Interview With 2022 AKC National Championship Breed Judge Kathi Brown
What does it mean to be invited to judge at the AKC National Championship Presented by Royal Canin, the only all-breed show organized directly by the American Kennel Club?
Kathi Brown: I enjoy every invitation to participate and judge. I appreciate the opportunity to be with the dog show community, travel to each locale, and most of all, view dogs. The AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin is an exceptional joy! Dog folk come from throughout the country, I leave the cold and often snowy Northeast for the milder temperatures, and the entry (as well as the high quality of exhibits) is phenomenal. Being part of this event as a judge brings together decades as a member of the canine community: as a breeder, exhibitor, and now as a judge.
In 2021, I was disappointed and unable to judge due to personal reasons (heightened COVID and my husband’s heart surgery). The subsequent invitation for 2022 was great. I was especially happy to judge my original breed, Scottish Terriers. Beyond these personal reasons, the invitation means that we are all part of the AKC (whatever our years or level of involvement), that we join together at this event to exhibit DOGS, that we celebrate their breeding and improvement, and that we look forward to the future.
Can you share your thoughts on your various Breed assignments? Please be specific.
Kathi Brown: I was assigned a number of Toy and Terrier breeds. Within this group, the number entered in each individual breed was extremely large. More than the quantity, the quality within each breed was high and often exceptional.
During the day, I found entries that I have judged and awarded Best of Breed, Groups, and Best in Show; some within the same breed. The quality of the dogs and their conditioning and presentation were generally exceptional. Only one dog can be awarded Best of Breed, however, and throughout both days the margin of difference was narrow and difficult (Maltese, Havanese, Pekingese, Border, Soft Coated and Scottish Terriers).
The quality of the dogs and their conditioning and presentation were generally exceptional.
Now that it’s over, what are your thoughts on the 2022 show year? Any thoughts on the year ahead?
Kathi Brown: The AKC National Championship Presented by Royal Canin is ideally situated between the celebratory end of each year of competition and the promise of the new year. It is an opportunity for seeing and greeting old friends. Around and within each ring we view the gathering of the great dogs in each breed. This year, most wore individual smiles instead of masks—and many literally sparkled.
To my thinking, 2022 was a year of emerging promise of more events with good dogs, dedicated breeders, exhibitors, handlers, and owners. There were also many young, upcoming individuals. While it was good to see all of these, there was great sadness too, remembering those we are missing. Looking forward to 2023.