The Award
Current Awardee
Past Awardees
Nominations
Home
ASFA Home


1993 - Lyle Gillette -
and other California sighthound fanciers who hunted jackrabbits in the open field invented lure coursing In the early 70's as a safer, more controlled sport for sighthounds that would recreate the physical requirements of open field coursing. This allowed them to continue to test the functional abilities of their hounds without the risk of harming the dogs due to barbed wire fencing in the field. The hounds chase plastic bags on a course laid out to simulate escaping game.

In 1972, they started the American Sighthound Field Association (ASFA) and invited other sighthound fanciers from across the nation to join the organization with its democratic structure and centralized method of keeping hound records.


1994 - Betz Leone
-
Betz was very involved in the world of whippets and lure coursing. Without her involvement there probably would not have been lure coursing and ASFA. Many people, like Lyle Gillette worked long and hard to establish lure coursing, it was Betz who took the important step of encouraging people to "do" something about it.

"The first "lure course" meeting was held in Betz's living room, where she demonstrated one of her most important skills--her ability to bring diverse people together to get the job done…Betz quietly encouraged new people and got them involved".

"If Betz judged for you, you could count on her assistance with everything from setting up the field to taking it down. No one ever asked, Betz just saw what needed to be done and did it."

She was active in planning and executing the first ASFA field trial in 1972 and continued to be active in ASFA for more than 20 years.


1995 - Kathy Budney -
Kathy Budney was the second recipient of the Gary Forrester Award, “in recognition of her many years of hard work on behalf of the ASFA”. During the years 1978 to 1994, Kathy served in the following Board offices: Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary and Second Vice President. She was also the first Scheduling Chair that served the entire country in the late 70’s and early 80’s, setting a standard for those to follow.
She was also instrumental in the production of the first ASFA Historical Book, researching the data for correctness for editor, Mary Ellen Gorske.
Her active coursing career of four or five years was centered on one greyhound, Kathy’s Kandly,LCM, but Kathy’s devotion to ASFA lasted long after her last hound retired. Kathy was, in many ways, the working backbone of the ASFA Board for the better part of three decades with her service continuing for several years after her retirement from the organization as ASFA’s information source via an ASFA phone line.


1996 - Rick Brown
- One of Gary Forrester's goals was for ASFA to have a computer-generated record keeping system. Rick, as the program's designer, spent a great deal of time, effort and many phone calls (without reimbursement, to keep the Records Coordinator happy, Without a second thought he added function to the program.

Rick has Afghan Hounds and is involved in Afghan rescue, active in the local club activities in Texas, has developed lure equipment, and is an ASFA judge.


1997 - Denise Como & Richard Whritenour -
Denise and Richard became involved with ASFA lure coursing in 1978, and began coursing their Borzois in 1980. Richard and Denise eventually switched their focus from conformation events to performance events, and in 1987 joined the Garden State Sighthound Association. As GSSA’s primary lure operator, Richard ran the lure not only for trials but also the many practices held by the Club, as well as training new lure operators. He was also in demand by other Clubs in the area to train huntmasters and lure operators and how to maintain their equipment.
Denise’s involvement with Garden State included serving as its President for ten years and most often as the Field Trial Secretary for its trials. She has also been a member of a variety of breed Clubs at a National level, as well as local Clubs and is a published author of sighthound oriented magazine articles and reference books. During the time that Richard and Denise were active with GSSA, the Club held regular practices and participated in community events, all of which helped publicize lure coursing and ASFA. Both Richard and Denise are ASFA all breed judges.


1998 - Camille Mendicino
- Camille and her husband, Pete, have attended nearly every ACoD for the past two decades and are perfect examples of why ASFA has offered so many people so much enjoyment for so many years. They are fun! They are funny. They know the sport. They care about the sport and they work to uphold the highest standards of integrity.

To many coursing fanciers, Camille is merely "Records" - a congenial voice on the phone, or an e-mail address but the most important role she has played for ASFA and for all of us in the fancy has been "quality control." In large part because of her, ASFA has been a level playing field. She doesn't make up things as she goes along. She remembers the rules and has tried to apply them evenly and fairly to all.

Due to growing physical limitations that made it difficult to spend long hours at the keyboard, Camille retired as ASFA Records Coordinator. To meet her you'll have to attend a lure trial in Region 8 or where she is judging, or, better yet, attend an ACoD.


