Menu toggle icon.
Menu toggle icon.

Karolynne McAteer – AKC National Championship 2023 Sporting Group Judge

Karolynne McAteer


Interview with Karolynne McAteer – AKC National Championship 2023 Sporting Group Judge

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

Karolynne McAteer: As most people now know, I covered the wonderful Pluis Davern’s Sporting Group assignment when she became “under the weather.” Everyone hoped she’d feel well enough to make it, so I was not posted as her replacement until Friday. Big shoes to fill.


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

Karolynne McAteer: Entering the ring and turning to the entrance, I was absolutely taken by the fact that, as dog after dog entered the ring, in the end there were 35 Sporting Dogs in the arena. How often do we see that! And what a treat for my eyes and my hands as I went over the dogs. It was not a surprise that the quality was exceptional; breeders had brought their best, and it was a learned and experienced panel of judges that had these breeds during the day. I got the reward of the breeders’ work, and the judges’ decisions.

The real work begins after you have examined the last dog in the lineup, and you go over your “mental notes” as to what you had seen. The Sporting Group is the epitome of the canine athlete, so it is particularly important that the phrase “purpose-bred” be at the forefront of decisions; correct bone to reflect the original geography over which they hunted, correct headpiece to carry their game, soundness, and a silhouette that reflects the “whole package.” And when I think condition, I think appropriate muscle.

That is what was on my mind as I made my cut to 10. This meant 25 dogs of great quality were excused.


Do you have a word or two about your Group winner?

Karolynne McAteer: As I took my cut around individually, the four placements emerged, as I thought they would. Exceptional quality x 4. The German Shorthaired Pointer had a wonderful silhouette and covered the ring as though he owned it; this took GCHG Ch VJK-Myst Heir to the Throne JH FDC CGCA CGCU KN BN-V to First Place.

Are there specific ways in which this show furthers the cause of purebred dogs
This event and the surrounding events of the week are streamed daily. Events of the week such as the hours of Agility are streamed daily and then ESPN came in on the last day to cover the finals for future public viewing. I believe, around the world, the 3-hour ABC program that was broadcast on December 31 was viewed by dog fanciers and the general public alike. Every dog in every Group had a brief discussion about the breed. I can’t imagine a better opportunity to engage and delight our public.


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

Karolynne McAteer: My sincere thanks to the American Kennel Club and Royal Canin. It was an honor to judge the Sporting Group.