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AKC National Championship Judges Comments

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98 – February, 2021

By Joan Harrigan

After the AKC National Championship in Orlando, Florida on December 14 & 15, the Canine Chronicle asked the Group and Best in Show judges for their comments. This show also recognizes the accomplishments of breeders, owner-handlers, and juniors with its Bred-by-Exhibitor, National Owner-Handled, and Junior Showmanship competitions. The judges of the finals in these events were asked for their comments, as well.

The Sporting Group

Jon R. Cole of Nashville, Tennessee judged the Sporting Group. “It is always an honor and a privilege to be invited to do the AKC Show—particularly a group or Best In Show,” he wrote. “All of the workers did a good job of running the event, from the Show Chair down to the facility employees.”

He described the experience of judging during a pandemic: “COVID-19 added new challenges this year for social distancing and Show and Go. The exhibitors did follow the rules from my viewpoint. The Group/BIS ring was set up well, with a circle for each dog to stand. The Group was cut in half to allow the proper distancing. The judges were provided instructions on procedures, camera locations, and how many exhibits could be pulled to move forward to the final round. Larger circles were provided in a different location (up to 12 dogs) for the final decision process. There were no spectators at the ring, which seemed strange for this event.”

“As I did not judge any sporting breeds on Saturday, it is always interesting to see what your fellow judges send to you in the Group. This Group is large, and I was pleased to see the depth of quality coming into the ring in both halves.

“I made a cut of six dogs in each half, for a total of 12. Any one of these exhibits could win or place in a group anywhere. Each breed has its own standard, outlining what is considered a proper specimen. But along with this, the dog must present itself well in the ring, with attitude and proper movement. Many considerations come into play when doing a high-quality Group. I was very pleased with the final 12, and the placements were challenging and very close.

“All of my placements, in my opinion, represented their standards well and were ‘on’ in the ring that evening.” His placements were:

Click here to read the complete article

98 – February, 2021

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