Conformation

Headshot of Jonathan Chase

I come from three generations of purebred dog breeders, exhibitors, and judges. My grandmother trained German Shepherds for duty as war dogs during World War II and was a successful breeder/judge of Pembroke Welsh Corgis. My grandfather was an avid hunter with several Labrador Retrievers, Irish Setters and English Setters living with them on their farm in rural Massachusetts. I was very fortunate their next door neighbor was Mrs. Rachel Page Elliott (Featherquest) who until her death in 2009 was my friend, confidant, and mentor. She along with her longtime friends Ms. Joan Gill (Westley) and Mrs. Muriel Iles (Glennessa) had a major influence on me and my 40-year love affair with the Golden Retriever.

I have actively trained and shown my own dogs since the early 1970’s even though my military career restricted participation to but a few dogs. Kathy and I bred under the Mariner prefix and are proud Mariner Kennels continually produced quality Golden Retrievers equally at home in the show ring, the duck blind or resting comfortably on the family couch. I am equally proud of the many rescued Golden Retrievers Kathy and I have taken in over the years, who found new families to love.

I have been a member of the Golden Retriever Club of America for 35-plus years and served on the Board of Directors in the late 1990’s, most recently as President. I am a member of the Yankee Golden Retriever Club, the Golden Retriever Club of Greater Louisville and the Lexington Kennel Club. Additionally, Kathy and I are founders and current board members of the Nicholas County Animal Welfare Society, which in one year alone has placed over 500 stray and unwanted dogs in loving homes.

I served 25 years as a commissioned officer in the United States Marine Corps, have a master's degree in Exercise Physiology and am an award-winning freelance photographer. I reside with my wife Kathy on a small horse farm near Lexington, Kentucky.  

Headshot of Anne Katona

Anne is currently approved to judge five of the seven AKC recognized groups along with eight working breeds and three herding breeds. Her judging career has taken her to wonderful foreign assignments such as Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom, Scotland, Ireland, Thailand, China, Korea, Brazil, Taiwan, Colombia, Denmark, Norway, Japan, Mexico, Venezuela, and Chile and recently Holland. She has written many articles for numerous dog magazines in the United States and overseas.

Anne is a Kerry Blue Terrier enthusiast whose dogs have won multiple Bests in Show and Specialty awards throughout the United States and Canada. In 2003, Anne had the privilege of judging Best in Show at Montgomery County Kennel Club – the largest All Terrier Show in the world. It has been a thrill for her to have judged at Westminster Kennel Club in New York City several times. From 2005 through 2010, she was employed by the American Kennel Club as a West Coast Executive Field Representative. Though the Kerry Blue Terrier will always be her heart dog, Anne stopped breeding dogs once approved to judge the Terrier Group. At present she and her husband Jack are owned by a Maine Coon Cat named Stiller (after the Pittsburgh Steelers).  

Headshot of Ainslie Mills

Thank you for the privilege of judging bitches at the GRCA National Specialty for the second time. Barrie and I have owned Golden Retrievers since 1974. While no longer breeding, we have shown in conformation, obedience and rally and have bred and/or owned more than 60 champions, many OTCHs and GRCC HOF Goldens. I have been active with the GRCC and GRCBC, holding Executive and Committee positions including President, Rescue Chair and Newsletter Editor. I am a Life Member of the Canadian Kennel Club and the Golden Retriever Clubs of America, Canada and British Columbia. I chair the GRCC Breed Standard & Judge’s Education Committee and was Chair of the GRCA Judges’ Education Committee for 15 years. I have presented seminars on Goldens in Canada, the USA, Australia, Indonesia and Japan.

As a CKC all-breed judge, I have judged across Canada and the USA, as well as Indonesia, with multiple trips to Australia and New Zealand. I was honored to have judged bitches at the GRC of Scotland championship show at the 2018 Guisachan Gathering. I have judged Golden Retriever Nationals in the USA, Canada, Indonesia and Australia, plus numerous other Sporting, Hound, Working and Herding breed specialties. I am a member of both the Canadian and Metro Vancouver Dog Judges Associations. I currently serve on the Canadian Kennel Club Breed Standards Committee and on the Board of the Friends of Guisachan. Now retired, I worked for more than 40 years in the library at my alma mater, Simon Fraser University, and enjoy reading, music, choral singing, theatre and collecting anything "Golden."  

Headshot of Laura Franchi

It was after I was married in 1985 that I acquired my first dog. My husband Vic and I rescued a Golden Retriever puppy from the local shelter. It was when I started training him in obedience that I became involved in the sport of dogs. I put a few obedience titles on our first two Goldens then became interested in conformation. My husband and I have bred Goldens since 1993 under the Regency prefix producing over 30 Champions, several Group and Specialty winners, SDHF, Top 20, Outstanding sire and dams. We have also produced Goldens with obedience, agility and hunting titles as well as therapy dogs and service dogs.

Over the years and our moves from PA to MI then CA I have been an active member of the Golden Retriever Club of America serving on a few committees, Fort Detroit Golden Retriever Club, Norcal Golden Retriever Club, Sportsman Dog Training, and the Gavilan Kennel Club. While a member of these clubs I have served on Boards, as President, Chaired Committees and Specialties.

We have been lucky to share our life with so many wonderful Goldens over the years. Our involvement in the sport has allowed us to make many friends along the way. I would like to thank the Mid-Florida Golden Retriever Club for the honor of judging Sweepstakes at the National.  

Headshot of Barbara Brown

I currently live in Arlington, TX, but spent most of my life in nearby Dallas. My husband, David, and I have 2 sons and 4 grandchildren, and live with 2 golden retrievers. When we married over 42 years ago, one of our first purchases was a golden retriever pet, and we have shared our home with at least one or more goldens ever since.

In 1989 my obedience instructor took a special liking to my dog, Casey, and asked if she could show him in conformation in an upcoming dog show. I didn’t know what dog shows were all about, but I agreed. We went, and Casey almost won! David and I were hooked right then and there. After that, we just HAD to buy the proper vehicle AND all the proper gear, and from that day our lives were never the same again. Casey soon finished and dog shows became our favorite pastime.

