Wednesday, December 10, 2008


For those of you who are voting on the likely 2008 winner of the Eukanuba National Championship, I thought you might be interested in a little background on Best in Show Judge, Dr. Robert D. Smith. Dr. Smith is one of AKC’s most distinguished judges. He has been in the sport since 1960, starting with German Shepherd Dogs. However, he is known for his American Foxhounds, owner handling the top foxhound for seven consecutive years and co-authoring with wife, Polly, the book, American Foxhound: A Complete and Reliable Handbook. Dr. Smith is a past member of the AKC Board of Directors and is a 2009 nominee for the AKC Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Smith holds a Ph.D. in political science from Vanderbilt University and taught college for twelve years before devoting his time to economic development programs in Virginia and Mississippi.

Dr. Robert D. Smith

Of more contemporary interest are Dr. Smith’s 2008 Best In Show assignments. While they are no reliable indication of how Sunday’s judging will go, they are interesting. Out of the ten BIS assignments Dr. Smith has completed this year, six have included one or more of our top ten dogs. Dr. Smith has awarded the big rosette twice to the Giant Schnauzer, CH Galilee's Pure Of Spirit, and once each to the Sealyham Terrier, CH Efbe's Hidalgo At Goodspice, the Affenpinscher, CH Tamarin Tug, the Brussels Griffon, CH Cilleine Masquerade, and the Harrier, CH Downhome Family Tradition.

At eight of the shows, the winner faced no other ranked dogs in the final seven. However, at the Silver Bay Kennel Club Of San Diego on 23 February, Dr. Smith tapped Taser over the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, CH Coventry Vanity Fair and at the huge (3424 dogs) Louisville Kennel Club show on 16 March, he deemed Lincoln better than Spirit and Charmin. He three times selected Toy Dogs as best, twice Hounds and Working Dogs (Spirit) and once a Sporting Dog, a Terrier, and a Non-Sporting Dog, leaving the Herding group without a top prize from him this year.

Of course, none of this portends his selection this weekend, but feel free to change your vote in our pol of the likely winner. ;-)


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