Non-sporting Group Judge Judge Susan St. John Brown
Group One: GCHP Diamond Gold Majesu Pisko Bulls
Group Two: GCHG Fox Canyon’s I Won The War At Goldshield CGCA CGCU TKN (French Bulldog)
Group Three: GCH Sonadora Del Rey (Xoloitzcuintli)
Group Four: GCHG Spotlight Tequila Sunrise Bret D
- Can you describe your reaction to receiving an invitation to judge the Non-Sporting Group at the AKC National Championship Presented by Royal Canin?
Susan St. John Brown: The honor of being invited to judge a Group at the prestigious AKC National Championship is a lifetime dream come true.
- What does it mean to judge a Group at the only all-breed show organized directly by the American Kennel Club?
Susan St. John Brown: The thrill of being on the main floor as the best of the best Non-Sporting dogs in the nation entered the ring is not to be underestimated. The quality was apparent from the first great dog to the last.
- In your opinion, how does this show differ from other AKC events?
Susan St. John Brown: The show is a class act through and through. The stunning venue is immaculate and so perfectly designed. The organization and planning were superbly executed. This show is in a class of its own as far as the attention to the smallest details is concerned.
- What were you thinking or feeling moments before you stepped into the center of the Non-Sporting Group ring?
Susan St. John Brown: As the judge, you enter the arena through a beautiful archway, your hometown and your name are announced. You then turn to watch the dogs enter…
- Was there a heightened energy coming from the dog and handler teams? Did you feel the energy of the spectators?
Susan St. John Brown: The surge of adrenalin and anticipation from the competitors and spectators, and from myself, were palpable.
- Do you have a word or two about your Group winner? About the dogs that placed?
Susan St. John Brown: My final cut consisted of the Dalmatian, the Standard Poodle, the Xoloitzcuintli, the Löwchen, the Chinese Shar-Pei, the Chow Chow, the Bulldog, and the French Bulldog. My final decision was Group 4 to the very graceful, elegant, well-proportioned and balanced Dalmatian, GCHG Spotlight Tequila Sunrise Bret D, who looked like she was built to go the distance as she effortlessly gaited around my ring. Group 3 went to the Xolo, GCH Sonadora Del Rey, whose body felt strong and smooth. She was graceful and elegant while appearing surprisingly rugged. Her balanced, ground-covering side gait was exceptional. Group 2 went to the adorable Frenchie, GCHG Fox Canyon’s I Won The War At Goldshield CGCA, CGCU, TKN, who, with his beautiful head and expression, was a charmer for sure. He had a compact, muscular, correctly proportioned body. He exuded breed type and carried himself beautifully as he moved. My Group 1 went to the magnificent Bulldog, GCHP Diamond Gold Majesu Pisko Bulls. You can’t mistake the Bulldog for any other breed. This guy was dignified, and a bruiser all at the same time. His head is correct, and his thick-set, low-slung, well-muscled body was beautiful standing but really stood out as he effortlessly and enthusiastically moved around the ring.
- 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?
Susan St. John Brown: The venue was stunning. The experience was magical and unforgettable. Thank you to all who participated in making the 2021 AKC National Championship the world-class showcase for purebred dogs that it is. Thank you to Royal Canin for playing such a big role in promoting purebred dogs and to the breeders for working so hard for the betterment of our breeds.
- Now that it’s over, what are your thoughts on the 2021 show year? What about the year ahead?
Susan St. John Brown: May the future of our sport and country be bright as we enter 2022.