Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients
The recipients for the AKC 2002 Lifetime Achievement Awards were announced
at the December 11 Delegates' meeting in Orlando, FL. The Lifetime Achievement
Awards honor those individuals who have made outstanding contributions to
the sport of purebred dogs on a national level. The recipients were selected
by votes cast by AKC member clubs for one of the three nominees in each
of the following categories: Conformation, Obedience and Performance.
The awards, engraved Tiffany and Co. sterling silver bowls, will be presented
to the winners by President and CEO Al Cheauré at the AKC Open House on
February 10, 2002. A larger-sized version of the award engraved with the
names of all recipients past and present, is on permanent display at the
American Kennel Club Library in New York.
The AKC is proud to announce the recipients as selected by constituents
in recognition of their dedication to the fancy.
Melbourne T. L. Downing, born in Baltimore, Maryland, is a
second-generation all-breed judge. He spent years working and exhibiting
for the family kennel, "Holly Lodge," which bred Poodles, German Shepherd
Dogs, Pekingese and Pugs. His first judging assignment was a Papillon
sanctioned match held at Princeton University in 1930. In 1938, Mr.
Downing received AKC approval to judge seven toy breeds at conformation
shows. He became an all-breed judge in 1969. Judging assignments have
taken Mr. Downing to shows in all 50 states and many foreign countries.
He was selected to judge Best Dog in the Australian Bicentenary Show
and has judged at Westminster Kennel Club shows on 21 occasions, including
Best in Show in 1992. He judged a group at both the AKC Centennial
Show in 1984 and at the AKC National Invitational in 1992. Mr. Downing
was honored as "Dogdom's Man of the Year" in 1995 and judged Best
in Show at the revival of the Morris and Essex Kennel Club Show in
Kent H. Delaney became involved with purebreds as a youngster.
Beginning in 1952, he has been a trainer, breeder and exhibitor of
Boxers. In 1959 he added Afghan Hounds to his household, followed
by Shih Tzus, and now lives with a cat. He has shown his dogs in Junior
Showmanship, obedience, and conformation. Mr. Delaney began judging
Novice obedience in 1966, received his Open license in 1969, and his
Utility license in 1971. He began judging conformation in 1974, starting
with Afghan Hounds and now judges all hound breeds, all toy breeds
and all but six of the non-sporting breeds. In addition, he is approved
to judge Junior Showmanship and Best in Show. Mr. Delaney has judged
many prestigious obedience and breed assignments, including many national
specialty shows, throughout the country. He is obedience chairman
of the Lake Shore Kennel Club and a lifetime member of the South Side
All-Breed Dog Training Club. In February of this year, he judged the
Hound Group at the Westminster Kennel Club show. In June, Mr. Delaney
was scheduled to judge the AKC Obedience Invitational but a health
problem prevented it, and he was a judge at the first AKC/Eukanuba
American Dog Classic.
Mr. Delaney says he enjoys many things about judging: helping exhibitors
to reach their goals, meeting people with diverse backgrounds, challenging
himself to always find the best-performing dog, and the opportunity
to learn and increase his knowledge with each judging assignment.
Arthur E. Slike began his beagling career at 6 years old. As
a young boy, he won field trials with a Beagle given to him by his
father, also a breeder. Through the years he owned other Beagles,
but he has never forgotten the time in 1986 when he finished his first
Field Champion, Art's Jessica.
He joined the staff of Hounds & Hunting Publishing Company in 1961
as a bookkeeper and field representative, attending and competing
in Beagle field trials all over the country. In 1975, he became a
partner in the company and in 1984 he and his brother, Robert Jr.,
became sole owners. Mr. Slike authors the monthly "Astraddle The Line"
column in Hounds and Hunting.
Mr. Slike is secretary of the McKean County Beagle Club, a position
he has held for more than 11 years. He has served as advisor to the
Ralston Purina Top Beagle Award since its inception in 1972, and he
is chair to both the Brace Beagling and SPO Beagling Hall of Fame
awards. He has held office in several of the Beagle federations throughout
the country and is presently a member of the National Beagle Club
and the Coraopolis Beagle Club. He has made many personal contributions
to the sport of Beagling, and in May of this year, was elected to
the Beagling Hall of Fame 2000.
The sport of Field Trial Beagling has been a family activity and lifelong
pursuit Mr. Slike has enjoyed for 54 years.
Congratulations to the recipients and special thanks for their years
of dedicated service to the fancy!