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AKC’s Revolutionary Leader – Jack Lafore

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104 – The Annual, 2016-2017

Jack Lafore, Mr. & Mrs. Ralph DelDeo and Mr. & Mrs. Leonard Brumby

By Amy Fernandez

AKC may exist in a bubble as many contend, but there have been moments when it has awakened and reacted to life outside the ivory tower. Like those cactus flowers that bloom once every 25 years, it’s a rare phenomenon. For that reason alone, it’s crucial to document the fact that yes indeed, AKC navigated the 1970s with eyes wide open.

In the long view of history, the ‘60s are generally considered the twentieth-century’s shakeup era. In reality, those revolutionary seeds had a far bigger impact in the ‘70s as they took root in every strata of American culture. Technically, that would include AKC, but over there it’s typically been more like ‘1870 or 1970, what’s the difference’?

And from an objective standpoint, whatever they had been doing for the previous 77 years seemed to be working like a dream in 1970. Registrations topped a million for the first time that year, a trend destined to continue throughout the decade. This is truly remarkable, considering that it took 51 years for cumulative registrations to hit the million mark and another 20 to break five million. In 1972, Trenton clocked in as the year’s biggest show for the second time, pulling 4177 entries. Numbers like that seemed unfathomable a few years earlier. As the old saying goes, “if it aint broke, why fix it.”

Consequently, no one anticipated the dawn of a new era when AKC’s thirteenth president rolled into town in 1971. Philadelphia native, former congressman and Naval Lieutenant Commander Jack Lafore joined AKC full time as a director in 1963. His first big project was heading a committee to investigate AI breeding. It’s nice to think AKC was keen to ride the wave of cutting-edge reproductive science. On the other hand, the idea was being promoted relentlessly by another AKC director, August Belmont’s grandson, who wanted to bank semen from his own dogs.

Walter Chimel, Tommy Glassford, Julia Gasol, Jack Lafore - Man of the Year and Walter Fletcer

Lafore devoted considerable time to this, including hiring an independent consultant sible, reliable and in his opinion, a good idea. It seemed set to go, which it did partially in 1969 when AKC approved the registration of fresh semen AI litters. They finally approved the registration of frozen semen litters in 1981, which probably wasn’t much help to Belmont by then.

Click here to read the complete article
104 – The Annual, 2016-2017

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Posted by on Aug 11 2021. Filed under Dog Show History, Featured, Remembering Our Past?. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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  • June 2024