There are several longstanding and important contributors to the success of the working Malinois in the United States. Their commitment has been both vital to the growth of the Malinois within the sport, as well as the prominence of the breed as a winning dog. They have reflected well on the breed and this organization and should be recognized for their efforts.

A lifetime achievement award is an excellent way for this organization to demonstrate thanks and offer recognition to the people who have made a positive impact on the breed and the sport.

Ivan Balabanov is one such person. Over the past 20 years Mr. Balabanov has committed himself to the working Malinois. As a competitor he has won numerous championships, represented the US expertly in international competition and consistently demonstrated the breed’s unique and compelling nature in competition. As a breeder he has produced countless dogs that have gone on not only to earn titles, but win championships themselves.

His contribution is longstanding, his impact tremendous. Bestowing the inaugural AWMA Lifetime Achievement Award upon him sets a high bar for those to come.

Ivan and MalinTrois