1998 - Wes Shainline, Jr. -
Wes is known as the “Good Will Ambassador” in Region 8 because he is always willing to talk to and help new coursers. He engages them in conversation about lure coursing, steering them in the right direction with their hounds so that they are able to learn what ASFA is all about. Most importantly he makes them feel comfortable and welcome at the lure coursing event. Wes has been a member of the Mid Atlantic Basenji Club and the District Area Sighthound Club for many years, helping at the field trials in many capacities. In addition he has also attended Regional meetings and the ASFA convention as a delegate for the Clubs.


1999 - Leigh Littleton
- Leigh has been a major supporter, worker and leader and has enjoyed a long a important history with the American Sighthound Field Association. Since 1978 when he first applied for his judge's license he has been involved with the ASFA serving as judge, delegate, officer and I.I. trial chairman. Despite all of Leigh’s personal accomplishments and contributions to the ASFA,he is probably best known as “Locket’s chauffeur.” He escorted her to trials across the country allowing her to become the # 1 all-time ASFA sighthound. With the record of Lure Courser of Merit 17, Borzoi, Zaraya of the Wild Hunt, TT: remains the sighthound all other competitors will aspire to catch.
ASFA is stronger and better because Leigh’s dedicated involvement over the past 20+ years and this award could go to no one more deserving of recognition of outstanding service to the sport.


2000 - Marie Adams
- competed with enthusiasm, even glee, yet with absolute honesty and generosity. She helped dozens of others get started in ASFA, often serving up her own hounds as test dogs, which shortened their own remarkable careers. She was kind and patient when others were not. She gave advice without arrogance, and genuine sympathy when it was deserved. She never sought an advantage, but only wanted fairness for all. One of ASFA's finest judges, she was one of ASFA's least judgmental and most forgiving people. What Marie gave all of us in ASFA was an example of how to live a life with character, integrity and free-thinking intelligence.

2001 - Art Idleman
- Art and Bobbie began their love of dogs with Boxers in 1954. They showed the breed until retirement. In 1975 they purchased their first whippet and have produced and finished many under their kennel name BAR'O. In 1992 they owned the first whippet, Ch Bo-Bett's Plum Perfect, LCM2, SC, ROM,CGC, to win the Gillette Cup at the II. Art was an ASFA and AKC coursing Judge for more than 10 years, and was Region 7 Director for 5 years. He was the 2nd Vice President of ASFA at the time of his death.

2002 - Peter and Daphane Lowe -
Pete and Daphane Lowe, have over the last 25 years contributed mightily to the ASFA, and to the sport of lure coursing, on local, regional and national levels. Since 1973 when they attended their first field trial, they have served as club officers, regional directors and national committee chairs. In addition, they have successfully run several International Invitationals, Regionals and countless field trials. Pete has shared his computer expertise with ASFA and has been instrumental in helping transition its records to a database. Daphane, for many years has served ASFA, sourcing and distributing the official ribbons and medallions for the Regionals and the II. They have been enthusiastic supporters and contributors to ASFA  for many years, promoting the sport of lure coursing and furthering the aims of ASFA

2003 - Harry VanVliet-
became acquainted with lure coursing in the late 70's and attended his first trial in So. Pennsylvania in 1980-81. He acquired his first Borzoi in 1983 and became involved with several local ASFA clubs including THLC, MDIHC and USBCS. He would do anything asked from huntmaster to paddock or repairing equipment and eventually became a proficient lure operator. He has even been asked to lure operate the famous Turkey Runs. Harry has been the coursing director for the Whiz Kid Camp and the Dog's Camp and for over 10 years has provided time and coursing to the Potomac Valley Corgi Club at their fun trials.

2004 - Nancy Aiken
- has held several offices in the Irish Wolfhound Association of the West Coast including President and is attempting to revitalize the club. She is a life member of the Northern California Irish Wolfhound Club and a voting member of the Irish Wolfhound Club of America. She is a charter member of the Southern Idaho Sighthound Field Association and a member of other coursing clubs. Nancy is both a breed judge and an ASFA judge. She is also involved with tracking.

