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.
Obedience and Rally
When I was in elementary school, our elderly neighbors had a Basset Hound who spent a lot of time alone in the back yard. Anytime I approached their fence the dog would come over, jump up and beg for attention and I was happy to comply. One day the woman was outside and saw me petting her dog. She seemed to appreciate the fact that her dog and I had a relationship. I asked her if she would allow me to walk the dog and she said she would have to get an okay from my mother. With my mother’s permission, Wally and I became buddies. He was a good friend who introduced me to both the sweetness and humor of the Basset Hound.
Many years passed and I became very involved in the dog show world. About fifteen years ago, I had the good fortunate to meet Doug Taylor and later visited his Kansas City home. I had the opportunity to experience his incredible model railroad. Though his model railroad is truly amazing, I enjoyed the visit to his “Bassetorium” equally. I decided that day, I was going to find a way to spend more time with this wonderful breed. I have enjoyed judging Rally for the Timberline Basset Hound Club Regional Specialty, and I’m looking forward to judging Rally at your National Specialty this fall. Thanks to Doug and Richard and Sharon Nance, I have learned a great deal about judging your breed. I recently received my permit status as a conformation judge for Basset Hounds, and I am looking forward to my first invitation to judge my long and low friends.
I have bred and shown Newfoundlands for many years. I remember first becoming enthralled with the Newfoundland Dog when my parents purchased a set of encyclopedias back in about 1950. I thought the Newfoundland pictured was such a striking dog. When I went off to college, my fraternity had a Newfoundland Mascot, and he became my buddy. I think he had nearly as many hours in class as I did. He even went on a few dates with me.
As a result of living with these wonderful Newfoundlands, I’m an approved AKC Rally Judge. I also participate in a variety of dog-related activities including Therapy Dogs and judging Newfoundland Water and Draft Tests. I’m an AKC Conformation Judge and currently judge the Working and Non Sporting Groups, and Basset Hounds.
I wish each of you a delightful Colorado National Specialty.
I’m Pat Maynard and I have been judging obedience and rally since 1989. And for those of you who think your breed is difficult to train. . . my original Utility Title was on a male Akita!
I really enjoy watching teams having fun doing the exercises in the obedience and rally rings. The teamwork and special bond created is very rewarding to see. I see small successes for every team; and it is great when all the training comes together for a qualifying score or even a placement!
I live in Longmont, Colorado, with my significant other (Jeff), a Golden Retriever and an Australian Terrier I compete in conformation, obedience, rally, tracking, barn hunt, and agility. I also enjoy yoga, hiking, travel, and Tai Chi.
I have competed in AKC obedience, tracking, conformation, hunting and agility events since 1972, and have been a licensed tracking & obedience judge for over 35 years. I have owned, trained and exhibited two Irish Setters, two English Setters, two Dobermans, a Springer Spaniel, a mini Wire-Haired Dachshund, three Golden Retrievers and three Shetland Sheepdogs.
I am a retired high school English teacher and live with my husband, two Goldens and one Sheltie. Gem, my 11 year old Sheltie, has his MX, MXJ and MXF titles and is now my husband’s dog. My heart dog is my seven year old Golden, Trey, who achieved his Champion Tracker title in April of 2015, his MACH in agility in October of 2015, his OTCH in obedience in August of 2017, with multiple High in Trials and High Combineds and was in the Top 50 at the 2019 National Obedience Championship! Being a triple Champion earned him the coveted Versatile Companion title, VCCH. Trey is the 10th dog in the country to have this title, and he is the youngest Golden to achieve it. I now have Trey’s son, Jo Jo a year and a half year old Golden in training!
In my spare time I read, play bridge, knit, garden, bake, and ride my bike.
Best of luck to all exhibitors!
Michael Arruda :
Linda and I acquired our first Basset in 1990. A pretty red and white we named DAPHNE (Huntress of Laurelwood) whose intelligence was astounding. Previously we had owned and bred Labs, but falling in love with this new breed, we soon bought her a mate, APOLLO (Laurelwood's Lord of Delphi) and our world of Bassetmania grew from there.
