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Betty Regina Leininger is Westminster’s Best in Show Judge for 2014


Breeder-owner-handler, professional handler, judge, teacher and author Ms. Betty Regina Leininger of Frisco, Texas, has been selected to judge Best In Show at the 138th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show February 10-11, 2014.


The club has announced that Ms. Leininger will head a panel of 44 judges from 20 states, Canada and Ireland who will officiate at the dog show world’s most famous and prestigious event, held at Madison Square Garden and Piers 92/94 in New York.


Ms. Leininger began her experience in purebred dogs with the breeding and exhibiting of German Shepherd Dogs in her native home of Newfoundland, Canada. After a career as a paralegal, she moved to the United States in 1971 and became an AKC-licensed Professional Handler.


She managed the show career of many top-winning dogs, and guided the breeding programs of many of her showdog clients.  She became a judge in 1983 and today is licensed to judge all Working, Toy and Non-Sporting breeds, and a number of additional breeds.Ms. Leininger has judged multiple National Specialties and also in numerous countries in Asia, South America, and Europe, and also in Australia, New Zealand and her native Canada.


In the late 1970s, Ms. Leininger co-authored a book entitled, Preparation and Presentation of the Show Dog, under the name of Betty R. Brucker. She has conducted handling seminars throughout the continental U.S., Hawaii, Alaska and Canada.


This is her sixth Westminster assignment; she judged the Working Group in 2012 and the Non-Sporting Group in 2004.


Group judges are Mr. Sam Houston McDonald of Chester Springs, PA, Sporting; Mr. Douglas Johnson of Bloomington, IN, Hound; Mr. Clay Coady of Paradise Valley, AZ, Working; Mr. Bruce Schwartz of Los Angeles, CA, Terrier; Ms. Keke Kahn of Sarasota, FL, Toy; Ms. Virginia Lyne of Saanichton, BC, Non-Sporting; and Mr. Walter Sommerfelt of Lenoir City, TN, Herding. Mr. Peter Kubacz of Jackson, NJ, will judge the Junior Showmanship finals.


Three breeds will be eligible for Westminster for the first time in 2014: the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno (Hound Group), the Chinook (Working Group), and the Rat Terrier (Terrier Group). The addition of these breeds makes a total of 190 breeds and varieties in competition.


Here is the entire 2014 Westminster Kennel Club judges panel (subject to American Kennel Club approval):




Mr. James Covey, Southport, NC: German Shorthaired Pointers, German Wirehaired Pointers, Vizslas.


Ms. Pluis Davern, Royal Oaks, CA: Brittanys, American Water Spaniels, Boykin Spaniels, Clumber Spaniels, Field Spaniels, Sussex Spaniels, Welsh Springer Spaniels, Spinones Italiano.


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


Ms. Virginia Murray, Island Lake, IL: Pointers, English Setters, Gordon Setters, Irish Setters, Irish Water Spaniels.


Ms. Bonnie Threlfall, Cary, NC: Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers.


Ms. Julie Virosteck, Wellsville, KS: Cocker Spaniels (all Varieties), English Cocker Spaniels, English Springer Spaniels.





Dr. Richard Meen, Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Afghan Hounds, Pharaoh Hounds, Scottish Deerhounds.


Mr. David Peat, Scottsdale, AZ: Basenji, Greyhounds, Harriers, Ibizan Hounds.


Mrs. Pamela Peat, Scottsdale, AZ: Norwegian Elkhounds, Otterhounds, Portuguese Podengos Pequeno, Salukis.


Ms. Sandra Pretari-Hickson, San Bruno, CA: Dachshunds (all varieties).


Mrs. Helen Stein, Chapel Hill, NC: Borzoi.


Mr. Robert Stein, Chapel Hill, NC: Black & Tan Coonhounds, Bluetick Coonhound, Plotts, Redbone Coonhounds, Rhodesian Ridgebacks.


Ms. Bonnie Threlfall, Cary, NC: American English Coonhounds, American Foxhounds, Basset Hounds, Beagles (both Varieties), English Foxhound, Petit Bassets Griffons Vendeen.


Mr. Elliott Weiss, Durham, CT: Bloodhounds, Irish Wolfhounds, Treeing Walker Coonhounds, Whippets.





Mr. Peter Baynes, Lyman, SC: Bullmastiffs, Cane Corsos, Chinooks, German Pinschers, Tibetan Mastiffs.


Mr. Edd Bivin, Ft. Worth, TX: Alaskan Malamutes, Mastiffs.


Ms. Barbara Finch, Flat Rock, NC: Newfoundlands, Portuguese Water Dogs.


Mr. Douglas R. Holloway, Jr., Newark, DE: Anatolian Shepherd Dogs, Black Russian Terriers, Dogues de Bordeaux, Giant Schnauzers, Komondorok, Kuvaszok, Neapolitan Mastiffs, St. Bernards, Standard Schnauzers.


Dr. Robert A. Indeglia, Narragansett, RI: Boxers, Doberman Pinschers, Rottweilers, Samoyeds.


Ms. Sandra Pretari-Hickson, San Bruno, CA: Akitas, Siberian Huskies.


Mr. John Walsh, County Kildare, Ireland: Bernese Mountain Dogs, Great Danes, Great Pyrenees, Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs, Leonbergers.





Mr. Richard Beauchamp, Cambria, CA: Rat Terriers.


