Mrs. Patricia Craige Trotter of Carmel, California, will judge Best in Show at the 145th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden in February 2021. Mrs. Trotter brings extensive experience as an exhibitor and all-breed judge to the most prestigious judging assignment in the sport of purebred dogs. She piloted her Vin-Melca Norwegian Elkhounds to an unprecedented 11 Westminster Hound Group wins. Anchoring Westminster Week this iconic annual dog show has been held continuously in New York City since 1877.
Mrs. Trotter registered her first litter of Vin-Melca Norwegian Elkhounds in 1951 and her most recent litter in 2020. All her breeding stock descends from her original bitch acquired in 1949 from an expert bear hunter. Her breeding program produced the top sire and dam in the breed’s history as well as the breed’s top winners, including Ch. Vin-Melca’s Vagabond who became top dog all breeds in 1970.
Mrs. Trotter also handled top ten all-breed dogs on 10 different occasions while teaching eighth grade U.S. history in Carmel, CA. In addition, 42 Vin-Melca Norwegian Elkhounds have won all-breed best in show honors to date. Mrs. Trotter achieved more recognition for her role in the fancy with the Gaines Girl Show Dog Fancier award in 1952, the AKC Hound Breeder of the Year award in 2004, and the AKC Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012 as well as the Anne Rogers Clark Purina Pro Plan Hall of Fame award. She retired from teaching when she married Charles Trotter of Nashville, Tennessee in 1994 and joined him in judging dogs across the country.
As a judge, Mrs. Trotter believes the true purpose of the dog show is to select breeding stock. By working in concert with each other, she believes breeders and judges can continually improve all breeds. Mrs. Trotter is approved to judge all breeds, groups, and best in show. She judged the 2009 and 2019 Hound groups. This will be her fifth judging assignment at Westminster.
Seven Group Judges will select their picks for the Best in Show competition over two nights at Madison Square Garden.
On Monday, Feb. 15, 2021 the following judges will select the group winners to advance to the Best in Show competition. Mr. Jamie Hubbard of Bloomington, Indiana, for the Hound Group; Mrs. June A. Penta of Greensburg, Pennsylvania for the Toy Group; Dr. John A. Reeve-Newson of Toronto, Ontario, Canada for the Non-Sporting Group; and Mr. William P. Shelton of Pomona, California for the Herding Group.
On Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021 the following judges will select the remaining three group winners to advance to Best in Show. Mr. Frank Kane of North Yorkshire, United Kingdom, for the Sporting Group; Ms. Judy A. Harrington, of Monson, Massachusetts, for the Working Group; and Mr. William F. Potter II of St. Louis, Missouri, for the Terrier Group.
The Best Junior Handler award will be decided on Tuesday, Feb. 16 by Junior Showmanship Finals Judge Ms. Dylan Kipp Keith of Spring, Texas. This will be the 88th year the finals will be held at Madison Square Garden. The eight junior showmanship finalists will be determined in preliminary rounds by judges Mrs. Elizabeth Jordan-Nelson of Sacramento, California, and Ms. Jennifer Reed of Carmel, California.
The 8th Annual Masters Agility Championship at Westminster on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021 will be judged by Mr. Andrew Dicker of Reading, Berkshire, England and Ms. Lori Sage of Oregon City, Oregon. Mrs. Louise Botko of Minneapolis, Minnesota, will officiate for the 6th Annual Masters Obedience Championship at Westminster.
All Westminster Week events are presented by Purina Pro Plan®.
Pending American Kennel Club approval, the judging panel for the Best of Breed or Variety competitions includes:
SPORTING BREEDS (34)
Ms. Pamela Bruce of Welland, Ontario, Canada: American Water Spaniels, Boykin Spaniels, Clumber Spaniels, Cocker Spaniels (all Varieties), English Cocker Spaniels, English Springer Spaniels Field Spaniels, Irish Water Spaniels, Sussex Spaniels, Welsh Springer Spaniels.
Mr. Dan Ericsson of Enkoping, Sweden: Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers.
Mr. David L. Kittredge of Rochester, NY: Barbets, Brittanys, Lagotti Romagnoli, Nederlandse Kooikerhondjes, Pointers, Vizslas, Weimaraners, Wirehaired Pointing Griffons, Wirehaired Vizslas.
Ms. Bonnie P. Threlfall of Cary, NC: Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, Curly-Coated Retrievers, Flat-Coated Retrievers, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers, Spinoni Italiani.
Mrs. Robyn Joy Wallis of Victoria, Australia: English Setters, German Shorthaired Pointers, German Wirehaired Pointers, Gordon Setters, Irish Setters, Irish Red and White Setters.
HOUND BREEDS (35)
Ms. Pamela Bruce of Welland, Ontario, Canada: American English Coonhounds, American Foxhounds, Black and Tan Coonhounds, Bloodhounds, Bluetick Coonhounds, Cirnechi dell’Etna, English Foxhounds, Norwegian Elkhounds, Otterhounds, Redbone Coonhounds, Treeing Walker Coonhounds.
Hon. James G. Phinizy of Acworth, NH: Irish Wolfhounds, Scottish Deerhounds.
Mrs. Jan Swayze-Curry of Columbia, KY: Afghan Hounds, Dachshunds (all Varieties).
Mr. Harold Tatro, III of Crowley, TX: Azawakhs, Borzois, Greyhounds, Ibizan Hounds, Pharaoh Hounds, Salukis, Sloughis, Whippets.
