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Westminster Kennel Club Announces the 2016 Show’s Judging Panel

Dr. Richard Meen of Toronto has been selected to judge Best in Show at the 140th Annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show on February 15-16, 2016.

Dr. Richard Meen of Toronto has been selected to judge Best in Show at the 140th Annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show on February 15-16, 2016.

Dr. Richard Meen of Toronto has been selected to judge Best in Show at the 140th annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show on February 15-16, 2016. He will become the sixth foreign judge and third Canadian to make the selection of the top award in the sport’s most prestigious event.

Dr. Meen became actively involved with purebred dogs in 1965 and has bred and exhibited a number of breeds under his prefix Kishniga. His homebred Borzoi was top dog of all breeds in Canada in 1977, and he bred and co-owned the top Terrier in Canada in 2011 – a Skye Terrier. Past President and Chairman of the Board of the Canadian Kennel Club, he is active in many dog organizations in Canada and the US, and judges all over the world. He has judged at Westminster on four other occasions, including the Terrier Group in 2007. Dr. Meen practices psychiatry in Toronto.

He will head a panel of 37 judges from 17 states, Canada and Ireland, who will officiate at the dog show, held at Madison Square Garden and Piers 92/94 in New York City. The panel includes 12 judges who have judged Groups in the past, and 14 who are judging for their first time at Westminster.

Group judges are Ms. Bonnie Threlfall of Cary, NC, Sporting; Ms. Virginia Lyne of Saanichton, B.C., Canada, Hound; Mr. Norman Kenney of Crossroads, TX, Working; Mr. Geir Flyckt-Pedersen of Pinehurst, NC, Terrier; Mr. Jason Hoke of Madison, WI, Toy; Mr. Luc Boileau of Lake Geneva, WI, Non-Sporting; and Ms. Dorothy Collier of Sapphire, NC, Herding. Dr. Wyatt Delfino of New York, NY, will judge the Junior Showmanship finals.

Seven breeds will be eligible for Westminster for the first time in 2016: Lagotto Romagnolo (Sporting Group), Cirnecco dell’Ettna (Hound), Boerbel (Working), Berger Picard (Herding), Miniature American Shepherd (Herding), Bergamasco (Herding) and Spanish Water Dog (Herding). The addition of these breeds makes a total of 199 breeds and varieties in competition.

The club also announced the judges for its 3rd Annual Masters Agility Championship at Westminster to be held at Pier 94 on February 13, the Saturday preceding the all-breed show. Those judges are Mr. Nalle Jansson of Haggeby, Sweden, and Ms. Kitty Bradley of Boulder, CO.

Here is the entire 2016 Westminster Kennel Club judges panel and assignments (subject to American Kennel Club approval):



Mr. Jack Gohde, Toms River, NJ: English Setters, Gordon Setters, Irish Setters.

Mr. David Kittredge, Rochester, NY: Brittanys, Pointers, Cocker Spaniels (all Varieties), English Cocker Spaniels, English Springer Spaniels.

Mr. Carl Liepmann, Flushing, MI: Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, Curly Coated Retrievers, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers, American Water Spaniels, Boykin Spaniels, Clumber Spaniels, Field Spaniels, Irish Water Spaniels, Sussex Spaniels, Welsh Springer Spaniels, Spinones Italiano, Wirehaired Pointing Griffons.

Mrs. Virginia Murray, Island Lake, IL:
German Shorthaired Pointers, German Wirehaired Pointers, Flat Coated Retrievers, Vizslas, Weimaraners, Wirehaired Vizslas.

Mrs. Polly Smith, St. Stephens Church, VA: Lagotto Romagnolo, Irish Red and White Setters.

Ms. Lisa Weiss, Huntington, NY: Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers.



Ms. Barbara Pepper, Swannanoa, NC: Basenji, Basset Hounds, Borzoi, Harriers, Ibizan Hounds, Petit Bassets Griffons Vendeen, Pharaoh Hounds, Portuguese Podengos Pequeno.

Mrs. Polly Smith, St. Stephens Church, VA: Beagles (both Varieties), Dachshunds (all varieties).

Dr. Robert Smith, St. Stephens Church, VA: American English Coonhounds, American Foxhounds, Black & Tan Coonhounds, Bluetick Coonhound, Cirneco dell’Ettna, English Foxhound, Plotts, Redbone Coonhounds, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Salukis, Treeing Walker Coonhounds.

Mr. John J. Walsh, Athboy, County Meath, IRELAND: Afghan Hounds, Bloodhounds, Greyhounds, Irish Wolfhounds, Norwegian Elkhounds, Otterhounds, Scottish Deerhounds,Whippets.



Mr. David Haddock, Nashville, TN: Akitas, Alaskan Malamutes, Giant Schnauzers, Kuvaszok, Siberian Huskies, St. Bernards, Standard Schnauzers.

Mrs. Virginia Murray, Island Lake, IL: Portuguese Water Dogs.

Mr. Jay Richardson, Elgin, IL: Cane Corsos, Chinooks, German Pinschers, Great Pyrenees, Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs, Komondorok, Samoyeds.

Ms. Judith Ann Smith, Hendersonville, NC: Anatolian Shepherd Dogs, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Boxers, Bullmastiffs, Dogues de Bordeaux, Neapolitan Mastiffs, Newfoundlands.

Mrs. Polly Smith, St. Stephens Church, VA: Boerboel.

