Header - 2021 National Specialty Landing Page

Nationals conformation will begin on Wednesday October 6th with Sweepstakes and dogs, followed by bitches on Thursday October 7th, and  intersex and Junior Showmanship on Friday October 8th.

  •    Wednesday, October 6th: Sweepstakes and Dog Classes
  •    Thursday, October 7th: Bitch classes
  •    Friday, October 8th: Junior Showmanship and Intersex


All conformation classes will be held at the Allen County Fairgrounds, 2750 Harding Highway, Lima, OH. This is 1.4 miles from the host hotel, a drive of about 5 minutes.

Route from host hotel to fairgrounds

The National Specialty Premium List is here.

The Show Secretary website is here for entries.


  •    Wednesday: Sweepstakes - Judge Mary Smizer, Browns Summit, North Carolina.
  •    Wednesday: Dogs -  Judge Joani Rush, Sacramento, California.
  •    Thursday: Bitches -  Judge Penny Swan, Aurora, Illinois.
  •    Friday: Junior Showmanship and Intersex - Judge Sylvie McGee, Olympia, Washington.

Judge Biographies

Mary Smizer (judging Sweepstakes) tells us:  I joined BHCA in 1978.  I served as Coordinator for the 1991 New Jersey Nationals and again for the 1996 Pennsylvania Nationals.  In 1994, I judged the Futurity at the Rhode Island Nationals. I have served on the BHCA Board as a Director, as Nominating Committee Chairman in 2001, and as Chief Ring Steward at the 2012 Massachusetts Nationals.  In 2014, I had the honor of becoming a Life Member of BHCA.

I joined Berkshire Valley BHC in 1978, having served as President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Show Chairman, Regional Show Chairman and Hospitality Chairman.  I had the honor of becoming a Life Member of BVBHC in 2000.  I have been a member of Eastern Pennsylvania Stewards Club since 1982.  I was also an early member of Tri-State Basset Hound Rescue.

Together with my husband, Ed, we bred and exhibited bassets under the Maredge prefix.

I am delighted to judge the 2021 Nationals Sweepstakes.  I look forward to seeing old friends and making new ones!

Joanie Rush - Dogs Judge

Joani Rush (judging Dog classes) says: Jerry and I attended our first dog show in 1961 and established our kennel prefix, Pinedell, while living in No California until Jerry’s company transferred us to Dayton, Ohio in 1966. We exhibited in Ohio until 1969 when we were brought back to No California on a promotion.  We have always handled our own dogs finishing numerous champions, ROM’s and Top Producers.  We consider our dogs are a family hobby and still exhibit about 60 shows a year, now with our daughter Monica.  Jerry was approved to judge in 1984, now Emeritus status since 2017 and Joani was approved in 2006.  Our daughter Monica is currently a permit judge for Bassets; I believe we are the only mother/daughter BHCA judges.

I have judged the Nationals Sweepstakes and Futurity/Maturity.

I have served on the BHCA Board as the Corresponding Secretary for 4 years.  We have both served the club as Historians, Joani from 2005 –2007 and Jerry from 2007 until present, now I co-chair the BHCA Historian committee.

I have also served on various committees including 1977 Nationals Raffle Chair, JEC for 11 years, Life Committee Chair, Hospitality Chair for the 1998 Nationals, 2009 Nationals Committee, 2015 Nationals Coordinator and proudly chaired the recent Ramp committee to get AKC to include mandatory use of the ramp during all levels of judging. Group/BIS/Jrs.

I was honored to receive BHCA Life Member in 2011.  In addition we are Life Members of our local club where we have served numerous years as officers/directors/show chair and other committees.

I am extremely honored to judge the dog classes at the 2020 BHCA Nationals.

Penny Swan Photo

Penny Swan (judging Bitch classes) says: I have been breeding Basset Hounds for about 35 years. My kennel name is Feenreich, which in German means land of the fairy tails. I have bred many Champions and dogs with performance titles over the years.

I enjoy training in conformation, obedience, rally, agility, nose work and barn hunt. Most of my dogs work in two or more of the performance classes.

I also enjoy photography. I mostly try to capture wildlife animals, and I have won some awards for my photographs.

In 2004, I was granted my judges status by the American Kennel Club. Since then, I have judged many specialties across the country. I have enjoyed every assignment that I have judged. I'm excited to have been chosen by members of the Basset Hound Club of America to judge our national specialty show. Thank you for your vote of confidence!

Sylvie McGee - Breed Judge

Sylvie McGee (judging Intersex and Junior Showmanship) says:  I grew up with dogs that included several mixed breeds, a St Bernard and then an Irish Wolfhound.  I came to Basset Hounds initially when my then-partner and I were trying to find a dog we could agree on. Big dog (for me). Short stature (for her). Initially our Bassets were rescue dogs. Then seeking a healthy, well-socialized pet, we were introduced to a breeder who is to this day my mentor, and obtained Phoebe, who we agreed to “try showing for a year”.

Phoebe (CH. Sasquatch’s Equinox Moon) became our foundation bitch and led to a true love affair with the breed. For just over two decades, I have bred and shown Basset Hounds under the HeavenScent kennel name, and enjoyed my dogs at home and in the conformation ring. I love the relationships I have with families who have dogs that I have bred, and the friendships I've developed through the BHCA. I have served the club in a variety of capacities - including currently on the Board - as well as serving in local all-breed clubs and the Western WA Hound Association.

​My goal in the ring is to have every exhibitor feel that their dog was given a good and fair evaluation and the opportunity to showcase their strengths. I am humbled to be elected to judge the breed at this year’s National Specialty,  and I sincerely thank you for your confidence in me.

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