Posted Date: November 10, 2014
Congratulations to the new members of the USDAA Hall of Fame!
For almost 25 years, USDAA has recognized and honored individuals who have contributed to the development and growth of dog agility. Inductees to the USDAA Hall of Fame, who were nominated by friends, competitors, and others in the USDAA community, are announced annually at the Cynosport® World Games.
Each year, Hall of Fame nominees fall into the following categories:
Pioneers of Dog Agility - Individuals or groups that have contributed to the sport of dog agility with lasting, significant results.
Meritorious Service Award - Individuals who have contributed significant volunteer hours to USDAA and/or its licensed groups. This includes both behind-the-scenes or high profile contributions of dedicated service that resulted in notable, measurable advancement of the sport.
Years of Service - Groups and individuals who have consistently been active with hosting and/or supporting USDAA events.
Special Recognition - Competitors at any level (Championship, Performance, Veterans, Intro or Junior Handlers) who have gone above and beyond in community service and/or overcome physical or behavioral challenges that may serve as inspiration to others.
We were proud to induct the following outstanding individuals into the USDAA Hall of Fame in 2014:
Pioneers of Dog Agility
Meritorious Service Award
Lynn Von Trapp
At the Cynosport induction ceremony, each inductee was introduced as they were receiving the awards. Meet the "new" Pioneers of Dog Agility:
USDAA President Kenneth Tatsch and Janet Gauntt
It's not a question of what Janet Gauntt has done for agility; rather, it's a question of what hasn't she done for the sport. Competing in her first trial in 1989, a mere two months after she began training, she hasn't stopped long enough to look back. Janet is a founding member and mentor to the following USDAA groups: Artful Dodgers, Mid-Atlantic MADness, HogDog Productions and Branchwater Training Center.
Janet is constantly looking for ways to improve the sport. Break-away tires, the Intro Program and Masters Challenge classes were her ideas and she spent many hours researching and developing concepts that are currently in place today.
Janet has been judging since 1993 and is a proponent of building the judging corps by organizing clinics and bringing in apprentice judges needing supervision to become Masters judges. She's served on the Regulations and Competition Standards Advisory Board since 1990, is a course reviewer and is co-author of the Course Design Guidelines.
If that wasn't enough, she was also the 2006 IFCS Team Coach and the 2008 IFCS team manager. In her spare time, she teaches classes and judges.
Janet has been a strong supporter of USDAA since its inception and one of the judges at the 2014 Cynosport World Games.
We are proud to welcome Janet Gauntt into USDAA's Hall of Fame and a Pioneer of Dog Agility!
Tatsch and Kathy Lofthouse
It all started with a notice Kathy Lofthouse posted on a bulletin board at a local feed store back in 1989. Being born in London, Kathy was very familiar with dog agility, so when she moved to the U.S., she started spreading the word about this great sport.
A local trainer answered her bulletin board notice and she was off and running to promote agility at obedience classes throughout southern California. She connected with USDAA and together they helped bring more publicity to the sport and provided agility demos all over southern California, including at a movie premiere at Universal Studios. Kathy and her husband they built their own equipment, which was used for the very first West Valley Dog Sports Regional Qualifier in 1989.
Not only is she passionate about the sport itself, but also the importance of letting any dog compete, regardless of breed or mix of breeds. Kathy has competed with 12 different dogs and has been a Grand Prix Finalist with four of them.
Kathy's time, dedication and passion for promoting the sport in the early days and still today have touched and influenced many lives, both human and canine, over the years.
We are thrilled to welcome Kathy Lofthouse into USDAA's Hall of Fame as a Pioneer of Dog Agility!
Check back tomorrow to meet the Meritorious Service Award winners!