New York, NY — The American Kennel Club® announced today the winners of the 2007 AKC® Lifetime Achievement Awards. The awards will be presented to the winners by AKC President and Chief Executive Officer, Dennis B. Sprung, at the December 5, 2006 Delegates Meeting in Long Beach, California, held in conjunction with the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship. The winners will each receive an engraved Tiffany and Co. sterling silver bowl. A larger bowl, engraved with the names of all recipients past and present, is 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.
The 2007 recipients are:
Conformation: Jane Kamp Forsyth
From Pinehurst, North Carolina, Forsyth grew up in the show ring and was successful with her dogs at a young age. In her teens she managed and handled dogs for several well-known kennels. She became a professional handler and went into partnership with George Pusey. Together, they bred and exhibited top Boxers for three years. She later joined forces with Robert S. Forsyth, and they soon became one of dogdom’s most famous husband-and-wife handling teams. Mr. and Mrs. Forsyth handled Best in Show winners at Westminster, the only married couple to do so. Forsyth has been named the Kennel Review Handler of the Year three times, earning her a place in the Hall of Fame. She has won three Gaines Awards, including Woman of the Year, and was inducted into the American Boxer Club Hall of Fame in 2001. In 1981, after forty-three years, Mrs. Forsyth retired from handling. She is approved for all AKC and FCI breeds, and has judged in England, Finland, Sweden, South America, Puerto Rico, Canada, Italy, and Mexico. Forsyth judged four AKC/Eukanuba National Championships including Best in Show in January 2006.
Companion Events: Marian Mason Hodesson
Hodesson, of Tucson, Arizona, was born in the north of England and immigrated with her family to the United States in 1928, along with the family Collie. They settled in Monrovia, California, establishing the Wilpshire Kennel in the early thirties. First drawn to Obedience, Hodesson trained and showed Collies, Shetland Sheepdogs, and Miniature Poodles, finishing several dogs in those early years in both Conformation and Obedience. She became an Obedience judge in the 1940s and applied for her first breed in Conformation in 1963. She is presently licensed to judge the Sporting, Working, Non-Sporting, and Herding Groups. She has judged throughout the United States and Canada, as well as in Mexico, New Zealand and Australia. A charter member of the Canada del Oro Kennel Club, Hodesson has been a member of the Collie Club of America and Tucson Kennel Club for over 53 and 35 years respectively, serving as Chair in a variety of capacities. Hodesson worked with her late husband, Samuel, a veterinarian for 23 years. They have been longtime contributors to the Veterinary School Library at the Ohio State University.
Performance: Kenneth A. Marden
Marden, from Whitefield, Maine, has owned, trained, and bred German Shorthaired Pointers since 1961. Successfully competing under his Crossing Creek banner in field trials and hunting tests, as well as Conformation and Obedience, Marden has finished 12 Champions, all amateur handled. A Field trial judge since 1966, he has judged more than 100 pointing breed Field trials. Marden was a Director on the AKC Board from 1986 to 2006. In 1987, he was elected president of The American Kennel Club and established the Performance Events department. Under his leadership the department expanded to include Herding, Agility, Lure Coursing, Earthdog and Coonhound events. Following his three-years as president, Marden continued to serve as a Director on the AKC Board where his experience and knowledge of Performance events provided an invaluable resource. For the last thirteen years, he has held the position of Chairman of the AKC Gun Dog Championships Association, which supervises the annual AKC Pointing Breed Gun Dog Championships. He has also served several terms as president of the Eastern German Shorthaired Pointer Club, and has been an AKC delegate and vice president of the German Shorthaired Pointer Club of America.