2015 AKC/Eukanuba National Championship Judging Panel Released


NEW YORK, NY (January 7, 2015) – The American Kennel Club® (AKC®) is pleased to announce the judging panel for the 15th Annual AKC/Eukanuba National Championship to be held in Orlando, Fla. on Saturday, Dec. 12 and Sunday, Dec. 13, 2015.

The 2015 event will showcase the top national and international dogs and will also include popular attractions such as the Best Bred-by-Exhibitor competition, Best Veteran in Show, the AKC National Owner-Handled Series Finals and AKC Meet the Breeds®. The show will once again take place alongside the AKC Agility Invitational, AKC Obedience Classic, and junior events in each sport.

The Brevard Kennel Club, the Central Florida Kennel Club and the Space Coast Kennel Club of Palm Bay shows will precede the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship at the same site on Dec. 8-10, 2015 and a day of specialty and group shows will be held Dec. 11, 2015.

Heading the panel as Best in Show judge for the 2015 AKC/Eukanuba National Championship is Mr. Robert Stein of Chapel Hill, North Carolina and Mr. Edd E. Bivin of Ft. Worth, Texas will judge Best Bred-by-Exhibitor in Show.

Mr. Robert Stein, of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, became interested in showing in 1955, when he acquired his first Afghan Hound. A year later, after he acquired his foundation bitch, he founded his Charaj Kennels. Mr. Stein has had an excellent breeding and showing career, marked with many champions, and specialty and group winners, as well as having the top-producing Afghan Hound bitch in the country in 1970. In addition to Afghans, Mr. Stein owned and bred Salukis and has owned Chinese Cresteds and Affenpinschers.

Mr. Stein judges all breeds. He began judging in 1965 (in his mid-20s), and 2015 marks 50 years of judging. Assignments have brought Mr. Stein to almost every state in the Union, and to Canada, Mexico, Israel, Japan, Finland, Puerto Rico, Australia, New Zealand, and many other countries. Career highlights include the Hound and Working groups at Westminster, Hound and Working groups at the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship show, as well as breed judging several times at Westminster and at AKC/Eukanuba. He has judged the Afghan Hound Club of America National Specialty four times, The Saluki Club of America National Specialty, and the World Dog Show. AENC Judging Panel 2 of 7 Mr. Stein is an honorary member of the Dayton Kennel Club, and is a member of the Cary Kennel Club and the Saluki Club of America.

He has been president, show chairman, and treasurer of the Afghan Hound Club of Southwestern Ohio; has served Dayton Kennel Club as president, show chairman, and AKC Delegate; and has served on the board of directors of the Afghan Hound Club of America and is now a Lifetime Member.

Mr. Stein is a retired architect and real estate developer, and an emeritus member of the American Institute of Architects. He resides in North Carolina with his wife Helen, Tiki Sue (Affenpinscher), and two champion Afghan Hounds.

Mr. Edd E. Bivin, of Fort Worth, Texas, acquired his first purebred dog at age 12. This Pomeranian bitch introduced him to the sport of dogs and became the foundation of a breeding program that led to breeding and exhibiting top-winning Pomeranians.

From this base Mr. Bivin was to first judge toy dogs at match shows at age 15. He was approved to judge Pomeranians at U.S. championship point shows in 1961. Mr. Bivin is presently approved to judge all sporting breeds, all working breeds, all terrier breeds, all toy breeds, all non-sporting breeds and several herding and hound breeds. He and his wife, Irene, enjoyed breeding and exhibiting of Doberman Pinschers and Dachshunds during her lifetime.

“It has been my privilege to judge many all-breed and specialty shows in the United States and abroad,” Mr. Bivin says, “among those being many of the internationally famous ones, including Best in Show at Westminster, 1999. A great joy has been the judging of many national specialty shows of various breeds in the groups for which I am approved.”

Mr. Bivin judged Best in Show at the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship in 2013, and the Sporting Group at last year’s event.

