Judges of the 2013 Westminster Dog Show

Read all about the Group and Best in Show judges of the 2013 Westminster Kennel Club dog show.

The 137th Westminster Kennel Club dog show will be held February 11-12, 2013. For the first time, the show will take place in two venues: Breed judging, benching and Junior Showmanship preliminary competition will take place during the day on Monday and Tuesday at Piers 92/94 in New York City. Group judging, Best in Show judging and Junior Showmanship Finals will be held at Madison Square Garden on Monday and Tuesday night.

Make sure to read all about the 2013 Westminster Kennel Club dog show judges before you attend!


Judging Best in Show at Westminster 2013

Michael J. Dougherty
Escondido, CA

In his more than 50 years in the sport of dogs, Michael J. Dougherty has done just about everything one can do. In 2013, he will add to that list the ultimate honor in the ultimate event in the sport of dogs: judging Best In Show at the 137th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

A second-generation show dog man, Mr. Dougherty has judged at Westminster on four previous occasions, including the Hound Group in 2007. In 1968, his first time at Westminster, he competed in Junior Showmanship competition and showed in breed competition as well. He has also competed at Westminster as an owner-handler and as a professional handler many times over the years.

Mr. Dougherty started with his family in purebred dogs in 1961, acquiring his first Whippet in 1963. He began handling professionally in 1974, teaming with his father, Jack Dougherty. At the same time, he also bred and owned Miniature Schnauzers, Smooth Fox Terriers and Whippets. As a professional handler, he guided the careers of a number of top-winning show dogs, including Best in Show-winning Whippets and Bichons Frises.

Currently, he and his wife, Michelle, an artist and bonsai collector, own and operate the Windsong Resort for Pets in Escondido, named by San Diego Magazine as San Diego’s Best Pet Facility in 2008.

A graduate of United States International University in San Diego, Mr. Dougherty has been in the public relations and publishing industry for more than 35 years. He has represented and worked with such luminaries as Gore Vidal, Maya Angelou, Joseph Wambaugh, Tom Wolfe, Robert Ludlum, Larry King, Donald Trump, Sidney Sheldon, Judith Krantz, Nancy Reagan and Doris Day, among others, and many of the major book and audio book publishers in North America.

Presently he heads Dougherty & Associates Public Relations, an independent PR and marketing agency.

In 1985, he retired from professional handling to pursue a dog judging avocation, again following in his father’s footsteps. He is currently approved by the AKC to judge Best in Show, the Hound Group, the Terrier Group and nearly half of the Non-Sporting Group. He has judged at shows across the nation such as Montgomery County (including Best in Show in 2007), Morris & Essex, Westchester, Beverly Hills, Del Valle and Great Western Terrier, in addition to Westminster. His international judging assignments have taken him to Australia, Taiwan, Colombia, Sweden, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Finland, Canada, Mexico and Japan.


Judging the Sporting Group at Westminster 2013

Karen Wilson
Sperryville, VA

Karen Wilson, a native of San Diego, began in dogs in 1966 with an Irish Setter, showing in conformation and obedience. Karen and her husband were active breeder/owner-handlers with their Airedale Terriers and Cairn Terriers, while their two daughters participated in Junior Showmanship.

Mrs. Wilson began judging in 1991 and is approved to judge all Sporting, Hound and Terrier breeds, Junior Showmanship and Best in Show. She has judged the National Specialties for Irish Setters, Airedale Terriers and Cairn Terriers, as well as specialties for many of her other approved breeds. She has judged in Canada, China, Denmark, South America and Australia.

She is a past president and officer of the Cairn Terrier Club of America, secretary and board member of the Dog Judges Association of America, and a member of Charlottesville-Albemarle Kennel Club. This is Karen’s fourth assignment at Westminster.

Karen has 11 grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.


Judging the Hound Group at Westminster 2013

Luc Boileau
Burlington, WI

Luc Boileau was born in Montreal and began breeding dogs as a teenager, starting with Whippets, Poodles and Miniature Schnauzers. He began handling dogs in his early 20s.

By the time he immigrated to the United States to manage the kennels at Knolland Farm, he was already an established and highly sought-after handler.

After winning Best in Show at Westminster in 1990, Mr. Boileau retired from handling and started judging. Currently, he judges three Groups: the Hound Goup, Toy Group and the Non-Sporting Group. Today, he breeds Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and Brussels Griffons, and also shows Hackney ponies and horses.

This is Luc’s sixth Westminster assignment.


Judging the Working Group at Westminster 2013

Robert Vandiver
Simpsonville, SC

Robert Vandiver has been continuously involved in dog shows since winning his first dog show ribbon in 1967. Since that time he has bred and owner-handled many champion Doberman Pinschers. He judges Working, Sporting and nearly all of the Herding Group breeds, and has judged all over the world.

He has been active in the Doberman Pinscher Club of America as an officer and as chairman of Judges Education. He has been involved in many other all-breed clubs as an officer, show chair or working member. In addition to conformation, he has participated in performance and working dog sport.

Bob is an engineering graduate of Texas A&M University, and retired as a member of the Executive Management Team at one of the largest Engineering and Construction companies in the US. This is his second Westminster assignment.


Judging the Terrier Group at Westminster 2013

Jay Richardson
St. Charles, IL

Jay Richardson began his lifelong involvement in purebred dogs at the age of 10, when his parents purchased their first show dog, a Standard Poodle. His young years were involved in raising and caring for the family’s Poodles, showing both in Junior Showmanship and the conformation ring.

