Sensation Award Winners
Named for the Club’s symbolic Pointer, the Sensation Award is given in recognition of a member’s contribution to the Club, to purebred dogs, and the sport of showing dogs.
2007: Chester F. Collier
Chester F. Collier, past president and show chairman and longtime member of the Westminster Kennel Club, was the inaugural Sensation Award winner.
Mr. Collier became show chairman for Westminster in 1978. His television experience began to shape the staging of the live event for television, helping Westminster become one of the most popular cable shows, with millions of viewers. Through these efforts, the Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show became a popular fixture on national television.
Much of the credit for Westminster’s television success went to Mr. Collier, a longtime network television producer, and executive with seven Emmy Awards. His history in television includes many years as the producer of the Mike Douglas Show and in executive positions with Westinghouse and NBC (America’s Talking). In the mid-1990s, he helped launch the Fox News Channel.
A native of Boston, Mr. Collier, became involved with purebred dogs in the 1960s, showing Bouviers des Flandres. In addition to his Westminster roles, he is a past president and board member for the American Bouvier des Flandres Club, the Westchester Kennel Club, and the Eastern Dog Club. He served as an AKC Delegate for several years and sat on the American Kennel Club's Board of Directors from 1986 to 1990. The Club was honored to have him judge Best in Show at Westminster in 2000.
2009: William F. Stifel
William F. Stifel, a longtime member of the Westminster Kennel Club and a past president of the American Kennel Club, was the second Sensation Award winner.
Mr. Stifel became a member of the Westminster Kennel Club in 1976. One of his biggest contributions to the organization and the sport of dogs came in 2001 with the publication of the storied club history, The Dog Show: 125 Years of Westminster. The book took him three years to complete and made him the de facto archivist for the club.
Mr. Stifel was employed by the American Kennel Club in various roles from 1957-1986, serving the last nine years as president. He was the founding president of the AKC Museum of the Dog and oversaw the publication of the centennial volume, The AKC's World of the Pure-Bred Dog. He served on the AKC Board of Directors from 1977-1990.
In 2006, Mr. Stifel was in the first class of inductees into the Hall of Fame of the Dog Writers Association of America. He served as the AKC Delegate for Westminster. He was a native of Toledo, Ohio, and attended Western Reserve Academy and Harvard.
2011: Robert V. Lindsay
Robert V. (Rod) Lindsay, a past president and once the longest-standing member of the Westminster Kennel Club, was the third Sensation Award winner.
Mr. Lindsay became a Westminster member in 1959 and served as president from 1969-1972. He served as vice president four times, vice chairman of the show committee, and chief ring steward for many years. He was also a trustee of the Westminster Kennel Foundation, which he helped to establish.
For many years, Mr. Lindsay and his wife Nancy were quite active in the dog show world, breeding and showing Basset Hounds and Bloodhounds out of their Lime Tree Kennels in Syosset, New York. He was a past president and AKC Delegate for the American Bloodhound Club, past president of the Long Island Kennel Club, and past treasurer of the ASPCA.
Avid collectors of dog art and memorabilia, they were involved with founding the AKC Museum of the Dog in 1981. A graduate of Yale University, Mr. Lindsay was in the banking business for 40 years and retired as president of JP Morgan.
2019: Seán W. McCarthy
Seán W. McCarthy, a Westminster member since 2002 and past president, vice president, and chief ring steward, is the fourth Sensation Award winner.
Mr. McCarthy’s creativity and dynamic leadership helped Westminster achieve numerous progressive advancements, including the creation of Westminster Week, the Masters Agility Championship, and the Masters Obedience Championship. Along with several long-range strategic agreements he oversaw with Fox Sports and Purina Pro Plan, these initiatives continue to enhance the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. For many years, Mr. McCarthy served as president from 2012-2018, vice president from 2009-2012, and as chief ring steward.
Mr. McCarthy began his interest in purebred dogs while still in college. Sighthounds, especially Borzoi, were his first interest, and he eventually formed a lifelong friendship with Dr. Richard Meen of Kishniga fame. He and Dr. Meen campaigned many top-winning Borzoi for several years, including the top winning dog in Canada. He was also keenly interested in Jack Russell Terriers prior to the breed being recognized by the American Kennel Club in this country.
A graduate of Georgetown, Mr. McCarthy is the co-founder of Build America Mutual Assurance Company. Prior to that, he was COO of Assured Guarantee, which acquired Financial Security Assurance as president and chief operating officer. Mr. McCarthy and his family have a French Bulldog and a Jack Russell.
2022: Thomas H. Bradley, 3d
Thomas H. Bradley 3d, of Watertown, New York, began in dogs in 1954 with German Shorthaired Pointers, exhibiting at his first point shows in 1955 at Adirondack Kennel Club in Lake Placid, New York.
Under his Luftnase prefix, Tom bred a number of sporting breeds, including Pointers, German Shorthairs, English Cocker Spaniels, and Labrador Retrievers. His last breeding produced a litter of four Border Terriers, all AKC champions. Breeding highlights include “finishing five champions in our second litter of Labradors in the mid 1980’s” and being co-breeder of Pointer Ch. Luftnase Albelarm Bee’s Knees, the top dog, all breeds, 1981.
Tom was approved to judge several sporting breeds in 1965 and advanced to judging all sporting breeds and best in show. “My first BIS assignment was Santa Barbara, 1975, before I ever judged a Sporting Group. The entry, I believe, was over 4,000 dogs. I can still tell you the six group winners!” Tom enjoys mentoring aspiring sporting dog judges and admiring their successes. His article, – How I Judge Pointers- written years ago, is still used in the APC Judges Education Program.
Tom became a member of Westminster in April, 1975 and was Show Chairman of the Club for 15 years (2002 to 2016). Under his leadership, many significant changes to the show were made to enhance the experience for exhibitors and the enjoyment of the fancy. In 2017, he judged Best in Show at Westminster. Tom currently serves on the Dog Show Committee and is a Governor of the Club.
Tom is a co-founder of Take the Lead, a non-profit organization that assists members of the dog fancy community with life threatening or terminal illnesses as well as those who may have been impacted by natural disasters. He has served in various leadership positions in the organization for the past 30 years, representing his most satisfying contribution to our sport. Tom is a long standing dog breeder, owner, handler and judge and is also the former President of Thomas H. Bradley, Inc., a wholesale hardware company in Watertown, NY established in 1897 by his grandfather. Tom enjoys everything associated with dogs, friends, traveling, cooking, local charity work and family time. THB3d is the fifth recipient of the prestigious Sensation Award.