Judging the Non-Sporting Group at Westminster Kennel Club 2012 was one of the high points in Randy Garren’s life in purebred dogs. And when he stepped into the ring at Madison Square Garden on Monday night, he wasn’t the first person ever to mark a special event by wearing something with particular sentimental value.
Both as professional handlers and as breeders, Randy Garren and his partner, Dennis McCoy, share very fond memories of grand times at the Garden. As handlers, the pair piloted three Poodles and a Dalmatian to seven Group Firsts and a Best in Show on the green carpet. Then, in 2009, Charlotte Patterson put the cherry on top of their Big Apple pie when she selected the black Standard Poodle, Ch. Randenn Tristar Affirmation, owned by Toni and Martin Sosnoff, as the recipient of the blue ribbon. ‘Yes,’ handled by Timothy Brazier, was bred and raised by Garren and McCoy.
So when Charlotte, who had always admired Randy as a handler and breeder, heard that he was to fill her former shoes as the Non-Sporting Group judge this year, she decided he should fill her dress as well. No, no… Randy wouldn’t look good in a floor-length gown. But he did look dashing in the vest and bowtie that were custom-tailored from the burgundy metallic satin gown that Charlotte wore the night she awarded ‘Yes’ the Group at the Garden.
Randy said that wearing the ensemble, created by Alex Maimee at Liles Clothing Studio in Raleigh, NC, made the whole night even more special than it already was. “I just hope that I did as good a job choosing my winner as Charlotte did!”