The American Kennel Club® (AKC®) is pleased to recognize extraordinary breeding programs from the Sporting, Hound, Working, Terrier, Toy, Non-Sporting and Herding groups as 2023 AKC Breeder of the Year group honorees.
“We are proud to honor these knowledgeable and responsible breeders,” said Dennis B. Sprung, AKC President and CEO. “Each of these individuals are well-respected and have made significant contributions to the betterment of their breed. Dogs bearing the honorees’ kennel names are a testament to their excellent breeding programs.”
The 2023 AKC Breeder of the Year award will be presented during the evening competition of the AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin on Saturday, December 16, 2023.
A canine portraitist will be commissioned to commemorate a prominent dog from the Breeder of the Year’s kennel, and their name will be added to the perpetual trophy. All group recipients will receive a medallion in recognition of their achievements.
The group honorees are:
Sporting Group: Dorothy Cherry, Cerise Kennel English Springer Spaniels
Dorothy Cherry put her first English Springer Spaniel in the ring in 1998, and that dog became the first Cerise Champion. She was joined by Kathy Kirk in 2009, and they devoted themselves to breeding English Springer Spaniels as healthy as they are beautiful. Without Kathy, the Cerise dogs as we know them would not be possible.
Cerise has received the highest award given each year by the English Springer Spaniel National Breed Club, Show Springer and Show Dog or Bitch of the year on seven dogs or bitches for a total of 13 times.
Ch. Cerise Jesse James won the National Specialty twice – in 2010 and 2012 – and was Cerise’s first multiple Best in Show winner.
Am/Can Ch. Cerise Tender Is The Night “Zelda” was winner of 17 All Breed Bests in Show and 96 Group Firsts. She was the Number Two Sporting Dog and Number One Sporting Bitch at the peak of her career. She was dam of 23 champions.
Am GCh Can Ch. Cerise Blindside “Timmy” was winner of 55 Best in Shows and 227 Group Firsts. He ended his last year as the Number Four dog amongst All Breeds.
In addition to their great success in the US, they have bred multiple BIS Springers in Japan and Australia. They have bred many Springers that not only excel in conformation, but also have become therapy dogs and hold titles in many performance and field events.
This history of Cerise Kennel is the result of the talent and devotion of Howard Huber to Cerise, and to the English Springer Spaniel Breed.
Hound Group: Harry and Lisa Miller, Kiarry American Foxhounds
Harry and Lisa Miller have bred American Foxhounds under the Kiarry prefix since 1998, with their very fist litter producing Best in Show winners. Together they’ve bred: 139 AKC Champions, two Tracking titled dogs, two Fast Cat titled dogs (BCAT & FCAT) as well as Coursing, Farm Dog and Fit Dog Bronze titled dogs and countless beloved companions.
Kiarry dogs were the first to earn AKC’s GCH and GCHG designations. Over the years, Kiarry bred dogs have accumulated 135 Best in Show awards. Other notable awards are Westminster Kennel Club Group 1 and Group 3 wins, AKC National Championship Hound Group 1 and Bred By Hound Group 1 wins, along with Best in Show at Philadelphia Kennel Club. Kiarry American Foxhounds are proud to have won multiple National Best in Specialty Show awards and produced many Multiple Group winning and Multiple BIS winning dogs. They have had the top AKC Hound in 2012 and 2013.
Lisa and Harry continue to strive to produce true-to-type, sound bodied and sound minded American Foxhounds to preserve this very special breed for future generations to continue to enjoy. They are very active in the American Foxhound Club, with Harry serving as President 2000-present, and Lisa currently serving on the Board of Directors. The often give Breed seminars and enjoy mentoring current and future breeders and judges.
