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Westminster Judge Is a Sentimental Soul

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.

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Charlotte Patterson wore a burgundy metallic satin gown the night she awarded the Standard Poodle, Ch. Randenn Tristar Affirmation, Group First at Westminster. ‘Yes,’ bred by Randy Garren and Dennis McCoy, and Joan and Joe Lacey, was handled by Tim Brazier.

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.

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On Monday night when he judged the Group at Westminster, Randy Garren wore the vest and bowtie created from Charlotte Patterson’s 2009 Westminster gown.

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!”

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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.