We bred occasionally from 1993 to 2012 under the “Tempo” prefix and were extremely fortunate to have produced some highly-recognized dogs and bitches, including Westminster JAMs, Specialty winners, a National Specialty RWB, and 3 Bests in Show. Our foundation bitch was Ch. Rockhill Robins Upbeat Tempo, OD, SDHF. She was given to us by Claire Firestone from whom we had purchased Casey. She called us one day and said, “You know, I’m bathing this pet puppy that’s supposed to be picked up in a little while, but she looks SO nice. Would you take her?” We did. The rest is history. She finished easily when she was only 13 months old and produced 11 champions from her 3 litters. It was no wonder that showing and finishing dogs from the BBE Class soon became my passion. I’ve also enjoyed training for JH, WC/WCX, obedience and rally and it was a special thrill watching David successfully run Tess for her WCX title at the 1994 National.

I’ve been an active member of the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metro Golden Retriever Club for over 30 years. I’m also a member of the Fort Worth Kennel Club, and, of course, the Golden Retriever Club of America. I’m so excited about this assignment! Thank you, GRCA, very much!  

Headshot of Melissa Goodman

While I am convinced that I’ve been a dog lover since birth (my parents report my crawling up to every dog I saw), my interest in the sport of purebred dogs didn’t begin until the age of 12, when my father took me and our Basset Hound puppy to training classes sponsored by the local Basset Hound club. I quickly became hooked on dog training, but not with a Basset! When Patches died during my first year of college, she was replaced with a Golden Retriever. Careful investigation had convinced me that this breed had the traits I desired: a sweet and loving nature, intelligence and trainability, desire to please, beauty and athleticism. I attended the most prestigious benched shows, talked to several breeders of winning dogs, and purchased a puppy with an impressive pedigree.

Emily became my constant companion through the stressful years of college and veterinary school. An eager learner and a born performer, she taught me what the breed is capable of – from High in Match as a youngster at our first obedience competition in Novice A to the first recipient of the San Francisco Gypsy Joy CD,WC Memorial Trophy as a veteran at the 1987 National. Unfortunately, Emily also taught me about limitations. Hip dysplasia and severe allergies kept her out of the breed ring and advanced obedience and field work, and lymphoma ended her life. More “careful investigation” showed me that “careful breeding” would have decreased the chances of these problems. I became fiercely dedicated to the preservation of the Golden – one which conforms to the standard in conformation, temperament, soundness and working ability, and still maintain good health.

My dogs are first and foremost beloved members of the family, and I only breed occasionally. I have been fortunate to have bred and or owned Goldens that have excelled in all areas of competition, have produced working guide dogs and service dogs, and have been excellent family pets and hunting companions. I have also bred and owned several Goldens who have lived past 17 years of age! Many thanks for the honor of judging Gun Dog Sweeps.  

Headshot of Arvind deBraganca

Arvind DeBraganca has been a dog enthusiast and exhibitor since 1989. Starting in Juniors, he went on to become a professional handler and breeder. Having had GSP, Newfs, Anatolians, Shibas, Manchesters, and, for the last 20 years, Dachshunds, he is very involved in preservation breeding and sustaining purebred dogs. As for Junior Showmanship, he has put on many no-cost seminars, clothing exchanges, and educational gatherings. His commitment to Juniors and growing the future of the sport is always on the forefront.  

CCA

Headshot of Patricia Flanagan

I have been exhibiting show dogs for over 43 years starting first with an Irish Setter. In the mid 80’s, I became interested in the Skye Terrier which became the beginning of Traeloch. During the early 90’s I began to professionally handle Golden Retrievers who quickly stole my heart! I was offered the opportunity to co-own a puppy bitch from a breeding done by Kay Gosling of Gosling Golden Retrievers. This puppy bitch became Ch. Gosling’s I’ll Do It My Way OD BISS BVIS, better known to all as "Frankie" my foundation bitch. Frankie gave me a wonderful legacy to build on with many successful offspring to the credit of Traeloch Goldens, not only in conformation but the performance arena as well.

I have been past President of the Northeastern New York Golden Retriever Club, past Vice President & co-founder of the Appalachian Golden Retriever Club of West Virginia and a past member of the Cuyahoga Valley Golden Retriever Club. I was the Specialty Chair for their June Specialties for 4 years. I am currently a member of the Greater Pittsburgh Golden Retriever Club and I am also a member of the GRCA Breeders Education Committee.

In 2015 I decided it was time to give back to the sport and the breeds that had given me many successes and wonderful memories, so I applied to AKC to judge both Skye Terriers and Golden Retrievers. I enjoy mentoring newcomers to the breeds I love and have found that evaluating CCA events is also a way to help people understand the standard of the Golden. I had the opportunity to judge the CCA at the 2018 National in Missouri and would like to thank the GRCA once again for the opportunity to judge the CCA at this year’s national.  

Headshot of Elizabeth Greenfield

How wonderful to be a CCA evaluator at the 2021 GRCA National Specialty! The CCA is such an important program. It helps owners to better understand the Golden Retriever standard, get input on the health and condition of their dog and also to share personal views and information about their dog. I continue to participate in the greater golden world, with my Westbrook goldens by competing in rally and obedience, judging conformation, and sometimes getting some basic field work done. I am now the VP of the Golden Retriever Club of Central New York where I am the current show chair and CCA chair. For the GRCA, I am currently on the CCA committee and part of the judges education committee. I am also a member of the Onondaga Kennel club and a steward for the Tri State Stewards Association. I’m now retired and I have more time for volunteering with my new work schedule. Thank you again GRCA for the wonderful opportunity to be one this year’s CCA evaluators.  

Headshot of Patrice Loves

I obtained my first Golden Retriever in the late 1970’s. My husband wanted a dog for duck hunting so we purchased Libby from the local pet store. I took her to obedience classes and she obtained her CD while my husband trained her for field. Libby obtained her WC & WCX and we ran her in gun dog stakes at field trials. She was a phenomenal retriever.

A few years later, I wanted a "pretty" Golden and had met Su-Ann Brown, Eaton’s Eastshore Goldens, and she became my first mentor. My first "conformation" golden was Eaton’s Eastshore Highlight. Tegan was mostly English lines and unfortunately I was never able to point her, but I did obtain her WCX. I loved the English type and acquired a few more dogs through the years from Susan Brown-Leger, Synergold. But a conformation Championship was not in the cards. I began to do more obedience, competing in Gaines and obtaining a Utility title.

Still wanting a "show" dog I obtained my “American” foundation bitch from Sandy McDowell Dunn, Tangleloft, in 1991 and she became my first Champion, CH Tangleloft Highlight’s Whim CD, CGC. Through the years I have produced Top 20 Qualifiers, Outstanding Dams, Hall of Fame dogs in Conformation and Agility and finished a CH from bred-by exhibitor.
When I retired a few years ago, I decided to apply for my AKC judging license and did so in 2017. To date, I am approved for Golden Retrievers and provisional for Labrador Retrievers, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers and Junior Showmanship. In the near future I hope to apply for the rest of the Retrievers. Judging has provided many opportunities to travel, meet people and see our wonderful breed all over the world. I am honored for this opportunity.  

