Walter Sommerfelt, of Lenoir City, Tenn., has been involved in the sport of purebred dogs since acquiring his first Old English Sheepdog in 1972. He is a former professional handler, as well as a breeder and exhibitor of breeds in all seven Groups, most notably Vizslas, OES, Pointers, Bearded Collies and Weimaraners. Judging since 1985, he is approved for all Sporting, Working and Herding breeds and Groups, Junior Showmanship and Best in Show and has had the honor of judging on four different continents.
Mr. Sommerfelt was the founder and chairman for the St. Jude Showcase of Dogs from 1993 until 2009, a unique event showcasing the world of purebred dogs, while at the same time raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for the world-renowned St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.
Along with his wife, Carol, he has bred more than 75 AKC champions, including Group, Best in Show and specialty winners, dual champions and multiple performance-titled dogs.
During the past 40 years Mr. Sommerfelt has been active in a number of dog clubs and is currently the president of the Tennessee Valley Kennel Club. He is also a career agent and financial planning specialist with Nationwide Insurance. The Sommerfelts have two grown children, both former Junior Handlers, and they are still active breeders and exhibitors of the Vizsla breed.
Sommerfelt judged at the Westminster dog show for the second time in 2014.