Breeder/owner-handler, professional handler, AKC judge, teacher and author Ms. Betty Regina Leininger of Frisco, Texas, has been selected to judge Best in Show at Westminster Kennel Club dog show February 10-11, 2014.
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, Leininger 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 show dog 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, 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 US, Hawaii, Alaska and Canada.
This is her sixth Westminster assignment; she judged the Working Group in 2012 and the Non-Sporting Group in 2004.
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 City.
Group judges are:
Sporting: Mr. Sam Houston McDonald of Chester Springs, PA
Hound: Mr. Douglas Johnson of Bloomington, IN
Working: Mr. Clay Coady of Paradise Valley, AZ
Terrier: Mr. Bruce Schwartz of Los Angeles, CA
Toy: Ms. Keke Kahn of Sarasota, FL
Non-Sporting: Ms. Virginia Lyne of Saanichton, BC
Herding: Mr. Walter Sommerfelt of Lenoir City, TN
Mr. Peter Kubacz of Jackson, NJ, will judge the Junior Showmanship finals.
Here is the entire 2014 Westminster Kennel Club judges panel (subject to American Kennel Club approval):
SPORTING BREEDS AND VARIETIES (30):
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.
HOUND BREEDS AND VARIETIES (31):
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.
WORKING BREEDS (29):
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.
TERRIER BREEDS AND VARIETIES (31):
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.
TOY BREEDS AND VARIETIES (23):
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.
NON-SPORTING BREEDS AND VARIETIES (20):
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 Frises, 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.
HERDING BREEDS AND VARIETIES (26):
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.
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.