2005 - Kent and Marilyn Standerford
- are willing to help with the trial no matter where they are coursing. Kent served as Regional Director for Region 5 from 1999-2003. He was able to calm many storms in the local clubs, always remaining neutral and steady. He served as co-chairman for the I.I. in both 2001 and 2004.

Marilyn is a notorious picture of efficiency. She has been Field Trial Secretary for local and regional trials and has been a driving force at I.I.s as well. She steps in and helps with the paper work whenever she sees a need. She serves with a sense of humor that not only makes you laugh, but also lets you know that there is business to take care of NOW!


2006 - Denis Seeley
-
Denis Seeley has been involved in lure coursing from before the beginning. Back when the Michigan Gazehound Association was a local club in the early 70s, prior to ASFA, Denis began to learn lure operation and the range of responsibilities entailed in being involved in and leading a club. In his native England, ...Over his 30 years of involvement with MGA, he has served several terms as president, and he and his wife Helen have done just about everything for MGA,, always involved on the Board of Directors. When MGA began doing demonstrations of lure coursing indoors at the huge Cobo Hall dog show in Detroit, as well as a popular Parade of Sighthounds, Denis led the effort.

Over his many years in lure coursing, Denis has been recognized as one of the very best, lure operators, and has often operated the lure for many clubs other than MGA, as well as being invited to operate the lure many times at the International Invitational.

If every club in ASFA had a Denis Seeley, the ASFA Board would find its work quite easy, clubs would never lapse, every trial would end in good time, and no one would every complain about bad lure operation.


2007 - Les Pekarski
- Les has been an active, enthusiastic supporter of ASFA lure coursing since 1978. His original breed was Afghan Hounds, and he was the owner of Lil' Man, the first #1 sighthound hailing from Region 7. Les dedicated a perpetual trophy, the Florida Classic Cup, in Lil' Man's memory, and today that trophy is one of lure coursing's oldest trophies.

He has been an all-breed judge since 1981. He was on the ASFA Board of Directors as Regional Director from Region 7. He is a talented lure operator and equipment guru. He has served as Field Trial Chairman for several Regional Invitationals, and was co-Field Trial Chairman of the 2002 ASFA International Invitationals, widely considered to be one of the most successful I.I.'s in the history of the event.

A talented breeder of top flight Whippets, he travels the country, judging, lure operating, and running his Whippets. Like Joshua Deets in Lonesome Dove, he is "cheerful in all weathers, and never shirked a task." Few people have dedicated as much of their lives or as many years to ASFA lure coursing as has Les.


2007 - Tom Bianchi
- Tom attended his first lure field trial in Canada in 1977 watching a coursing demo of Salukis and Afghan Hounds.

He has contributed many ideas and innovations to the sport. The pulley designs he came up with has been used and copied. He has developed many pieces of equipment that helped train young dogs to get keen on the lure. He also came up with the reversible machine. Another big introduction of an old idea was the reintroduction of the continuous loop wheel.

Tom was very active in Region 8 and started American/Canadian Border Runners Association in Vermont, so that some of us easterners could see what the winters were like up north. We ran trials in Stowe, VT at the Von Trapp family lodge & in Burlington, VT.

Tom was Region 8 Director from 1983 thru 1985.

Tom was an ASFA Judge from about 1979 until 1990's. Even though he has found it necessary to retire from coursing he still remains active in consulting with the fancy and in developing new and safer equipment.

Because of Tom's inventions and refinements we would not have been able to put on some the large trials or run our hounds as safely.


2008 - Russ Jacobs
- No other person since Gary Forrester has worked so long and as hard for the American Sighthound Field Association as Russ Jacobs.
Russ began lure coursing in 1984 with his Basenjis and by 1985 was a founding Board Member of Heartland Coursing Association and was also a charter member of the Prairie Winds Sighthound Association in 1988.
Serving as the Regional Director of Region 5 from 1989 until 1992 was the first step for Russ’s service to ASFA.  He then was elected as the First Vice President and from 1996 to 1998 served at the President of ASFA.
His favorite position in ASFA has been that as the Corresponding Secretary. This position, he feels is the “work horse” of ASFA. In addition, Russ has chaired several important committees including CRC and REC. Russ has also been a licensed ASFA judge since 1993.

