Lifetime Achievement Awards

AKC Announces Nominees for the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Awards

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 threecategories. This final round of balloting will close on to October 11, 2013. A special awards presentation will be held in conjunction with the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship in Orlando, Florida in December 2013.

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

Nominees in Conformation:

Tom Davies

Dr. Tom Davies, of Brimfield, Massachusetts, has had a lifelong association with dogs. He grew up in Michigan bird hunting with Springer Spaniels and Brittanys. He became involved in dog shows in 1967, after graduation.

In the mid-1980s Davies was an owner of a BIS, top-winning, and top-producing Bearded Collie. In the early 2000s, he owned the top-winning BIS Siberian Husky. Davies has owned and bred Old English Sheepdogs, Bearded Collies, Siberian Huskies, Belgian Sheepdogs, Belgian Tervuren, Belgian Malinois, Belgian Laekenois, and a Xoloitzquintli.

An AKC delegate for 40 years, Davies has served on the AKC Board of Directors for 12, including three as Vice Chairman. He served as Chairman of AKC/CAR for three years. He was a member of the delegates’ Dog Show Rules Committee, and chaired that committee and the Coordinating Committee for several years prior to his election to the Board.

Of importance to him has been to support the opening of AKC activities to all the fancy and general public. Davies is primarily responsible for the Canine Partners program and responsible for development of one of the country’s best show sites and making it available to all clubs interested.

Davies has promoted the inclusion of the general public with such activities as 4H shows and classes, Meet the Breeds events at shows and State Fairs, and “My Dog Can Do That” at his club shows.

Davies judges the Herding Group and has adjudicated that group at the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship.


Pat Hastings

Pat Hastings of Aloha, regon has been involved in the dog world since 1959. She began her career as an owner-handler, moved into breeding, and then teamed up with her late husband, E.R. “Bob” Hastings, in professional handling.

Nearly 30 years ago, Pat and Bob began researching canine structure in order to help breeders more accurately evaluate litters to determine the best lifestyle choice for each puppy. Pat has evaluated over 25,000 puppies, always taking time to discuss her findings and teach about canine structure. Her expertise is respected by show and performance people alike.

She began judging for AKC in 1991. Besides judging at countless all-breed shows, she has been honored to judge many Nationals, both here and abroad, including the Doberman Pinscher Club of America’s National three times, a club that honored Pat and Bob with its Lifetime Achievement Award.

Along the way, Pat has chaired local shows, National Specialties, and a major benefit for "Take the Lead."

As a highly respected educator in the dog world, Pat has always endeavored to teach by example, to approach all aspects of the Sport with respect, common sense, and personal integrity.

Pat has presented seminars for 25 years around the world to all aspects of the sport and has authored three best-selling books, produced a popular DVD and has written numerous articles for a variety of publications.

She is a great believer in the value of mentoring and has worked with novices and new judges providing information, moral support, and encouragement.


Bill Holbrook

Bill Holbrook, of Sequim, Washington, had has a long relationship with the AKC, including a 27-year career as a field representative. But he still remembers that first gig that kick-started his career: “My first contact with the AKC was in 1951 when I volunteered to serve as show chairman for the Cornhusker Kennel Club. On the morning of the show, I introduced myself to Capt. Berry, the AKC Field Representative, saying, ‘I'm Bill Holbrook, show chairman, and we're going to have the best show we've ever had.’

‘You'd better,’ he replied, ‘Or you may not have another one.’

I'm happy to report that Cornhusker Kennel Club shows are still going.”

Later, in the ’60s while managing the Bookstore at California State University, Northridge he took weekend trips to dog shows. He was invited by professional handler Wayne Baxter to become his licensed assistant. In this role, he answered to Wayne and his clients, and to the field representatives who were covering the shows. In a couple of years, Holbrook advanced to licensed all-breed professional handler.

In 1969, Holbrook resigned his handler license to receive judging approval and went on to take judging assignments all over the country as well as twice judging the Collie Club of America National Specialty, which he calls the highlight of his judging career.

