Interview with Mark Cocozza – 2023 WKC Dog Show Breed Judge
What does it mean to be invited to judge at this year’s historic Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show?
Mark Cocozza: It was obviously an enormous honor to be invited to judge at WKC this year. As one’s judging career progresses and your knowledge and experience grows, so do your ambitions and dreams. So, being invited to judge at one of the world’s most prestigious dog shows is affirmation from your peers that the effort and work that goes into being a judge is appreciated at the highest level.
Can you share your thoughts on your various Breed assignments? Please be specific.
Mark Cocozza: The great thing about WKC is that all of the dogs entered are already winners. The choice you have to make is sorting the cream from the cream. These great dogs have been created through years of dedicated breeding for health and temperament, along with type and conformation. I was humbled that three of the breeds I had the pleasure to judge were selected First, Second, and Third in the Hound Group under respected Hound authority Eddie Dziuk, twice winner of BIS at WKC, with the winner, the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen CH Soletrader Buddy Holly, taking the highest accolade by being selected BIS from the dog show legend, breeder, handler, and judge Beth Sweigart.
Now that it’s over, what are your thoughts on the 2023 show year? Any thoughts on the year ahead?
Mark Cocozza: What an incredible success the show was. To continue to evolve what is a national institution and treasure to the standards involved, yet continually surpass everyone’s expectations, is a credit to the membership and team at Westminster Kennel Club. All who were part of this year’s show are proud to have been present and secure about its assured great future in the hands of its capable team.