Working Group: Amy Kiell-Green and Andrew Green, Pebbles’ Run Samoyeds
Amy Kiell-Green has bred and shared her life with Samoyeds for 25 years. Andrew Green is the son of world-renowned Judge/Handler Mr. Peter Green and has been breeding and
exhibiting top terriers for most of his life. Their Pebbles’ Run kennel has produced a remarkable five generations of All-Breed Best in Show winners as well as 12 All-Breed Best in Show winning Samoyeds, amassing a total of over 50 Best in Show wins. GCHP Pebbles Run Play It Again Ham, “Bogey,” was the first Samoyed to win the Working Group at Westminster Kennel Club in 2016 and Working Group Best Bred By Exhibitor at the AKC National Championship. Amy and Andrew’s dogs have produced both the top All-Breed Best in Show winning bitch in AKC history as well as the top Specialty Best in Show winning bitch in AKC history. GCHP McMagics Candied Ham With Pebbles Run, “Candy,” is also the first and only Platinum Grand Champion Samoyed Bitch – one of three Pebbles Run Platinum Grand Champions. Pebbles’ Run has bred two Samoyed Club of America National Specialty winners and three bitches that were awarded Best of Opposite Sex at the SCA National Specialty. Memorable wins include Reserve Best in Show at the AKC National Championship with GCHS Sammantic Querida. Pebbles’ Run Samoyeds have been successful all around the world accomplishing International Championships, Canadian Championships and Championship titles in over 20 European countries.
The Pebbles’ Run Samoyeds are not only incredibly successful in the show ring, but are talented in other ways, attaining titles in Agility, Rally, Canine Good Citizen, Herding, Weight Pull, Trick Dog, Barn Hunt, Therapy and Fast CAT. They have been recognized by the Samoyed Club of America achieving the following awards: Register of Merit Conformation, Register of Merit Performance and Excellence Dog And Bitch. Littermates, CH Pebbles Run Love Actually, “Lovey,” and CH Pebbles Run Hammy Davis Jr., “Hammy,” both achieved the Samoyed Club of America Register of Merit Excellent title.
Amy and Andrew are members of Westchester Kennel Club. Amy is currently the President of the Westchester Kennel Club as well as a member of the Board of Trustees of Take The Lead. Pebbles’ Run stresses the importance of producing not only beautiful Samoyeds but also happy, healthy companions. Bogey is an OFA Ambassador of Health working towards the betterment of the breed through health testing. Amy and Andrew were honored to represent the AKC and the Samoyed in the halls of the U.S. Congress emphasizing the importance of preserving the purebred dog’s health and function.
Terrier Group: Keith Bailey, Bayleigh Welsh Terriers
Keith Bailey has been a member of the Welsh Terrier Club of America since 1999 and an AKC Breeder of Merit since 2010. Based in Knoxville, TN, Keith has had the honor of breeding and owning several successful show dogs including “Dazzle” – GCHG Brightluck Money Talks – the Best in Show winner at Montgomery County Kennel Club 2019. Additionally, seven of her dogs have won Best of Breed at WTCA National Specialties. She has exhibited 11 group winning dogs, eight of which she bred. She has owned eight Best in Show winning dogs, that have won more than 200 Bests in Shows. This number includes “Jennie” – GCHG Shaireab’s Bayleigh Maid of Honor – the top winning Welsh Terrier bitch of all time with 44 Best in Shows. Most recently, her Welsh Terriers have been #1 Terrier in 2017(GCH Shaireab’s Bayleigh Daenerys Stormborn), 2019 (GCHG Brightluck Money Talks), and 2020 (GCHG Brightluck Money Talks). Keith’s foundation stud “Spyder” – GCH Bayleigh Shaireab’s Super Hero – was not only the first Welsh Terrier to achieve the AKC Grand Championship (2010) but went on to sire GCHG Brightluck Money Talks and was the grandsire of GCH Shaireab’s Bayleigh Daenerys Stormborn.
Keith has bred 88 AKC Champions and 18 AKC Grand Champions. In addition, she has produced eight performance winners.
Her dogs have also had international success. Currently, GCHS Brightluck’s Image At Bayleigh is the #1 dog All Breeds in Argentina.
