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Award Ceremony Featured on National Broadcast of AKC/Eukanuba National Championship

The recipients of the AKC Breeder of the Year Award, Dave and Peggy Helming of Flemington, N.J., were honored on the live national broadcast of the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship on Saturday, January 14. The annual award honors those breeders who have dedicated their lives to improving the health, temperament and quality of purebred dogs.

“Dedicated breeders are crucial to the sport of purebred dogs, as they have the responsibility to preserve each breed's unique heritage,” said Ron Menaker, AKC's Chairman of the Board. “The Breeder of the Year Awards allow us to honor those who have worked to uphold standards of excellence in producing quality purebred dogs and shared their knowledge with newcomers, creating the next generation of dog fanciers.”

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 Tampa, Fla. The show will re-air on Animal Planet on Sunday, January 22 at 5 p.m. ET.

The 2005 AKC Breeder of the Year, representing the Working Group, was Dave and Peggy Helming of Pouch Cove Newfoundlands. From Flemington, NJ, the Helmings began their breeding program in 1968 under the Pouch Cove prefix. Since that time, they have bred and/or owned approximately 300 champions, many of whom are National Specialty, Working Group and Best in Show winners. Ch. Darbydale's All Rise Pouch Cove (Josh), who was awarded Best in Show at the 2004 Westminster Kennel Club show, is the breed's all-time top-winning show dog. Eighteen Pouch Cove dogs have earned the Newfoundland Club of America's (NCA) Versatile Newfoundland title by obtaining their AKC Championship, AKC Obedience title, NCA Water Rescue Dog and NCA Draft Dog titles. The Helmings have devoted years of service to the NCA and are life-time members of the club. They are both AKC approved judges.

All seven Group honorees were presented with medallions during the show on January 14, 2006. AKC Breeder of the Year recipients, Dave and Peggy Helming, will be honored with a commission from a canine portraitist to memorialize a prominent dog from their kennel. Their name will be inscribed on a perpetual trophy on permanent display at the AKC headquarters in New York City.

The honorees from the six remaining Groups were:

  • SPORTING: Douglas A. Johnson Bloomington, IN, Clussexx Clumber Spaniels

  • HOUND: Karen Staudt-Cartabona Swartswood, NJ, Majenkir Borzois

  • TERRIER: William and Rebecca Poole Hixson, TN, Rocky Top Bull Terriers

  • TOY: Margery A. Shriver Balitmore, MD, Sheffield Pugs

  • NON-SPORTING: Roberta Lombardi Camarillo, CA, Rufkins Lhasa Apsos

  • HERDING: Michele Ritter Saylorsburg, PA, Britannia Bearded Collies