Headshot of Bruce McLean

I thank the Club for the invitation to judge CCA at your show. I have been breeding and showing Golden Retrievers for 33 years in Australia and now in the USA under the Kingsgold Prefix. I have also owned and shown Irish Setters for 10 years. I have been licensed to judge the Sporting Group for 15 years. In that time I’ve judged in Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, China, Canada and the USA. Two of my major judging appointments were judging Best in Show at the 2005 Golden Retriever Club of Canada National and judging Sweepstakes at the 2007 Golden Retriever Club of America NationaI. I have judged several Golden Retriever Specialties in the USA. I look forward to meeting and talking to everyone at the show.  

Headshot of Nancy Talbott (Belgold)

When I was four years old, a family moved into our neighborhood with two Golden Retrievers who won my heart. When I was a college student, in 1976, I made my first purchase of a Golden; as it turns out, she had both temperament and health issues. I accepted this first experience as a learning opportunity. Three years later I found my second start, and he became Am/Can CH Beckwith’s Zwierig Sunshader, UD, WCX. I will forever be thankful to his breeders for entrusting such a wonderful puppy to a graduate student with nothing to recommend her except enthusiasm. I am proud to have bred and owned many CH, UD, JH, WCX, and other working titled Goldens and Labradors under the Belgold kennel name.

In addition to Goldens and Labradors, I have owned CH Papillons and Pugs. My home is currently shared with four house dogs ranging from two to 12 years of age. I retired in 2018 from a 39-year career in public education. I have been approved to judge Goldens since 1993, and am currently approved for 20 Sporting breeds. I consider it a privilege to be able to serve in that capacity, and have had the privilege of judging Golden and Labrador National Specialties in the United States, Canada, and Australia. I am honored to be a Life Member of the Golden Retriever Club of America, and am currently serving as the Education Director for the club. It is a great privilege to be a CCA Evaluator at the 2021 GRCA National. Thank you for this honor.  

Headshot of Cathie Turner

I acquired my first Golden Retriever in Minnesota when I was in the eighth grade, a puppy from neighbors. Evidently both parents were Goldens because we registered her as Tara of Meadowbrook and she was an awesome retriever . . . of turtles from the swamp down the hill. And trained - she knew never to come until that piece of white Weber’s bread was offered.

After owning and showing Alaskan Malamutes for several years, Bill and I got our first Golden in 1989. We explained to the breeder that we would see he was finished, but we were through with dog shows, dog vehicles, and just wanted a pet to hike with us, and here we are.

We've been incredibly fortunate with mentors, the dogs we acquired, the dogs we bred, and the success Sunbeam dogs have enjoyed. And I love every minute of it. We’ve had BIS, WC, High in Trial and couch potato dogs.

I truly enjoy judging and I’m pleased to now be able to judge 20 breeds with more on the way. But nothing is as rewarding as being able to adjudicate a lovely entry of Goldens. I feel we are very lucky to have lost our hearts to a breed that is so biddable, beautiful, versatile, and affectionate. I feel the CCA is one of the best things that GRCA has done and I am so pleased to be asked to be an evaluator.  

Rally & Obedience

Headshot of Jeffrey Kern

My interest in Obedience started in 1994 when I observed my neighbor training Utility with her American Cocker Spaniel. I immediately knew if I owned a dog, I would train it to do Obedience. A few months later I purchased Java, a Female Labrador retriever and joined the Dog Obedience Club of Hollywood. The rest is history. It wasn’t until 2001 that I became interested in Judging. Today I am licensed to judge all of Obedience and Rally together with the American Cocker Spaniel in Conformation. I bred Cockers for 20 years under the prefix “Valor” and have become a Breeder of Merit with the American Kennel Club. All my Cocker’s are retired so my time is spent training and exhibiting Ava, my three year old Labrador Retriever from Lorita’s Kennels. I belong to The Greater Ocala Dog Club and the American Spaniel Club. Becoming an obedience judge is another extension of the sport that I love and a way for me to give back to the sport. I enjoy traveling and judging all the great obedience teams around the country. Best of luck to all the exhibitors at this year’s national.  

Headshot of Aimee Kincaid

Aimee Kincaid is a native Floridian. Even as a child she knew she wanted to work with animals. Her first love and experience was in riding and training horses. She shortly discovered that she had a natural affinity for dog training as well. After completing her education as a Registered Nurse, she worked in Critical Care and Progressive Care learning and sharing the patience she would later integrate into her dog training. Her work with patients also enhanced the communication skills necessary to succeed at training people to train their dogs. Aimee has, over a lifetime, developed a unique ability to understand and impart the lessons and actions needed to shape dogs and handlers for their work in obedience. Her work in breeding Australian Shepherds brought her the honor of being named an AKC Breeder of Merit and her kennel, Coolibah Kennels, has provided many pet and dog sport handlers with wonderful dogs. She has recently bred the first litter of Danish- Swedish Farmdogs in Florida. Aimee has been showing in Obedience and Rally for 20 + years and has titled numerous dogs. She earned her first UD on her Novice A dog and has successfully shown Aussies, her Toy Fox Terrier and her Danish-Swedish Farmdog in obedience, rally and conformation. She is currently providing leadership and training for numerous private clients at the training facility she and her husband own in Orlando. Her students have achieved CD, CDX, UD, UDX, and OTCH titles as well as all the rally titles including the RACH. In addition to being a skilled trainer and handler, she is a well-respected obedience and rally judge and has judged nationwide and internationally. She is a member of the Orlando Dog Training Club and is a board member of the Danish-Swedish Farmdog Club of America. She and her husband Ken, who is an AKC judge as well, share two Aussies, a Toy Fox Terrier, a Danish-Swedish Farm Dog, three cats, and a varying number of chickens. In her own words, "I’m so honored to be judging this Golden Retriever National Event. I wish everyone the best of times here."  

Headshot of Ken Kincaid

Both Ken and Aimee are obedience judges who also teach obedience and handling. Their Successful Handler in Obedience Seminar has been presented and well-received all around the Southeast.

Ken has been judging since 2010 and has judged for AKC since 2012. His passion for the sport and experience in audio and video production has created an opportunity to help Companion Events with on-line training videos, judge's education support and production with AKC TV of the RNC and NOC.

