Mr. Sommerfelt has judged many of the most prestigious shows in the United States including the herding group at the 2014 Westminster Dog Show in New York City where he has judged on three separate occasions. Mr. Sommerfelt was the founder and chairman for the St. Jude Showcase of Dogs from 1993 until 2009, a unique event showcasing the world of purebred dogs. This special event was the largest collection of various dog events in one location, featuring an AKC all Breed Dog Show, AKC Obedience and Rally Trials, AKC Agility trials, (prior to AKC adding agility NADAC trials ) One of the largest Fly ball tournaments in theU.S.A., Herding and go to ground demonstrations, A main stage featur- ing performances by Canines from Television and the Movies, Freestyle, Demos by drug and various therapy dogs, A full room of booths for meet the breeds, over 50 AKC judges seminars annually, Lure coursing, A fun Zone for Children, and other dog related fun ac- tivities for the general public and their dogs. Over the years the event not only
raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the world-renowned St. Jude Chil- dren’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN, but also raised awareness of the many activities for people with their dogs as well establishing a voice for dog people in the Memphis area with regard to legislation. Many aspects of today’s AKC Royal Canin show can be traced back to the St. Jude event. Along with Carol his wife of 34 years they have bred well over 90 AKC Champions including Group, Best in Show and Specialty Winners, dual Champions and multiple performance titled dogs. During the past 40 years Mr. Sommer- felt has been active in a number of dog clubs and is currently the President of the Tennessee Valley Kennel Club. He is recipient of the AKC outstanding Sportsmanship Award and is also a ca- reer agent and financial planning spe- cialist withNationwide Insurance. The Sommerfelts’ have two grown children, both former Junior Handlers and they are still active breeders and exhibitors of the Vizsla breed.
“Clean Up” your area and pick up af- ter your dog. Accept the responsibility that goes with being a good exhibitor, judge and spectator and human being. Remember if there are no volunteers there will be no shows. And Lastly if you don’t belong to a club you need to, and you need to vol- unteer so we can all keep doing what we love with our dogs. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Walter Sommerfelt of Lenoir City, TN has been involved in the sport of pure- bred dogs since acquiring his first Old English Sheepdog in 1972. He is a for- mer professional handler as well as a breeder, and exhibitor of breeds in all seven groups, most notably Vizslas, OES, Pointers, Bearded Collies and Weimaraners. Judging since 1985 he is approved for All Sporting, Working, andHerding breeds and groups, Junior Showmanship and Best in Show and has had the honor of judging on four different continents.
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