubs offering the Coursing Ability Test, which also includes Canine Partners enrollees, have also seen an increase in entries.
We recently reached a milestone by awarding the first MACH, MACH2 and MACH3 titles to one accomplished dog listed in the AKC Canine Partners program, “Princey,” who achieved all three titles.
Staff has also been working on the “My Dog Can Do That” experience. This program exposes new owners and dogs to AKC events. It allows people to try different companion events with one-on-one attention from a trainer. The “My Dog Can Do That” program is getting off to an impressive start. Two hundred thirty dogs participated in the program at the Rose City Kennel Club dog show in Portland, Oregon, and two hundred four dogs took part in the program at the Middle Peninsula Kennel Club show in Doswell, Virginia. The majority of these dogs had never tried an AKC event. We hope to welcome many more dogs and owners to the wonderful world of AKC through this program.
Later this month, we are pleased to welcome dogs listed in AKC Canine Partners to the National Agility Championship in Reno, Nevada from March 30th through April 1st. We are delighted that a number of Canine Partners enrollees have qualified for and will compete in this prestigious event.
Notably, we’ve continued to see growth in Agility, with the achievement of over one million entries in 2011. I encourage you to check the AKC website and the AKC Facebook page for complete coverage and results of the NAC. We wish the best of luck to all entrants.
As we continue to develop programs for all dogs, we hope you will encourage dog owners in your communities to participate. It’s easier than ever to learn the ropes and get involved.
Turning now to another subject, I am pleased to report that our 2012 budget is projected to show an operating surplus of $1.7 million.
I extend my thanks to the management, staff and Board for achieving this important, positive result.
During my tenure as Chairman, I have been truly fortunate to have had the support of many dedicated Board members – and especially two outstanding Vice Chairmen. The first was the Honorable David Merriam, and the second – who has served as Vice Chairman for the past three years – is Dr. Tom Davies.
While Tom is also leaving the Board today, I know he will continue to be an important contributor to the Delegate Body. AKC and our sport will benefit from Tom’s involvement hopefully for many years to come. Tom has been invaluable as Vice Chairman. While he may be accused of many things, being a “yes” man or being too subtle are not among them. You always know where Tom stands on the issue, and if he disagrees with you, he will not be bashful about letting you know. Fortunately for me, we agreed far more than we disagreed.
The third Board member leaving today – after twenty-four years of service – is the incomparable Walter Goodman. We talk about legends and icons of the Sport: Walter is a living legend. There are few who have contributed so much to the Sport of dogs over so long a period. As a breeder, exhibitor, judge, club officer, not to mention President of the most prestigious terrier club in the world, Walter has done it all, done it well, and done it with grace and dignity. I know the Board will not be the same without him.
Tom and Walter, thank you both for your support and contributions to AKC, as well as your continuing friendship.
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