We started in Obedience, then tried our hand at Conformation. From there we delved into Field Trials, Hunt tests, Tracking, Agility and Rally. We were all in, competing in events in AKC-UKC-and the AHBA (American Hunting Basset Assoc.) Our humble beginning with our two hounds have led to; traveling the country, meeting countless friends and gaining a multitude of titles in various venues. In 1994 we attended our first Field Trial at the Rhode Island Nationals, which immediately hooked me on the sport. To this day my biggest enjoyment continues to be, like a little boy and his best friend, chasing the pleasure and disappointment of playing hide and seek with rabbits and friends.
Soon after getting Daphne we joined and helped with numerous clubs. I have held Board and Officer positions on our local clubs, Pilgrim BHC and Wampanoag KC, (All Breed). member of Capital District, Valley Forge, Lenape, Patroon BHC, the BHCA, Mass.Tracking Club and Key Dog Training (Obedience). I joined, it seems so long ago now, I can't remember the exact year, turn of the Century ?, the BHCA Hunt Test Committee, where I continue to serve. Like many of my peers I have also worn every hat associated with Field Trials. I Judged my first AKC Field Trail in October of 2009 at Castle Rock, WA. Enjoying being able to see all the hounds work has led to making myself available for more and more assignments as time passes. It is truly an honor to have the opportunity to Judge the hounds from across our country.
We started in Bassets over 50 years ago. During this time we have had ten Bassets; one of them resides with us now. My original pairs were fabulous family pets .Then, when our oldest daughter went off to college, so did I. I completed a Veterinary Technician degree when we lived in Missouri, and an Animal Science degree when we lived in Lincoln, NE. From those late in life educational experiences I also worked as a relief technician for 15 years at a small animal practice that had a focus on canine reproduction. It was there that I met those friends that drew me into Conformation, Tracking, Obedience, Rally, and Therapy dog work. .I also bred and raised ten litters of Bassets over the 50 years and am proud to have bred, trained and handled Bassets included in the BHCA parent club Versatility program.
While I have many hobbies, Tracking, and sharing tracking fields with friends, is probably my favorite activity of all. I became addicted in 1995 when I set foot in the first training field with my little Basset girl, and never looked back. I was fortunate to have many friends who trusted me to help them train and learn from their dogs. Watching different dogs, with different drives and temperaments show us how they master tracking, is among the very best ways to learn and marvel. The thrill of the first certification is still the same for successive dogs (both my own and others!). It never gets old, since each dog is a different bond. No two teams are the same. No two days either!
When I am not sharing my time with my dogs and husband, I can be found enjoying needlepoint, landscape gardening, hiking, skiing, and short trips to explore our beautiful state of Colorado, or visit family in the Midwest.
Best of luck to all exhibitors! It is an honor to be invited to judge for our club this year.
Hunting Performance Tests
Ruth Ann Stricker
I am currently owned by two Smiling Dutchmen, better known as Keeshonden or Kees for short. I’ve been active in the dog world since 1988 when I started my first dog in Conformation and quickly added Obedience and Agility. Through the years, my dogs have earned several Conformation Championships, Rally titles, and numerous Obedience titles – including UDs and a few HIT. But early on, Agility became my focal point and quickly consumed our lives.
I started teaching both obedience and agility in 1990 and I enjoy watching dogs gain confidence as their handlers learn to direct their exuberant canine partners around a course. I feel our four legged friends give us so much love and agility is such a wonderful way to enhance that bond. I entered the AKC agility judging corps in 1997 to give back to the sport which gives me so much joy and I have even had the honor of judging at the AKC Agility Nationals. I really love watching teams of all types, noting the varied ways each pair traverses the course, but most importantly, when they celebrate the partnership at the end of the run, Q or no Q.
I currently live in the wonderful state of Colorado, just outside of Denver and recently retired from a career in software engineering. Although not nearly as exciting, it did pay the bills and enabled me to pursue my agility passion. Even if those at work thought I was “that crazy dog person”.
