The American Kennel Club (AKC®) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2015 Lifetime Achievement awards. This year’s recipients have greatly advanced the sport of purebred dogs through their dedication to breeding, exhibiting, judging, teaching and club involvement.
The three winners were selected from votes cast by AKC member clubs. They will be honored on Friday, December 12, 2014 at the AKC Delegates luncheon held in conjunction with the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship in Orlando, Florida and will receive engraved Revere bowls. A sterling silver Tiffany and Co. bowl, engraved with the names of all recipients past and present, is on permanent display at AKC headquarters in New York City.
The 2015 recipients are:
Conformation: Edd E. Bivin of Fort Worth, Texas
Edd acquired his first purebred dog, a Pomeranian bitch, at the age of twelve. This dog introduced him to the sport and became the foundation of a breeding program that led to his producing and exhibiting top-winning Pomeranians. He began judging toy dogs at match shows at the age of fifteen and was approved to judge Pomeranians at championship point shows in the US in 1961. Edd is presently licensed to judge all sporting, working, terrier, toy, and all non-sporting breeds plus several herding and hound breeds.
He has judged many all-breed and specialty shows in the United States and abroad, including Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show in 1999. Edd has also taken great joy in judging many national specialty shows of various breeds.
Professionally, Edd pursued a career in education, serving for 32 years as an administrator at Texas Christian University with 18 of those years spent as Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services. He retired from the university in 2003. He and his wife Irene enjoyed breeding and exhibiting Doberman Pinschers and Dachshunds during her lifetime.
Edd has been heavily involved in Take the Lead, a charitable organization assisting individuals in the sport suffering from life-threatening illness or injury. He has found it very satisfying to give back to a sport that has given him so much.
Companion Events: Robert J. Squires of Webster, New York
Robert bought a German Shepherd Dog in 1966 after returning home from a Marine Corps deployment in Vietnam. He signed up for an obedience class and put a Utility Dog title on his GSD, but after training subsequent dogs, Bob quickly realized his first dog was an easy one! He later obtained a second GSD and Miniature Poodle that both completed their Utility Dog titles. Bob became a founding member of the Marumsco Dog Training Club, serving as Training Director and President.
Bob began judging obedience in 1969, and in 1975 he was approved to judge the Open class. He was then transferred to Okinawa, Japan, where he purchased his first Doberman Pinscher and trained him through Utility.
After retiring from the Marine Corps in 1983, Bob continued to teach and judge. He took a job with the American Kennel Club and held several positions, including Director of Obedience, where he oversaw the sports of obedience and tracking. Additional obedience representatives were hired and a tracking representative was added to the staff, allowing the AKC to assist clubs in conducting events and aiding those that were working to become judges. He also redesigned the obedience and tracking seminars and made them a permanent fixture in the sport and worked with Agility.
Bob chaired two Obedience Advisory Committees, which updated regulations requested by clubs, including lowering jump heights to lessen injuries to dogs. He assisted with and later oversaw several AKC National Obedience Invitationals, including the first one. Bob left the AKC in 1998 to return to judging.
Performance: Jeannie L. Wagner of Elyria, Ohio
Jeannie established Karrycourt Irish Setters in 1973 with the aim of producing dogs that could compete in the field, show, and obedience arenas. The Karrycourt bloodline has become the foundation stock of other dual breeders. She has titled both Irish Setters and Brittanys in obedience, hunt tests, conformation, and field trials, including her Dual/AFC Karrycourt’s Rose O’Cidermill ROM.
A longtime 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 member of the Irish Setter Club of America (ISCA), she has served as Secretary and Chairman for the National Field Trial, and on National FT Advisory Committee, NFT Executive Committee, and the National Walking Gun Dog Championship Committee. Jeannie also judged both Hunt Test and Field Trials. Although retired from judging now, she continues to remains active promoting dual-purpose Irish Setters and performance events. The ISCA presented her with the Outstanding Sportsmanship Award this year.
As Secretary/Treasurer of the Associated Bird Dog Clubs of Ohio for 38 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. She has also been advisor for the local FFA Dog Judging Team.
As a writer, she has earned six Dog Writers Association of America awards and she currently writes the field performance column that appears in the ISCA Memo. Her article on field trial gallery etiquette published in theAKC Gazette was later included in the AKC field trial rules and guidelines.