2009 - Carolyn and Greg Mountan - Carolyn and Greg began coursing in the mid 1970’s and were the founding members of the Tri-State Sighthound Club. Carolyn had been the Club’s secretary and club delegate since the club’s inception and Greg most recently was TSSC’s president.
They had always been enthusiastic supporters of ASFA lure coursing, providing knowledge and encouragement to anyone wishing to learn about lure coursing. They contributed to every trial they attended, either helping out or helping others with less experience. The Mountans kept all the Clubs equipment in their garage over the years, with Greg maintaining all the machines and keeping them running in top notch condition. Carolyn was a licensed Animal Health Technician and always ready to assist with injuries to the hounds and had a well supplied medical kit available. She was also an ASFA all breed judge. They bred whippets who were very competitive both on the field and in the show ring and who were kept in wonderful condition. Their dedication to TSSC, their generosity to everyone and contributions to lure coursing has been an inspiration to all, despite many medical challenges along the way. They had selflessly contributed to lure coursing over the years even when their personal circumstances were monumental, never expecting anything in return.

2010 - Elissa Thompson has been the lynchpin of lure coursing in New Mexico for over 17 years as a member of the Albequere Whippet Fanciers Association, the Eastern Slope Coursing Association and as the ASFA delegate.
She has served as Club Officer, Field Trial Secretary and chaired several Regional Invitationals as well as helping at trials in many capacities; all with a sense of humor and a firm hand on trial operations.

Mentoring newcomers, good sportsmanship, dedication, passion and hard work have all contributed significantly to ASFA lure coursing and without her there would very probably be no lure coursing in New Mexico. She is the glue that holds them all together.
  There was no award given in 2011

2012 - Jane Schreiber
Jane Schreiber began coursing with Basenjis in the early 1980’s. During this time, she met Peter Schreiber and they were married. They later switched sighthound breeds and now have Borzois, which they open field course as well as lure course. They live in Region 8. Jane has been active as a member of many, many Field Trial Committees, including co-chairing the 2005 II at Kelly’s Ford, VA.

Jane has served the ASFA in many positions. She has been scheduling chair, Region 8 Director, served as First and Second Vice President, and been a member of Field Trial Improvement, FAN, Long Range Planning, Rules Evaluation, Anima Advisory Committee, and Public Relations Committees.



Her position with the Public Relations committee allowed her to develop the guidelines for awarding the ASFA plaques to the top hound of each breed and the top hound owned by an ASFA member of the parent club. She proposed and implemented an award to be given at the parent clubs National Lure Coursing event for Best of Breed usually in conjunction with the Breeds National Specialty. Jane has shown passion and determination towards every challenge presented
.


2013 - Janet Lotz
As a Region, Region 6 would like to nominate Janet Lotz for the Gary Forrester Award.  As a long-time afghan owner and ASFA judge, Janet has helped so many clubs across the nation.  She has always been willing to perform any task needed, and she is very accomplished at any of them.   Janet is an outstanding lure operator, having been selected to operate the lure an several ASFA International Invitationals. She has served on the ASFA Board both as a Regional Director, as well as the Chair of Judges Licensing.

Janet exemplifies what we should strive to be in the sport of lure coursing.  As a judge, lure operator, clerk, well, in any capacity, she is good help.


As an exhibitor, her dogs are always conditioned and ready to run, and are most competitive.  As a person, they just don't come any better.  Janet is a friend to all of ASFA, and lure coursing enthusiasts across the US and Canada.  She is well-known, active, honest, and fair and not to mention talented.

As a judge, Janet has never failed to be even-tempered, patient and helpful.  Janet is especially good at answering coursing questions and never responds with anything but good humor when someone approaches her. 

2014 - Jill Bryson
Jill has been involved in ASFA lure coursing since the late 1980s. She and her husband, Kevin, were two of the six individuals that were the driving force behind the establishment of the Southern Idaho Sighthound Field Association and bought retirement property for the club to hold trials. She has been a tireless promoter of lure coursing in the West, often driving 14 hours to Colorado to help out with International Invitationals and Grand Nationals. She has helped introduce lure coursing to at least two generations of new coursers and is always ready to share her experience and knowledge and to mentor huntmasters and other field committee positions.
Jill is actively involved with her breed, Irish Wolfhounds. She is a member of the parent club, the RMIWA, the IWAWC, and the NCIWA. Her passion is to see them run and she supports other owners by making IW coursing blankets and dog bed covers.
Until his death in 1999, Jill and Kevin were Leaping Lizards Action Photography travelling and taking pictures of coursing hounds. Jill’s outgoing personality, infectious good nature, and willingness to help out in any situation make her a welcome addition to a trial and an outstanding ambassador for the sport of lure coursing.
The purpose of the Gary Forrester Achievement Award is to recognize individuals that emulate Gary’s commitment to lure coursing. Jill Bryson’s contributions make her eminently worthy of this recognition.