My current agility Kees, Nitro, is 7 years old and has really come into his own and is working on his fifth AKC Master Agility Championship. I’ve attended several AKC Agility Nationals, but we really love the diversity of the AKC Agility Invitational. Almost every year, one or more of my Kees have been invited to the Invitational, and each one has made it to the finals at least once. Last year Nitro finished 9th and we are planning on returning again this year (I just wish it was closer than Florida).
My eldest, Tazz, is now retired at 13 years and enjoying life of leisure with a little Nosework now and then. We have recently added a new family member, Quasar, who is just over 1 year old and is having fun learning new things.
I’m very honored to be invited to judge your Nationals. Hopefully you’ll find our courses fun and challenging. I wish each and every one of you the best of luck!
Club Specialty Judges
Timbertline BHC Specialty
Linda was raised in the English border country where her farther trained English Springer Spaniels for hunting. She began in AKC conformation as a teenager with Australian Terriers. She bred/owned/handled the first triple titled Aussie (conformation, obedience, earth dog).
Salukis entered her life in 1972 and from a small breeding program there have been multiple champions in the ring and field including specialty winners, dual champions, tracking and obedience titled dogs.
Linda was the first person to earn the AKC UD on a Saluki (2 individuals) earning multiple Will Judy/Dog World Awards in the US and Canada. One also distinguished himself by winning multiple all breed highs in trial, hound groups and bests in field, always owner handled. They are the only salukis to achieve the UD/Obedience Trial Champion status in Canada to date.
Initially, Linda was approved to judge Salukis and Australian Terriers and currently judges BIS, hound and herding groups, all levels of obedience and rally, lure coursing and junior showmanship. She is the only AKC judge fully approved for this combination of events. She has judged multiple specialties including having been twice selected by her peers to judge conformation at the national Saluki specialty. Out of country assignments include Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, England, Germany, Finland, New Zealand and Sweden.
Linda’s other passions include her husband of many years, her grown sons, international travel and opera.
Valle del Sol BHC Specialty
FIRST CLASS BASSETS AND BEDLINGTONS
My first basset was gifted to me 1969 in Tucson, AZ, and I bred my first litter in 1971. Our first homebred champion was whelped in 1977 after I moved to Wisconsin. His sister was bred to a Tal-E-Ho dog, and all First Class Bassets (more than 60 champions to date) go back to that breeding. Our early litters bore the Fogel-Rich kennel name, which was changed to “First Class” in 1990. Our bassets have evolved over the years, though we have always tried to maintain the soft, hound look of our original dogs. About 15 years ago we embarked on a plan to breed dams that could free-whelp and take excellent care of puppies without much human intervention. We are now on our third generation of dogs that carry those traits.
We acquired our first Bedlington Terrier in 1994. She became a BISS winner and a top-ranked bedlington. One of her puppies was sent to France to be bred after winning BOB at Westminster. That breeding began an exciting partnership resulting in numerous #1 ranked bedlingtons and top-producing sires and dams. We have finished more than 60 bedlington champions from our bloodline. We have sent dogs to France, Sweden, Korea, Iceland and China, and continue to work with top producers around the world. In addition to bassets and bedlingtons, we have owned and bred standard wirehair dachshunds, and our daughter Andrea is the current proud owner of a Lakeridge Standard Poodle.
I have two degrees from the University of Arizona, worked on the staff of the Mayor of Milwaukee and served as executive director of a local United Way. Tom and I are both active in the Kettle Moraine club, and our non-profit, Keep Your Pets, Inc. with a mission to keep pets and families in crisis together. We own Cedar Creek Pet Resort in Jackson, WI, and I write a column for Showsight Magazine. In 2014 I became an AKC Delegate for our all-breed club.
I became an AKC judge in 2008, and I am approved to judge 6 breeds. I was thrilled to be asked to judge at the 2015 Whippet National Specialty, and I have judged many basset and dachshund specialties. In 2012 I judged the Bedlington Terrier National Specialty in Louisville, KY. Judging at a National host show is an incredible honor, and I am excited to be participating in this week of all things basset.