The westminster reeves club logo.
Close this search box.

Remembering Kaz Hosaka


“Friend, rival, inspiration, legend. Your memory will be a blessing.” – David Fitzpatrick

“Kaz – I am writing and the tears are still flowing. You just left for one more great show, but a show that is not of this world. I love you – you are the Master of Masters and the entire dog show community will always be grateful for everything you gave us. In your own very special, quiet and modest way, you inspired more people than you will ever realize because you were a unique role model who led by example. Your magic was indescribable and your friendship was a blessing seen only once in a lifetime. Kaz – I want our Happy Hour to last for ever! Roxy, our hearts have broken with you but now we pass to you the love we had for this very special man. Like you said, we should remember him with joy and we will always celebrate him. Our condolences to his family and friends in Japan. The memories will last forever and at our next big shows I know the whole community will want to applaud a legend who should have been with us for many years to come. See you Sensei.” – Diego Garcia

Man in a suit smiling and holding a black poodle on a green field, with people and purple decorations in the background.

“The dog community lost an icon, but more importantly the world lost the best it had to offer. He lived his life with irrational precision. Painfully humble, he flirted with perfection more than any person I have ever encountered. I, along with many others, would trade anything to have him back. Instead, we keep moving forward because that is what Kaz would have wanted. “Wipe your tears, sissy man”. Mend the hurt in world and be better as individuals and as a community. Hold yourself to higher standards, aim for perfection, commit the extra time. Roxanne, thank you for sharing this man with us and for being his beacon. He always seemed to soar above us, but now he has taken that final journey to guide us from a place that needed him more. Live and love as Kaz did. “Good food, good drink, good company”. Sayonara, I love you, old man.”– Kirk Herman

Four men in formal attire stand on a stage. One holds a large ribbon, another holds a trophy, and the third holds a large silver bowl. The fourth man kneels beside a black dog.

“It’s been a few days to process the loss of Kaz. I started showing dogs in 1989, and living in Virginia, very close to him, Kaz was a staple at east coast dog shows. I didn’t speak much as a kid, but I watched EVERY thing and everyone. And I can’t explain how mesmerizing it was to see his poodles in the morning all banded and then to witness the transformation from a set up or two away. He was magic. He had the most quiet hands and demeanor. And he was the ULTIMATE PROFESSIONAL. To watch him with his dogs, judges, competitors and alone, he truly just exuded a professionalism that is not often seen these days. He had sportsmanship and truly cheered on good dogs as he was a student of all dogs. To get an approval from him meant a lot. The RESPECT of this man wasn’t just given bc of who he worked for but bc of his work ethic and he earned every bit of that respect. Over the last few days, I’ve read so many stories by his peers and had many conversations. And there was truly no one he didn’t touch in this sport if they knew him at all. The kindest soul, we only wish you peace in the next life that you brought to many of us in this life. I hope we all can level up and compete a little more like Kaz did. You will be so missed sir…”- Janice Hayes

“Shocked & saddened today by the news of Kaz Hosaka’s tragic death. What an amazing and wonderful man! This photo is the moment when I had just presented Kaz the rosette for 1st in the Non-Sporting Group at Westminster. He then told me that he and Sage were retiring after Westminster, and I gave him a big hug and congratulated him. He was SO Happy!! That’s how I will always remember him…A precious memory.” – Fred Basset

“Today was a really hard day for us and the rest of the dog show community. 24 hours ago Kaz and I were talking about Pink Floyd member David gilmour coming to MSG in NYC and about getting tickets to go. Hard to believe Kaz is gone. Outside of poodles and dog shows, Kaz and I enjoyed talking about Pink Floyd, Playing their music in the setup and sending each other photos when we would go to Roger Waters and David Gilmour concerts. I will also miss his talks at dinner from when he first came to the USA and his early days with Mr and Mrs Clark. That and all of his knowledge and encouragement with grooming and showing. He was a role model for all.”- Paul Clas

“We lost one of our best. Farewell Kaz. Our sport sees it share of tragedy. We cried while judging dogs. Exhibitors did their best to push through the day. We see so much good in our sport, and when it leaves  so suddenly there are no words. So what we need to do is find more light to push away the darkness. Let’s look for the next person like Kaz. Let’s mentor people anytime we can. In the ring help people who are new.  This sport has. So much good. Let’s find it and encourage it. My mentors made me what I am. Be the next mentor. Make another Kaz if we can. I know I will never be as good a person as he was. But let’s try to lift up the next person who could be…Good bye Kaz. We all loved you.”– Jason Hoke

A man in a suit kneels on the floor while grooming a black poodle at a dog show. In front of him are several trophies and ribbons, and spectators are seen in the background.

Best in Show Media Tour with 2024 Winner, Kaz Hosaka

Those wishing to honor Kaz Hosaka may do so with a donation to Take the Lead: There is an option to dedicate the gift “In Memory Of.” All donations will be sent a receipt as well as an acknowledgement to wife, Roxanne Wolf Hosaka.


“Always be yourself, unless you can be Kaz, then always be Kaz.”

Scroll to Top