"I love judging because it's so much fun. Watching handlers meet their goals with their dogs is awesome. I like to think I'm at least a small part of that process. I also enjoy the people I meet. Dog people are great to be around and I get to see great folks and great dogs all over the country."

"My judging philosophy encompasses fairness, consistency and handler friendliness. I try to constantly hone my craft as a judge to improve those elements. I have had the great pleasure of being judged by many great judges. I look to these individuals as well as AKC judge's education and the regulations to continually mold my judging persona."

"AKC Obedience is a storied sport and we follow in the footsteps of outstanding handlers, judges and officials. I recognize that every picture that I take with a handler becomes part of their personal history and that of AKC."  

Headshot of Deborah Neufeld

Deb Neufeld has been involved with Obedience competition since 1981 and Rally since mid-2000, shortly after Bud Kramer introduced it. She is an AKC Obedience and Rally Judge who developed and taught the first Rally classes for the Orlando Dog Training Club. She was honored to be invited to represent the sport of Rally on both the first and second AKC Rally Advisory Committees. She also judged the first Rally National Competition and has judged the AKC Classic in Orlando. Deb writes a regular column for Front and Finish and is a co-moderator for the Rally Judges list on Yahoo Groups. One of her proudest moments was earning the RACH title with her Cavalier, Dylan.

She lives with her husband, Chip, a Boxer, a Cavalier and a Danish-Swedish Farmdog. All of her dogs train for Rally as well as Obedience. Deb appreciates the honor of being chosen to judge the Golden Retriever Club of America National Specialty and is looking forward to seeing everyone at the event.  

Agility

Headshot of John Defilippi

John was introduced to agility in 2003 when his wife started competing with their first agility dog, a black Labrador Retriever. It didn't take long before he was also hooked and started competing too. In 2013, John passed the judging seminar. Since that time, he has enjoyed the opportunity to judge in various parts of the country and see so many excellent teams competing in agility. He was also honored to be invited to be part of the judging panel for the 2017 AKC National Agility Championship held in Perry, Ga. John has been married to his wife, Stacy, for 21 years, and they live in Stephens City, Va. They are still very active in AKC agility competition - John currently competes with two Labrador Retrievers and his wife competes with their American Cocker Spaniels. John considers it a great honor to be invited to judge the 2021 Golden Retriever National Specialty and wishes all of the teams good luck.  

Headshot of Dave Hirsch

I am very thankful for being asked to judge at the GRCA National agility trial. I have been judging agility for 14 years and enjoy giving back to the sport. I have so much fun competing and have made so many lifelong friends. I currently run my fifth Golden Retriever in the sport and he is Super Lotto. He has been the greatest partner and teammate achieving MACH 20 by the age of 7, participating in the AKC invitational three years in a row and finishing as the No. 1 Golden and No. 1 Sporting Breed dog in AKC agility in 2017. I am the lead instructor of the agility program at Columbus All-Breed Training Club and a member of my local Golden Retriever Club of Columbus, Ohio, and the GRCA since 1999. I purchased my first Golden from a wonderful breeder who thought I would make a nice “pet home”…boy was she wrong! She did help me get involved in all of this and like our special breed, she was warm and welcoming to me from then on. My family consists of my love Kim Wolfe, our Golden, four Border Collies and a Min-pin. I would like to wish everyone the best of luck at this year’s National and hope you have a wonderful and memorable week.  

Hunt Test

Headshot of Judy Gladson

I grew up with mixed breed dogs and have not been without a dog since. My first purebred dogs were golden litter mates out of the newspaper, cause what did we know? They were awesome dogs, healthy into their teens and got me interested in the dog fancy and its many venues. My next golden was from a lovely multi-purpose breeding and he was pointed in the breed ring and had one MH leg (all handled by me) before I retired him due to life changes. I got my first flat-coat in 1990 and I haven't looked back. My passion is field work, but I do enjoy the multiple venues that flat-coats can do well in. I've had multiple CH MH and one GCH MH. I bred my first flat-coat litter in 1995 and have bred 18 litters in total. I started judging AKC hunt tests in the 1990’s and am honored to judge the GRCA National Specialty, thank you. I am also applying to judge flat-coats in the conformation ring and would be interested in adding goldens at some point. I am retired now, incredibly busy and I honestly don't know how I had time to go to work!  

Headshot of Jan Masica

I have been in Goldens since 1985, having purchased my first Golden as a gift to myself after finishing veterinary school. Of course, I fell in love with the breed and since then have been owned by many talented Goldens. I have successfully competed in agility, tracking, obedience and field work and am especially proud that my totally owner-trained and handled Goldens have achieved upper level titles in many different venues (MH50, HTHF, CT, MACH2, ADHF, UDX2, OM4, WCX). I especially love field work and became interested in judging about nine years ago. I have judged several WC’s, WCX’s, Master, Senior and Junior hunt tests. I enjoy watching the team work in the field and love to see young or new handlers be successful and then get hooked by the sport! I am proud to be judging a Master series at the 2021 GRCA National. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity.  

Headshot of Margaret Rathje

I started training my first puppy in 1984 and through my own breeding have recently retired my 7th generation of Master Hunters, all trained by me. Being active in the NAHRA program they have acquired Grand Master Hunting titles along with field trial Derby points, Open points and Qualified All Age.

To my benefit there are numerous clubs in Central New York to which I am a member and have held official positions over the years.

My judging started with NAHRA in the 90's and with AKC in 2001. Since then I have had the pleasure of judging nearly 40 NAHRA events and nearly 50 AKC hunt tests, mostly at Master level.

I owe thanks to all the clubs that have provided me with great Hunt Test experiences from both the line and the judges chair. Looking forward to another one!  

Headshot of Mitch White

I have been hunting since I was eight years old and training retrievers for field work since 1988. I believe the bond between a dog and man in field sports is extremely extraordinary. As I judge I want to test the dogs to the standard, but also present a challenging yet fair test. The handlers should enjoy themselves even if they may be nervous and hopefully I can alleviate some of their anxiety through empathy. I have owned one Golden and trained many to all levels. I love all dogs, but Goldens do have a special place in my heart. I am honored to judge your Specialty and wish all the handlers good luck, but remember just have fun.  

Headshot of Jim Bryan

I was born and raised in Ocala, Fla., and I currently live in the New Smyrna Beach, Fla., area. I have owned and hunted with Golden Retrievers since the age of 10. There's nothing more exciting than seeing a Golden Retriever perform in the field and that is why I can't wait for this year National Specialty.

