Menu toggle icon.
Menu toggle icon.

Insights from Non-sporting Group Judge Susan St. John Brown

Non-sporting Group Judge Judge Susan St. John Brown

Non-sporting Group Judge Judge Susan St. John Brown

Non-sporting Group


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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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…
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.