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Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients

Conformation - Rachel Page Elliot

Rachel Page Elliott is one of America's most respected authorities on canine locomotion, and her unique illustrated lectures on the subject have done much to awaken breeders and judges all over the world to the importance of recognizing the rights and wrongs in the way dogs move. Her book. Dog Steps, was selected as "Best Dog Book of the Year" by the Dog Writers Association of America in 1973. The American Kennel Club later created a video based on her book. Dog Steps is still valued as a premier resource on the topic of canine movement.

A long time member of the fancy, Mrs. Elliott, along with her husband, Mark, bred Golden Retrievers under the Featherquest banner. She was also active in many kennel clubs, including the Golden Retriever Club of America, where she once held the office of president. In addition, Mrs. Elliott served on the Board of Directors of the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals for 13 years.

Mrs. Elliott, who retired from lecturing 25 years ago, now resides in Massachusetts where she creates wooden jigsaw puzzles.

Rachel Page Elliott is affectionately thought of by many as the "First Lady of Canine Locomotion."

Obedience - Jim Dearinger

Jim Dearinger has received many awards and served as President of the Des Moines Kennel Club as well as the Des Moines Obedience Training Club. He has been involved with the sport for almost 40 years. Jim was a member of the AKC staff for 23 years, resigning his position of Vice-President of Obedience when he retired in 1997 and moved to North Carolina with his wife, Janet.

Under Jim's leadership at AKC, much has been achieved including, the Obedience Trial Championship; the Obedience National Invitational; Tracking Dog Excellent; Variable Surface Tracking tests, High Combined Award in Open and Utility Class, and the Canine Good Citizen® program.

It is safe to say that Jim's efforts have significantly helped to make Obedience what it is today.

Performance - Tom Sorenson

Tom Sorenson's love for dogs is evident by the long list of awards he has accumulated during his 45-year professional training career, including induction into the Retriever Hall of Fame.

Owner of the renowned Sorenson Kennels in Missouri, Tom and his wife, Kay, travel to different retriever field trials around the country. Tom doesn't own any field dogs of his own anymore, but he trains dogs and enters them in competition for other people, learning a long time ago that you don't compete against your customers.

There is no doubt that Tom Sorenson shall go down in the history of the fancy as one of the top professional performance trainers and handlers in the country.