Mr. Robert H. Slay of Cary, North Carolina grew up in Southeastern Mississippi where his family owned a working farm and he gained respect and appreciation for several types of hunting dogs. Purebred dogs have been a major part of his life for 50 years. Although he has owned several different breeds, he loved, bred and handled champion German Shepherd Dogs for many years. In 1964, he purchased his first German Shepherd Dog, which easily achieved her AKC championship, and was forever hooked on the sport of purebred dogs.
Mr. Slay has served as president and show chairman for several all-breed and specialty dog clubs. He was first approved to judge in 1979 and has judged extensively throughout the United States and overseas. Mr. Slay was employed by the American Kennel Club for 18 years serving as an Executive Field Representative and then as Vice-President, retiring in 2004. He was married to the late Jane Vassar (Candye) Slay and has one son and two grandchildren.
Mr. Slay is a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi and the United States Naval Officers Candidate School. He served five years on active duty afterwards obtaining the rank of Commander in the Naval Reserves. He chaired a United States Department of Energy Advisory Board for five years and served several years as the South Carolina State Chairman of the Morris Animal Foundation. Mr. Slay is approved to judge the Sporting, Working, and Herding groups, several Terrier breeds, and Best In Show. He judged the Westminster Herding Group in 2009 and the Working Group in 2018. This is his eighth judging assignment at Westminster.