Showing in the Bred-by-Exhibitor class used to be “the thing” when an exhibitor had something they were really proud to present to the fancy. It still is an important class at specialty shows, and especially at the National Specialty, but I’ve noticed in recent years that at the typical all-breed show, the entry in Bred-by is not usually as strong as in the Open class, and sometimes not even as strong as the Puppy classes. Still, for many breeders nothing makes them more proud than winning from this class.

Recently when unpacking a box of pictures and mementos, I came across the first “Breeder Owner Champion” medallion I received from AKC. I won it with a Toy Poodle bitch, Ch. Foxfire Once In A Blue Moon. ‘Olive’ was, in my opinion, one of the best Toys I’ve bred, a typey little blue bitch who finished in puppy trim back in 2001. She finished with three majors and a Best of Variety win over specials.

The first medallion I won for finishing one of my Toy Poodles from Bred-by.

Prior to receiving the medallion in the mail after Olive finished, I frankly wasn’t even aware that AKC awarded these medallions to dogs that are finished by earning all of their points from the Bred-by class. It was such a nice surprise.

AKC began awarding these medallions in May 1996. In addition to the breeder/owner-handlers of conformation champions that finish from Bred-by, AKC awards them to every dog that becomes an obedience, lure-coursing, herding or field champion if all points are earned when the dog is owned or co-owned by its breeder.

Truthfully, had I been aware of this program, I probably would have always entered my dogs in Bred-by, but on occasion I showed them in the Puppy class when they were very young.

Today AKC offers an even more appealing incentive to show and finish our dogs from Bred-by. Beginning in 2008, breeder/owner-handlers of five champions finished from BBE, each of which will have received an original Bred-by medallion, get a silver medallion, and those who finish 10 champions receive a gold medallion, each inscribed on the back with the number of champions finished.

AKC awards additional medallions for breeder/owner-handlers who finish five, and then 10, champions from Bred-by-Exhibitor.

I think that of all the incentives AKC offers its exhibitors, this is among the most special. I really appreciate the recognition this offers to breeders. I suspect there are quite a few successful breeders out there who’ve accumulated many of these medallions!

AKC sends out the medallions quarterly, in January, April, July and October. In April 2012 alone, 150 individuals were awarded the silver medallion and 51, the gold. All breeder/owner-handlers who’ve received the silver and gold medallions are listed on the AKC website. I’m guessing that many more would be awarded if more exhibitors were aware of this special recognition.