I'm looking forward to seeing old friends, meeting new ones and enjoying the breed of dog we all love.  

Headshot of Chris Van Eimeren

I was born and raised in southeast Wisconsin. I have hunted ducks across the United States, Mexico, and in South and Central America during my lifetime. It's my passion. Another passion is Golden Retrievers. There is no other hunting dog I could imagine spending time with.  

Headshot of Randall Gerbino

I am honored and delighted to have been asked to judge an AKC Junior Hunter stake at the 2021 Golden National.

Originally from Western Pennsylvania, I have lived in Florida since the early 70's. I love the outdoors and, though I do not hunt myself, my husband hunts waterfowl and has always had a gun dog. After our children were in college, I was introduced to the AKC Hunt Test venue and I was totally hooked by this fun sport and how much the retrievers loved it. That was about 20 years ago and I've been blessed to have owned and handled many wonderful, interesting, sometimes quirky retrievers. I could watch dogs retrieve all day - each is an individual and all are special.

As a judge, I love watching the lower stakes dog/handler teams. It is rewarding to see the young/inexperienced dogs doing what they were bred to do. Though I believe in maintaining the test standard, I also love encouraging a dog/handler team in finding success at this great sport.  

Headshot of Macy Swift

Thank you to Mid-Florida Golden Retriever Club and GRCA for allowing me the privilege of judging the Junior stake at the 2021 National Specialty. Since 1985 I’ve had the pleasure of sharing my home with at least one golden, and more often multiple goldens. When I started raising labradors for Southeastern Guide Dogs in 1985 I sometimes exposed the puppies to retrieving birds, but it wasn’t until I became a breeder home in the late 90s that I felt I could actually train for and enter hunt tests. Since then I have enjoyed running and judging AKC hunt tests and WC/WCX events, as well as acting as Test Secretary for local and national events. Junior dogs are the best because they are such a bundle of raw talent and a joy to watch. Good luck everyone . . .remember to breathe!  

Headshot of Christy Thomas

During my childhood, I wanted a dog more than anything, but I wasn’t allowed to have one due to my brother’s allergies. After I married, the opportunity came for me to finally get my very own dog and I chose a golden retriever!

Throughout the past 30+ years I have been blessed to be owned by six incredible goldens. Each one has taught me lessons along the way that have shaped the person, the trainer, the handler and the judge that I am today. These lessons taught me to be patient, to love, to rejoice, to accept disappointments and how to grieve. I've met some wonderful people along the way who have shared my passion for the breed and the work that they do.

The goldens that have owned me throughout the years: Tyko: Rusty Creek New Chapt’r at Skyefire CGC Born: 2019; Beau-D: CH OTCH10 Morgen's Lil' Bit of Skyefire UDX11 OGM TD MH27 AX AXJ WCX** VCX OBHF DDHF OS, School Therapy Dog, Born: 2010; Echo: OTCH Merichase Skye's Legacy UDX3 VCX2 SH AJ WCX OBHF CCA, Therapy Dog (2004-2017); Skye: OTCH Morninglo Fire in the Sky UDX4 MH NA NAJ WCX VCX OS, Therapy Dog (1997-2010); Indy: Santana’s Miss Independence UD JH WC (1992-2003); and Tandy: Thomas’ Tandy (1996-1991).

I became an AKC Junior and Senior Hunt test judge so I could give back to the sport that I’ve enjoyed for many years. I am also a member of the GRCA, CVGRC, BRC and CABTC, I’ve chaired the 2003 GRCA NS WC/WCX and will be chairing the GRCA WC/WCX at the 2022 National Specialty which CVGRC is again hosting. I am also a GRCA Statistician for the Triathlon Award and DDHF.

I am a retired elementary school teacher, a profession that I loved for 31 years. I’m co-owner of Canine Sports LLC in my hometown where I teach all of the competitive obedience classes. I’ve been married for 50 years to a very special person (Allan) who puts up with my dog obsession and we have an adult son, Joshua. A fun little note of trivia: Josh took horseback riding lessons here in Ohio from Kristin Ozmun Sipus (the chair of the 2021 Hunt Test) when he was young using her horse, Dove.

It is my pleasure to judge the Junior Hunt test at the 2021 GRCA NS hosted by Mid-Florida Golden Retriever Club. I would like to thank Kristin for inviting me. Good luck to everyone and enjoy!  

Headshot of Carol Young

It is truly an honor and privilege to be selected to judge the hunt test at the 2021 Golden Retriever Club of America National Specialty. I am looking forward to watching our wonderful breed do what they were bred to do.

Growing up there was always a dog as part of my family. As I grew older I became the caretaker of our family dogs. I enjoyed teaching them tricks and basic obedience. They were my companions and confidants. My other siblings didn’t really have much interest in our dogs but they were an important part of my life. Raising them and taking care of them became the backbone for my love of dogs today.

I acquired my first Golden Retriever in 1990 and have had Goldens ever since. I was introduced to the sport of hunt tests with my first two Goldens. They were very forgiving as I learned how to handle and train them for field work and other competition venues. I currently share my life with three Goldens. My oldest, Crash, earned his Hunt Test Hall of Fame and the Master National Hunter title in 2017. He loves field work and has well over 60 Master Hunter passes under his belt. My young dog, Summit, is working on his Master Hunter title and also competes in agility and dock diving. My up and coming puppy, Punch, is learning the ropes and enjoying life.

Good luck to everyone entered in the hunt test! I look forward to judging and rooting for you and your teammate to do well.  

Field Trial

Headshot of Jake Fredericks

Jake Fredericks joined the sporting dog community almost 10 years ago with his first working Labrador Retriever, Tempy. Together, they have earned Field Champion and Amateur Field Champion titles and he has qualified her for five National Amateur Retriever Championships. Jake is a past president of the Jacksonville Retriever Club, has chaired local trials, and volunteered with many Nationals and local trials. Since 2017, Jake has been judging AKC Retriever Field Trials, from Minor Stakes to Opens. He and his wife, Xan, enjoy the camaraderie of the sport and training their dogs as often as work permits.  

Headshot of Martha

My journey began in 1998 (really, it began when I was a child growing up with animals). Our sons were out on their own, my husband Dave and I needed an activity to do together, and we had just lost a wonderful retriever because we had not done the proper training. Since we always had retrievers, it was natural to update our skills. Little did we know it would change our lives and become our passion.

Today we no longer have the Labrador Retrievers we started with, but we do have six loving labs. We have campaigned from coast-to-coast, border-to-border (and across the border), and I’m happy to say we have enjoyed the hospitality and company of the good people across the USA (and Canada) and have made lasting friendships throughout.

