2017 Judges

The Westminster Kennel Club Announces Mr. Thomas H. Bradley, 3d., to Top the 2017 Judging Panel

Judges for Westminster Week’s Four Competitions Hail From Across the US and Abroad

New York – Mr. Thomas H. Bradley, 3d., of Watertown, NY will be awarding the 141st Westminster Kennel Club’s Best in Show winner. After a lifetime in the sport, this breeder, owner and former Westminster Kennel Club Show Chairman will join an elite list of people to preside over “The World’s Greatest Dog Show.”

Bradley began his involvement in the sport as a teenager exhibiting and later breeding German Shorthaired Pointers, Pointers and Labrador Retrievers under the Luftnase kennel name. He owned and handled other breeds over the years including Cairn Terriers, Whippets, Cocker Spaniels and more recently Border Terriers experiencing many wins in the ring. In 1989, he was the co-breeder of the top winning dog in the U.S., a Pointer, Ch. Luftnase Albelarm’s Bee’s Knees, whose record included capturing the Sporting group at the Westminster show.

After 20 years as an exhibitor Bradley received his American Kennel Club license to judge all of the breeds in the Sporting group, Best in Show and Junior Showmanship competitions. His dog sport role changed in 1975 when he joined the Westminster Kennel Club. He held many positions within the club including communications director but is best known for his 15-year tenure as Show Chairman for the iconic dog show in New York City.

In addition to his position managing the main event during Westminster Week, Bradley is also a founding member and Executive Director of Take the Lead a charitable organization established in 1993 to support people in the sport with terminal or life-threatening illnesses.

This long-standing dog breeder, owner, handler and judge is also the former president of Thomas H. Bradley, Inc., a wholesale hardware company in Watertown, NY established in 1897 by his grandfather.

Group Judges

Mr. Bradley will be selecting his winner from the seven group-winning dogs sent to his ring by a panel of group judges from across the U.S. The group judges officiating at Madison Square Garden the evening of Monday, February 13 will be Mrs. Robert D. (Polly) Smith of St. Stephens Church, VA, Hound; Mrs. Charlotte Patterson of Destin, FL, Toy; Mrs. Anne Bolus of Harrison, TN, Non-Sporting; and Dr. Robert Smith of St. Stephens Church, VA will be judging the Herding group. On Tuesday, February 14 the group judges will be Mrs. Paula Nykiel of Washington, MO, Sporting; Mr. John Ramirez of Downey, CA, Working; and Mr. Kenneth M. McDermott of Newburgh, NY will be judging the Terriers.

Junior Handling Judges

For the 84th year a Best Junior Handler will be awarded at Westminster. On Tuesday, February 14, Dr. Steven Herman of Dade City, FL will select the winner at Madison Square Garden. The eight Junior Showmanship finalists will be determined in preliminary rounds by Mrs. Mary Ann Alston of Ocean Pines, MD and Mrs. Joan Savage of Banks, OR.

Agility Judges

Overseeing the 4th Annual Masters Agility Championship at Westminster on February 11 will be Mr. Paul Moore of Welford, Northamptonshire, United Kingdom and Ms. Ann Riba of Old Mill Creek, IL.

Obedience Judges

Ms. Lynn F. Eggers of Grapevine, TX will determine the winner of the 2nd Annual Masters Obedience Championship on Monday, February 13.

Breed Judges

The judging panel for the Best of Breed or Variety competition held at Piers 92/94 in New York City on Monday and Tuesday, February 13-14, 2017 includes: (Pending American Kennel Club approval)

“On behalf of the Westminster Kennel Club, I would like to thank Mr. Thomas H. Bradley, 3d., for taking on the challenging role as our Show Chairman for the past 15 years. Anyone who has met or worked with Tom knows him as a consummate gentleman and a fair-minded person with great compassion for all involved in the sport. Tom has effortlessly steered our event through many transitions and contributed in innumerable ways. Thank you Tom for contributing to the legacy that is the Westminster experience and thank you for your significant contributions through the many changes we’ve made in the past five years. In 2017 Mr. David A. Helming will be taking over the position of Show Chairman for the 141st Westminster Kennel Club show. We have every confidence that he will contribute to our ongoing innovations while maintaining the traditions of our club.” — Seán McCarthy


Mrs. Mary Ann Alston of Ocean Pines, MD: English Springer Spaniels, Lagotti Romagnolo, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers, Sussex Spaniels, Welsh Springer Spaniels.

Dr. Steven Herman of Dade City, FL: American Water Spaniels, Boykin Spaniels, Brittanys, Clumber Spaniels, German Shorthaired Pointers, German Wirehaired Pointers, Pointers, Weimaraners.

Mrs. Joan Savage of Banks, OR: English Setters, Field Spaniels, Flat-Coated Retrievers, Gordon Setters, Irish Setters, Irish Red and White Setters, Irish Water Spaniels, Wirehaired Pointing Griffons.

Mr. Terry Stacy of Chapel Hill, NC: Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers.

Mr. Mark Threlfall of Merrimack, NH: Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, Curly-Coated Retrievers, Cocker Spaniels (all Varieties), English Cocker Spaniels, Spinoni Italiani, Viszlas, Wirehaired Viszlas.


Mrs. Mary Ann Alston of Ocean Pines, MD: American English Coonhounds, American Foxhounds, Black and Tan Coonhounds, Bluetick Coonhounds, Cirnechi dell’Etna, English Foxhounds, Harriers, Plott, Portuguese Podengo Pequenos, Redbone Coonhounds, Sloughis, Treeing Walker Coonhounds.