Judges for each of the seven variety groups and the Miscellaneous Classes are:

SPORTING – Mr. Elliott B. Weiss – Middletown, Delaware
HOUND – Mr. Eugene Blake – Tulsa, Oklahoma
WORKING – Mr. William P. Shelton – Pomona, California
TERRIER – Mr. Bruce R. Schwartz – Los Angeles, California
TOY –Mr. Chuck Winslow – Monrovia, Maryland
NON-SPORTING – Mrs. Peggy J. Hauck – Oviedo, Florida
HERDING – Mr. Thomas W. Coen – Great Barrington, Massachusetts
MISCELLANEOUS CLASSES – Mr. Desmond J. Murphy – Monroe, New York

Judges for the seven Bred-by-Exhibitor variety groups are:

SPORTING – Mr. Thomas Bradley, III – Watertown, New York
HOUND – Ms. Mary Dukes – Marshville, North Carolina
WORKING – Mrs. Nancy C. Russell – Walsenburg, Colorado
TERRIER – Dr. Jerry Klein – Chicago, Illinois
TOY – Mrs. Charlotte P. Patterson – Destin, Florida
NON-SPORTING – Mr. Johnny R. Shoemaker – Las Vegas, Nevada
HERDING – Mr. James J. Mitchell – Wilmington, DelawareAENC Judging Panel 3 of 7
BEST JUNIOR HANDLER – Ms. Mari-Beth O’Neill – Cary, North Carolina
JUNIOR PRELIMS – Dr. Adam King of Fort Collins, Colorado and Ms. Christine
Englesman of Glen Ellyn, Illinois

Colonel Joe B. Purkhiser of San Antonio, Texas will judge Best Veteran in Show. He and his wife, Murrel, began exhibiting Smooth Fox Terriers in 1966. Their record includes two breed wins at Westminster, many specialty Bests in Show, and four all breed Bests in Show. “But,” says Colonel Purkhiser, “the top was winning the breed at the Montgomery County show with our dog and having his daughter go Best of Opposite Sex to him. Wow!” An AKC judge since 1977, Colonel Purkhiser is approved for all breeds. He rates judging Smooth Fox Terriers at Montgomery County among his memorable moments in the ring. Colonel Purkhiser has held numerous positions “from top to bottom” in specialty and all-breed clubs, including terms as president, show chair, and board member.

During his six-plus years as judges’ education chairman for the American Fox Terrier Club, the committee devised a breed presentation considered a model of its kind, and published an illustrated standard for both Smooth and Wire Fox Terriers. Colonel Purkhiser is president of the Dog Judges Association of America.

The colonel is a retired Air Force officer. He was director of operations for the Air Force Worldwide Reconnaissance and Airborne Command Post Operations, and retired as defense attaché in Yugoslavia. “Our four sons and their families continue to make us proud,” says Colonel Purkhiser. “It has been a wonderful life.”

Judges for each of the seven Veteran groups are:

VETERAN SPORTING – Ms. Pluis Davern – Royal Oaks, California
VETERAN HOUND – Ms. Helen Stein – Chapel Hill, North Carolina
VETERAN WORKING – Mr. Carl Gene Liepmann – Flushing, Michigan
VETERAN TERRIER – Mrs. Rosalind Kramer – Leesburg, Virginia
VETERAN TOY – Mr. James J. Mitchell – Wilmington, Delaware
VETERAN NON-SPORTING – Mr. Allen L. Odom – Denver, Colorado
VETERAN HERDING – Mr. Dana P. Cline – Rockford, Illinois
For Individual Group Breed Assignments, visit here.

*Panel subject to final approval.
The 2015 AKC/Eukanuba National Championship will mark the 15th event in AKC’s premier showcase for dogs, which is presented with Eukanuba.


The American Kennel Club (AKC), founded in 1884, maintains the largest registry of purebred dogs in the world. Its rules and regulations govern more than 22,000 canine competitions each year. For more information, visit www.akc.org. Eukanuba Dog Foods offers the most complete food lineup, delivering nutrition that is customized by breed and breed size as well as health and performance requirements. Eukanuba is available at pet specialty retailers nationwide, or you can visit us on the web at http://www.eukanuba.com.

Media Contacts

Hillary Prim                                                                  Victoria Seiler
PR Director Breeder                                                    Communications Manager
American Kennel Club                                                Eukanuba Dog Foods
(212) 696-8220                                                            (513) 622-2967
hap@akc.org                                                                 victoria.seiler@effem.com


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