The American Kennel Club® announced today the winners of the 2008 AKC® Lifetime Achievement Awards. The awards, engraved Tiffany and Co. sterling silver bowls, will be presented to the recipients on Tuesday, December 4, 2007 at the AKC Delegates luncheon held in conjunction with the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship in Long Beach, California. A larger version of the Tiffany and Co. bowl, engraved with the names of all recipients past and present, is on permanent display at the headquarters of The American Kennel Club 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 2008 recipients are:
Conformation: Damara Bolté, Leesburg, Virginia
Bolté studied Animal Husbandry at Purdue University and spent a winter in Paris studying Animal Sculpture. In 1955 she became the manager for Bettina Belmont Ward's show kennel of Basenjis. She was given Bettinas Fedha, the foundation for Damara's Reveille Basenjis.
Bolté worked for more than three decades as a supervisory Animal Husbandman at the National Institutes of Health. During this time, she handled nine Best in Show winners and two Reveille dogs won the Basenji Club of America's National Specialty.
Bolté is a long time board member of the Basenji Club of America and the current president of Old Dominion Kennel Club of Northern Virginia. She was the AKC GAZETTE breed columnist for three decades and the author of the Hound chapter in The AKC's World of the Purebred Dog. Bolté served on the advisory committee for the AKC Handler's program, is an AKC Registered Handler and a member of the Professional Handler's Association. In 2002 she was honored as the first recipient of the AKC Breeder of the Year award in the Hound Group.
Companion Events: Mildred (Mid) Rothrock, Sebastopol, California
Rothrock acquired her first Rottweiler in 1953. Soon after, she joined the Marin County Dog Training Club (MCDTC) and had many successes with her dog in the obedience and conformation rings. Nine Rottweilers have followed, all titled, including a CH CDX bitch, a CH UDT dog, and a CDX, TDX dog. A Papillon also made his home with the Rottweilers for 16½ years, earning a CDX and a TD.
A life member of MCDTC, Rothrock served the club in many capacities, including trial secretary, tracking test secretary, trainer, and editor of Paw Prints. Also a life member of Western Rottweiler Owners, Rothrock served as editor of their monthly newsletter and wrote a monthly column covering Northern California Obedience activities for Front & Finish.
After discovering the joys of Tracking, she became a Tracking judge in 1972 and added Obedience in 1976. She was among the first to be approved to judge the TDX test. A nine-year-old bitch took her into the world of Herding which led to service on the American Rottweiler Club committee. She was instrumental in the acceptance of the Rottweiler in AKC Herding tests.
Performance: Dennis Bath, Belleville, Illinois
Bath has been dedicated to retrievers since purchasing his first Labrador in 1967. His greatest success was with Lawhorn's Cadillac Mack, with whom he won back-to-back National Amateur Championships in 1979 and 1980. Mack accumulated 218 all-age points, and was inducted into the Retriever Hall of Fame in 1992.
Bath has held every office in the National Open Retriever Club, including two terms as President, and six years as Secretary-Treasurer. He is a past President of the Mississippi Valley Retriever Club, a founder and past President of River King Retriever Club and he acts as Midwest Captain of the Guns for both the National Retriever Club and the National Amateur Retriever Club.
In 2005, he became the only U.S. citizen to have judged an International Field Trial in Europe two years in a row. Bath is currently President and Editor in Chief of Retriever Field Trial News.
He conducts judging seminars throughout the country and has judged over 100 Open and Amateur Championship Stakes and three Nationals. In 2000, he was inducted into the Retriever Hall of Fame and was further honored when in 2002 the Central Time Zone dedicated the National Open Championship to him.