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Charles L. Olvis – AKC National Championship 2023 Hound Group Judge

Charles L. Olvis - AKC National Championship 2023 Hound Group Judge


Interview with Charles L. Olvis – AKC National Championship 2023 Hound Group Judge

Can you describe your reaction to receiving an invitation to judge the Hound Group at the AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin?

With all the great judges in this country, as well as the foreign judges, what a great honor to be asked to judge the Group at such a prestigious show… words cannot explain how much it means to be asked to judge the great AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin.


What does it mean to judge a Group at the only all-breed show organized directly by the American Kennel Club?

The American Kennel Club is the epitome of all the all-breed clubs in the world, and to be asked to judge the Group at the AKC/Royal Canin show is an honor that lasts with you for a lifetime, I believe.


In your opinion, how does this show differ from other AKC events?

This is the show of shows… the tremendous amount of time put into planning this event by the American Kennel Club and Royal Canin is evident in every aspect of the show’s spectacular attention to detail for the exhibitors, breeders, vendors, and professional handlers of Conformation and Performance events… top-notch everywhere, no expense spared to make this show memorable for everyone. If you’ve never organized a dog show, you have no idea of the time and energy it takes to organize a show, and then consider that this is the largest show in the United States. It’s difficult to imagine the work that goes into planning and executing this event. I say this with a sincere thank you to the organizers for all your hard work… it is appreciated by me as well as everyone else in the sport of dogs.


What were you thinking or feeling moments before you stepped into the center of the ring?

Excitement, of course… and the fear of making a mistake in the procedure outlined for televising the event. But in the end, any jitters that I felt were dissolved in the excitement of seeing all the great dogs sent to me by the Breed Judges. They did not disappoint, that’s for sure. And a sincere thank you to all the judges for the wonderful job you did earlier in the day to send all those great dogs into my ring… the best of the best!


Was there a heightened energy coming from the dog and handler teams? Did you feel the energy of the spectators?

Definitely, the excitement and energy from the dogs and handlers was palpable, but also the crowd was very vocal for all the dogs in the Group. The spectators’ cheers and their support were definitely heard. Good job by all for supporting your favorites in the ring!


How challenging was this assignment? Can you share your selection process?

It is definitely a challenge to have a ring full of dogs so deserving of Group wins or placements, but UNFORTUNATELY there are only four ribbons to award, and the challenge is having to leave out of the ribbons some dogs that you have truly loved.


Do you have a word or two about your Group winner? About the dogs that placed?

The Group 4 placement was awarded to the American Foxhound, with correct size, lovely head and breed type, with correct topline… a very nice overall dog, very worthy of a placement in this excellent Group.

Placement No. 3 was a beautiful 13” Beagle, with lovely breed type, head and body correct according to the Breed Standard, who held the shape whether standing or moving… very nice and easy on the go… again, deserving of the Group Placement.

Placement No. 2 went to the Treeing Walker Coonhound with great breed type and outstanding athletic movement, with a physique complementing its ability to be a hunting hound… in beautiful overall condition… what a mover!

And the Group winner, the Afghan Hound… I know no Breed Standard that has the word “beautiful” in it, but I must tell you, this animal IS beautiful. In all aspects, an aristocrat! This dog’s whole appearance was one of dignity without any coarseness. When she moved, it took my breath away, going around the ring truly as an Afghan Hound is supposed to move. For me, the whole package… a great specimen of the breed, very worthy of this great Group win… definitely a head turner!


A dog 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?

Once again, the American Kennel Club, Royal Canin, and anyone else involved were superior in the planning, preparation, and execution of this event, from Harry & John Miller’s Men in Orange Crew, who are so helpful, to all the exhibitors, to the Vendors with anything and everything you could want for your dog, to the Superintendents for the scheduling and running of the rings, to the Stewards who keep the rings running on time and assisting the Judges, the AKC Field Staff and employees overseeing, as well as anyone I’m sure to have forgotten… it takes more than a village for this event and I appreciate all your hard work, believe me!


Are there specific ways in which this show furthers the cause of purebred dogs?

This show is televised live by AKC tv live streaming and was also shown on ABC on New Year’s Eve. This gives the general public a look at the many AKC breeds and at the same time providing education about the dedicated breeders who are striving to produce healthy dogs that will be part of a family for a long time, and the importance of the reliability of what your puppy will grow up to be when acquired from a dedicated breeder.

Also, the event can introduce the public to some of the many Performance events in which dogs can participate. As a result of seeing the many breeds of dogs on the televised show, they may see a dog they like, learn to do research and speak to breeders, and they may add a dog to their family or they could decide they want to show their dog or get involved in Performance with their family pet.


Now that it’s over, what are our thoughts on the 2023 show year? Any thoughts on the year ahead?

Just hope that everyone keeps up the tremendous job to bring this fabulous event to our great sport with these shows that are fun for all involved with purebred dogs.

In conclusion, I would like to sincerely thank the Royal Canin family (unfortunately, I can’t list all your names but you know who you are!), and Mr. Dennis Sprung and Mr. Michael Canalizo of the American Kennel Club and Mr. Jason Taylor of Royal Canin for striving to make each year of the AKC/Royal Canin event even better. Huge thanks and appreciation to everyone for this spectacular event!