BY WALTER SOMMERFELT
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, AND BARKARITAVILLE
I have always found international judging assignments to be very enjoyable and educational. They offer the unique opportunity to see some unique breeds that may be native to that country as well as some of the differences in various breeds in that area of the world. Due to COVID, I had not been outside the United States for some time, so I was excited when the invitation came from the Korean Kennel Club to judge at their 2023 Korean Kennel Club Classic Dog Show 2023 to be held in Seoul South Korea. KOREAN KENNEL CLUB Traveling to various countries can be confusing, with the various entry require- ments of each country. In the past, your passport was sufficient for entry into South Korea. However, since the last time I was there, they have added a Q-code require- ment for COVID clearance as well as a K-ETA application to enter. I thought that I had completed the requirements, but when I arrived for my flight from Knoxville to Detroit, and then on to Seoul, I was notified there was an issue that I needed to cor- rect. Since I could not get the issue corrected in time, my flight was delayed by one full day so that I could correct it and get the K-ETA approved for my flights. After the 16-hour flight from Detroit to Incheon Airport in South Korea, I was met by Harley Wookhee Choi who would serve as my interpreter as well as my trans- portation person during my visit. Miss Choi, who is also a KKC-approved judge, had lived and studied in Arizona, so it was a joy to have someone who is so fluent in English. Communication can often be the biggest obstacle when in a foreign country, but Miss Choi made it a great experience. My accommodations were first-class and I was looking forward to my assignment on Sunday. The Korean Kennel Club owns its facility, which is very nice, well-lit, clean, and very comfortable, especially since it was a very cold February day. I will say that the entry was excellent, with a great group of dogs. In my opinion, it was the highest overall quality I have seen in South Korea during my three assignments there through the years. My Best Baby Puppy in Show was a very lovely Bichon Frise that has a very bright future ahead. For Best Puppy in Show, I chose a class bitch Samoyed that was a wonderful representation of the breed and would also be my Reserve Best in Show in the regular Group and Best in Show ring. My overall Best in Show was a fantastic Miniature Poodle bitch that I am sure could compete on any level in any country.
72 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, APRIL 2023
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