Judges

Karen Couch - Agility

Karen Couch – Agility

I am delighted and honored to be judging the 2019 ABTC National Specialty agility trial. Tervuren are some of my favorite dogs to watch in agility, their graceful speed and athleticism belying their strength and determination.

I have been judging agility since 2009, when I attended the new judges' seminar on a whim and, much to my surprise, passed all seven tests. Since then, I've loved traveling the country, getting to see all the great dog and handler teams up close, while making many new friends along the way.

My family always had pet dogs as I was growing up, and I was the kid who loved them most. When I moved out of my parents' house for good, en route to graduate school in my second-hand Subaru wagon, I took a detour to buy a Golden Retriever puppy I'd seen in the classified ads, paid the breeder a hundred dollars and made room on the front seat. I signed up for obedience lessons and was hooked, and eventually we earned an Obedience Trial Championship. As I grew more involved in showing dogs, I dabbled in tracking and rally and hunting tests, and, later on, was proud to become the assistant editor of the Golden Retriever News. But when agility came along, it was the most fun I'd ever had with a dog ... and so here I am.

As I'm standing in the agility ring watching your glorious Tervuren blaze by, know that I'll be rooting for every one of them. Good luck and have fun!

Mike Wagner - Beginner Puppy & Sweepstakes

Mike Wagner - Beginner Puppy & Sweepstakes

Shumaker Hills Tervuren - Buckhannon, WV

I have had multiple dogs and breeds all my life, and so my love of the Belgian Tervuren started in March of 1992 with a rescue male tervuren “Bach”. This dog was such a great ambassador of the breed and became a champion in no time we decided to find him a companion, thus the beginning of Shumaker Hill Tervuren.

With 25 years of our breeding program behind us, we have been very fortunate to have been successful in the show ring, and thanks to our many performance homes we have done well there also.

In 2008 I became an AKC judge for the three Belgian breeds and as time allows I will finish the Herding group. While enjoying this endeavor, Kathy and I have made many lifetime friends throughout the years. Currently I have two tervs living with us, “Kasey” who is active in the show ring and “Silla” who is our loving home companion.

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity and pleasure of judging our National Specialty Sweepstakes.

Linda Friedow - Conformation & Junior Showmanship

Linda Friedow - Conformation & Junior Showmanship

Dogs have always been important in my life. As a child it was terriers and spaniels, strictly pets. In high school I started showing my Afghan Hound. While we were out of the placements most of the time, I learned to love the sport and attended shows whenever I could. It was after meeting Rory at Iowa State that I discovered Belgians. He had met one while in vet school and decided it was the breed he wanted. I insisted it be of good quality. That led us to our first Belgian Tervuren in 1979, CH Aerin of Anduin CDX. Aerin earned multiple AOMs at our Nationals and became the foundation of Tervuren of Anduin. Aerin’s great-great-great granddaughter Tilde was Best of Breed at the 2012 ABTC National.

Our start with Malinois was less illustrious but ever so endearing. Fergus came to Rory’s veterinary practice as an abandoned, injured 4 month old. It was December so he couldn’t be left in the kennel, we brought him home and that is where he stayed. He loved our boys and our Tervs. He had some physical problems but despite them he was a perpetually happy dog and a wonderful pet. . I had attended the Belgian Gala in VA in the mid-90s, later we both attended the Malinois National in 1996. These shows led us to Ch. V Friemann’s Spacette and in 1997 Rory flew to Pennsylvania to pick out her daughter, Hester. Ch. Tresbecc Hystaria of Anduin UD NA was everything we had hoped for; wonderful temperament, beautiful and intelligent. Most important she had that infectious clownish sparkle that we missed so much since losing Fergus.

We have done limited breeding since Aerin’s first litter in 1983 under the kennel name “Anduin” and have been blessed with many great dogs. Rory and I are thankful for their caring, talented, and responsible owners. It is those owners who have brought our puppies to their full potential; whether excelling in conformation, obedience, agility, rally, tracking, herding and or as companions. More important than titles are the special and lasting friendships that we have developed because of our association with the Belgian breeds.

