Jeffrey Kern, Gainesville, FL (Obedience)
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.
Aimee Kincaid, Orlando, FL (Obedience)
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."
Ken Kincaid, Orlando, FL (Obedience)
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."
Deborah Neufeld, Kissimmee, FL (Rally & Obedience)
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.