Holbrook went on to accept the position of field representative with the AKC in 1980 until he retired in 2007 at age 82.


Nominees in Companion Events:

Lynn Eggers

Lynn Eggers, of Grapevine, Texas, began her career in dogs in 1961 with a miniature Poodle who became her first obedience Utility dog. She subsequently owned and trained her first Doberman Pinscher, who became 1967’s top-winning Doberman in the country.

Thus began her long passion for the sport of dogs. Eggers began judging obedience in 1968 and has continued her love of the sport for 45 years. A judge of all levels of obedience and rally who has judged in virtually every state in the United States, Eggers loves to judge. She believes that today’s obedience dogs are far superior to those of the past, due to better training methods and positive reinforcement.

Eggers has bred Doberman Pinschers for 43 years under the kennel name “Foxhall.” She is very proud to have bred and owned the first AKC-champion Doberman bitch with a Schutzhund 3 title.

A member of the board of the Doberman Pinscher Club of Dallas, and a longtime member Doberman Pinscher Club of America, Eggers stays very involved in the sport. Lynn is very proud of her role as board member of Take the Lead.

Eggers has always felt a calling to encourage each exhibitor and to praise their efforts in training their dogs. She says it is important in our society to encourage everyone to do basic training with their dogs. Eggers has been known to say to exhibitors, “Dogs do not wind up in rescue when they have someone who takes the time to train them, so I congratulate each of you here today for your accomplishment.”


Bill Iwamoto

William (Bill) Iwamoto, of Santa Barbara, California, was born and raised in Honolulu, HI. Despite a 40-plus–year career in dog shows, he still remembers a time when he hadn’t even considered owning a dog. “It wasn’t until I had a daughter who begged for a collie just like Lassie that I ever considered it,” he says. “We felt a collie was too big a breed, so after some research we discovered Shelties.” It was thanks to that hyperactive Sheltie that Iwamoto started obedience training in 1969. He and his Sheltie went on to attain multiple High in Trials, 200 scores, and a Will Judy Award and placed in several Gaines competitions.

Iwamoto became interested in judging with the encouragement of his mentor and good friend Dorothy McCauley. He received his provisional status in 1981 and traveled across the country to judge. He later started visiting patients at a rehabilitation hospital and putting on scent hurdle races for them.

He served as the trainer of the beginner and advanced novice classes for the Los Padres Obedience Club for more 20 years and was a 30-plus–year member of the Channel City Kennel Club, filling the roles of obedience chair for the shows and board member. He currently lives with Wheaten Terriers, who have only competed in the conformation ring.

“I have enjoyed all the travel this 40-plus–year hobby has allowed and have met so many wonderful people, who have become my good friends,” he says.


Arthur Twiss

Arthur Twiss, of Reading, Massachusetts, has been an active fancier of Rottweilers in conformation, obedience, and tracking since 1961.

In 1968 Twiss was introduced to his soon-to-be mentor Ruth Ridings, an obedience and tracking judge for the AKC and Canada. Twiss met with Ruth every Sunday to talk about aspects of tracking and how to promote it. In the early ’70s, Twiss and his wife led the Colonial Rottweiler Club through the licensing process for obedience and tracking tests. It was the first Rottweiler specialty club to do so.

Twiss’ first Rottweiler was the fourth in his breed to earn the TD title, and his record of consecutively passing 13 of 13 TD tests remains unbroken. He was the first owner/trainer/handler to qualify for an American TD and TDX title in his breed on the same test day. He was a founding member of the Tracking Club of Massachusetts and has continuously served as an officer and/or director and was president from 2002 to 2012. He served on the 2004 AKC Tracking Advisory Committee, was one of the judges at the 2005 AKC Second National Tracking Invitational, and has conducted numerous clinics and helped handlers train for titles.

Twiss has also participated in obedience, rally, and conformation. He owned and trained a National Specialty Winner and co-bred another National Specialty Winner, and he’s serving his eighth year as treasurer of the All-Breed Framingham District Kennel Club.