I am a member of the ABTC, ABMC, BSCA & ABLA. I have had the honor of judging the ABTC National in 2004, the ABMC National in 2006 & 2018 and the BSDCC National in 2013, as well as 20 Regional specialties. I look forward to judging the BSCA National this year as well as an assignment in England. I have served the clubs in many roles, from President of the ABTC to duck wrangler at the Two Rivers BTC herding trial. I have been an active part of Belgian Tervuren Rescue for many years. I enjoy training my dogs in multiple venues as well as supporting others who also find their happy place in a world with Belgians. Rory and I share our home with 4 Tervuren and six cats. Our outside animals include goats, sheep, chickens and another 6 cats. Our two sons, Caelen and Braden, grew up with dogs and attending Nationals. Now our dogs are training our grandchildren Addison, Carson, and Harrison.

I am so very honored to be asked to judge the 2019 ABTC National and I hope each attendee has a marvelous time.

James Bergert - Herding

James Bergert - Herding

In 1988 I was farming 400 head of feeder cattle and farrowing 36 sows every 6 weeks. Needing some help on the farm led me to stockdogs and my first Australian Shepherd. I quickly learned the value of having a well-trained dog to assist with the stock. "Bud" was my right hand man who became known as "Bud the hog dog". In 1992, I started trialing with Bud as well as my other Aussies. In 2006 I started trialing JoAnna's Tervuren Toula who became our first DC WTCH Tervuren, DC Labarge N Epic Some Girls Do HSAdsc HSBds HXAs HXAdM HXBdM

I enjoy helping people bring out the natural instincts in their working dogs. To me there is nothing more exciting than seeing a dog do what it was bred for. I enjoy judging and competing in all herding venues and have been lucky to have judged all over the US and Europe. I'm honored to have the opportunity to judge the Tervuren national. I love this breed and wish you all the best of luck.

Kathy Walker - Herding

Kathy Walker - Herding

Kathy Walker is an AKC and AHBA Herding Judge; and owner of Island Dog Academy where she works with all breeds of dogs, in a variety of training situations and jobs. Kathy lives in Islamorada Florida and currently owns four herding dogs; three Australian Cattle Dogs and a Working Kelpie. Kathy’s interest in herding dogs is what lead her to become a herding judge.

Kathy has been an AKC Herding Judge since 2007 and an AHBA Herding Judge since 2009. Kathy is an active judge and has judged herding trials across the country; including all breed trials and specialties. Other herding activities also include: trialing and training her own dogs, maintaining a small herd of goats/sheep, Herding Course Director and Course Designer for Black Prong Equestrian Center in Bronson, Florida, and Head Stock Handler at local trial sites.

As a Herding Trial Judge, Kathy is dedicated to preserve the integrity of Herding Programs and encourages participants to demonstrate their dogs best herding performance through understanding their breed and continued training.

Jim Comunale - Obedience

Jim Comunale - Obedience

I am very pleased to be judging for ABTC! Judging has become my dominant dog activity in recent years after over 30 years of showing heavily in Obedience. My primary breed has been Golden Retrievers (having taken 5 of them to the OTCH title and numerous other accomplishments) but I have also sprinkled in one Sheltie (who also attained her OTCH) and currently have added a wild Border Collie (yes, wilder than most!). It’s the Border Collie who is making me humble, wondering what I may have gotten myself into, but I thoroughly enjoy the challenge he presents (most of the time!).

I judge all classes of AKC Obedience and Rally as well as UKC Obedience. I love seeing and judging many different teams, at many different levels of accomplishment and with many different goals. There is a place for everyone in the sport. Good luck to all exhibitors and let’s all try to have fun!

Greg Feathers - Obedience

Greg Feathers - Obedience

Greg has owned dogs all his life but only became interested in competitive obedience in 1991 after attending a puppy class conducted by the local obedience club. Since then his Goldens have earned various AKC Obedience and Rally titles including the coveted Obedience Trial Champion. Several of Greg’s dogs have been inducted into the Golden Retriever Club of America Obedience Hall of Fame and invited to compete at the National Obedience Invitational. He is currently training and competing with his 3-year-old Golden Retriever “Lexi”.

An AKC obedience judge since 2003, Greg is approved to judge all levels of Obedience and Rally. He has judged AKC regional qualifiers, national breed specialties, foreign kennel club events and in 2012 had the privilege of judging at the National Obedience Invitational. In 2007 and 2014 he had the honor of serving as a member of the AKC Obedience Advisory Committee.

Greg would like to thank the American Belgian Tervuren Club for the invitation to judge at the 2019 ABTC National Specialty. He truly appreciates the opportunity to officiate at an event that showcases such an elegant and versatile breed.

