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Tango and Fenway's breeder, Jackie Mertens, was chosen to win the AKC's Lifetime Achievement Award for performance dogs.

The American Kennel Club® (AKC) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2010 AKC® Lifetime Achievement Awards. The awards, engraved Tiffany and Co. sterling silver bowls, will be presented to the recipients on Tuesday, December 15, 2009 at the AKC Delegates luncheon held in conjunction with the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship in Long Beach, California. A larger version of the Tiffany and Co. bowl, engraved with the names of all recipients past and present, is on permanent display at AKC headquarters in New York City.

The AKC Lifetime Achievement Awards were created to honor those individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the sport of purebred dogs on a national level. The recipients were selected from votes cast by AKC member clubs for nominees in each of the following categories: Conformation, Companion Events and Performance.

Jacquelyn (Jackie) Mertens, Madison, Florida
Mertens has been a dedicated retriever enthusiast since establishing
Topbrass Retrievers in 1968. She has bred or owned more than 130 Field
Champions and Amateur Field Champions, Master Hunters and Qualified All
Age retrievers. She won the 1985 National Amateur Championship with FC
NAFC Topbrass Cotton. Cotton is also the hi-point Golden of all time and
was inducted into the Retriever Hall of Fame in 1993. He remains the
only Golden Retriever to ever win the National Amateur title.
Mertens has judged almost 100 Open and Amateur Championship stakes, as
well as the 1996 National Amateur Championship and 2003 National Open
Championship. She also participated in numerous Judges' Seminars and the
Golden Retriever Club of America breeder symposiums.
Mertens was Chairman and Chief Marshal in AKC licensed Field Trials for
over 30 years. She is past president of the National Open Retriever
Club, served as Chairman and Chief Marshal of their Championship, and is
the National Representative for the Golden Retriever Club of America.
She was President of the Women's Field Trial Club from 2000 - 2007 and
was also a past president of the American Amateur Field Trial Club. She
is currently on the Board of the Snow Bird Retriever Club and Women's
Field Trial Club. Mertens has written many Retriever Training articles and created thetraining video, Sound Beginnings. Mertens was inducted into the
Retriever Hall of Fame in Grand Junction, Tennessee in 2006.
 

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That is tremendous! I remember talking with her once about breeding to Cotton, and then again after I got my Kahli, who went back to Topbrass in her pedigree.

She has certainly earned this honor!
 

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I am so happy for Jackie. When I was looking for my puppy, there was a litter she was planning that I was really interested in. Something about the parents kept tugging at my heart when I looked at the pictures. But when I spoke to her about what I was looking for in a dog, she said that while I might get it out of this breeding, I was more likely to get what I was looking for out of other breedings. I so greatly appreciated her being honest with me, even though it meant I went with a different breeder.
 

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Very nice news indeed.
 

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Great news for Jackie. She deserves this wonderful award. I have two girls from two of her breedings, Tess and Libby and appreciate all she did to help me.
 

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That is an amazing honor. Congratulations Jackie Mertens.
 
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