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Italy's Paolo Dondina To Make History As Westminster's Best In Show Judge In 2011

Paolo Dondina of Monterchi, Italy, will become the first Italian ever and the first person from outside of North America since 1930 to judge Best In Show at the legendary Westminster Kennel Club's Annual All Breed Dog Show when he takes on that assignment in 2011.

One of the world's most accomplished purebred dog fanciers, Mr. Dondina will make the ultimate selection at Westminster's 135th annual event on February 14-15 at its show at Madison Square Garden in New York City. It is his first Westminster assignment.

Mr. Dondina has had a number of breeds, and has bred Beagles, Basset Hounds, English Springer Spaniels, Lagoto Romagnolos and Jack Russell Terriers. He has had great success as an exhibitor, including as the co-owner of Brookwire Brandy of Layven, the Wirehaired Fox Terrier that captured Best In Show at the famed Crufts Dog Show in the United Kingdom in 1975. One of his Beagles was the top dog in all breeds in Italy in 2005.

He has been recognized as an all-breed judge by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) since 1985, and has judged all over the world. A lawyer by profession, he lives in a converted farmhouse in Tuscany.

Previously, Midgely Marsden (1914) and W.L.McCandlish (1930) of the United Kingdom judged Best In Show, as did Canadians Dr. Carleton Ford (1929) and James Reynolds (2006)

Mr. Dondina heads a panel of 32 judges from 16 states and three foreign countries who will preside over the dog world's most prestigious event.

All seven Group judges have previously judged Best In Show at Westminster. They are James Reynolds (2006 Best In Show judge) of Nepean, Ontario, Canada (Sporting); Dr. Robert Indeglia (2007) of Naragansett, RI (Hound); Mrs. Dorothy Collier (1997) of Wellington Beach, FL (Working); Mr. Edd Bivin (1999) of Fort Worth, TX (Terrier); Mr. Frank Sabella (1990) of Tampa, FL (Toy); Mr. W. Everett Dean, Jr. (2002) of Richmond, VA (Non-Sporting); and Mrs. Lynette Saltzman (2005) of Westport, CT (Herding).

Mrs. Linda Pitts of Knoxville, TN will judge the Junior Showmanship finals.

With six new breeds eligible for Westminster for the first time in 2011, there will be 179 breeds and varieties in competition. The 2011 Westminster Kennel Club judges panel (subject to final AKC approval):

SPORTING BREEDS AND VARIETIES (30):

Mr. Peter Baynes, Lyman, SC: Curly Coated Retrievers, Vizslas, Weimaraners, Wirehaired Pointing Griffons.

Mrs. Marsha Hall Brown, Tustin, CA: Brittanys, Flat Coated Retrievers, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers, Irish Red & White Setters, Field Spaniels, Irish Water Spaniels, Sussex Spaniels, Welsh Springer Spaniels.

Mr. Douglas Johnson, Bloomington, IN: English Setters, Gordon Setters, Irish Setters, Boykin Spaniels, English Cocker Spaniels, English Springer Spaniels.

Ms. Marjorie Martorella, Millstone Township, NJ: Pointers, German Shorthaired Pointers, German Wirehaired Pointers, American Water Spaniels, Clumber Spaniels, Spinoni Italiani.

Dr. Bob Smith, New Orleans, LA: Cocker Spaniels (all Varieties).

Mrs. Cindy Vogels, Greenwood Village, CO: Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers.

HOUND BREEDS AND VARIETIES (28):

Mrs. Lee Canalizo, Palm Harbor, FL: American Foxhound, Basset Hounds, Beagles (both Varieties), Black & Tan Coonhounds, Bloodhounds, Bluetick Coonhound, English Foxhound, Harriers, Ibizan Hounds, Plotts, Redbone Coonhounds.

Mr. Michael Dougherty, Escondido, CA: Basenjis, Dachshunds (all varieties), Norwegian Elkhounds, Otterhounds, Petit Bassets Griffons Vendeen.

Mr. Espen Engh, Lier, Norway: Borzoi, Pharaoh Hounds, Rhodesian Ridgebacks.

Mr. Age Gjetnes, Lier, Norway: Afghan Hounds, Greyhounds, Irish Wolfhounds, Salukis, Scottish Deerhounds, Whippets.

