147TH ANNUAL WESTMINSTER KENNEL CLUB DOG SHOW NAMES 2023 BEST IN SHOW JUDGE
May 6 – 9, 2023
USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, Queens, NYC
Geir Flyckt-Pedersen, world-renowned judge and breeder, has been chosen to award America’s Dog
New York, NY — The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show presented by Purina Pro Plan, America’s second-longest continuously held sporting event after the Kentucky Derby, announced that Geir Flyckt-Pedersen, one of the most prominent judges in the U.S., will select Best in Show at the 147th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on May 9, 2023.
Flyckt-Pedersen ascended to the highest echelon of breeders and handlers following a lifetime of involvement in the sport. Originally hailing from Norway, Flyckt-Pedersen now resides in Pepper Pike, Ohio. Throughout his career in dogs he has been awarded a slew of coveted honors which include becoming the first person to win both the Swedish and Norwegian Dog of the Year titles in the same year.
Geir Flyckt-Pedersen’s success in the show ring is extensive. Beyond piloting his Welsh Terrier to Top Dog in Norway and Sweden, he and his late wife Gerd teamed up to achieve several notable wins. The following are included among the pair’s accolades:
- The team received the Tom Horner/Dog World’s Award of Excellence for contributing to the British dog world;
- The team also won Best in Show at the prestigious all-terrier competition at Skansen, Sweden three times, and the Pup of the Year twice in England;
- Flyckt-Pedersen won Best in Show over 4,000 dogs with his Wire Fox Terrier in Helsinki, Finland, while Gerd won Reserve Best in Show with an English Cocker Spaniel at the same show; and
- They bred more than 100 Wire Fox Terrier champions and had Best in Show winners in five countries on the same day, making Louline, his Wire Fox Terrier kennel, world-famous.
While handling dogs in the show ring, Geir owned several breeds, including English Cocker Spaniels, Greyhounds, Whippets, Airedales, Norfolk Terriers, Lakeland Terriers, Smooth Fox Terriers, Standard and Giant Schnauzers.
As a judge, Flyckt-Pedersen has officiated around the world, including Crufts in England. This will be his fifth Westminster assignment, and he has officiated at the AKC National Championship and The Kennel Club of Philadelphia events.
His professional life included farming and serving as an executive with Skandia Transport. He is now retired and living with his two Norfolk Terriers.
2023 JUDGING PANEL
Seven Group Judges will select their picks for the Best in Show competition over two nights at the Arthur Ashe Stadium.
On Monday, May 8, the following judges will select four group winners to advance to the Best in Show competition: Edmund Dziuk of Columbia, Missouri for the Hound Group; Cindy Vogels of Greenwood Village, Colorado for the Toy Group; George Milutinovich of Fresno, California for the Non-Sporting Group; and Thomas W. Coen of Great Barrington, Massachusetts for the Herding Group.
On Tuesday, May 9, the following judges will select the remaining three group winners to advance to Best in Show: Frank Kane of Cleveland, England for the Sporting Group; Paula Nykiel, of Washington, Missouri for the Working Group; and Connie H. Clark of Rio Del Mar, California, for the Terrier Group.
The Best Junior Handler award will be decided on Tuesday, May 9 at Arthur Ashe Stadium by Junior Showmanship Finals Judge, Vicki Seiler-Cushman of Xenia, Ohio. The eight junior showmanship finalists will be determined in preliminary rounds by judges Lydia Armstrong Frey of Wellington, Florida, and Rachel Robertson of Charlotte, North Carolina.
The 10th Anniversary of the Masters Agility Championship at Westminster on
Saturday, May 6, will be judged by Andrew Dicker of Reading, Berkshire, England, and
Lori Sage of Oregon City, Oregon. Alice A. Peterson of Boise, Idaho, will officiate the 8th Annual Masters Obedience Championship at Westminster on Saturday, May 6, 2023.
Pending American Kennel Club approval, the judging panel for the Best of Breed or Variety competitions includes:
SPORTING BREEDS AND VARIETIES
- Jean-Louis Blais of St. Gilles, Quebec, Canada: Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers.
- Wayne R. Cavanaugh of Kalamazoo, Michigan: German Shorthaired Pointers, German Wirehaired Pointers, English Setters, Gordon Setters, Irish Setters, Irish Red and White Setters, Pointers.
