National Owner Handled Series Judge Susan St. John-Brown
- What does it mean to judge this singular event at the only all-breed show organized directly by the American Kennel Club?
I thoroughly enjoyed judging the National Owner-Handled Series Hound Breed and Group competitions. This competition is one of my favorite assignments ever. The quality in every breed was superior.
- What were you thinking or feeling moments before you stepped into the center of the NOHS Hound Group ring?
The Group ring was completely covered with red carpet. As the Hounds began to enter, I was so pleased to once again see the exceptional quality before me. I had so many wonderful dogs to consider.
- Was there a heightened energy coming from the dog and owner-handled teams? Did you feel the energy of the spectators?
I could not have been more impressed with the talent and ability that these owner-handlers exhibited. The owner-handlers did an extraordinary job of presenting their exceptionally good quality dogs.
- How challenging was this assignment? Can you share your selection process?
The task at hand consisted of finding the best dog and bitch in each breed and then deciding between the two of them for BOB and Best Opposite. This job made for a lovely day of judging.
- Do you have a word or two about your NOHS Hound Group winner? About the dogs that placed?
At the end of the day, my Group 1 went to the very dignified and graceful Saluki, GCH DC Bahrain Storm MC, owned by Dr. Caroline Coile. This lovely Hound had such ring presence and absolutely floated around the ring; beautiful in every way. Group 2 went to the lovely Afghan Hound, GRCH CH ZUHAYR EBN SIRAQ VON HAUSSMAN, owned by Wilmer Santiago and Armando Sobrado. This aristocratic dog had the look of kings. His smooth, springy gait gave the impression of floating with effortless reach and drive. Group 3 went to the very smooth-lined, beautifully balanced Whippet, GCHS Karasar’s Phenomenal, owned by Louis Krokover and Kerri Kuper. This lovely, smaller Sighthound covered the ground effortlessly and then free-stacked flawlessly. Group 4 went to the unmistakably elegant and graceful Borzoi, GCHG Soyara’s Devilish Delilah, owned by Prudence and Gregory Hale. She is such a lovely example of her breed, with smooth lines and a ground-covering stride.
- Are there specific ways in which the NOHS furthers the cause of purebred dogs?
It has become a true asset to our sport. I could not have been more honored to have been a part of this competition.
- A 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?
The AKC absolutely outdid itself by putting on this very special show. This was a first-class competition. I applaud the AKC for a job well done. Congratulations to all who made this great event a success!
- Now that it’s over, what are your thoughts on the 2021 show year? What about the year ahead?
Our sport appears to have a bright future due to the efforts of forward-thinking people who are ever trying to enhance dog shows and keep them current.