The American Kennel Club (AKC®) honored recipients of the AKC® Lifetime Achievement Awards at the annual Delegates Meeting Luncheon, in conjunction with the AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin in Orlando, Florida. The winners received an engraved silver Revere bowl. A larger Tiffany and Co. bowl, engraved with the names of all recipients past and present, will remain on permanent display at the AKC® Headquarters in New York City.
The AKC® Lifetime Achievement Awards were created to honor those individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the sport of purebred dogs on a national level. The recipients were selected by votes cast by AKC® member clubs for nominees in each of the following categories: Conformation, Companion Events and Performance.
Conformation: Thomas H. Bradley III
Thomas H. Bradley, 3d, of Watertown, New York, began in dogs in 1954 with German Shorthaired Pointers, exhibiting at his first point shows in 1955 at Adirondack Kennel Club in Lake Placid, New York.
Under his Luftnase prefix, Tom bred a number of sporting breeds, including Pointers, German Shorthairs, English Cocker Spaniels, and Labrador Retrievers. His last breeding produced a litter of four Border Terriers, all AKC champions. Breeding highlights include “Finishing five champions in our second litter of Labradors in the mid 1980’s” and being co-breeder of Pointer Ch. Luftnase Albelarm Bee’s Knees, the top dog, all breeds, 1981.
Tom was approved to judge German Shorthaired Pointers, German Wirehaired Pointers, and Weimaraners in 1965. He now judges all sporting breeds and Best in Show. “My first BIS assignment was Santa Barbara, 1975, before I ever judged a Sporting Group. The entry, I believe, was over 4,000 dogs. I can still tell you the six group winners!” Among his most memorable judging assignments are judging the Irish Setter Club of America National Specialty four times.
One of Tom’s greatest pleasures is mentoring aspiring Sporting Dog judges and admiring their successes. His article, – How I Judge Pointers- written years ago, is still used in the APC Judges Education Program.
Tom has been show-committee chairman for the Westminster Kennel Club show since 2002, retiring from that position in May of 2016. In 2017, he was invited to judge BIS at Westminster which is the highlight of his judging career. He feels that being a co-founder of Take the Lead, plus twenty-five years as volunteer executive director, represents his most satisfying contribution to our sport. Tom enjoys everything associated with dogs, friends, traveling, cooking, local charity work and family time.
Companion Events: Frank Washabaugh
Frank was a graduate of Cornell University with a master’s degree in chemical engineering, last employed by Englehard Chemical. During the 1960’s he served in the Army Chemical Corps at Edgewood Arsenal in Maryland, then continued in the reserves, retiring as a Lt. Colonel. Frank, along with his wife Nancy of 45 years, bred and exhibited German Shorthaired Pointers for over 30 years, which led Frank to a 20-year career as a highly respected AKC licensed judge of breed and obedience. Frank passed away on June 11, 2018.
Written by Mr. Washabaugh for a Club Specialty Show:
My original breed was the German Shorthaired Pointer. My wife and I have owned them for over 40 years. We acquired the Wire Fox Terrier 15 years ago from my wife’s cousin’s breeding from an extensive line of Champions. I have shown Shorthairs in breed, obedience, and field events. We’ve owned, co-owned or produced over 30 GSP CH’s and (at least) 4 Wire CH’s. We live in rural Hunterdon County, NJ, with still now 2 Shorthairs and 2 cats. We have a summer home on a lake in Northern Wisconsin. We are lifetime members of the Eastern German Shorthaired Pointer Club and the Princeton Dog Training Club. I served as President for both Clubs, and also as the AKC rep over so many years. I started to judge breed and obedience 20 years ago. In obedience, I’ve judged the AKC invitational, the Gaines Classic, the World Series of Obedience, and at many National Specialties. In conformation, I judged all Sporting, all Terriers, all Toys, and Poodles.
Performance: Kevin Culver
Kevin Culver, of Fort Valley, Virginia, has been involved in the development of the Irish Setter, predominantly in the field, for the past 45 years. The Irish Setter has had a re-emergence in AKC field events, both at trials and hunting tests. Kevin is proud to be a part of it. The increase in dual champions is absolute proof of the way today’s breeders are working together to protect the purpose of the breed.
Kevin has owned and trained many field champions to both their AFC and FC titles and has had several breed champions as well. At Runnymeade, they believe in dual potential. His males have been privileged to have “met” some beautiful bitches and Runnymeade is proud to be a part of their ongoing success in the conformation ring, the field and in hunting.
Kevin sat on the Board of the Irish Setter Club of America and serves on the ISCA Walking Weekend and AKC Walking Gun Dog Championship advisory committees. He has chaired this event on three occasions and is the chair of the 2018 event in Delaware. Additionally, Kevin was 2016 recipient of the AKC Outstanding Sportsmanship Award from ISCA.
There is nothing more important to Kevin than engaging newcomers to the sport. At Runnymeade he hosts fun days to introduce beginners’ dogs to birds. Since retirement, Kevin has had more time to interact with people and he often gets morning phone calls asking, “Kev, are you going to train today, and can I come along?”
Kevin and his wife, Jean have two sons, Keith and Judd, both of whom have enjoyed success with their dogs in the field. Keith is an AKC field trial judge.