- Britt E. Jung of Houston, Texas: Brittanys, Lagotti Romagnoli, Spinoni Italiani, Vizslas, Weimaraners, Wirehaired Pointing Griffons.
- Meghen Riese-Bassel of Social Circle, Georgia: American Water Spaniels, Boykin Spaniels, Clumber Spaniels, Cocker Spaniels (all Varieties), English Cocker Spaniels, English Springer Spaniels, Field Spaniels, Irish Water Spaniels, Sussex Spaniels, Welsh Springer Spaniels.
- Michael J. Woods of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada: Barbets, Bracco Italiano, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, Curly-Coated Retrievers, Flat-Coated Retrievers, Nederlandse Kooikerhondjes, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers, Wirehaired Vizslas.
HOUND BREEDS AND VARIETIES
- Mark Cocozza of London, England: Afghan Hounds, Borzois, Grand Basset Griffon Vendéens, Petit Basset Griffon Vendéens, Portuguese Podengo Pequenos, Rhodesian Ridgebacks.
- Denise Flaim of Sea Cliff, New York: Azawakhs, Basenjis, Cirnechi dell’Etna, Harriers, Ibizan Hounds, Norwegian Elkhounds, Pharaoh Hounds, Sloughis.
- Valerie Hamilton of Brush Prairie, Washington: Greyhounds, Irish Wolfhounds, Salukis, Scottish Deerhounds, Whippets.
- Jason Hoke of Madison, Wisconsin: Basset Hounds, Beagles (both Varieties), Dachshunds (all Varieties).
- Polly Smith of St. Stephens Church, Virginia: American English Coonhounds, American Foxhounds, Black and Tan Coonhounds, Bloodhounds, Bluetick Coonhounds, English Foxhounds, Otterhounds, Plotts, Redbone Coonhounds, Treeing Walker Coonhounds.
- Sandra Pretari Hickson of San Bruno, California: Akitas, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs, Saint Bernards, Tibetan Mastiffs.
- Joan Luna Liebes of Peyton, Colorado: Alaskan Malamutes, Bullmastiffs, Komondorok, Kuvaszok, Leonbergers, Siberian Huskies.
- Denise Flaim of Sea Cliff, New York: Anatolian Shepherd Dogs, Boerboels, Cane Corsos, Dogo Argentinos, Dogues de Bordeaux, Great Pyrenees, Neapolitan Mastiff.
- Robert L. Vandiver of Simpsonville, South Carolina: Black Russian Terriers, Chinooks, Doberman Pinschers, German Pinschers, Mastiffs, Newfoundlands, Portuguese Water Dogs, Samoyeds.
- Ann Ingram of Rochestown, Cork, Ireland: Boxers, Giant Schnauzers, Great Danes, Rottweilers, Standard Schnauzers.
TERRIER BREEDS AND VARIETIES
- Kathleen J. Ferris of Holland, Pennsylvania: Bedlington Terriers, Border Terriers, Cesky Terriers, Glen of Imaal Terriers, Irish Terriers, Miniature Schnauzers.
- David J. Kirkland of Sanford, North Carolina: American Hairless Terriers, Dandie Dinmont Terriers, Parson Russell Terriers, Rat Terriers, Russell Terriers, Scottish Terriers, Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers, Standard Manchester Terriers.
- Jerry Klein of Chicago, Illinois: Airedale Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Bull Terriers (both Varieties), Kerry Blue Terriers, Lakeland Terriers, Miniature Bull Terriers, Smooth Fox Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Welsh Terriers, Wire Fox Terriers.
- Louise Leone of Franktown, Colorado: Australian Terriers, Cairn Terriers, Norfolk Terriers, Norwich Terriers, Sealyham Terriers, Skye Terriers, West Highland White Terriers.
TOY BREEDS AND VARIETIES
- Ted W. Eubank of Dallas, Texas: Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, English Toy Spaniels (both Varieties), Havanese, Miniature Pinschers, Pekingese, Pomeranians, Pugs.
- Ann Ingram of Rochestown, Cork, Ireland: Toy Poodles.
- Douglas A. Johnson of Bloomington, Indiana: Chihuahuas (both Varieties), Chinese Cresteds, Italian Greyhounds, Papillons, Russian Toys, Shih Tzu, Toy Fox Terriers.
