Interview with 2022 AKC National Championship Terrier Group Judge Clay Coady

2022 AKC National Championship Terrier Group Judge Clay Coady


Interview with 2022 AKC National Championship Terrier Group Judge Clay Coady


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

Clay Coady: I was very honored and excited when I received my invitation to judge the Terrier Group.


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

Clay Coady: I felt proud.


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

Clay Coady: With an entry this large, you have a better chance of finding the type of dog that you prefer.


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

Clay Coady: I felt a little anxious.


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

Clay Coady: Yes, and actually, I cannot think of any dog or exhibitor in that ring that didn’t do an above-average to great job.


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

Clay Coady: I pulled out 15 dogs when I was supposed to limit it to 12. (And there were still other dogs I would have liked to pull.) I thought that my placements were correct and I was happy about them.

There were several other dogs in my cut that I thought were outstanding; the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier and the Airedale, in particular.


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

Clay Coady: Fourth was the Bedlington. I think this bitch is the real deal. When you put your hands on her she’s as good as she looks.

Third was the Scottish Terrier. I had given her the Specialty the year before and I thought she was even better than I had remembered her.

Second was the Kerry Blue Terrier. A beautiful-sized dog with a great coat and color, which I think the breed is losing. He moved like the wheels of a car—very impressive.

First was the Sealyham Terrier. He was correct in every way, very sound and with an amazing, hard, white coat.


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?

Clay Coady: I am very appreciative of Royal Canin and the American Kennel Club, and all the people who put their hard work into putting this show together. I loved the lighting, the size of the rings, and the carpet. It makes it much easier to see the dogs.


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

Clay Coady: For any spectator or newcomer to the dog show world, there is a lot of opportunity to learn about dogs they are particularly interested in, and plenty of exhibitors who would take the time to talk about the breed with them.


Now that it’s over, what are your thoughts on the 2022 show year? Any thoughts on the year ahead?

Clay Coady: From what I could see, I thought the show came off very smoothly. I didn’t hear of any problems, and I hope the show is just as good next year and forever.

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