Keith is a sitting Board Member of the Welsh Terrier Club of America and is an active member in her local kennel club. She credits much of her success to her mentor and (past) co-breeder Sharon Abmeyer (Shaireab) and expert handling by Tracy Szaras and Luiz Abreu. The Bayleigh legacy continues with the addition of co-breeder Emily Carroll. This next step into the future sees the creation of the Bayleigh Carroway Welsh Terrier brand and a new crop of young stars in the making.
Toy Group: Luke and Diane Ehricht, Hallmark Jolei Shih Tzu
Diane and Luke Ehricht have been involved in Shih Tzu since 1973. Both are Members of The American Shih Tzu Club, and have been board members. They are proud AKC Breeders of Merit.
Hallmark Jolei has produced more than 200 AKC Champions, obedience and performance-titled dogs, as well as therapy dogs. Diane and Luke have produced 14 All Breed Best in Show winners with a combined total of 269 All Breed Bests in Show between them. They have also produced 16 National Specialty Best of Breed winners and more than 100 specialty winners. Their breeding has been ranked Number One in the breed for 21 years. The top winning Shih Tzu of all time is Ch Hallmark Jolei Raggedy Andy, winner of 84 All Breed Bests in Show and three National Specialties. Andy was the Number Two Dog of All Breeds in 2002. Hallmark Jolei has produced Westminster Group winners and their dogs have been ranked Number One Toy dog in the country four times.
Diane has been honored to judge sweepstakes at their National twice and Luke had the honor to judge the National Specialty in 2019.
Shih Tzu have been their life’s passion and they are honored to be selected as Toy Breeder of the Year for the second time by the American Kennel Club.
Non-Sporting Group: Lorrie Carlton & Larry Letsche DVM, Belle Creek Bichons
Since its inception in 1974, Belle Creek Bichons has produced 225 AKC Champions and are AKC Breeders of Merit. These dogs have consistently performed well as Best in Show Winners, Best in Specialty Winners, Group Placers and Top Ten in the Breed. Belle Creek dogs have won the Bichon Frise Club of America National Specialty in 1981 and 2016 and the Canadian National in 2012. They have also won Winners Dog, Winners Bitch and Best in Sweepstakes multiple times at the BFCA Nationals.
Health and temperament testing are of utmost importance to their success. Belle Creek sires and dams have been the top producers within the breed many times and have gone on to achieve ROMX and ROM status with the parent club.
Their top dog, GCHP Belle Creek’s All I Care About is Love, aka Flynn, is the 2018 Westminster Kennel Club winner, 2016 AKC National Championship Reserve Best in Show Winner, 2017 Number Four All Breed, 2017 Top Non-Sporting Dog and the winner of 44 Bests in Show. Flynn has sired 27 AKC Champions to date.
Lorrie and Larry are members of the Bichon Frise Club of America and the Southeastern Michigan Frise Club of Michigan and have held many positions in these clubs. Larry served on the BFCA’s Board of Directors in 2022/2023 and Lorrie served as BFCA’s Judges Education Coordinator from 2014 to 2017.
Herding Group: Cynthia and Vincent Savioli, Aubrey Pembroke and Cardigan Welsh Corgis
The Saviolis obtained their first Pembroke in 1978 and first Cardigan in 1996. They have owned, bred and/or handled 114 Corgi champions including seven international champions and 25 Grand Champions. They have produced 15 Register of Merit Corgis.
Their show record includes 46 Bests in Show, 26 Reserve Bests in Show, 281 Group firsts, four National Specialty Bests of Breed and 60 regional specialties. Libby, GHP2 Tails of Mystery, holds all the breed records for Cardigan Welsh Corgis. She was the first herding dog to achieve the prestigious Platinum 2 Grand Champion status. Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Rebecca, GCHP Aubrey’s Moon River, is the record holder for specialty Bests of Breed with 22.
The Saviolis are active members of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club of America – Cindy since 1985 and Vince since 1990. They are founding members of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club of the Garden State. Both have served as board members, officers, show chairs and participated in various committees. The Saviolis are also members of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club of America since 1999.
Cindy and Vince have been licensed to judge both breeds since 2011. They have judged throughout the US as well as around the world.