2019 National Specialty Judges
Dr. Johan Becerra Hernandez
Mr. Johan Becerra-Hernandez of San Juan, Puerto is a veterinarian and owner of Beclove Kennels. In 1980, he registered his first breed, Great Danes, and bred two litters. In 1986, he acquired his first Neapolitan Mastiff, which he bred and showed with great success. After finishing several champions for other kennels as a handler, he actively began breeding and showing Basset Hounds under the Beclove prefix and in 1992, he bred his first litter. Dr. Becerra-Hernandez has owned, bred, and shown numerous Basset Hounds including Best in Show, Best in Specialty Show and Group winners. He has won more than 70 all-breed Bests in Shows. Recently he started breeding and showing Norwich Terriers. He is licensed to judge all breeds by The Federación Canófila de Puerto Rico. He has judged in many countries, including, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Spain, the U.S., and Venezuela.
Mary Ann Clark
Mary Ann Clark has been active in dogs since she and husband, David, purchased their first Basset in 1974. Mary Ann whelped her first litter in 1976, and bred, exhibited and titled dogs bearing the Saxony kennel name. She was also involved in whippets, having acquired her first in 1984, and has kept both breeds of corgis as companions.
The Clarks joined BHCA in 1975. Over the years Mary Ann served the club in various capacities, including Nationals Coordinator 1984, BHCA Secretary 1984-86, Nominating Committee Chair 1987, Board Member 1992-94, TALLY-HO Editor 1994-96, Nationals Education Coordinator 1997, and as a member of various committees. In 1992 she judged sweepstakes for the BHCA Nationals in South Carolina, drawing an entry of 111 puppies. She joined the American Whippet Club in 1987, and served on nationals committees for that organization as well. Her all-breed club activities included various offices, committee appointments, newsletter editor, and many times as show chairman. Mary Ann has been an AKC licensed judge since 1994, and in 1998 had the privilege of judging Best of Breed for the BHCA Nationals in Sacramento.
In 2004, Mary Ann retired from the University of Virginia Darden Graduate School of Business. She and David reside in the horse country of central Virginia.
She is honored by her selection to judge dogs at the 2019 Nationals and looks forward to the challenge.
Bitch Classes and Junior Showmanship
Thank you to the BHCA membership for the honor of being chosen to judge at this year’s BHCA National Specialty show. This breed has been my passion for 44 years!
Celeste began showing dogs in 1975, while still in college, with the purchase of her first Basset Hound. Celeste continued to show her Bassets through her college career and began to breed in 1980. Her Jolly Time Hounds kennel has produced numerous Basset champions from a very small breeding program. Celeste has dabbled in tracking and field work with her Bassets and is proud of the accomplishments of her dogs that have participated in field trials and as part of an active pack. She is also very involved in Basset Hound health, serving on the BHCA Health and Research Committee. She was instrumental in providing samples to Dr. Mary Boudreaux, Auburn University, in the successful quest to detect the genetic basis of Basset Hound Thrombopathia. Glaucoma in the breed, and its underlying causes, remain a strong area of health interest to her. Celeste continues to be active in Basset Hounds to this day as an owner, breeder, and exhibitor, although utilizing the services of professional handlers to exhibit.
She also owned, bred, and exhibited Salukis. She began coursing and showing sight hounds with the purchase of her first Saluki in 1975. She finished her first champion, a Saluki, in 1976. Participation in lure field coursing during the infancy and development of ASFA garnered her Salukis their ASFA FCh. One of her owner-trained-handled Salukis also earned a C.D. in obedience. Salukis remained a part of her life until 1989.
Celeste has judged Basset Hound specialties across the United States and judged the Basset Hound Club of Spain national specialty in 2009. She is approved to judge the Hound and Terrier Groups.
Celeste is a graduate of the University of Florida, majoring in Animal Science and is also a Registered Quality Assurance Professional - Good Clinical Practices, and a Certified Veterinary Technician. She works in the medical device field in clinical research and development after a long period of service in pharma and animal health, both in clinic and research.
My first two Basset Hounds were given to me by my Mom. She had bred her pet bitch to Ch. Tom Foolery of Elvalin. She owned an antique shop named Tailgate Antiques in San Diego. I named my new puppies Tailgate Silent Sam and Fearnaught Janus (Moose). When I went trail riding, Moose was my riding buddy, when he got tired, I would stop and pull him up, across my saddle, until he was rested enough to want to get down. I also knew someone who hunted with their Beagles, they invited Sam and Moose and me on one of their outings, we had a good time, but the dogs showed no interest so, I never gave rabbit hunting another thought. I was too busy raising my daughter, working for the Bell system as a cashier, showing dogs and playing Polo.
In the early 70's, Gillen Tankard contacted me to breed her Forestbay bitch to Am.Can.Ch. Musicland's Crazy Rhythm, that I had purchased from Jeanne Dudley, as a puppy. We kept Ch. MarGil Mr. Ribbons 'O Tailgate and began our Partnership.
We became interested in Field Trialing in the early 90's when Pat McNaul, from Washington, called us to suggest that we drive up from San Diego to Sacramento to watch Jim and Norma Ferris run their bitch, Ch. Tailgate Dreamboat Annie. That was the day “Annie” became DC. Tailgate Dreamboat Annie. We were involved from that day forward. We owe the 20 plus Duals who have followed Annie to all the friends and supporters in this great sport.
Good sportsmanship and mentoring have always been a huge part of Tailgate. Some of those are Heather Simonek, Butch Dixon and Brian Black. Brian is now our full Partner. To date, we have finished over 100 champions.
I am a founding member of The Greater San Diego Basset Hound Club, The All Hound Club of Bellingham WA, and the Basset Hound Club of Whidbey Island, WA.
I humbly thank all who voted for me to judge the 2019 Sweepstakes and look forward to the opportunity.