DR RICHARD Meen is to judge best in show at the 140th Westminster Kennel Club show in New York on February 15-16, 2016.
He will become the sixth foreign judge and third Canadian to select the top award there.
He has been actively involved with pedigree dogs since 1965 and, with partner Dr John Reeve-Newson, has bred and exhibited a number of breeds under the Kishniga affix. A homebred Borzoi, Ch Kishniga’s Desert Song, was Top Dog all breeds in Canada in 1977, and he bred and co-owned the top terrier in Canada in 2011, a Skye Terrier.
Dr Meen, who practises psychiatry in Toronto, is a past president and chairman of the board of the Canadian Kennel Club, and has judged at Westminster on four other occasions, including the terrier group in 2007.
He will head a panel of 37 judges from 17 states, Canada and Ireland who will officiate at Madison Square Garden and Piers 92/94 in New York.
Group judges include Geir Flyckt-Pedersen (terrier), originally from Norway, who with his wife lived for some years in the UK enjoying much success with their Louline and Hubbestad dogs, before moving to the US, and Luc Boileau (non-sporting), who has handled a Pekingese to BIS at Westminster.
The others are Bonnie Threlfall, sporting; Virginia Lyne from Canada, hound; Norman Kenney, working; Jason Hoke, toy; and Dorothy Collier, herding.
Dr Wyatt Delfino will judge the junior showmanship finals.
Seven breeds will be eligible for Westminster for the first time: Lagotto Romagnolo, Cirneco dell’Ettna, Boerboel, Berger Picard, Miniature American Shepherd, Bergamasco and Spanish Water Dog, making a total of 199 breeds and varieties in competition.
Among the breed judges are the father and son pair from Ireland, John J Walsh and John R Walsh.