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2022 AKC National Championship Judging Panel Now Available

2022 AKC National Championship Judging Panel Now Available

NEW YORK, NY (January 24, 2022) – The American Kennel Club® (AKC®) is pleased to announce the judging panel for the 2022 AKC National Championship Presented by Royal Canin to be held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida on Saturday, December 17 and Sunday, December 18, 2022.

The 2022 event will showcase the top canine athletes and will also include popular attractions such as the Best Bred-by-Exhibitor competition, the AKC National Owner-Handled Series Finals, and the AKC Royal Canin National All-Breed Puppy and Junior Stakes. The show will once again take place alongside the AKC Agility Invitational and the Obedience Classic, with junior events in Conformation, Agility, Obedience and Rally.

Leading the charge as Best in Show judge for the 2022 National Championship is Mr. Desmond Murphy of Monroe, NY and Mr. Carl Gene Liepmann of Flushing, MI will judge Best Bred-by-Exhibitor in Show. The judges for the National Owner-Handled Series Finals and the AKC Royal Canin National All-Breed Puppy and Junior Stakes will be announced at a later date.

“We have a fantastic lineup of judges this year,” said Show Chairman Dennis B. Sprung. “The AKC National Championship Presented by Royal Canin continues to be a must-attend event, and with Desi and Carl leading the panel, that tradition will continue. The 2022 even will be a thrilling competition for breeders, exhibitors and judges.”

Judges for the seven variety groups and the Miscellaneous Classes at the AKC National Championship are:

SPORTING – Mr. Jamie Hubbard – Bloomington, IN

HOUND – Mrs. Gayle Bontecou – Clinton Corners, NY

WORKING – Mrs. Dorothy Collier – Sapphire, NC

TERRIER – Mr. Clay Coady – Paradise Valley, AZ

TOY – Mr. Jeffrey Bazell – Bremen, OH

NON-SPORTING – Ms. Pamela Bruce – Ontario, Canada

HERDING – Dr. Tom Davies – Brimfield, MA

MISCELLANEOUS CLASSES – Mr. Charles Olvis – Lake Wales, FL

BEST JUNIOR HANDLER – Mrs. Linda Clark – Tulsa, OK

JUNIOR PRELIMS – Marianne “Tuni” Conti and Margaret Peat

Judges for the seven Bred-by-Exhibitor variety groups are:

