Hound Group Judge Pamela Bruce
Hound Group Placements:
Group One: GCHB Sidekicks Life Is A Highway
(Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen)
Group Two: GCHS Blythmoor Sheez-Beez Tell Me No Tales (Harrier)
Group Three: GCHS Justart Majenkir Status Symbol (Borzoi)
Group Four: GCH Ol’South’s Craigwood Beclove Ride ‘Em Cowboy
- Can you describe your reaction to receiving an invitation to judge the Hound Group at the AKC National Championship Presented by Royal Canin?
Pamela Bruce: It was an honor to be asked, especially because I was judging in memory of Luc Boileau who had recently passed away. Luc was a lifelong friend and a mentor in Hounds. This was a very emotional assignment.
- What does it mean to judge a Group at the only all-breed show organized directly by the American Kennel Club?
Pamela Bruce: These shows are incredible for our sport and are so highly competitive. There is such depth of quality in every class. The experience is second to none.
- In your opinion, how does this show differ from other AKC events?
Pamela Bruce: It is an opportunity to judge and evaluate dogs from all over the world—in one venue. The BIG show. It can be a daunting, but it’s a truly rewarding task.
- What were you thinking or feeling moments before you stepped into the center of the Hound Group ring?
Pamela Bruce: I am actually very calm under pressure. I wanted to go in with an open mind and simply evaluate the dogs before me. I wanted to do the assignment justice, and hoped that Luc would be proud of my efforts. I was thrilled for the opportunity to evaluate such incredible Hounds.
- Was there a heightened energy coming from the dog and handler teams? Did you feel the energy of the spectators?
Pamela Bruce: I can definitely feel the energy of the dogs and handlers that work together—both when they’re on their game and when they are seemingly overwhelmed by the experience. Hounds are so sensitive and it shows in their performance. I can only judge the dog on the day.
I honestly never see the spectators, partly because of the lighting but more so due to my focus on the task at hand. I do not hear them from the center of the ring. It is only when I am watching other Groups being judged that I realize the crowds are present and cheering fortheir favorites.
- How challenging was this assignment? Can you share your selection process?
Pamela Bruce: It is not so much a challenge, but rather an appreciated honor. It truly comes down to the dogs in front of me, my interpretation of the breed standard, and their performance on the day. I am at the hands of the event’s Breed judges and what they send through to me on that day. Obviously, different breeds behave and respond uniquely. I reference that to each blueprint of the ideal specimen. BUT, at that level, it is a dog show. It comes down to the minutia and the intrinsic qualities of each breed on the day.
- Do you have a word or two about your Group winner? About the dogs that placed?
Pamela Bruce: A flawless team—in flawless condition—giving a flawless performance.
All four of my placements, I felt, represented their breed standards well, and were in excellent physical and mental condition. This could be said of the dogs in my final cut as well as others that I was not able to include in my cut, due to the restrictions and the extensive quality in my ring.
- 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?
Pamela Bruce: I am truly appreciative to the AKC, the organizers, and the sponsors for this incredible event. I am also grateful to the preservation breeders who bred such lovely specimens as well as those who conditioned and presented them. I am most appreciative for the dogs themselves for allowing the world to see such wonderful breed examples, and to share that passion on an international stage. This opportunity is a dream come true for all of us who have dedicated a lifetime to this sport.
- Are there specific ways in which this show furthers the cause of purebred dogs?
Pamela Bruce: I think this event showcases each breed on a world stage and allows the public further education both for the breeds themselves as well as for the sport we participate in. Hopefully, families sitting at home watching this televised event will be interested in acquiring a dog from a preservation breeder and that this, in turn, will spark an interest to partake in one of the many wonderful events organized and overseen by the AKC.
- Now that it’s over, what are your thoughts on the 2021 show year? What about the year ahead?
Pamela Bruce: I want to thank everyone for such an incredible event. I hope there is someone at the AKC being mentored by Michael Canalizo, as his is a monumental task with so many moving parts—and it looks effortless.
The year ahead? I wish everyone much love, luck, health, and success with their four-legged friends, both in competition and in their everyday lives. Cheers!
Hound Group Judge Pamela Bruce