2014 - Ann Chamberlain
Ann has been involved in ASFA lure coursing since 1980, both on the East Coast and then in the Northwest when she moved to Oregon in 2005. She has been active in numerous clubs and was one of the founders of the Southern Oregon Racing and Coursing Association. She has been tireless in her promotion of ASFA lure coursing, encouraging individuals and clubs to participate and sharing her knowledge and experience. She has actively mentored many huntmasters and apprentice judges and served frequently as a lure operator. She has sponsored judges’ symposia, given presentations and written articles on huntmastering, and contributed to the Rhodesian Ridgeback section in the ASFA Judges’ Handbook. Ann began apprentice judging in 1996 and became an ASFA judge in 1997. Since that time she has judged all across the country.

Ann has been very active in ASFA, serving at once on the Nominating Committee and has served on the Judges’ Committee since 2002, becoming chair in 2012. She has been an active participant in ASFA Annual Conventions and is always ready to share her views, experience and knowledge.

The purpose of the Gary Forrester Achievement Award is to recognize individuals that emulate Gary’s commitment to lure coursing. Ann Chamberlain’s record makes her eminently worthy of this recognition.
2015 - Frances Abrams
Frances Abrams is a long-time ASFA participant and a dedicated supporter of ASFA’s goals and activities.  She gives freely of her time and resources at ASFA trials and is always ready to help and to pass on her knowledge and experience.

She is hardworking, incredibly supportive of the sport and its participants, knowledgeable, multi-talented, and generous.  She is kind and patient with both newcomers and old campaigners.

She has worked with and helped establish the Lower Columbia Lure Coursing Club, the Blue Grass Coursing Club and OKIGO.  With the exception of lure operation, she has often served in all of the field positions including Field Trial Chairman and Field Trial Secretary.

Frances has been a licensed all-breed judge since 1990 and as such has travelled across the country to support ASFA clubs, especially those early in the process of holding field trials.  She has served as an ASFA Regional Director for Region 6.

She is a well-regarded judge and a strong mentor to those in the application process.

In short, Frances Abrams epitomizes the purpose of the Gary Forrester Achievement Award and we congratulate her on receiving it.

2016 - Thomas A. Cigolle, Jr.
Tom’s contributions to the ASFA are numerous, but some of the more prominent accomplishments and contributions are as follows:  past ASFA board member and Regional Director; served on numerous ASFA committees including the Judges Committee;  an ASFA judge since 1985. Also,  he has performed all Field Committee duties and has held major positions of responsibility at many of the largest ASFA trials: FTC – including for the II and Regional Invitationals and FTS – including for the II and Regional Invitationals.
Tom is one of our top lure operators.  He was Lure Operator of the Year in 2009. He has been a lure operator at several IIs, including head lure operator for the 2013 II.  He always shows top respect for the health and safety of the dogs and he is ethical and fair.
Cigolle teaches and trains people about all aspects of the sport. He is a person that lives by the rules, and he readily supports our sport with impartial attention to the rules and is not afraid to tell the ASFA when he thinks something is amiss.  
He is one of the topmost passionate supporters and promoters of the ASFA.  He works tirelessly at every trial he goes to whether it is his club or not.  He hasn’t had a dog of his own to run in many years and he is still out there, working hard.
Tom has been the lead for running ASFA trials at the Saluki National for many years.
Bottom line, Tom Cigolle, Jr. exemplifies what Gary Forrester would likely have found to be of great importance in the continuation of the sport he so loved.  Tom deserves to be recognized for all he has given (and continues to give) to the sport of Lure Coursing. Tom has a genuine heart for promoting our sport and he is in the sport of lure coursing for all the right reasons.