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Group Honorees Named for the 2012 American Kennel Club Breeder of the Year Award

(Wednesday, July 11, 2012)

"AKC Breeder of the Year" to be Announced at AKC/Eukanuba National Championship in Orlando, Fla.

The American Kennel Club® announced today the seven group recipients of the 2012 AKC® Breeder of the Year Award. The award honors breeders who have dedicated their lives to improving the health, temperament and quality of purebred dogs.

“The AKC Breeder of the Year Award celebrates AKC’s distinguished breeders and we’re proud to honor seven outstanding finalists this year,” said Michael Canalizo, AKC/Eukanuba National Championship Event Manager. “The group winners represent the diversity of our sport, spanning generations and getting their start in dogs many different ways, yet all are the best of the best when it comes to responsibly breeding healthy, beautiful and functional dogs.”

A breeder is chosen from each of the seven groups: Sporting, Hound, Working, Terrier, Toy, Non-Sporting and Herding. The individual group recipients will receive a medallion in recognition of their achievements on Sunday, December 16, 2012 at the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship in Orlando, Fla. At the end of the presentation the 2012 AKC Breeder of the Year will be announced. Additionally, a canine portraitist will be commissioned to commemorate a prominent dog from the recipient's kennel, and their name will be inscribed on a perpetual trophy and plaque on permanent display at the AKC headquarters in New York City.

The group winners are:

Sporting Group: Dr. Dana Massey, Win’Weim Weimaraners
Dana has lived with Weimaraners since 1950 and is grateful for the mentoring she has received from Chris Grisell (Nani’s) and Judy Colan (Colsidex). Dana has owned and/or bred Weimaraners consistently in the Top 10, plus BIS, WCA Hall of Fame, and top producers. Additionally, Win’Weim dogs have won more than 20 Bests in Futurity/Maturity awards. A firm believer in the versatility of sporting dogs, she is proud that her dogs have AKC VCD1, TDX, SH with MH legs, and over 85 AKC performance titles plus several WCA Versatile Excellent designations. Read more.

Hound Group: Alicia Hanna, Kimani Rhodesian Ridgebacks
Alicia acquired her first dog in 1963 establishing her small kennel in Chester, New Jersey, where she still resides. She won her first national specialty in 1968 with a dog from her first litter; her name was Kimani, since then Kimani-registered dogs have produced over 700 AKC champions. She has bred, owned, and/or handled the RRCUS national-specialty BIS-winning dogs an unprecedented 12 times, and has retired every national specialty conformation challenge trophy, including the Best in National Specialty Trophy twice. Read more.

Working Group: Lynn Brady and Connie Townsend, Szumeria Kuvasz
Lynn and Connie’s journey began with their first Kuvasz in 1990 and expanded in 1991 when they joined the Kuvasz Club of America. They have remained active in the KCA, serving in many leadership roles. Szumeria has achieved an impressive record, including over 45 BIS, 36 earned by GCh. Szumeria’s Wildwood Silver SixPence, and over 125 AKC champions and multiple Hall of Fame sires and dams. Three times they have owned and/or bred the top-winning Kuvasz in breed history. Read more.

Terrier Group: James W. Smith, Absolutely Smooth Fox Terriers
Jim attended his first dog show with a Dalmatian in 1956 and has been involved in the sport ever since. He quickly gravitated to the terrier rings and acquired a Wire Fox Terrier in 1957. His first Smooth came in 1962. In 1999, he acquired a Smooth from Eddie Boyes, and Jim’s interest and involvement has proceeded full speed ever since. Absolutely has produced over 50 bred, owned, and campaigned champions, Best in Show dogs, national and regional specialty winners, and numerous group winners. Preservation and maintenance of the breed are paramount, while adherence to the standard is constantly reviewed. Read more.

Toy Group: Tammy and John Simon, Ta-Jon Maltese
To date, Ta-Jon Maltese has produced over 80 AKC champions and 115 all-breed Bests in Show, including Ch. Ta-Jon’s Tickle Me Silly, Ch. Ta-Jon’s Whose Your Sugar Daddy?, Ch. Ta-Jon’s Just Bee-Ing Silly, and Ch. Ta-Jon’s Pawsitively Pawparazzi. The Simons, who are AKC Breeder of Merit program participants, also have six national-specialty Best of Breed winners with four different Maltese to their credit. The Ta-Jon name is also recognized around the world with several World Winners and multiple BIS winners. Ta-Jon dogs are also seen excelling in the obedience, rally, and agility rings. Read more.

Non-Sporting Group: Krista Nuovo, Delamer Schipperkes
Krista’s first Schipperke was purchased in 1984. Piloted by Krista as a 16-year-old junior hander, the dog garnered multiple group placements and a specialty Best in Show. Krista has bred five national BOB winners, five National BOS, numerous National WD, WB and BW, and multiple Bests in Sweepstakes and Bests in Futurities. Delamer kennels bred the all-time top Best in Show–winning Schipperke, BIS BISS Ch. Delamer Beach Blanket Baby, with 18 Bests in Show. Read more.

Herding Group: J. Frank Baylis and Chris Oldt, Bayshore Border Collies
Frank and Chris, of Toms Brook, Virginia, have been breeding and exhibiting under the Bayshore kennel prefix for many decades. Bayshore-bred dogs have achieved hundreds of championships and Herding Group wins. Some of proud moments: obtaining Highs in Trial in the herding arena, and winning the Heinz Pet Product Show Dog of the Year Award (formerly Quaker Oats) with their dog Flapjack, the Herding Group at Westminster with their Border Collie Merlin, and the Pastoral Group at Crufts with their bitch Judy. Read more.

Learn more about the award and past honorees.