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Westminster 2014 Judging Panel Released

The judging panel for the 2014 Westminster Kennel Club dog show was released this week, and heading the list is Betty Regina Leininger of Frisco, Texas, who will judge Best in Show. The 138th edition of this iconic event will take place in New York City February 10 and 11, 2014.

A native of Newfoundland, Canada, Betty bred and showed German Shepherd Dogs and was a founding member of the Newfoundland All-Breed Kennel Club in St. John’s in the 1960s. In 1971 she moved to the United States and began a 13-year career as a licensed professional handler. She handled numerous top-winning dogs and conducted seminars across North America and overseas on the handling, conditioning and presentation of show dogs. During her career she was very involved with Dobermans, and she was a member of the Doberman Pinscher Club of America for 32 years.

Betty Leininger judged the Working Group at Westminster in 2012. First was Doberman Pinscher GCh. Protocol’s Veni Vidi Vici.

In 1983 Betty retired from handling and began judging. Among her most notable assignments, she has judged the Doberman National on three occasions, as well as National Specialties for Akitas, Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs, Standard Schnauzers, Rottweilers, Alaskan Malamutes, Finnish Spitz and Anatolian Shepherds. She has judged at AKC/Eukanuba and has enjoyed many assignments all over the world. Betty has judged at Westminster on six occasions, including the Non-Sporting Group in 2004 and the Working Group in 2012.

Forty-three judges, from 20 U.S. states, Canada and Ireland, will join Betty to judge at the Garden. Sam Houston McDonald, whose first breed was Irish Setters and who judged several Sporting breeds at Westminster in 2006, will judge the Sporting Group. Doug Johnson of Clussexx Spaniels has a long history at Westminster, having bred two Westminster Best in Show winners, and he will judge the Hound Group.

Two Terrier men are on the panel to judge the finals. Clay Coady, a very successful professional handler who himself won two Groups at Westminster, will judge the Working Group, while Bruce Schwartz will do the Terrier Group. Bruce has successfully bred Welsh Terriers for more than four decades and owned the top-winning Welsh Terrier of all time, Ch. Anasazi Billy the Kid.

Keke Kahn, who has been judging since 1972 and began in dogs with Lhasa Aposos, will oversee the Toy Group. Keke has actually judged the Toy Group at Westminster twice previously, in 1987 and in 2002. Another Canadian, Virginia Lyne, will judge the Non-Sporting Group. Approved to judge all breeds in both the U.S. and Canada, Ginny judged the Sporting Group at the Garden in 2003.

Judging the Herding Group will be Walter Sommerfelt, who last judged at Westminster in 2012 when he passed on seven Sporting breeds and four Herding breeds. Peter Kubacz, who was himself a successful junior handler and has also handled his family’s and others’ Irish Setters to many top wins, will judge the Junior Showmanship finals. Bonnie Threlfall and Julie Virosteck will judge the Junior Showmanship preliminary classes.

Here are the remainder of the judges for 2014, courtesy of Westminster Kennel Club:

Sporting Breeds and Varieties

James Covey, Southport, N.C. – German Shorthaired Pointers, German Wirehaired Pointers, Vizslas

Pluis Davern, Royal Oaks, Calif. – Brittanys, American Water Spaniels, Boykin Spaniels, Clumber Spaniels, Field Spaniels, Sussex Spaniels, Welsh Springer Spaniels, Spinones Italiano

Elliott More, Deerfield, N.H. – Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, Curly Coated Retrievers, Flat Coated Retrievers, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers, Irish Red and White Setters, Weimaraners, Wirehaired Pointing Griffons

Virginia Murray, Island Lake, Ill. – Pointers, English Setters, Gordon Setters, Irish Setters, Irish Water Spaniels

Bonnie Threlfall, Cary, N.C. – Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers

Julie Virosteck, Wellsville, Kan. – Cocker Spaniels (all varieties), English Cocker Spaniels, English Springer Spaniels

Hound Breeds and Varieties

Richard Meen, Toronto, Ontario, Canada – Afghan Hounds, Pharaoh Hounds, Scottish Deerhounds

David Peat, Scottsdale, Ariz. – Basenjis, Greyhounds, Harriers, Ibizan Hounds

Pamela Peat, Scottsdale, Ariz. – Norwegian Elkhounds, Otterhounds, Portuguese Podengos Pequeno, Salukis

Sandra Pretari-Hickson, San Bruno, Calif. – Dachshunds (all varieties)

Helen Stein, Chapel Hill, N.C. – Borzoi

Robert Stein, Chapel Hill, N.C. – Black and Tan Coonhounds, Bluetick Coonhounds, Plotts, Redbone Coonhounds, Rhodesian Ridgebacks

Bonnie Threlfall, Cary, N.C. – American English Coonhounds, American Foxhounds, Basset Hounds, Beagles (both varieties), English Foxhounds, Petit Bassets Griffons Vendeen

Elliott Weiss, Durham, N.C. – Bloodhounds, Irish Wolfhounds, Treeing Walker Coonhounds, Whippets

Working Breeds

Peter Baynes, Lyman, S.C. – Bullmastiffs, Cane Corsos, Chinooks, German Pinschers, Tibetan Mastiffs

