As I prepare my annual Whom to Watch at Westminster (WWW) list for my Dog Show Poop site, I am perusing the judging assignments, trying to get some data that might help me with my predictions. First, let me say that the Westminster Kennel Club show, like any dog show, is rarely predictable. Few would have predicted the 2009 win by the ten year old Sussex Spaniel, CH Clussexx Three D Grinchy Glee. Nonetheless, handicapping the Garden has been a favorite past time of thousands of dog fanciers for a long time and whom am I to deny my readers such a delicious guilty pleasure.
The Sporting Group judge this year will be Terry Stacy of Chapel Hill NC. One of our most active judges, Terry has judged the Sporting Group 12 times this past year. Among the top Sporting Dogs that have taken a Sporting Group One under Mr Stacy are the Black Cocker Spaniel, GCH CH Casablanca’s Thrilling Seduction, the English Springer Spaniel, GCH CH Wynmoor Champagne Supenova, & the German Wirehaired Pointer, GCH CH Mt View’s Ripsnorter Silver Charm. Interesting, but I’m not sure it will help me make a prediction.
The 2012 Hound Group judge, Patricia Laurans of Newton CT, had Hound Group assignments at six shows last year, from York PA to Ewa HI. She chose two Afghans, two Whippets, one Basenji, & one Norwegian Elkhound, as her group winners–not much to discern there.
Betty Regina Leininger of Frisco TX has the Working Group this year. Ms Leininger, a former professional handler and Doberman Pinscher breeder, chose a Newfoundland, two different Giant Schnauzers, & a Doberman, at the four shows at which she judged Working dogs in 2011. That Doberman was GCH CH Protocol’s Veni Vidi Vici, who just finished the big Rose City Classic with three of the four BIS. That win came at the big Valdosta Kennel Club show in Perry GA last April, a major stop of the season.
Terriers this year will line up for William F Potter of St Louis MO. Judge Potter had the Terrier Group eight times this past season. Among the His Group winners were 2011’s Top Terrier, the Wire Fox Terrier, GCH CH Steel Your Heart, and the Kerry Blue Terrier, GCH CH Perrisblu Kennislain’s Chelsey who has already won a BIS this year
Tim Catterson, from New Castle IN, will choose the Toy Group winner this year. Mr Catterson had three opportunities to judge the Toy Group in 2011, selecting a Pug, a Peke, & a Blenheim & Prince Charles English Toy Spaniel to go forward. In four BIS assignments last year, he chose a Toy Dog as his Best only once, the Pug, GCH CH Capers Sirius Endeavor. That’s not enough for me to hazard a guess.
I’m now to Randy Garren of Apex NC, who will judge the Non-Sporting Group on Tuesday. In looking over judge Garren’s 2011 decisions I find he has given all three of last year’s top Standard Poodles, a Group win. Will he select the Standard next month?
Houston Clark from Decatur TN, another of our more popular judges, judged the Herding Group 19 times this past season. He also had 15 finals in 2011. I’ve been over all those twice & I wouldn’t predict a trend, but I did note that only two of the BIS went to a Herding Dog, one of which was last year’s Number One Herding Dog, the German Shepherd Dog, GCH CH Babheim’s Captain Crunch.
Finally, Best In Show will be judged by Cindy Vogels of Greenwood Village CO. Ms Vogels had four BIS assignments in 2011, including the Bonanza Kennel Club Of Carson City in July, which was won by 2011’s Number 16 Dog All Breeds, the Smooth Fox Terrier, GCH CH Slyfox Sneaks a Peek.
Now, I have warned you before, “Don’t bet the lunch money” on a dog show. All of the above are just interesting tidbits or to be Shakespearean, “…a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”, but it is fun. And that’s today’s Back Story.