Mr. Eugene Blake
MR. EUGENE BLAKE of Tulsa, Oklahoma began his career in dogs in 1954 as a dog bather in a grooming shop in Houston, Texas. By 1957, he was exhibiting his own dogs of various breeds. Mr. Blake credits Hazel Hamm and Jimmy Andrews, his mentors, for schooling him about grooming, handling, and ultimately propelling him into a lifetime of purebred dogs. As a professional handler, he piloted multiple breeds to number one rankings. Notable achievements include handling a Saluki named Karim into the top 10 rankings All-Breeds, and winning the Hound Group at Westminster in 1973, with an Afghan Hound named Apollo.
At the beginning of his career in 1957, Mr. Blake was not afforded, as a person of color, to stay in hotels or eat in restaurants. He hopes that his journey will inspire others to pursue a career in purebred dogs. Mr. Blake began judging in 1990, and he is approved to judge the Hound, Sporting, Non-Sporting and Toy groups, Best in Show, and Junior Showmanship. This is his second judging assignment at Westminster.