- Sandra M. Lex of Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Affenpinschers, Biewer Terriers, Brussels Griffons, Japanese Chin, Maltese, Silky Terriers, Toy Manchester Terriers, Yorkshire Terriers.
- Joyce Dandridge of Washington D.C.: American Eskimo Dogs, Chinese Shar-Pei, Chow Chows, Finnish Spitz, Keeshonden, Schipperkes, Shiba Inu, Xoloitzcuintlis.
- Ann Ingram of Rochestown, Cork, Ireland: Boston Terriers, Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, Miniature Poodles, Standard Poodles.
- Patricia A. Sosa of Madisonville, Louisiana: Bichon Frises, Cotons de Tulear, Dalmatians, Lhasa Apsos, Lowchen, Norwegian Lundehunds, Tibetan Spaniels, Tibetan Terriers.
HERDING BREEDS AND VARIETIES
- Peggy Beisel-McIlwaine of Ann Arbor, Michigan: Australian Shepherds, Bearded Collies, Beaucerons, Bergamasco Sheepdogs, Berger Picards, Briards, Collies (both Varieties).
- Carrie A. Chase of Martinsburg, West Virginia: Border Collies, Bouvier des Flanders, Canaan Dogs, Cardigan Welsh Corgis, Norwegian Buhunds, Pembroke Welsh Corgis, Shetland Sheepdogs, Swedish Vallhunds.
- Stephanie S. Hedgepath of Lexington, South Carolina: Australian Cattle Dogs, Belgian Laekenois, Belgian Malinois, Belgian Sheepdogs, Belgian Tervuren, German Shepherd Dogs, Pyrenean Shepherds.
- Barbara A. Pessina of Putnam Valley, New York: Entlebucher Mountain Dogs, Finnish Lapphunds, Icelandic Sheepdogs, Miniature American Shepherds, Mudik, Old English Sheepdogs, Polish Lowland Sheepdogs, Pulik, Pumik, Spanish Water Dogs.
About the Westminster Kennel Club
The Westminster Kennel Club, established in 1877, is America’s oldest organization dedicated to the sport of dogs. It hosts the iconic, all-breed Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, the second-longest, continuously held sporting event in the U.S. after the Kentucky Derby, and since 1948, the longest nationally televised live dog show. The Club’s mission, which enhances the lives of all dogs, celebrates the companionship of dogs and promotes responsible dog ownership and breed preservation. The Club advocates for purpose-bred dogs, with an understanding that each breed has a legacy and history that deserves to be taught, honored, and preserved. The Club uses education to raise awareness and encourage owners to conscientiously select dogs that are the right match for their families. The annual dog show—a conformation competition for purpose-bred dogs—and the Masters Agility Championship and Masters Obedience Championship—where dogs from all backgrounds are eligible to compete—make Westminster Week with over 3,000 dogs from the U.S. and around the world, a pinnacle experience for any dog lover. America’s Dog Show has captivated canine enthusiasts for more than a century. WESTMINSTER. There’s only one.® Visit us on, westminsterkennelclub.org, on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok.
About Nestlé Purina PetCare
Nestlé Purina PetCare creates richer lives for pets and the people who love them. Founded in 1894, Purina has helped dogs and cats live longer, healthier lives by offering scientifically based nutritional innovations. Purina manufactures some of the world’s most trusted and popular pet care products, including Purina ONE, Pro Plan, Fancy Feast and Tidy Cats. Our more than 8,700 U.S. associates take pride in our trusted pet food, treat and litter brands that feed 51 million dogs and 65 million cats every year. More than 500 Purina scientists, veterinarians, and pet care experts ensure our commitment to unsurpassed quality and nutrition. Purina Pro Plan is a leader in the advanced nutrition category, with more than 140 targeted formulas to help your pet thrive throughout every stage of life. It is also the food of choice for 15 of the past 16 Westminster Best in Show winners*. For more information, visit www.proplan.com or follow @ProPlan on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.
Purina promotes responsible pet care through our scientific research, our products and our support for pet-related organizations. Over the past five years, Purina has contributed more than $150 million towards organizations that bring, and keep, people and pets together, as well as those that help our communities and environment thrive.
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*The handler or owners of these champions may have received Purina Pro Plan dog food as Purina ambassadors.