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Award Presented at AKC/Eukanuba National Championship

Claudia Orlandi, Ph.D. of Essex Junction, Vermont was honored with the 2009 AKC Breeder of the Year Award for her Topsfield Basset Hounds at the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship on Sunday, December 13, 2009.  The annual award honors those breeders who have dedicated their lives to improving the health, temperament and quality of purebred dogs.

“Like other Breeder of the Year winners before her, Claudia represents the epitome of the responsible breeder — someone who aims to preserve and improve the breed they have dedicated their lives to and who puts the health and welfare of her dogs front and center,” said AKC Chairman of the Board Ron Menaker. “She has used her expertise to enhance the breeding programs of other fanciers and sets an ideal example for so many breeders in the sport. This recognition is very well deserved.”

Each year, one honoree is chosen from each of the seven groups: Sporting, Hound, Working, Terrier, Toy, Non-Sporting, and Herding. From those seven, one Group winner is selected as “AKC Breeder of the Year” during the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship, which was held this year in Long Beach, CA on December 12 and 13. The Breeder of the Year ceremony will be included during the show’s simulcast on Animal Planet and the Discovery Channel on Saturday, February 6, 2010 at 8 p.m. (EST).

Claudia has produced more than 100 AKC champions, with Topsfield Bassets winning over 100 Best in Shows and 500 Group Firsts and holding various Breed and All-Breed records. Prominent Topsfield hounds include Ch Topsfield Bumper Cars, CD, ROM; Ch Topsfield-Sanchu Sports Car, ROM; Ch Topsfield Beethoven; and Ch Topsfield Vision Silver Noodles. Bumper Cars, a National Specialty Winner, is the top Group Winning Basset Hound in the history of the breed with 250 group firsts. Silver Noodles is the top winning Basset Hound bitch in breed history.

Claudia is also dedicated to education and conducts seminars for breeders and judges, including The ABC’s of Dog Breeding, Anatomy Review for Judges and Breeders, Hands-On Angle Evaluation in Dogs and the BHCA Judges’ Education Seminar on the Basset Hound. She currently judges Basset Hounds, Dachshunds, Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen and Junior Showmanship.

As the 2009 AKC Breeder of the Year recipient, Claudia will be honored with a commission from a canine portraitist to memorialize a prominent dog from her kennel and her name will be inscribed on a perpetual trophy. They will remain on permanent display at the AKC headquarters in New York City.

All seven Group honorees were presented with medallions during the show on December 13, 2009.  Group winners included:

  • Sporting: Leslie Russell – Oregon City, OR – Avon Farm Irish Setters
  • Working: Judith G. Cooper – Lake Barrington, IL – Tip’N Chip Great Pyrenees
  • Terrier: Maripi Wooldridge – Mebane, NC – Terrydale Airedale Terriers
  • Toy: David Fitzpatrick – East Berlin, PA – Pequest Pekingese
  • Non-Sporting: Jean & Robert Hetherington – Oxford, NC, Hetherbull Bulldogs
  • Herding: Michelle Edling – The Dalles, OR – Sky Acres Belgian Tervuren