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Award Presented at AKC/Eukanuba National Championship 

Debbie Butt of Toms Brook, Virginia was honored with the 2010 AKC Breeder of the Year Award for her Sporting Fields Whippets at the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship on Sunday, December 5, 2010.  The annual award honors those breeders who have dedicated their lives to improving the health, temperament and quality of purebred dogs.

“Debbie has bred all-purpose Whippets for more than 30 years and her name has become synonymous with great hounds that are beautiful, capable and healthy,” said AKC Chairman of the Board Ron Menaker. “With this award, we recognize the years of dedication and work that she has invested into her breed and the sport of dogs and the example she sets for both new and more experienced breeders alike. We’re also proud that Debbie, along with the other Breeder of the Year group honorees, is an AKC Breeder of Merit – part of a select group of AKC breeders that truly are the backbone of the sport and the foundation of our organization.”

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 4 and 5. The Breeder of the Year ceremony will be included in the show’s telecast on ABC Network Television on Sunday, January 23, 2011. Check local listings for air times.

The Sporting Fields prefix was used as early as 1945 by Debbie Butt’s parents when registering Spaniels. Whippets were added in the late 1960s; with the purchase of the Canadian-born Ch. Winterfold’s Bold Bid in 1970 and the English import Ch. Charmoll Clansman three years later putting Sporting Fields at the top of the Whippet charts. Clansman’s son Ch. Sporting Fields Clansman (“Buoy”) won the Hound Group at Westminster in 1981 and 58 AKC all-breed Best in Shows throughout his career. Debbie started handling early and took her first BIS win with Bold Bid in 1976, when she was barely a teenager. She also handled Buoy to his first and last BIS wins, as well as BIS at the American Whippet Club (AWC) in 1984.

In the 1990s Debbie showed Buoy’s great-grandson Ch. Sporting Fields Kinsman to 51 AKC all-breed Best in Shows and the AWC National in 1992. Among Sporting Fields’ 21st century winners, Ch. Sporting Fields Rock On has won more Bests at Specialty shows than any other Whippet. Sporting Fields has maintained a broad breeding program and produced several hundred champions, five of which have won the AWC National Specialty, including in 2010.

As the 2010 AKC Breeder of the Year recipient, Debbie 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 5, 2010.  Group winners included:

  • Sporting: Gregory Siner – Clifton, NJ – Pooles Ide Irish Water Spaniels
  • Working: Michelle Santana – Sunny Valley, OR – Foxfire Doberman Pinschers
  • Terrier: Margery Good – Cochranville, PA – Goodspice Sealyham Terriers
  • Toy: Carol Harris – Reddick, FL – Bo-Bett Italian Greyhounds
  • Non-Sporting: Joanne Reed – Santa Rosa, CAWindrift Keeshonden
  • Herding: Leslie Frank – Kensington, NH – Propwash Australian Shepherds

For more information on all of the AKC Breeder of the Year Group honorees visit

For more about the AKC Breeder of Merit program and to learn how dedicated breeders can join the ranks of these honorees, visit