More than 300 purebred dog fanciers gathered Feb. 12 to honor the top show dogs and show dog people of 2010 at the 56th Annual Show Dogs of the Year Awards dinner, presented at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City by Dogs In Review magazine.
The awards, sponsored by Purina® Pro Plan®, are presented annually to the seven dogs that win the most Variety Group Firsts at American Kennel Club conformation dog shows during a calendar year, and to the single dog that wins the most Best in Show awards, plus the top obedience dog.
Also honored during the evening were the winners of the coveted Winkies for Annual Achievement, sponsored by CareCredit®. These winners are selected by votes from their peers.
Recognized for their impressive number of Group First wins were:
Best in Show Dog of the Year: The top prize went to the winner of the Show Dog of the Year Award for the Terrier Group, the Smooth Fox Terrier, Ch. J’Cobe Kemosabe Vigilante Justice, call name Dodger. Dodger has won 157 Group Firsts. He is owned by Howard and Sandra Hoffen, and Phil and Amy Booth, handled by Amy Rodriguez Booth, and bred by William Dalling and Stacy Turner.
Sporting Group: The Irish Setter, Ch. Shadagee Caught Red Handed, call name Emily. Owned by Debra S. Burke and Nancy Lee Conner, bred by Debbie Burke, Timothy Burke and Ellen Bieler. Emily’s handler is Adam Bernardin.
Hound Group: The Whippet, Ch. Starline’s Chanel. Chanel was bred by Lori and Carey Lawrence, and Dianne Bowen; owned by Carey, Lori and Nicole Lawrence, and handled by Lori Wilson.
Working Group: Gch. Winfall Brookwood Styled Dream, “Scarlett,” a Boxer owned by Deb McCarroll, Mrs. Jack Billhardt, and Sergio Tenenbaum, bred by Tina Porter and Lee Stanton, and handled by Diego Fernando Garcia.
Toy Group: The Pekingese, Ch. Palacegarden Malachy, “Malachy,” bred by Jean and Jim Smith, owned by Iris Love, Sandra Middlebrooks and David Fitzpatrick, who is also Malachy’s handler.
Non-Sporting Group: Standard Poodle Gch. Dawin Spitfire, “Jetta.” She is owned and bred by Linda Campbell, and handled by Sarah Riedl.
Herding Group: The Bearded Collie, Gch. Tolkien Raintree Mister Baggins, call name Mister Baggins, is handled by Clifford Steele and Allesandra Folz for owners Ellen MacNeille Charles, Angela and Larry Stein, Lesley Woodcock, Robert Lamm, and Sue Ross, and was bred by Charles, Angela and Larry Stein, Lesley Woodcock, and Robert Lamm.
Obedience: The Border Collie OTCH Wildfire Pilot’s License To Fly UDX24 OGM, call name Pilot, is owned and handled by Brenda Rivera, and bred by Pat Schulz.
Winners of the Winkies® for Annual Achievement:
- The 2010 Show of the Year award went to the Montgomery County Kennel Club in Blue Bell, Pa. The renowned Terrier Group Show is known for its beautiful venue and a highly respected panel of judges.
- Best Professional Handler for 2010 is Bruce F. Schultz, known for getting top performance and for his good humor and concern for his friends, both human and canine.
- Judge of the Year for 2010 is Dorothy Macdonald, who judges both conformation and field trials. Through her dedication to teaching at AKC Institutes and other events she has inspired many judges to learn about individual breeds and purebred dogs in general.
- The 2010 Best Owner-Handler is Robin Remondi, a top competitor in the Sporting Group who is well respected by her peers, Robin primarily shows her German Shorthaired Pointers in her home state of California.
- The Outstanding Breeder award for 2010 was taken home by Debbie Butt, Sporting Field Whippets & Border Collies. Debbie’s breeding program has produced numerous National Specialty Winners as well as multiple Group and Best in Show-winning dogs. Her Sporting Field Whippers are distinctive in type and she has also bred top-winning Border Collies.
Industry awards were presented during the evening by the generous sponsors, and all those attending enjoyed a cocktail party hosted by Petco.
- The Groomer of the Year Award went to Penny Dugan of Washington state. Specializing in grooming Poodles of all varieties, Dugan also breeds Standard and Miniature Poodles, including multiple Best in Show winners. She says she favors Poodles because “you have to be very artistic” to groom the breed.
- Lost Pet® USA presented the Shelter of the Year Award to Stray Rescue of St. Louis. Stray Rescue is in the midst of doing something unprecedented for a private nonprofit, taking over the animal-control functions for St. Louis, a major metropolitan city. Stray Rescue’s founder, Randy Grim, is known for innovating shelter and support programs, including aid for senior pet owners and those in financial duress, that are models for rescue.
- Ceva Animal Health honored Veterinarian of the Year, Dr. Michael Dryden, whose advancements in veterinary care have earned him the affectionate title of “Dr. Flea.” Michael Dryden, D.V.M., MS, PhD is a professor of veterinary parasitology at Kansas State University. His current research efforts are directed towards flea and tick biology and control.
- Comfort Zone with D.A.P.® awarded Trainer of the Year to Barbara De Groodt. She owns From the Heart Animal Behavior Counseling and Dog Training in Monterey, California. De Groodt has been an animal behavior counselor for over 30 years, and is a founder of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers.
Gifted all-breed professional handler Charles “Corky” Vroom was inducted posthumously into the Anne Rogers Clark Hall of Fame. A select group of fanciers who have dedicated a major part of their lives to the sport of showing purebred dogs have been inducted into this Hall of Fame, which honors men and women whose lifetime of contributions embodies the very best of the sport.
Norman Ridker, chairman of the board of BowTie Inc., which publishes the host Dogs in Review and Dog World magazines, plus other pet titles, books and websites, including DogChannel, saluted the guests for their dedication to the sport and thanked them for attending the black-tie event to honor the award recipients.