Showsight September 2021




near the end. It was certainly a beautiful picture, seeing every Ter- rier breed represented in the large ring. To honor their exciting breed win, I felt it important to showcase them individually by either sparring or letting them stand on their own. I believe the exhibitors appreciated their time in the limelight, for certainly a Breed win at Montgomery is always a special memory. After mak- ing a large cut, I was pleased to award BIS to the beautiful Welsh Terrier, second to an outstanding Soft Coated Wheaten, third to a worthy Am Staff, and fourth to a typey Miniature Schnauzer. Is there a particular “Montgomery Memory” (or two) that you can share that best exemplifies the spirit of this iconic dog show? I mentioned earlier that Montgomery is a gathering of the Ter- rier fancy from far and wide. Each year, between the NY Mini Schnauzer Specialty at Westbury and the end of Montgomery County weekend, some of my non-local Schnauzer friends would stay at my home. I will always fondly remember the camaraderie, laughter, late-night dog talks, and the many wins we all shared with our special canine companions. BIO David J. Kirkland of Sanford,

The Montgomery County Kennel Club dog show is widely consid- ered to be one of the finest events of its kind in the world. Why do you think this show is held in such high esteem? I started in the dog fancy with Miniature Schnauzers and attended Montgomery County weekend yearly as an exhibitor. It was the most anticipated weekend in my dog show calendar. Montgomery itself is so rich in tradition, and I have so many fond memories of past shows. It’s the greatest Terrier show on earth; a must for any serious competitor or aspiring judge, and a place to see sizeable Terrier entries of the highest quality. In addition, it is a gathering of the “Terrier Clan” and the mecca for all like-minded enthusiasts from across the country and around the world. What is the significance of heading the judging panel at “The Greatest Terrier Show?” Is there any pressure that comes with this Best in Show assignment? I was shocked and speechless when I received the invitation. I never imagined I would ever judge Best in Show at Montgomery. I thought of all the prior Best in Show judges, and I am humbled to be counted among them. It will always be a top highlight in my judging career and truly a dream come true. With regards to pressure, one does feel it a little more when asked to judge a high- profile dog show; however, it always dissipates the moment you enter the ring and get to the job in hand. The competition at the Breed level is always high at Montgomery. Have you judged any specialties at this show? Have your dogs won any specialties? Yes, to both. I have had the pleasure of judging on several occa- sions at Montgomery; Parson Russell Terriers, Russell Terriers, Cesky Terriers, and Bedlington Terriers are breeds that immediate- ly come to mind. I also judged the Owner-Handled Terrier Group (the only year in which Montgomery offered it). My Schnauzers won major awards several times over Montgomery weekend, including Hatboro and Devon and, back in my day, also the Del Val MSC Specialty held on the Thursday evening before Hatboro. Do you have a word or two about your Best in Show winner and the dogs that placed in the Group? The weather was overcast and wet on the day I did BIS. The drizzling stopped as the Terrier Group began, and it held off until

North Carolina, attended his first dog show in 1973. Starting in Obedience, Mr. Kirkland thereafter acquired his first show dog, a Miniature Schnauzer. He bred, owned, and handled dozens to their championship titles, including Group and National Specialty winners. Since 1995, Mr. Kirkland has

bred and owned Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. He has also owned and bred champions in Japanese Chin, and most recently, Tibetan Spaniels. Mr. Kirkland became an AKC judge in 1995 and currently judges BIS, Junior Showmanship, the Working Group Schnauzers, some Hound breeds, and the Terrier, Toy, Non-Sporting, and Herding Groups. He is proud to have judged National Specialties in each of his four approved Groups, and has judged the AKC National Championship and Westminster Kennel Club shows multiple times, including the WKC Toy Group in 2018. Retired after 27 years with GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals, he shares his life with his partner, Stephen, and spends his time judging dog shows, gardening, and working in the Music Ministry at his church.


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