With numerous Field Trial and Hunt Test judging assignments and two Hunt Test Nationals under my belt, I have a lot of experience to offer. I am looking forward to this October event: October in Florida should be great.

I am honored to be asked to judge the Open for the Golden Retriever Club of America National Specialty and look forward to judging with Jake Fredericks – he is a good guy who knows good dog work.

Teams with good communication, enthusiasm, yet control, are what I like to see. I highly recognize a dog with courage and desire. Train hard, qualify your teams and enjoy the National. I know I will. I plan to do the best possible job as one of your 2021 judges. Thank you for the privilege and the honor of being selected. Let’s make new and lasting friendships, enjoy the event and meet the challenges put before us with courage, grace and laughter in 2021.

Last but not least, a great big thanks to Dave, my awesome husband, for all his encouragement and support.  

Headshot of Dave Kress

It is a wonderful honor to be asked to be a Field Trial judge at the Golden Retriever Club of America’s National Specialty this year. I’ll look forward to seeing these dynamic retrievers showcase their talents in the field.

I cannot remember a time in my life without a trained retriever, some were better than others and yes training techniques and skillsets have evolved. It is such a pleasure to watch these dogs work in the field and display natural and trained talents then go home to be wonderful companions and friends.

After a long and prosperous career in the construction field I was able to retire and devote myself to the wife, our training properties and our retrievers. Each person defines success with their dogs in a different manner. My definition is a good day of training or competition where we tried our best, our training held up and we had a good kick at the can. I firmly believe our dogs know when they did well and there’s nothing better than those eyes shining bright and that extra bounce in the step.

Our retriever odyssey is a family affair meaning my wife Marty is by my side for training and competitions. We each have our own retrievers to work and while our styles and philosophies may differ, we can celebrate the successes and commiserate the failures. It’s truly a team effort. Our travels have taken us coast-to-coast and throughout Canada as we‘ve competed and judged at numerous retriever events.

So as we approach the event I will endeavor to present fair and challenging series and may your marks be pinned and your blinds lined. Good luck and hope to see you there.  

Headshot of John Stracka

Throughout the past 20 years John Stracka has made material contributions that have been at the core of the administration and development of the retriever field sport. John has been contributing to our retriever field sport through the administration of Retriever News, Entry Express, local clubs, national championship clubs, and canine health awareness through publications and fund raising as liaison to AKC Canine Health Foundation.

As a regular field trial competitor he has accumulated over 400 points as an amateur and his dogs have earned over 700 points. Since 2007, John qualified dogs for 13 consecutive years for the National Amateur Championship, reaching a total of 28 National Amateur Retriever Club qualifiers. John has qualified as many as four dogs in a single year for the National Amateur Championship and had two dogs finish the same National twice in each of 2014 NARC and 2015 NRC - a total of 13 finalists in National Championships.

John trains with his dogs full time in Wisconsin and Georgia where he maintains retriever training grounds.  

Headshot of Tom Hawley

It's an honor to have been selected to judge a stake at the Golden Specialty this year. I have worked at several nationals through the years and I understand all the hard work, planning and preparation that goes on behind the scenes "to pull it off." Thanks to the field trial committee and workers that are so diligent and work tirelessly to help us in the field.

I have been training and handling Labradors since the early 1980's and have been fortunate to compete and judge trials across the US and Canada, even to judging a Canadian national in 2010. I started judging in the mid '80's and still continue to find judging major and minor stakes very rewarding. I sincerely hope that my co-judge and I will set up fair and challenging qualifying tests to showcase the marking ability, style, talent and teamwork of handler and dog. Most of all, good luck to all the participants and remember these fine Golden Retrievers give us their all so just go out and have a good time and enjoy competing with these outstanding dogs.  

Headshot of Missy Lemoi

I became enamored with the hunt test game in 1992 after I was invited to watch a local hunt test. I mistakenly ended up at the Master stake and was completely in awe watching the dogs perform. After watching Master for about two hours, I found my way to a Junior stake and found that much easier to understand! I told my friend who had invited me to watch that I didn’t quite understand everything I had seen, but I knew I wanted to learn the game. My first training session was with a well-known amateur named John Cavanaugh and one of the grand dames of the Golden world…Leslie Dickerson. They helped me train my first competition dog, a Yellow Lab, to the Master level.

As I gained experience, I continued to train my own dogs to the Master level in hunt tests, then successfully competed in Qualifying stakes at field trials, and finally moved into the All-Age stakes at the trials. Both Leslie and John taught me the importance of giving back to the sport. I have a strong conviction that everyone needs to do his or her fair share to help others learn and to support the clubs who hold performance events for our retrievers.

I have held just about every position available on both hunt test and field trial committees. I have judged all levels of competition in both games. Since I have always trained my own dogs, I believe in helping other amateurs who want to learn how to train their dogs to compete in field events.

I started my own boarding kennel and dog obedience school in 2005. Since then, I find I don’t have as much time as I need to train for field trials. I have a wonderful group of close friends with whom I train regularly for hunt tests. I enjoy campaigning my two current Labs at the Master level and work each year toward qualifying for both the Master National and the Master Amateur Invitational.

Any weekend I am competing, you will find me near the line watching the dogs run. Even after 25 years of competing, I still love watching retrievers do what they were bred to do! I enjoy the camaraderie that exists among competitors and consider myself fortunate to have so many friends in the field game. I am proud I was asked to judge the American Chesapeake Club Specialty in 2005, and I am honored to be judging at the Golden Retriever Club Specialty in 2021.  

Headshot of Duncan Christie

I ran my first AKC Licensed Derby in 1977 with “Splashdown Bold Joshua,” one of the last Bonnie Brooks Elmer sons. After training two Goldens for AKC field trials, I started training my first Labrador in 1993 and titled four of them. I have qualified dogs for 10 National Amateurs and two National Opens, including “FC AFC Son of a Preacher Man”, finalist, 2012 National Amateur in Onaway, Mich.

I’ve judged 30+ AKC All-Age Stakes and 30+ minor stakes and have judged two previous GRCA Specialties. I served on the National Amateur Retriever Club Board of Directors from 2007 to 2012 and was President, NARC, from 2011 to 2012.

I’m currently Secretary of the Snowbird Retriever Club and was formerly an officer of the Colonial Retriever Field Trial Club and the Yankee Golden Retriever Club.  

