This annual Award for Excellence in Agility was established by her many friends to honor the memory of Paulette Swartzendruber who lost her courageous three-year battle with cancer on Christmas Day, 2012. Paulette’s connection with her canine companions extended throughout most of her 57 years. Shelties, Irish Setters (or as Paulette called them, Red Dogs) and, of course, Flat-Coats were her passion and she strove for excellence in everything she did with them.
All three of Paulette’s Flat-Coats were outstanding performers and each was inducted into the FCRSA Hall of Fame - Hob-B's Knite Ryder (Ram) in 1990; Cliscocha Big Tyme Hob-B (Tyma) in 2005, and Hob-B's Out and About (Tripp) in 2008.
Ram, her first Flat-Coat and soul mate, earned his CH, OTCH and Master Hunter.
Tripp was a breed champion, a Master Agility Champion (MACH), a Master Hunter and a UD in obedience.
Tyma had the distinction of being the first Flat-Coat to earn the highest title in four different AKC events—CH, OTCH, MACH and Master Hunter.
For the last ten years of her life, Paulette’s competitive focus was mainly on agility. In all, she put a total of 11 MACHs on 7 different dogs—4 Flat-Coats, 2 Shelties and a Border Collie. Paulette developed a unique style of handling. With her Sheltie “Rush,” she won the 2008 AKC National Agility Championship in the 16” division and earned a spot on the U.S. Agility World Team in both 2008 (Finland) and 2009 (Austria). She was an outstanding agility teacher, helping to hone the skills of scores of students while instilling her love of the sport with her caustic wit.
The Paulette Swartzendruber Award for Excellence in Agility is awarded each year to the Flat-Coated Retriever earning the greatest number of points in AKC competition for the calendar year. The beautiful backlit glass trophy for the Award was crafted by glass artist Lucas Century who, among many other notable achievements, was responsible for etching the names on the Vietnam Wall in Washington, DC.