Ms. Bonnie P. Threlfall of Cary, NC: Harriers, Plotts, Portuguese Podengo Pequenos, Rhodesian Ridgebacks.
Mrs. Robyn Joy Wallis of Victoria, Australia: Basenjis, Basset Hounds, Beagles (both Varieties), Grand Basset Griffon Vendéens, Petit Basset Griffon Vendéens.
WORKING BREEDS (31)
Mr. Johan Becerra-Hernandez of San Juan, Puerto Rico: Bernese Mountain Dogs, Doberman Pinschers, Dogo Argentinos, Newfoundlands, Samoyeds.
Mr. Dana P. Cline of Hodges, SC: Akitas, Alaskan Malamutes, Anatolian Shepherd Dogs, Cane Corsos, Komondorok, Kuvaszok, Leonbergers, Neapolitan Mastiffs, Rottweilers, Saint Bernards, Tibetan Mastiffs.
Ms. Evalyn Gregory of Louisville, KY: Boxers.
Mr. David J. Kirkland of Sanford, NC: Giant Schnauzers, Standard Schnauzers.
Mr. Glen Lajeski of Cloverdale, CA: Bullmastiffs, German Pinschers, Great Danes, Mastiffs.
Ms. Kimberly Anne Meredith of Pleasant Hill, CA: Black Russian Terriers, Boerboels, Chinooks, Great Pyrenees, Portuguese Water Dogs, Siberian Huskies.
Ms. Sharon Ann Redmer of Whitmore Lake, MI: Dogues de Bordeaux, Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs.
TERRIER BREEDS (32)
Mr. Dan Ericsson of Enkoping, Sweden: Airedale Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Bull Terriers (both Varieties), Smooth Fox Terriers, Wire Fox Terriers, Parson Russell Terriers, Rat Terriers, Russell Terriers, Scottish Terriers, Sealyham Terriers, West Highland White Terriers.
Mr. David J. Kirkland of Sanford, NC: Miniature Schnauzers.
Mrs. Knowlton A. Reynders of Newbury, NH: American Hairless Terriers, Australian Terriers, Bedlington Terriers, Cairn Terriers, Cesky Terriers, Dandie Dinmont Terriers, Glen of Imaal Terriers, Irish Terriers, Miniature Bull Terriers, Norfolk Terriers, Norwich Terriers, Skye Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Standard Manchester Terriers, Welsh Terriers.
Ms. Bonnie P. Threlfall of Cary, NC: Border Terriers, Kerry Blue Terriers, Lakeland Terriers, Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers.
TOY BREEDS (23)
Mr. Sei-ichiro Ishimaru of Tokyo, Japan: Brussels Griffons, Chinese Cresteds, English Toy Spaniels (both Varieties), Havanese, Italian Greyhounds, Japanese Chin, Shih Tzu, Toy Manchester Terriers.
Ms. Evalyn Gregory of Louisville, KY: Affenpinschers, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Maltese, Miniature Pinschers, Toy Fox Terriers.
Mr. Glen Lajeski of Cloverdale, CA: Papillons, Pekingese, Pomeranians, Toy Poodles.
Mr. George Milutinovich of Fresno, CA: Chihuahuas (both Varieties), Pugs, Silky Terriers, Yorkshire Terriers.
NON-SPORTING BREEDS (21)
Mr. Johan Becerra-Hernandez of San Juan, Puerto Rico: Bichon Frises, Chow Chows, Lowchen, Norwegian Lundehunds, Shiba Inu, Tibetan Terriers, Xoloitzcuintlis.
Mr. Carl E. Gomes of Bronx, NY: Boston Terriers, Finnish Spitz.
Ms. Evalyn Gregory of Louisville, KY: Dalmatians, Lhasa Apsos, Tibetan Spaniels.
Mr. David J. Kirkland of Sanford, NC: Bulldogs, French Bulldogs.
Mr. Glen Lajeski of Cloverdale, CA: Miniature Poodles, Standard Poodles.
Mrs. Molly Martin of Pike Road, AL: American Eskimo Dogs, Chinese Shar-Pei, Cotons de Tulear, Keeshonden, Schipperkes.
HERDING BREEDS (32)
Mr. Johan Becerra-Hernandez of San Juan, Puerto Rico: Bearded Collies, Border Collies, German Shepherd Dogs.
Mr. Dana P. Cline of Hodges, SC: Australian Cattle Dogs, Bouvier des Flanders,
Collies (both Varieties), Entlebucher Mountain Dogs, Finnish Lapphunds, Pulik, Pumik, Pyrenean Shepherds, Shetland Sheepdogs, Spanish Water Dogs, Swedish Vallhunds.
Mr. David J. Kirkland of Sanford, NC: Australian Shepherds, Belgian Laekenois, Miniature American Shepherds.
Mrs. Sheree Moses Combs of Wardensville, WV: Beaucerons, Bergamasco Sheepdogs, Berger Picards, Briards, Canaan Dogs, Icelandic Sheepdogs, Norwegian Buhunds, Old English Sheepdogs, Polish Lowland Sheepdogs.
Ms. Sharon Ann Redmer of Whitmore Lake, MI: Belgian Malinois, Belgian Sheepdogs, Belgian Tervuren, Cardigan Welsh Corgis, Pembroke Welsh Corgis.