Headshot of Sue Westlake

Since 1977 when I joined the Maine Retriever Trial Club, I've known what a thrill it is to stand beside a talented dog. Over the years I've done some breeding and a lot of training and learned something new with each dog I've owned.

I have been a field trial judge since the 1980s and continue to compete regularly. I'm very pleased to have two young dogs now who are showing a lot of promise: Hacker and Finder. After we retired, my husband and I moved to Georgia to get away from the Maine winters. Now I can indulge my obsession all year long.  

WC/WCX

Headshot of Ellen Bartkus

I started in dog sports with a Miniature Schnauzer and the 4-Footed Leaders 4-H Dog Club in the late 60’s. I even convinced my parents to let me raise a German Shepherd Seeing Eye puppy. He became a permanent part of our family after being diagnosed with mild hip dysplasia. My husband and I got our first Golden Retriever in 1976. With Snowbird and her son Blue and my champion Cheers, we became active in AKC Hunt tests when the program began in the mid-80’s in Florida. Blue and Cheers earned qualifying ribbons in the first hunt test held in Florida. Over the years we have owned 13 Goldens, and our dogs have titled in hunt tests, obedience, rally, tracking, conformation, and more. I have judged through the Master level in AKC hunt tests, as well as many WC/WCX tests. I enjoy seeing our beautiful Golden Retrievers in the field enjoying what they were bred to do.  

Headshot of Andy Brittingham

Like many, I got my first Golden for two reasons: duck hunting and their great reputation with young children. I dove headfirst into training and was quickly exposed to the world of Hunt Tests and the WC/WCX. My interest grew and I eventually put a Junior Hunter and WC title on the dog. I thought I was a full-blown dog trainer!

Twenty-something years later and my children are grown, but my love for the breed and sport remains. I have learned a lot over the years, spending countless hours in the field with many dogs and trying to improve as an amateur trainer and handler. In the last few years, I have found a new enjoyment for judging various events. Looking back at my time spent in the field, my greatest surprise and joy comes from the number of friends from across the country that I have made while watching a few special dogs pick things up.  

Headshot of Jim Bryan

I was born and raised in Ocala, Fla., and I currently live in the New Smyrna Beach, Fla., area. I have owned and hunted with Golden Retrievers since the age of 10. There's nothing more exciting than seeing a Golden Retriever perform in the field and that is why I can't wait for this year National Specialty.

I'm looking forward to seeing old friends, meeting new ones and enjoying the breed of dog we all love.  

Headshot of Sherie Catledge

Thank you so much for the opportunity to judge Golden Retrievers in WC/WCX tests at this year’s National Specialty! I fully plan to take advantage of being able to watch a breed that I love, and that started my adventure in the world of dogs, have fun in the field!

I feel like I have come full circle after starting with Goldens in 1974. Through that one dog, Sinbad, I have met some of the most wonderful people and found venues that have taken me all over the country as both a judge and exhibitor. I have also had a very successful run with both Goldens and Flat Coated Retrievers both in the breed ring and in the field. I feel that I have made contributions toward maintaining the dual -purpose dog.

I am thankful that I have had several mentors that were willing to take chances with me. I currently have several awesome retrievers from breeders that are still out there 30+ years later producing Best in Show dogs, Specialty Winners, and FC/AFC dogs.

Making this assignment even more special is the fact that I am a founding member of the Mid-Florida Golden Retriever Club and have watched the club flourish and grow. I am happy to report that we are creating a new Golden Club in Tennessee, the Smokey Mountain GRC, which I look forward to becoming active in!

People laugh when I tell them that my first golden breed champion, Bear, was 100+ pounds and had to jump 36/72 in obedience. I have pictures of myself holding a duck by the foot so as not to touch too much of its body. Things have sure changed since back then. But what hasn’t changed is the breed’s adaptability to excel in all performance venues. To that end, I am hoping to give out lots of pretty ribbons.  

Headshot of Randall Gerbino

I am honored and delighted to have been asked to judge an AKC Junior Hunter stake at the 2021 Golden National.

Originally from Western Pennsylvania, I have lived in Florida since the early 70's. I love the outdoors and, though I do not hunt myself, my husband hunts waterfowl and has always had a gun dog. After our children were in college, I was introduced to the AKC Hunt Test venue and I was totally hooked by this fun sport and how much the retrievers loved it. That was about 20 years ago and I've been blessed to have owned and handled many wonderful, interesting, sometimes quirky retrievers. I could watch dogs retrieve all day - each is an individual and all are special.

As a judge, I love watching the lower stakes dog/handler teams. It is rewarding to see the young/inexperienced dogs doing what they were bred to do. Though I believe in maintaining the test standard, I also love encouraging a dog/handler team in finding success at this great sport.  

Headshot of Mike Greer

The first time I attended a dog event sanctioned by AKC I was too young to understand what a dog hunt test was all about.

In the late 1950’s in Western North Carolina, our neighbors took my sister and me in as their surrogate grandchildren. Our parents were very supportive of our surrogate grandparent’s desire to treat us as their own and we got to take many vacation trips with them. My sister and I still carry fond memories from the many experiences that our surrogate grandparents created for us.

One memory I have is that they owned a small herd of beagles and I fell in love with dogs because of them. On several occasions we would take trips with all the beagles loaded on a trailer. At the time I had no idea why but later learned that these trips were made to run their beagles in field trials.

Because of the impression the beagles had on me at such a young age they continue to perpetuate my love of dogs. The first retriever I owned was a Golden Retriever named Champ. He epitomized everything that a Golden Retriever can be. He was a loving pet, a great hunter and easily a best friend. After college I began to travel with work and had little time to devote to owning another retriever.

A couple of years before retiring I started making a plan and created a bucket list. The first thing on the list was to add a retriever to the family. My wife and I fulfilled that bucket item and it has been non-stop ever since.

Lily, our Yellow Labrador Retriever, has taken us to many AKC and HRC events. She has earned hunt test titles from both AKC and HRC and has taken us places that we would never have dreamed. In another milestone, she was bred with an MH and a five-time GRHRC and gave birth to seven Chocolate puppies in November 2018. This litter is how we acquired Maggie, our second retriever.

I am a member of The Greater Atlanta AKC Retriever Club and treasurer of Old South HRC Club. I also volunteer with Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine in the Canine Performance Science Department. I am there one day each week and have the privilege of helping trainers teach Labrador Retrievers to become detection dogs.

Thanks to Lily, I have had the privilege of judging dog’s hunting test skills for both AKC and HRC and have been able to meet great people, have made lasting friendships and will continue to make new friends in this incredible dog enthusiast sport.  

