Clay Coady, of Paradise Valley, Ariz., competed in his first dog show at the age of 12 with his first purebred dog, a Samoyed named Snow. He didn’t win, but it ignited a passion for the sport that still burns to this day. His career in dogs was blessed by the good fortune to work with the very best of people and dogs.
In his teens he worked for legends Ben Brown and, later, Larry Downey. In his 20s he set out on a successful professional handling career, and before it was over, he would handle some of the top-winning dogs of their time for some wonderful clients, finishing and specialing dogs in every Group.
Mr. Coady retired from handling in 1999 to focus on his business interests, including boarding kennels, veterinary clinics and pet supply businesses in the Phoenix area. He and his son, Ryan, also own nine Five Guys Burgers & Fries franchises in Oregon. He has been judging since 2001 and is presently approved to judge breeds in every Group, as well as the Sporting, Working and Terrier Groups, and Best in Show.
Coady judged at the Westminster dog show for the third time in 2014.