WORKING BREEDS (28):

Mr. Espen Engh, Lier, Norway: Portuguese Water Dogs.

Mr. Roger Hartinger, Cincinnati, OH: Bernese Mountain Dogs, Cane Corsos, Great Pyrenees, Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs, Komondorok, Kuvaszok, Rottweilers.

Mrs. Polly Smith, Stephens Church, VA: Boxers, German Pinschers, Giant Schnauzers, Great Danes, Mastiffs, Neapolitan Mastiffs, Tibetan Mastiffs.

Dr. Robert Smith, Stephens Church, VA: Doberman Pinschers, St. Bernards, Samoyeds, Siberian Huskies, Standard Schnauzers.

Mr. Burt Yamada, Blue Jay, CA: Akitas, Alaskan Malamutes, Anatolian Shepherd Dogs, Black Russian Terriers, Bullmastiffs, Dogues de Bordeaux, Leonbergers, Newfoundlands.

TERRIER BREEDS AND VARIETIES (28):

Mrs. Rosalind Kraus Kramer, Leesburg, VA: Airedale Terriers, Cairn Terriers, Smooth Fox Terriers, Wire Fox Terriers, Lakeland Terriers, Scottish Terriers, Sealyham Terriers, Welsh Terriers, West Highland White Terriers.

Mr. Ken McDermott, Newburgh, NY: Australian Terriers, Bedlington Terriers, Border Terriers, Dandie Dinmont Terriers, Irish Terriers, Kerry Blue Terriers, Miniature Bull Terriers, Miniature Schnauzers, Norfolk Terriers, Norwich Terriers.

Dr. Robert Smith, Stephens Church, VA: American Staffordshire Terriers, Bull Terriers (both Varieties), Glen of Imaal Terriers, Parson Russell Terriers, Skye Terriers, Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Standard Manchester Terriers.

TOY BREEDS AND VARIETIES (23):

Mr. Espen Engh, Lier, Norway: Brussels Griffons, Chihuahuas (both Varieties), Italian Greyhounds.

Mrs. Paula Hartinger, Cincinnati, OH: Affenpinschers, Chinese Cresteds, English Toy Spaniels (both Varieties), Havanese, Japanese Chins, Toy Fox Terriers, Toy Manchester Terriers.

Mr. Dennis McCoy, Apex, NC: Papillons, Pekingese, Toy Poodles, Pugs.

Mr. Leonard Reppond, San Leandro, CA: Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Maltese, Miniature Pinschers, Pomeranians, Shih Tzu, Silky Terriers, Yorkshire Terriers.

NON-SPORTING BREEDS AND VARIETIES (18):

Mr. Gary Doerge, Jackson, TN: American Eskimo Dogs, Boston Terriers, Bulldogs, Chinese Shar-Peis, Chow Chows, Finnish Spitz, Shiba Inu.

Ms. Betty Regina Leininger, Frisco, TX: Bichons Frise, Keeshonden, Lhasa Apsos, Lowchen, Schipperkes, Tibetan Spaniels, Tibetan Terriers.

Mr. Dennis McCoy, Apex, NC: Dalmatians, French Bulldogs, Miniature Poodles, Standard Poodles.

HERDING BREEDS AND VARIETIES (24):

Mrs. Barbara Dempsey Alderman, Moon Township, PA: Australian Cattle Dogs, Beauceron, Belgian Malinois, Belgian Sheepdogs, Belgian Tervuren, Border Collies, Bouviers des Flandres, Pembroke Welsh Corgis.

Dr. H. Scott Kellogg, Knoxville, MD: Australian Shepherds, Collies (both Varieties), German Shepherd Dogs, Shetland Sheepdogs.

Mr. Robert Stein, La Quinta, CA: Bearded Collies, Briards, Canaan Dogs, Cardigan Welsh Corgis, Icelandic Sheepdog, Norwegian Buhunds, Old English Sheepdogs, Polish Lowland Sheepdogs, Pulik, Pyrenean Shepherds, Swedish Vallhunds.

JUNIOR SHOWMANSHIP PRELIMINARIES: Mr. Douglas Johnson, Bloomington, IN and Dr. Bob Smith, New Orleans, LA.

The Judging Panel is subject to approval by the AKC.


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