Show Dogs Escape to the Seashore 
Marsha Hall Brown 
Illustrated by Dawn Secord
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Marsha Hall Brown / Author

​ Marsha Hall Brown won her first Children’s Handling Class at Willimantic, Connecticut and continued in the sport of dogs as breeder, exhibitor, and licensed all-breed handler, judge, dog writer and breed educator. With her father, Comdr. Thomas W. Hall and other family members, Marsha established Stone Gables Kennels in Greenville, Rhode Island.

 The Hall family produced fifty English Setter champions, many of which provided the foundation for other kennels. Named Show Dog Fancier of the Year and listed in Who’s Who in Dogs, Marsha later became Juniors’ Editor for Popular Dogs Magazine, breed columnist for the American Kennel Gazette, author of The Junior Showmanship Handbook, and a contributing editor for Dog News. Her most recent book, The Essence of Setters was named Breed Book of the Year 2002 by the Dog Writers Association of America winning the Maxwell Gold Medal.

Co-founder of the San Francisco Bay Area Judges Workshop, vice president and education coordinator for the English Setter Association of America, Marsha also served on the American Kennel Club Junior Showmanship Rules Committee. A judge since 1967, she is now approved to judge Sporting and Hound breeds, Junior Showmanship, and Best in Show. Her assignments have included many national specialties, The Westminster Kennel Club ’03 and ’11, The Sydney Royal, and shows in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

 Marsha, a graduate of California State Universities at Hayward and Fullerton, is a retired college professor of Communication and Rhetorical Studies in Orange County, California. Married to her high school sweetheart, she has three children and four grandchildren and lives in Murrieta, California with frequent “escapes” to the Island of Nantucket.

Dawn Secord / Illustrator

​Although she had handled her own Irish Setter to its championship title, she walked into the Sporting Group ring at an all–breed dog show in Southern California as a comparative newcomer. It would be good experience to handle in the group, she thought, and Jewel was her pride and joy. It would be fun! But she was not prepared for what happened next: the first judge pointed to Jewel for Group One and the second judge awarded the beautiful red Irish Setter, Best Dog in Show. 

 Dawn Secord grew up in Texas where she used her favorite dogs, cats, rabbits and horses as models for her drawings and paintings. She studied art in high school and college but made the practical decision to pursue a career in business and finance where she was successful in the corporate world. Yet her passion was always in her art. Dawn’s rise to fame as an artist came from her acclaimed commissioned paintings and from her successes at art shows, gallery exhibits, and national and international competitions. Her work was selected as the inaugural piece for the art series published by the American Kennel Club and her painting, “Full of Dreams,” was the Grand Prize Winner for the AKC’s 2003 art contest. Dawn’s work has been featured on the cover of such publications as The American Kennel Gazette, and has been featured in The Western Art Collector, The Pastel Journal, Canine Chronicle, and Best of America Art Publications.  
 Her ability to capture the essence of diverse geographical backgrounds for her portraits has endeared her to animal lovers everywhere -- from hunting dogs in the fall foliage of Wisconsin, to the canines posing at New England lighthouses, to the Longhorns standing on the dry grass of the Texas prairie. 

 When not working in her studio in Chino Hills, California, Dawn Secord shares her love of the dog sport with her husband, Rich. The Secords show their dogs at championship shows and train and compete in Obedience and Hunt Tests. A past president of the Irish Setter Club of Southern California Dawn is currently on the board of directors of the Irish Setter Club of America. She is a professional member of the Cat Writers’ Association, the Dog Writers’ Association of America, a signature member of the Pastel Society of America, and a registered artist at the American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog. Dawn Secord brings to this book a lifetime of animal art experience and an expertise in the art of pure-bred dogs.

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