Headshot of Jan Masica

I have been in Goldens since 1985, having purchased my first Golden as a gift to myself after finishing veterinary school. Of course, I fell in love with the breed and since then have been owned by many talented Goldens. I have successfully competed in agility, tracking, obedience and field work and am especially proud that my totally owner-trained and handled Goldens have achieved upper level titles in many different venues (MH50, HTHF, CT, MACH2, ADHF, UDX2, OM4, WCX). I especially love field work and became interested in judging about nine years ago. I have judged several WC’s, WCX’s, Master, Senior and Junior hunt tests. I enjoy watching the team work in the field and love to see young or new handlers be successful and then get hooked by the sport! I am proud to be judging a Master series at the 2021 GRCA National. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity.  

Headshot of Camille Nasca

I began this journey in 1987 and 34 years later this whirlwind journey of ups and downs continues. Through the years I have titled in conformation, obedience, field and agility. Trying never do anything in half measure, I began breeding in 1994 with a litter of 13. Pretty frightening for this relative newbie.

I joined the Mid-Florida Golden Retriever Club in 1987 and have been an active and integral part of the development of this club. I served two terms as President, multiple terms as Vice President, Treasurer and Board member. In 1997 I, and another club member, spearheaded the process of applying to the AKC for licensing. Upon approval, we proceeded to plan and host the very successful 1998 Eastern Regional of which I was chair. We also hosted our first Independent Specialty the day after the Regional. In 2002 I was the general chair for our first National Specialty. Through the years I have chaired a number of WC/WCX’s, supported entries, agility trials and in recent years I have been the trophy chair for our annual specialty held in conjunction with the Royal Canin Show in December and am the trophy chair for this national. I have also been the secretary for numerous hunt tests and various health and grooming/handling seminars, and several heart and eye clinics.

On a national level, in addition to chairing a National Specialty, I spent several years as secretary for the Golden Retriever Foundation; a member of a nominating committee and chair of the CCA for the Ohio National.

Thank you for the honor of being asked to judge the 2021 National Specialty WC land. I look forward to sharing this honor with longtime friend and mentor Ellen Bartkus.  

Headshot of Mike Orloff

As an active AKC judge, Mike Orloff is frequently seen judging at Hunt Tests and WC/WCX events around the country, including judging multiple times at the GRCA National. He is approved to judge all AKC hunt test levels as well as HRC Upland tests. Mike has been a member of the Mid-Florida Golden Retriever Club since 1994, and a past board member. He chairs the club’s two annual hunt tests and judges at the club’s WC/WCX while also working at some of the club’s other events including agility trials.

Mike and his wife Pat Kopco have competed in field, obedience, rally, agility and conformation and have been involved with Goldens for almost 30 years. They bought their first Golden as a pet, but after seeing a handling demonstration at a local club event, it didn’t take long before they were hooked on field work.

Mike and Pat’s kennel name is RockStar Goldens. Some of their proudest moments came when their dog Jagger earned his Master Hunter title, then finished his Breed Championship and became the 29th Golden to enter the GRCA Dual Dog Hall of Fame. Jagger’s son Axl followed in his father’s pawprints, earning a Master Hunter title at the age of three, followed by finishing his Breed Championship to become Pat and Mike’s second dog in the DDHF. Jagger’s son Ozzy earned his Master Hunter title at the age of two and became their first dog to compete in field trials, earning a Reserve Jam at the 2014 GRCA National. Ozzy’s son Zevon just earned his Master Hunter title, and their youngest boy Journey, who is also a Jagger son, finished his Breed Championship just 4 months after earning his Senior Hunter title at the age of 2. Mike and Pat have also earned many titles in other venues with their dogs.

Mike retired after 30 years as a television technician for CBS News, a job that required travel all over the world. Mike said he is honored and thrilled to be judging at the 2021 GRCA National and he wishes everyone running, "good birds, good luck and a good time."  

Headshot of Kelli Riggs

My husband, Joe, and I have had flat-coated retrievers for 15 years. We got our first one from a local breeder to be our family pet and instantly fell head over heels in love with the breed. Joining the local flat-coat club introduced us to all the wonderful activities that retriever breeds can do and I wanted to give them a try. After being invited to watch a hunt test I immediately knew that is exactly what I wanted to try with my next flat-coat. The look of pure joy in each dog’s eyes as they watched the birds go down and the pride in returning back with the bird in a soft mouth was absolutely breathtaking. I knew then what “bred for purpose” meant. My next FCR was going to be a field dog!

Fast forward 10 years. I am a member of the Central Florida HRC and the president of Southern Skies Flat Coated Retriever Club. I have three titled field/hunting dogs. I run them in both AKC and HRC tests. All three of my girls have been 100 percent owner/handled and owner/trained. My youngest is 5 years old and just received her Hunting Retriever Champion title and has two master passes to date.

Although we participate in many activities such as conformation, obedience, dock diving and barn hunting, field work is my passion and true love. It has taught me more about myself than anything else in this life. Field training and the bond I share with my dogs has made me who I am today. This passion for the sport is why I became an AKC hunt test judge. I hope to spread my enthusiasm about the sport and be an advocate for owner/handlers who choose to enjoy this challenging yet fulfilling journey. I would like to thank the GRCA National committee for the invitation to judge your WC/WCX test. I am honored and humbled by the opportunity.  

Tracking

Headshot of Susan Boyd

I have been involved in dog training since 1971, tracking my own dogs since 1973 and judging tracking since 1983. I have instructed classes in the St. Louis area for Mound City Obedience Training Club and Gateway Tracking Club, an AKC-recognized pioneer tracking club. I have also served in various capacities for MCOTC, GTC, Lincolnland Basset Hound Club and BHCA. I have bred and handled my own dogs to breed championships as well as CDX and TDX titles and have co-authored two books on tracking. One basset and four cats currently control the lives of my husband, Tom, and me. It is an honor to judge at the National. Thank you and good luck to all the exhibitors.  

Headshot of Fran Smith

I discovered the sport of tracking over 30 years ago and I still think it is the most fun you can have with your dogs. Up in the morning, romping thru the fields with dew still on the grass, what could be better?
For a couple of decades, I have shared in training new trackers and regularly instructing a tracking group in South Florida. I have been a Tracking judge since the 90’s and have judged hundreds of tests, laid miles of tracks and our students have found tracking success including TDX and VST titles. My family and I have titled dogs to TDU, TD, TDX, VST and CT titles. I have judged in different parts of the country and find that Florida tracking offers some unique scenting challenges. Good luck to all the participants.