As a teenager, he went to work after school in the Poodle kennels of J. Lynn and Mabel Welsh. After Mabel’s death and Lynn’s marriage to Dorothy Welsh, Mr. Richardson added Collies to the after-school care. In his later teen years, he went to work for Denny Kodner, an all breed handler and worked for her until he began to handle professionally in 1975.

Mr. Richardson handled all breeds until he began judging in 1996. As a handler he enjoyed success with many dog breeds, including a number of top-winning Best in Show dogs in several Groups.

In addition to judging in the United States, Mr. Richardson has judged in Canada, China, Taiwan, Poland, Finland and Spain. He is approved to judge the Sporting, Working and Terrier Groups in addition to several other breeds and Junior Showmanship. This is his second Westminster assignment.



Judging the Toy Group at Westminster 2013

Dennis McCoy
Apex, NC

Dennis McCoy enjoyed a phenomenal career as a professional dog handler that included handling many all-breed and Specialty BIS winners (he won more than 500 BIS as a handler), the top-winning Poodle and Dalmatian in breed history, seven Group wins at Westminster (including five consecutive Non-Sporting Groups from 1996-2000) and Best in Show at Westminster in 1991.

With his partner Randy Garren, the handling and breeding kennel of Randenn finished more than 1,000 champions. They have co-bred seven generations of standard Poodles, including the 2009 Westminster Non-Sporting Group winner and the top-winning black Poodle (all varieties) in history.

Mr. McCoy retired from handling and began his judging career in 2000. He is president of the Poodle Club of America. This is his third Westminster assignment.


Judging the Non-Sporting Group at Westminster 2013

Florence Males
Pleasant Hill, CA

Florence Males has been active in the sport of purebred dogs since 1970. Starting with Silky Terriers, Florence had a Cinderella beginning by exhibiting her breeder/owner-handled Silky Terrier to BIS from her very first litter. Continuing on, he produced a son that was a top BIS winner in the breed for about 10 years. Her Weeblu prefix can be found in many of the top winners of the breed today. Florence also handled Yorkshire Terriers, Miniature Pinschers and a Maltese during those early years.

Mrs. Males started her judging career in 1990 but was then hired by the American Kennel Club as an executive field representative a year later, covering primarily the Northern California area. After 16 years in that position, she retired and returned to the world of judging dogs. She is now approved for the Toy and Non-Sporting Groups, plus two Terriers.

Included in her many club affiliations, Mrs. Males is the Judges Education Coordinator for the Silky Terrier Club of America. Prior to her AKC employment, she served the Silky Terrier Club of America as its secretary and then vice president, and was a founding member of the Silky Terrier Club of Northern California. She is a longtime member of the Del Valle Dog Club and currently serves as its treasurer.
A native Californian, Mrs. Males shares her home with her Silky Terrier ‘Henry’ and a rescue cat ‘Andy.’


Judging the Herding Group at Westminster 2013

Charles E. Trotter
Carmel, CA

Charles Trotter began his dog-showing career in his home state of Tennessee in 1958 with Afghan Hounds and later German Shepherd Dogs. His homebred Afghans were specialty winners and Group winners before he became an all-breed professional handler and concentrated on the dogs of others.

He was the zone representative for the Professional Handlers Association of America before retiring from handling in 1979 to begin judging. Today, as an all breed judge, his assignments have taken him to the world’s most prestigious shows in six continents and all 50 American states. He has judged at Westminster six times, including the Working Group in 1997.

Well-known for his knowledge of canine movement and anatomical structure, Trotter credits his background in German Shepherd Dogs, Afghans and Norwegian Elkhounds with his theories of proper conformation, particularly in front-end assembly.

Mr. Trotter is a lifetime member (more than 50 years) of the Nashville Kennel Club and has served as president, board member and show chairman. He retired as president of Mid-South Home Exteriors in 2005 but has been quite busy in retirement with dog shows, his motorcycle, Laguna Seca activities, NASCAR racing, and fishing and hunting.



Judging the Junior Showmanship Trials at Westminster 2013

Jason M. Hoke
Madison, WI

Jason M. Hoke, a resident of Madison, Wis., began his longstanding involvement in the sport of purebred dogs in the late 1970s exhibiting German Shepherd Dogs in Junior Showmanship. In 1984, he and his parents purchased two Great Danes, which became their passion. They bred Great Danes under the Jamara prefix, producing numerous champions and one of the top Great Danes in the breed’s history.

Mr. Hoke continued his involvement by apprenticing as a young adult with noted professional handlers such as Leroy Stage and Wood Wornall. He then went on to become a successful professional handler, winning Best in Shows from many Groups, and presented dogs to the highest rankings in their respective breeds.

He then went on to a successful culinary career, holding positions at famed five star restaurants such as The Inn at Little Washington. Mr. Hoke now owns two businesses including Spa Woof, a high-end boarding and daycare facility in Madison, Wis. He now is a licensed AKC judge for breeds in multiple Groups.

In addition to the Junior Showmanship Finals, Mr. Hoke is also judging some additional breeds in his first Westminster assignment.


From the January  2013 issue of Dogs In Review magazine. Purchase the January 2013 digital back issue or subscribe to receive 12 months of Dogs In Review magazine.

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