Edd Bivin, Fort Worth, Texas – Alaskan Malamutes, Mastiffs

Barbara Finch, Flat Rock, N.C. –Newfoundlands, Portuguese Water Dogs

Doug Holloway, Newark, Del. – Anatolian Shepherd Dogs, Black Russian Terriers, Dogues de Bordeaux, Giant Schnauzers, Komondorok, Kuvaszok, Neapolitan Mastiffs, Saint Bernards, Standard Schnauzers

Bob Indeglia, Narragansett, R.I. – Boxers, Doberman Pinschers, Rottweilers, Samoyeds

Sandra Pretari-Hickson, San Bruno, Calif. –Akitas, Siberian Huskies

John Walsh, County Kildare, Ireland – Bernese Mountain Dogs, Great Danes, Great Pyrenees, Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs, Leonbergers

Terrier Breeds and Varieties
Richard Beauchamp, Cambria, Calif. – Rat Terriers

Edd Bivin, Fort Worth, Texas – Border Terriers, Glen of Imaal Terriers, Irish Terriers, Kerry Blue Terriers, Lakeland Terriers, Russell Terriers

Bob Black, Newtown, Pa. – American Staffordshire Terriers, Bull Terriers (both varieties), Cesky Terriers, Dandie Dinmont Terriers, Miniature Bull Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Standard Manchester Terriers

Christine Erickson, Gilbert, Ariz. – Airedale Terriers, Smooth Fox Terriers, Wire Fox Terriers, Miniature Schnauzers, Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers, Welsh Terriers

Richard Meen, Toronto, Ontario, Canada – Cairn Terriers, Skye Terriers, West Highland White Terriers

Mrs. Knowlton Reynders, Newbury, N.H. – Australian Terriers, Bedlington Terriers, Norfolk Terriers, Norwich Terriers, Scottish Terriers, Sealyham Terriers

Donald Sturz Jr., Huntington, N.Y. – Parson Russell Terriers

Toy Breeds and Varieties
Janet Allen, Point Reyes Station, Calif. – Papillons, Pekingese, Pomeranians

Richard Beauchamp, Cambria, Calif. – Brussels Griffons, Maltese, Miniature Pinschers, Silky Terriers, Toy Fox Terriers, Toy Manchester Terriers

Tim Catterson, New Castle, Ind. – Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, English Toy Spaniels (both varieties)

Helen Stein, Chapel Hill, N.C. – Havanese, Italian Greyhounds, Japanese Chins

Donald Sturz Jr., Huntington, N.Y. – Toy Poodles

Sari Brewster Tietjen, Rhinebeck, N.Y. – Pugs, Shih Tzu, Yorkshire Terriers

Judy Webb, Albuquerque, N.M. –Affenpinschers, Chihuahuas (both varieties), Chinese Cresteds

Non-Sporting Breeds and Varieties
Janet Allen, Point Reyes Station, Calif. – Chow Chows

Edd Bivin, Fort Worth, Texas – Schipperkes, Shiba Inu, Tibetan Spaniels, Tibetan Terriers, Xoloitzcuintli

Tim Catterson, New Castle, Ind. – Dalmatians

Jean Hetherington, Oxford, N.C. – Bulldogs, French Bulldogs

Mark Kennedy, Murrysville, Pa. – American Eskimo Dogs, Bichons Frises, Boston Terriers

Donald Sturz Jr., Huntington, N.Y. – Miniature Poodles, Standard Poodles

Chuck Winslow, Monrovia, Md. – Chinese Shar-Pei, Finnish Spitz, Keeshonden, Lhasa Apsos, Lowchen, Norwegian Lundehund

Herding Breeds and Varieties
Albert Bianchi, Chesapeake, Va. – Australian Cattle Dogs, Australian Shepherds, Border Collies, Entlebucher Mountain Dogs, Pyrenean Shepherds, Shetland Sheepdogs

Liz Bianchi, Chesapeake, Va. – Collies (both varieties)

Sharon Newcomb, Santa Fe, N.M. – Bearded Collies, Old English Sheepdogs, Pulik, Swedish Vallhunds

Ken Raynor, Hamilton, N.J. – Belgian Malinois, Belgian Sheepdogs, Belgian Tervuren, Cardigan Welsh Corgis, German Shepherd Dogs

Donald Sturz Jr., Huntington, N.Y. – Pembroke Welsh Corgis

John Walsh, County Kildare, Ireland –Beauceron, Bouviers des Flandres, Briards, Canaan Dogs, Finnish Lapphunds, Icelandic Sheepdogs, Norwegian Buhunds, Polish Lowland Sheepdogs

Written by

Christi McDonald is a second-generation dog person, raised with a kennel full of Cairn Terriers. After more than a decade as a professional handler’s apprentice and handling professionally on her own, primarily Poodles and Cairns, she landed a fortuitous position in advertising sales with the monthly all-breed magazine ShowSight. This led to an 11-year run at Dogs in Review, where she wore several hats, including advertising sales rep, ad sales manager and, finally, editor for five years. Christi is proud to be part of the editorial team for the cutting-edge Best In Show Daily. She lives in Apex, N.C., with two homebred black Toy Poodles, the last of her Foxfire line, and a Norwich Terrier.
Comments
  • Leslie Ann Boyce May 5, 2013 at 9:45 AM

    Thank you!

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