The Winkie awards, so named by Richard G. Beauchamp when these distinguished awards were sponsored by Kennel Review magazine, remain an exciting part of the Westminster weekend. Seven distinguished dog fanciers from around the US and Canada, representing the best of the fancy, serve as the nominating committee for the annual awards. This year’s committee consisted of Kim Booth, Delores Burkholder, David Fitzpatrick, Virginia Lyne, David Murray, Charlotte Patterson and Jeffrey Pepper.
Judge of the Year. Last year’s winner for Judge of the Year, Betty-Anne Stenmark, delighted in saying “the envelope, please,” and then announced Houston Clark the 2012 winner. Always a popular judge and a true gentleman, Mr. Clark was not present to accept his award. The other worthy nominees were Randy Garren, Anne Katona, Betty Regina Leininger and James Reynolds.
Best Owner-Handler. Armando Angelbello, the Best Owner-Handler of 2011, had the honor of passing the baton to this year’s winner, Patricia Craige Trotter, widely hailed as the most successful breeder/owner-handler in history for her outstanding Vin-Melca Norwegian Elkhounds. Mrs. Trotter, the 1990 inductee into the Hall of Fame and an active multi-Group judge, jokingly asked the cheering crowd whether she still qualified as an owner-handler. Mrs. Trotter accepted the award and added it to her crowded mantel. Nominated alongside Mrs. Trotter were her game competitors Jackie Beaudoin, Ted Eubank, Jay Hafford and Tim Lehman.
Outstanding Breeder. William Shelton of Coventry Pembroke Welsh Corgis, the 2011 Outstanding Breeder, spoke eloquently on the responsibilities of breeding purebred dogs and referred to the breeder category as the most important of all. “If it were not for the responsible breeder, we would need none of the other categories. This great event itself would cease to exist.” The 2012 winner was Michelle Santana of Foxfire Doberman Pinschers. In her acceptance speech, Ms. Santana thanked the fancy for becoming her family and for allowing her to do what she loves most in the world. She acknowledged Bill Shelton, last year’s winner, for serving as her mentor. She later described the evening to herDogs In Reviewsales rep, Tammy Gincel, as “the best night of her life.” The other legendary breeders nominated this year were Carol Harris of Bo-Bett Whippets and Italian Greyhounds, Doug Johnson of Clussexx Clumber and Sussex Spaniels, Susan LaCroix Hamil of Quiet Creek Bloodhounds, and Barbara Miller and Susan Kipp of Max-Well Norfolk Terriers.
Best Professional Handler. Bill and Taffe McFadden presented this year’s Best Professional Handler award. The McFadden team won this award in 2011, though Taffe announced that she was in fact “the better handler.” Towering over his wife, Bill countered that he would always be “the taller handler.” This year’s nominees were Tim Brazier, Bergit Coady Kabel, Kimberly Pastella-Calvacca, Michael Pitts and Amy Rutherford. The winner was Bergit Coady Kabel.
Show of the Year. Chairman of the Morris & Essex Kennel Club, the winner of last year’s Show of the Year award, Wayne Ferguson announced the nominees for this year’s coveted award: Del Valle Dog Club of Livermore, Detroit Kennel Club, Long Beach Kennel Club, Louisville Kennel Club and the Kennel Club of Palm Springs. The Kennel Club of Palm Springs was this year’s winner. This breathtaking show is held on the lush green polo grounds in Indio, Calif., surrounded by a ring of mountains and a panel of the country’s most sought-after judges.
From the March 2013 issue of Dogs In Review magazine. Purchase the March 2013 digital back issue or subscribe to receive 12 months of Dogs In Review magazine.