deForest F. Jurkiewicz
Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012
for her Contributions To The Breed
The late deForest F. Jurkiewicz of Palm Hill started breeding in the 1950's and continued for more than forty years. She not only exemplified a very effective breeding program, she was a great friend and mentor to many individuals throughout those years. Many of her friends and protégées continue to be involved with the breed and the organizations that support it – the American Spaniel Club, Inc., the Cocker Spaniel Specialty Club of Georgia, the Cocker Spaniel Club of Chattanooga and the Salamonie and Ohio Valley Cocker Spaniel Club, among others.
de was an early advocate of the “Cockers Do It ALL” philosophy which became the theme of an ASC National when hosted by her Georgia specialty club. She started with blacks that she worked in obedience and sparingly bred when she lived in Florida. After moving to Georgia, she acquired a buff bitch and ventured into breeding the other solid variety..
The Palm Hill dogs have had a strong influence on breed type, especially in the buffs and to some extent in the blacks. Who can forget Ch. Palm Hill Caro-Bu’s Solid Gold, the top ASCOB sire in the breed, his top-producing son, Ch. Palm Hill’s Krugerand, or the lovely Ch Palm Hill’s Mountain Ashe flying around the ring in the mid-1980’s. Bitches were not ignored – Palm Hill’s Starlet O’Hara, Ch. Palm Hill’s Tiger Lily and Ch. Palm Hill Hu-Mar’s Wildfire were all significant influences on the breed.
de was an ethical role model for the small breeder; she never had a big kennel or bred numerous litters a year. In her breeding program, de usually kept a few special bitches and took much care and study to produce the type and style she envisioned for the next generation. She focused on the development of her pups and carefully placed them in show homes or contracted spay/neuter companion homes. As the wife of a medical doctor, she appreciated the value of health testing for her breeding stock and utilized it when it became available in the 1970’s.
Many of her pick males were placed in show homes, often on co-ownerships, and these would go on to have not only great show careers but become successful and influential stud dogs. Many of the most memorable, top winning, and top producing studs and bitches of solid colors either carries the Palm Hill prefix or are direct descendants.
de viewed herself primarily as a breeder and wanted to remind the ASC and its members to recognize the influence of other small breeders so she established the Ch. Palm Hill’s Tiger Lily, C.D. Perpetual Memorial Trophy to be awarded at the National Specialty Show to the breeder of the Best of Breed winner. Each year, another breeder receives this award as a cherished reminder of the ultimate accomplishment – Best of Breed at the National Specialty.
de did not toot her own horn, but in her own quiet way, had a significant influence on the breed she loved. We honor this dedicated breeder, deForest F. Jurkiewicz, by inducting her into the ASC Hall of Fame for her Contributions to the Cocker Spaniel.