Mr. Espen Engh of 3405 Lier, Norway: Beagles (both Varieties) Dachshunds (all Varieties).

Mr. Age Gjetnes of 3405 Lier, Norway: Borzois, Ibizan Hounds, Whippets.

Dr. Steven Herman of Dade City, FL: Afghan Hounds, Bloodhounds, Greyhounds, Irish Wolfhounds, Pharaoh Hounds, Salukis, Scottish Deerhounds.

Mrs. Kimberly Meredith-Cavanna of Pleasant Hill, CA: Basset Hounds.

Mr. James Reynolds of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: Basenjis, Otterhounds, Petit Basset Griffon Vendeens.

Mr. Jay Richardson of Elgin, IL: Norwegian Elkhounds, Rhodesian Ridgebacks.


Mr. Jon Cole of Nashville, TN: Anatolian Shepherd Dogs, Chinooks, Komondorok, Kuvaszok, Leonbergers, Neapolitan Mastiffs, Siberian Huskies.

Mrs. Dorothy Collier of Sapphire, NC: Akitas, Alaskan Malamutes, Great Pyrenees, Newfoundlands, Rottweilers, Samoyeds, Standard Schnauzers.

Mrs. Kimberly Meredith-Cavanna of Pleasant Hill, CA: Bernese Mountain Dogs, Boxers, Bullmastiffs, Cane Corsos, Giant Schnauzers, St. Bernards.

Mr. Walter Sommerfelt of Lenoir City, TN: Boerboels, Dogues de Bordeaux, German Pinschers, Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs, Tibetan Mastiffs.

Ms. Joyce Vanek of Evergreen, CO: Black Russian Terriers, Doberman Pinschers, Great Danes, Mastiffs, Portuguese Water Dogs.


Mr. Jon Cole of Nashville, TN: American Staffordshire Terriers, Bull Terriers (both Varieties), Miniature Bull Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers.

Ms. Julie Felten of Wauconda, IL: Kerry Blue Terriers, Lakeland Terriers, Parson Russell Terriers, Rat Terriers, Russell Terriers, Sealyham Terriers, Standard Manchester Terriers, Welsh Terriers.

Mr. Jay Richardson of Elgin, IL: Airedale Terriers, American Hairless Terrier, Border Terriers, Cairn Terriers, Irish Terriers, Miniature Schnauzers, Scottish Terriers, Smooth Fox Terriers and Wire Fox Terriers.

Mr. Bruce Schwartz of Los Angeles, CA: Australian Terriers, Bedlington Terriers, Cesky Terriers, Dandie Dinmont Terriers, Glen of Imaal Terriers, Norfolk Terriers, Norwich Terriers, Skye Terriers, Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers, West Highland White Terriers.


Mr. Espen Engh of 3405 Lier, Norway: Affenpinschers, Pekingese, Pomeranians, Yorkshire Terriers.

Mr. Peter Green of Bowmansville, PA: Italian Greyhounds, Toy Poodles, Pugs.
Mrs. Jacqueline Stacy of Chapel Hill, NC: Havanese, Japanese Chin, Maltese.

Ms. Beth Sweigart of Bowmansville, PA: Brussels Griffons, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Chihuahuas (both Varieties), English Toy Spaniels (both Varieties).

Ms. Lee Whittier of Vancouver, WA: Chinese Cresteds, Miniature Pinschers, Papillons, Shih Tzu, Silky Terriers, Toy Fox Terriers, Toy Manchester Terriers.


Mrs. Barbara Alderman of Moon Township, PA: American Eskimo Dogs, Bichon Frises, Chow Chow, Coton De Tulears, Finnish Spitz, French Bulldogs, Lhasa Apsos, Lowchen, Norwegian Lundehunds, Schipperkes, Tibetan Spaniels.

Mr. Jon Cole of Nashville, TN: Bulldogs.

Mr. Peter Green of Bowmansville, PA: Boston Terriers, Standard Poodles and Toy Poodles.

Mr. Jay Richardson of Elgin, IL: Dalmatians, Keeshonden.

Mrs. Jacqueline Stacy of Chapel Hill, NC: Chinese Shar-Pei, Shiba Inu, Tibetan Terriers, Xoloitzcuintlis.


Mr. Jon Cole of Nashville, TN: Bouviers des Flandres.

Mrs. Dorothy Collier of Sapphire, NC: Australian Shepherds, Bearded Collies, Beaucerons, Briards, Polish Lowland Sheepdogs, Pulik.

Mrs. Kimberly Meredith-Cavanna of Pleasant Hill, CA: German Shepherd Dogs, Pumik.

Mr. James Reynolds of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: Border Collies, Canaan Dogs, Cardigan Welsh Corgis, Collies (both Varieties), Pembroke Welsh Corgis, Shetland Sheepdogs.

Mr. Walter Sommerfelt of Lenoir City, TN: Australian Cattle Dogs, Belgian Malinois, Belgian Sheepdogs, Belgian Tervuren, Bergamascos, Berger Picards, Entlebucher Mountain Dogs, Finnish Lapphunds, Icelandic Sheepdogs, Miniature American Shepherds, Norwegian Buhunds, Old English Sheepdogs, Pyrenean Shepherds, Spanish Water Dogs, Swedish Vallhunds.