SPORTING – Dr. Donald Sturz, Jr. – Brooklyn, NY

HOUND – Mr. Jamie Hubbard – Bloomington, IN

WORKING – Dr. Tom Davies – Brimfield, MA

TERRIER – Ms. Patricia Anne Keenan – Chehalis, WA

TOY – Dr. Steven L. Keating – Dallas, TX

NON-SPORTING – Mr. Eugene Blake – Tulsa, OK

HERDING – Mr. Charles Olvis – Lake Wales, FL



Sporting Group Breed Assignments
Mr. Norman B. Kenney Barbets, Pointers (German Shorthaired), Pointers (German Wirehaired), Retrievers (Chesapeake Bay), Retrievers (Curly Coated), Retrievers (Flat-Coated), Retrievers (Nova Scotia Duck Tolling)
Mr. Clay Coady Brittanys, Lagotti Romagnoli, Nederlandse Kooikerhondjes, Pointers, Retrievers (Labrador)
Mr. Sam Houston McDonald Retrievers (Golden), Setters (English), Setters (Gordon), Setters (Irish)
Mr. Daniel J. Smyth, Esq. Setters (Irish Red and White), Spaniels (Welsh Springer)
Mr. Edd E. Bivin Spaniels (American Water), Spaniels (Boykin), Spaniels (Clumber), Spaniels (Cocker – all varieties), Spaniels (English Cocker), Spaniels (English Springer), Spaniels (Field), Spaniels (Irish Water), Spaniels (Sussex), Spinone Italiani, Weimaraners, Wirehaired Pointing Griffons, Wirehaired Vizslas
Mrs. Linda Clark Vizslas
Hound group Breed Assignments
Ms. Deirdre Petrie Afghan Hounds, Ibizan Hounds, Pharaoh Hounds, Salukis
Dr. Donald Sturz, Jr. American English Coonhounds, Azawakhs, Norwegian Elkhounds, Portuguese Podengo Pequenos,   Redbone Coonhounds, Sloughis, Treeing Walker Coonhounds, Whippets
Mr. Neil T. McDevitt American Foxhounds, Basenjis, Basset Hounds, Black and Tan Coonhounds, Bloodhounds, Bluetick Coonhounds, Borzois, Cirnechi dell’Etna, Greyhounds, Harriers, Irish Wolfhounds, Otterhounds, Plott Hounds
Ms. Patricia Anne Keenan Beagles (both varieties), English Foxhounds
Mr. William F. Potter II Dachshunds (all varieties), Scottish Deerhounds
Mr. Daniel J. Smyth, Esq. Grand Basset Griffon Vendéens, Petit Basset Griffon Vendéens
Mrs. Linda Clark Rhodesian Ridgebacks
Working Group Breed Assignments
Mrs. Sheila DiNardo Akitas, Doberman Pinschers, Giant Schnauzers, Great Danes, Great Pyrenees, Kuvaszok
Ms. Victoria M. Jordan Alaskan Malamutes, Anatolian Shepherd Dogs, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Boerboels, German Pinschers   Komondorok, Leonbergers, Mastiffs, Neopolitan Mastiffs, Standard Schnauzers, Tibetan Mastiffs
Rick Blanchard Black Russian Terriers, Boxers, Bullmastiffs, Cane Corsos, Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs, Siberian Huskies
Mr. Clay Coady Chinooks, Dogos Argentinos, Dogues de Bordeaux, Newfoundlands, Portuguese Water Dogs, Rottweilers, Saint Bernards, Samoyeds
Terrier Group Breed Assignments
Ms. Kathi Brown Airedale Terriers, Border Terriers, Cairn Terriers, Cesky Terriers, Irish Terriers, Lakeland Terriers, Scottish Terriers, Sealyham Terriers, Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers
Mr. William deVilleneuve American Hairless Terriers, Australian Terriers, Bedlington Terriers, Dandie Dinmont Terriers, Fox Terriers (Smooth),  Fox Terriers (Wire), Glen of Imaal Terriers, Kerry Blue Terriers, Rat Terriers
Mr. Norman B. Kenney American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Parson Russell Terriers
Dr. Donald Sturz, Jr. Bull Terriers (colored & white),
Mr. William F. Potter II Manchester Terriers (Standard), Miniature Bull Terriers, Miniature Schnauzers, Norfolk Terriers, Norwich Terriers, Russell Terriers, Skye Terriers, Welsh Terriers, West Highland White Terriers
TOY GROUP Breed Assignments
Mr. Charles Olvis Affenpinschers, Biewer Terriers, Brussels Griffons, Havanese, Italian Greyhounds, Japanese Chins, Shih Tzus
Mr. Jamie Hubbard Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, English Toy Spaniels (all varieties)
Mr. Eugene Blake Chihuahuas (both varieties), Maltese, Pekingese, Pugs, Silky Terriers, Toy Fox Terriers
Ms. Deirdre Petrie Chinese Cresteds, Yorkshire Terriers
Dr. Steven L. Keating Russian Toys
Gus Sinibaldi Toy Manchester Terriers
Mr. Daniel J. Smyth, Esq. Miniature Pinschers, Papillons, Pomeranians
Dr. Donald Sturz, Jr. Poodles (Toy)
NON-SPORTING GROUP Breed Assignments
Gus Sinibaldi American Eskimo Dogs, Bichon Frises, Coton de Tulear, French Bulldogs, Xoloitzcuintli
Dr. Steven L. Keating Boston Terriers, Bulldogs, Chow Chows, Finnish Spitz, Keeshonden, Shiba Inus, Tibetan Terriers
Mr. Daniel J. Smyth, Esq. Chinese Shar-Pei, Löwchens, Norwegian Lundehunds, Tibetan Spaniels
Mr. Jeffrey Bazell Dalmatians, Lhasa Apsos, Schipperkes
Dr. Donald Sturz, Jr. Poodles (Miniature & Standard)
HERDING GROUP Breed Assignments
Dr. Steven L. Keating Australian Cattle Dogs, Bearded Collies, Beaucerons, Belgian Lakenois, Belgian Malinois, Belgian Sheepdogs, Belgian Tervurens, Finnish Lapphunds, Icelandic Sheepdogs, Norwegian Buhunds, Pulik, Pumik
Mrs. Linda Clark Australian Shepherds, Cardigan Welsh Corgis, Entlebucher Mountain Dog, Pyrenean Shepherds, Spanish Water Dogs, Swedish Vallhunds
Mrs. Dorothy Collier Bergamasco Sheepdogs, Berger Picards, Border Collies, Bouviers des Flandres, Briards, Canaan Dogs, Collies (both varieties), Polish Lowland Sheepdogs
Mr. Jamie Hubbard German Shepherd Dogs, Old English Sheepdogs, Pembroke Welsh Corgis, Shetland Sheepdogs
Ms. Elizabeth Muthard Miniature American Shepherds, Mudik


*Panel subject to final approval.

About Best in Show judge Mr. Desmond Murphy:

Desmond Murphy, of Monroe, New York, is a third-generation dog man – his grandfather, father, and two uncles all having been handlers. Born in Scotland, he was reared among Greyhounds, Whippets, and terriers at Mardormere Kennels on Long Island.

He began handling in 1958, working under his uncle John Murphy, a distinguished handler and judge. Mr. Murphy, known as Desi, points to his handling of seven different Best in Show Chow Chows as his proudest achievement.

Mr. Murphy has been an AKC judge since 1976 and is approved to judge 106 breeds.

Mr. Murphy is a member of the Tuxedo Park Kennel Club and the Santa Barbara Kennel Club. He considers “learning the value of preserving breed type” to be the most valuable lesson he has learned in dogs. Mr. Murphy judged the Toy Group at the AKC National Championship Presented by Royal Canin in 2017.

About Best Bred-By-Exhibitor judge Mr. Carl Gene Liepmann:

Carl Liepmann’s earliest recollection of a purebred dog is about 1945 when the family got a Harlequin Great Dane named “Eric Von Stroheim III.”  His first serious “dog ownership” occurred in 1961 during his honeymoon with Jan, when they went to Canton, Ohio to pick up their German Shepherd at a training academy. That started over 60 years of involvement in the dog world

In 1962 Mr. Liepmann purchased his first Retriever, a Golden, from breeder Marcia Schlehr of “Kyrie Kennels.” This was the beginning of the Liepmann family’s love of the Retriever.  In 1964, after the birth of daughter Lora, the Liepmann’s founded The Flint Retriever Club.

The next two decades were filled with dog activities, including his work as a Professional Handler in Conformation and Obedience, and the opening of a boarding and training kennel called Triple L. In 1968 they bred their first litter of Labradors.

In 1980 Mr. Liepmann was approved to judge the five Retriever breeds and now judges all Sporting, all Herding, and all Working breeds, Junior Showmanship and BIS. He has also served as president of the Genesee County Kennel Club since 1980 and Secretary of the American Dog Show Judges Association since 1991.