Jeff Kern - Obedience

Jeff Kern - Obedience

My interest in Obedience started in 1994 when I observed my neighbor training Utility with her American Cocker Spaniel. I immediately knew if I owned a dog, I would train it to do Obedience. A few months later I purchased Java, a Female Labrador retriever and joined the Dog Obedience club of Hollywood. The rest is history.

It wasn’t until 2001 that I became interested in Judging. Today I am licensed to judge all of Obedience and Rally together with the American Cocker Spaniel in Conformation. I bred Cockers for 20 years under the prefix “Valor” and have become a breeder of merit with the American Kennel Club.

All my Cocker’s are retired so my time is split between work, training and exhibiting Ava my two year old Lab from Lorita’s Kennels. Today I live in Northern Florida and belong to The Greater Ocala Dog Club and the American Spaniel Club.

Becoming an obedience judge is another extension of the sport that I love and a way for me to give back to the sport. I enjoy traveling and judging all the great obedience teams around the country.

Best of luck to all the exhibitors at this year’s national.

Brenda Crim-Critelli - Rally

Brenda Crim-Critelli - Rally

I am Brenda Crim-Critelli and I make my home in Parrish, Florida with my husband and our two dogs Jett, the Border Collie and Trout our Russell Terrier. Previously we were the proud owners of six white GSD's but they have now all passed over the bridge. I like many of you, purchased my first dog, entered our first obedience class, earned our first title and was lured into the obedience world. After obtaining several obedience titles on my dogs AKC introduced Rally Obedience to its events department and my dog club gave me the opportunity to teach their first official Rally classes. It was after this and my first RAE that I applied for judging and in 2005 I judged my first Rally trial. Now fourteen years later I find myself here at the 2019 Belgian Tervuren Specialty.

I have attended many rally/obedience seminars over the years while watching rally earn a respected place in AKC events for both the handlers and their dogs and I thank all of those who have participated over the years and made it the sport it is today.

I have been a member of the Dog Training Club of St Petersburg for the past twenty three years and a member of the Sarasota Obedience Training Club for eight years. I am also a member of NADOI, (National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors) and have also competed in obedience, earth dog, tracking and herding. I was also honored in 2016 to be given the honor to judge the Rally National Championship in Tulsa Oklahoma. I deeply appreciate being invited to judge this year's specialty. I want to wish the best to all who have trained so hard and traveled so far to participate in this great event.

Ron & Luci Seeley - Tracking

Ron & Luci Seeley - Tracking

Luci & Ron met in 1973 in the small town of Suffern, NY which is located on the west side of the Hudson River on the New York/New Jersey state line. They had a whirlwind romance and decided to get married later that same year. They moved to Florida and started a family in 1978. When their son was 3, they decided to get a dog and they settled on a Golden Retriever because of Ron’s love for the breed.

Their first Golden was their son’s dog Dixie, who was a little out of control, so Luci told Ron to enroll Dixie in Obedience classes. Ron got hooked ! Around 1986, Ron was introduced to Tracking and that quickly became his passion. In the early 90’s, Luci got her own dog, a Golden Retriever named Happy, and she too became hooked on Obedience and Tracking. They both have titled dogs in Obedience to the Utility Dog Excellent (UDX) level and have had the pleasure of titling multiple dogs in Tracking. Ron’s most memorable experience came on his 60th birthday when he had the pleasure of being part of a team to earn the coveted Champion Tracker (CT) title with Gus, Meadowpond All The Rite Stuff. In 2004, Ron decided to give back to the sport of Tracking and is now approved to judge all levels of AKC and ASCA tracking. Ron is also a Novice and Provisional Open Judge in AKC Obedience.

Although Luci started in dogs after Ron did, she went from no interest in dogs to becoming very competitive with Happy, Meadowpond Oso Proud N Happy, earning a UDX. Luci also titled Happy to a TDX, on Happy’s first try, but he passed before earning a VST. Luci became so hooked on Obedience and Tracking that she also decided to become a judge. She is approved to judge all levels of AKC and ASCA tracking, as well as Novice, Open and Provisional Utility for AKC Obedience.

Ron and Luci have had the honor and pleasure to judge the National Tracking Invitational as well as the Clumber National, Westie National, Golden Retriever National, Rottweiler National and now the Belgian Tervuren National Specialties. Whether judging Tracking or Obedience, they both enjoy seeing the bond that a good team has in competition and watching them excel. They also love to watch a new team grow from their first time in the Obedience ring or Tracking fields to competing in the higher levels.

Ron and Luci appreciate the invitation to judge at the 2019 ABTC National Specialty and wish all of the Tracking teams the best of luck !