Interview with 2022 Wesminster Kennel Club Dog Show Non-Sporting Group Judge Evalyn Gregory
When did you learn that you were selected to be one of this year’s Group judges? What was your reaction?
Evalyn Gregory: I learned very soon after the June 2021 show at Lyndhurst of my humbling invite. To receive the embossed seal, in the mail, is what I’ve known and worked hard for since I began showing at age six. I was screaming inside with excitement!
The show was once again held at the beautiful Lyndhurst estate. Could you share your thoughts on this historic location?
Evalyn Gregory: With Lyndhurst having such a rich custom, and the space to accommodate a large affair, Westminster went beyond my expectations of making the three-day event as close to recreating “The Garden” atmosphere, but with an outdoor setting. BEAUTIFUL! Lyndhurst is priceless with its history and natural setting, but there is something to be said for being in the city, and MSG is Westminster and I hope to see it there again soon.
How did you prepare for the assignment? What were you thinking/feeling when you stepped onto the floor?
Evalyn Gregory: My preparation seemed effortless. I had a responsibility to do for the club, for myself, and for my family. As I stepped onto the green carpet, the assignment was very comfortable; a feeling that I know so well.
I had a responsibility to do for the club, for myself, and for my family.
Breed judging was live-streamed each day, and Groups were featured live on Fox Sports. How important is this coverage?
Evalyn Gregory: All judging, no matter what channel it was being broadcast, was very important for the viewer at home/office to educate and see how beautiful these dogs are and the amount of time it takes for owner handlers/professional handlers to prepare to make these breeds show-ready.
Could you say a few words about Westminster’s significance to the sport of dogs in the 21st Century?
Evalyn Gregory: I lived and breathed in the 20th century that Westminster was the kennel club you worked and honored the most. My devotion and support have continued into the 21st century, with Westminster showcasing the best of purebred dogs, in every breed. The tradition and legacy of over 146 years that WKC holds will always be my Super Bowl of dog shows. My philosophy was that you either start or end a career for a dog at WKC. To me, that means something, and I can’t say that for any other show.
In your opinion, how does Westminster reflect positively on the value of the Preservation Breeder?
Evalyn Gregory: It has always been known, in my breedings, that Westminster stands for preserving and presenting purebred dogs—and proud of it!
Let’s talk about those dogs! How challenging was the assignment? Could you share your selection process?
Evalyn Gregory: I had a lovely presentation of Non-Sporting Group breeds that I had (and had not) judged leading into my assignment. I felt my commanding approach was just as noticeable as the dogs representing their own breeds. Every dog was looked over carefully, being constantly reminded of all the nuances that come with each breed and their presentation, to determine my selection.
Do you have a word or two about Non-Sporting Group winner? About the dogs that placed?
Evalyn Gregory: My 1st Place – a performer and athlete in a small compact package; 2nd Place – endurance and effortless; 3rd Place – natural appearance, alert, and active, and 4th Place – guarded, aloof, and elegant in its own way.
Would you like to share a few words with the members of the Westminster Kennel Club?
Evalyn Gregory: I am very honored and privileged by Westminster asking me to be a part of their 146th history. With my parents’ accomplishments with the club, I have been proud to carry on the tradition through the years as a handler and now as a judge. It’s been an unbelievable experience and I thank every one of the members for the opportunity to give back to the sport I love so much, showcasing what my mom and dad taught me to appreciate.
Have you got any advice to offer next year’s Group judges?
Evalyn Gregory: At your seat in the Group ring, ask questions and listen to Dom for ideas when your break will be, during your Group, so that you can plan your strategy. Enjoy, relax, and soak in the excitement of all the reasons that brought you here. It was a moment frozen in time for me, and I’m sure future judges will feel the same way.
2022 WKC NON-SPORTING GROUP RESULTS:
G1 GCHP CH Fox Canyon’s I Won The War At Goldshield CGCA CGCU TKN
G2 GCHS CH Planett’s Pop Star
G3 GCHS CH Lantana’s Time To Talk At Bradmar CGC
G4 GCHB CH Bayshore Stonehaven First Ladyy