2021 National Owner Handled Series Judge James Brown
- What does it mean to judge this singular event at the only all-breed show organized directly by the American Kennel Club?
James Brown: This was a very special event. I enjoyed the quality dogs that were some of the top dogs in the country.
- What were you thinking or feeling moments before you stepped into the center of the NOHS Sporting Group ring?
James Brown: I felt the immense responsibility of my decisions. The owner-handlers had a lot riding on my ability to find and point to the best of the best.
- Was there a heightened energy coming from the dog and owner-handled teams? Did you feel the energy of the spectators?
James Brown: The owner-handlers are very serious about what they do. The spectators who support them are equally as serious. You could feel the high expectations in the air.
- How challenging was this assignment? Can you share your selection process?
James Brown: My job was to find the best dog and bitch in each breed. BOB and Best Opposite were then decided upon from those two. Every dog that I judged that day was quality and made judging a very good experience.
- Do you have a word or two about your NOHS Sporting Group winner? About the dogs that placed?
James Brown: My Group winner was also the NOHS Best in Show winner. The lovely Welsh Springer Spaniel #19, GCHB Rolyart’s Navigator @ Painted Sky Farms. This was a true Spaniel dog who exemplified type and balance—moving and standing. Second was the beautiful, typey, English Springer Spaniel bitch #18, GCH Vistah’s Beyonce Heat Seduction NFDC CGC TKN. Third went to Irish Red and White Setter #12, GCH Laurel Oak Special Delivery O’Shadycat CGC TKN. She was so pretty and turned out to be the daughter of the dog that I had given the first Irish Red and White Best in Show to. I could not have been more pleased. Fourth was Golden Retriever bitch #72, GCH Loretta Live Like Line. She carried her topline beautifully while going around.
- Are there specific ways in which the NOHS furthers the cause of purebred dogs?
James Brown: I love to see the owner-handlers come out to show their talents. Having a special competition for amateurs is a good thing for our sport.
- A show of this magnitude is a monumental undertaking. Is there anything you’d like to say on behalf of the AKC and the show’s sponsors?
James Brown: The show was a true testament to the professionalism of AKC.
- Now that it’s over, what are your thoughts on the 2021 show year? What about the year ahead?
James Brown: Dog shows are the perfect vehicle to showcase purebred dogs. Though 2021 was a tough year for all of us, 2022 will, hopefully, turn the corner for better things to come.