Mr. Edd Bivin, Ft. Worth, TX: Border Terriers, Glen of Imaal Terriers, Irish Terriers, Kerry Blue Terriers, Lakeland Terriers, Russell Terriers,


Mr. Robert Black, Newtown, PA: American Staffordshire Terriers, Bull Terriers (both Varieties), Cesky Terriers, Dandie Dinmont Terriers, Miniature Bull Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Standard Manchester Terriers.


Ms. Christine Erickson, Gilbert, AZ: Airedale Terriers, Smooth Fox Terriers, Wire Fox Terriers, Miniature Schnauzers, Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers, Welsh Terriers.


Dr. Richard Meen, Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Cairn Terriers, Skye Terriers, West Highland White Terriers.


Mrs. Knowlton Reynders, Newbury, NH: Australian Terriers, Bedlington Terriers, Norfolk Terriers, Norwich Terriers, Scottish Terriers. Sealyham Terriers.


Dr. Donald Sturz, Jr., Huntington, NY: Parson Russell Terriers.





Ms. Janet Allen, Pt. Reyes Station, CA: Papillons, Pekingese, Pomeranians.


Mr. Richard Beauchamp, Cambria, CA: Brussels Griffons, Maltese, Miniature Pinschers, Silky Terriers, Toy Fox Terriers, Toy Manchester Terriers.


Mr. Timothy Catterson, New Castle, IN: Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, English Toy Spaniels (both Varieties).


Mrs. Helen Stein, Chapel Hill, NC: Havanese, Italian Greyhounds, Japanese Chins.


Dr. Donald Sturz, Jr., Huntington, NY: Toy Poodles.


Ms. Sari Brewster Tietjen, Rhinebeck, NY: Pugs, Shih Tzu, Yorkshire Terriers.


Ms. Judy Webb, Albuquerque, NM: Affenpinschers, Chihuahuas (both Varieties), Chinese Cresteds.





Ms. Janet Allen, Pt. Reyes Station, CA: Chow Chows.


Mr. Edd Bivin, Ft. Worth, TX: Schipperkes. Shiba Inu, Tibetan Spaniels, Tibetan Terriers, Xoloitzcuintli.


Mr. Timothy Catterson, New Castle, IN: Dalmatians.


Mrs. Jean Hetherington, Oxford, NC: Bulldogs, French Bulldogs.


Mr. Mark Kennedy, Murrysville, PA: American Eskimo Dogs, Bichons Frise, Boston Terriers.


Dr. Donald Sturz, Jr., Huntington, NY: Miniature Poodles, Standard Poodles.


Mr. Chuck Winslow, Monrovia, MD: Chinese Shar-Pei, Finnish Spitz, Keeshonden, Lhasa Apsos, Lowchen, Norwegian Lundehund.





Dr. Albert Bianchi, Chesapeake, VA: Australian Cattle Dogs, Australian Shepherds, Border Collies, Entlebucher Mountain Dogs, Pyrenean Shepherds, Shetland Sheepdogs.


Mrs. Liz Bianchi, Chesapeake, VA: Collies (both Varieties).


Ms. Sharon Newcomb, Santa Fe, NM: Bearded Collies, Old English Sheepdogs, Pulik, Swedish Vallhunds.


Mr. Ken Raynor, Hamilton, NJ: Belgian Malinois, Belgian Sheepdogs, Belgian Tervuren,

Cardigan Welsh Corgis, German Shepherd Dogs.


Dr. Donald Sturz, Jr., Huntington, NY: Pembroke Welsh Corgis.


Mr. John Walsh, County Kildare, Ireland: Beauceron, Bouviers des Flandres, Briards, Canaan Dogs, Finnish Lapphunds, Icelandic Sheepdogs, Norwegian Buhunds,

Polish Lowland Sheepdogs.



JUNIOR SHOWMANSHIP PRELIMINARIES: Ms. Bonnie Threlfall, Cary, NC, and Ms. Julie Virosteck, Wellsville, KS.



Westminster is listening

It’s America’s Dog Show and it’s already the best. In 2014, The Westminster Kennel Club, with a little help from its friends, will get even better, adding to its unparalleled legacy for its 138th Annual All Breed Dog Show.


We asked for and received your feedback about Westminster 137, in our first year at the Piers and in our continuing evenings at Madison Square Garden. We appreciate your constructive suggestions and for Westminster 138 we are pleased to announce these changes for our show to be held on February 10-11, 2014:


  • With so many great dogs at our show, so we are happy to reinstate the Awards of Merit in breed competition. Following the choice of Select Dog and Select Bitch, the judge may at their discretion, select Award of Merit winners from the remaining entrants. The number of awards that may be made is determined by the size of the entry:
    • 2-10 entries – one Award of Merit
    • 11-20 entries – two Awards of Merit
    • 21-30 entries – three Awards of Merit
    • 31-40 entries – four Awards of Merit
    • 41+ entries – five Awards of Merit


  • Millions of viewers see our show and these great dogs on live television and in live streaming video on the website. We want everyone at the Piers to be able to see more in 2014 so we will be providing more seating at the Piers for spectators.


  • Spectators at the Piers will be able to see even more in 2014, with 60” plasma TV monitors at each breed ring and a bank of monitors in one of the designated food areas at the Piers.


  • You can stay all day and find more and varied food locations at the Piers in 2014, with TV monitors and lots of seating to make you feel like you are watching from the comfort of home.


  • And to get you there, improvements to and expansion of the bus shuttle service between the Garden, Garden area hotels, and the Piers.


News about tickets and hotels will be on the Westminster  Kennel Club ( by the end of May.


As of May 5, there are 280 days until Westminster 138!

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