Nominees in Performance:

Ray Calkins

Ray Calkins, of Wilsonville, Oregon, received his degree in veterinary medicine from Iowa State University and purchased Wilsonville Veterinary Clinic in 1976.

Calkins handled his first German Wirehaired Pointer to a red ribbon in a puppy stake in 1975. Since then, 10 “Cascade” GWPs, all owner-trained and –handled, have earned field championships; three are dual champions, eight are master hunters, and two hold NAVHDA Utility ratings. Four Cascade dogs hold nine National Field Championships. Cascade sires are the number-one and -two producers of GWP field champions, and others carry Cascade dogs in their pedigrees.

Calkins has been a member of the GWPCA since 1974 and served on the board of directors for 10 years. He was Field Futurity chairman for 12 years, a member of the GWP Field Trial Advisory Board from 1985–2000, represented the German Wirehaired Pointer Club of America at the AKC Field Trial Advisory Board from 1986 until 1999, and is currently the GWPCA president.

Calkins organized the Oregon German Wirehaired Pointer Club in 1978, and he helped to form the Columbia NAVHDA Chapter and the Upland Bird Dog Association to work with the ODFW and Oregon Wildlife Heritage Foundation.

Calkins is a National Championship judge for all AKC pointing breeds (except GWPs) and AKC Gun Dog Championships. He has judged regional championships too.

Calkins was invited to join Portland Kennel Club in 1981. He serves as show veterinarian and speaks at breed clubs on health issues, field emergencies, and reproduction. His commitment to education extends to youth groups and pointing-dog clubs with hands-on field-training days.


Kate Simonds

Kate Simonds of Morrisville, Vermont, has been involved in field trials for 42 years, during which time she and her husband, Pete, have been fortunate enough to earn 13 FC/AFCs.

Simonds has participated in field trials as a worker, chief marshal, field trial chairman, club president, treasurer, field trial secretary, and competitor. In addition to working and competing at open and the amateur nationals, she has been a finalist at the national amateur twice. She’s been judging trials since the ’70s and was a judge for the National Retriever Club in 1978.

From 1981 to 1984, Simonds served as a vice president of the National Amateur Retriever Championship (NARC). In 1985, as president she brought the National Amateur to Vermont for the first time. From 1988 to 1996, Simonds served as NARC’s secretary/treasurer.

Currently she is participating in Field Trials, serving on the Labrador Retriever Club board as an AKC delegate and as chairman of the AKC rules advisory subcommittee.

Simonds believes that this sport is magnificent, involving a wonderful breed of dog and many fine people. “Retriever trials offer us all a chance to be involved in something very special by developing the amazing talents of these dogs,” she says.

It has been tremendously gratifying for her to see the majority of people who are real sportsmen and truly invested in the sport by nurturing it, holding it together through its guidelines, and bringing out the very best in its participants.


Jeannie Wagner

Jeannie L. Wagner, of Elyria, Ohio, brought her first Irish Setter home in 1973. She went on to breed Irish Setters under the kennel name Karrycourt, which was established with a breeding program geared toward producing dogs that could compete in the field, show, and obedience. The Karrycourt bloodline has become the foundation stock of other dual breeders. She has titled both Irish Setters and Brittanys in obedience, hunt test, championships, and field/amateur field champions, which includes her Dual/AFC Karrycourt’s Rose O’Cidermill ROM. She also judged Field Trials and Hunt Tests.

A 40-year 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 35-year member of the Irish Setter Club of America, she has served as Secretary and Chairman for the National Field Trial, and on National FT Advisory Committee, NFT Executive Committee, and National Gun Dog Championship Committee.

As Secretary/Treasurer of the Associated Bird Dog Clubs of Ohio for 35 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 for 36 years.

As a writer, she earned six Dog Writers Association of America awards. Her article on Field Trial Gallery Etiquette published in the AKC Gazette was later included in the AKC field trial rules and guidelines.