Mr. John J. Walsh, Athboy, County Meath, IRELAND: Great Danes, Leonbergers, Rottweilers.

Mr. John R. Walsh, Newbridge, County Kildare, IRELAND: Black Russian Terriers, Doberman Pinschers, Mastiffs, Tibetan Mastiffs.



Mr. Ronald Menaker, Jupiter, FL: American Staffordshire Terriers, Australian Terriers, Bedlington Terriers, Bull Terriers (both Varieties), Cesky Terriers, Dandie Dinmont Terriers, Glen of Imaal Terriers, Miniature Bull Terriers, Rat Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers.

Mr. Richard Powell, Bainbridge, PA: Cairn Terriers, Miniature Schnauzers, Parson Russell Terriers, Russell Terriers, Scottish Terriers, Sealyham Terriers, Skye Terriers, Standard Manchester Terriers, West Highland White Terriers.  

Ms. Betty-Anne Stenmark, Woodside, CA: Airedale Terriers, Border Terriers, Smooth Fox Terriers, Wire Fox Terriers, Irish Terriers, Lakeland Terriers, Norfolk Terriers, Norwich Terriers, Welsh Terriers.

Mr. John R. Walsh, Newbridge, County Kildare, IRELAND: Kerry Blue Terriers, Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers.



Ms. Joy Brewster, Newtown, CT: Chihuahuas (both Varieties), Japanese Chins, Toy Fox Terriers.

Mr. Tim Catterson, New Castle, IN: Havanese, Italian Greyhounds, Maltese, Shih Tzu.

Ms. Charlotte Patterson, Destin, FL: Affenpinschers, Brussels Griffons, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Chinese Cresteds, English Toy Spaniels (both Varieties).

Mr. Norman Patton, Mesa, AZ: Papillons, Pekingese, Pomeranians, Toy Poodles, Silky Terriers, Toy Manchester Terriers.

Mr. Charles Scott, New Castle, IN: Miniature Pinschers, Pugs, Yorkshire Terriers.



Mr. Mark Kennedy, Murrysville, PA: Chinese Shar-Pei, Chow Chows, Finnish Spitz, Keeshonden, Lowchen, Norwegian Lundehund, Schipperkes, Tibetan Spaniels, Tibetan Terriers, Xoloitzcuintli.

Ms. Mary Miller, Lexington, KY: Dalmatians, French Bulldogs, Lhasa Apsos, Shiba Inu.

Mr. Norman Patton, Mesa, AZ: Cotons de Tulear, Miniature Poodles, Standard Poodles.

Mr. Charles Winslow, Monrovia, MD: American Eskimo Dogs, Bichons Frise, Boston Terriers, Bulldogs.



Mrs. Peggy Beisel-McIlwaine, Ann Arbor, MI: Belgian Malinois, Belgian Sheepdogs, Belgian Tervuren, Border Collies, Canaan Dogs, Cardigan Welsh Corgis, Pembroke Welsh Corgis.

Mr. Michael Faulkner, Center Cross, VA: Entlebucher Mountain Dogs, Finnish Lapphunds, German Shepherd Dogs, Icelandic Sheepdogs, Norwegian Buhunds, Polish Lowland Sheepdogs, Pulik, Pyrenean Shepherds, Swedish Vallhunds.

Mr. Carl Liepmann, Flushing, MI: Beauceron, Bouviers des Flandres, Briards.

Mrs. Polly Smith, St. Stephens Church, VA: Australian Cattle Dogs, Bergamasco, Spanish Water Dogs.

Dr. Robert Smith, St. Stephens Church, VA: Bergers Picard, Miniature American Shepherds.

Mr. John R. Walsh, Newbridge, County Kildare, IRELAND: Australian Shepherds, Bearded Collies, Collies (both Varieties), Old English Sheepdogs, Shetland Sheepdogs.


JUNIOR SHOWMANSHIP PRELIMINARIES: Mr. Blake Hansen of Merritt Island, FL, and Mrs. Karen Mammano of Webster, NY.

The Westminster Kennel Club is America’s oldest organization dedicated to the sport of purebred dogs.  Established in 1877, Westminster’s influence has been felt for more than a century through its famous all-breed, benched dog show held every year at New York’s Madison Square Garden.  The show is America’s second longest continuously held sporting event, behind only the Kentucky Derby.  For additional information, log on to the Westminster Kennel Club website.



Here are the previous foreign Best in Show judges who have officiated at Westminster. There was no Best in Show award made in the first 30 years of the show (1877-1906). Best in Show was awarded for the first time in 1907 and has been made every year since, except for 1923, for a total of 108 awards in the show’s 139-year history.

This list does not include those years when BIS was determined by a panel of judges and does not include 1907-1911, when the name(s) of the judge(s) were not recorded.

1914 – Midgely Marsden, Whaley Bridge, England
1929 – Dr. Carleton Y. Ford, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
1930 – W.L. McCandlish, Foxlydiate, Redditch, England
2006 – James Reynolds, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

2011 – Paolo Dondina, Monterchi (AR), Italy



The following breeds will be eligible for the first time to compete at Westminster in 2016, making a total of 199 breeds and varieties eligible to enter:

•    Lagotto Romagnolo (Sporting Group)
•    Cirneco dell’Ettna (Hound Group)
•    Boerboel (Working Group)
•    Berger Picard (Herding Group)
•    Miniature American Shepherd (Herding Group)
•    Bergamasco (Herding Group)
•    Spanish Water Dog (Herding Group)

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