MIMI WINKLER, JUDGES CHOICE BICHONS FRISES
in my mind? Ch. Judges Choice High Ridge Right On ROMX, Reno, winner of three five-point majors, all at specialties, multiple Group placer, sire of 28 champions with more on the way, the new one being my puppy. Judges Choice Diamond Jim, DJ, sire of 17 champions, multiple Group winner, Best of Winners at the BFCA National under Annie Clark, and sire of BOS at Westminster, with me handling, Ch. Judges Choice Purple Rain, daughter of Muffy and Cody, mother of Girlfriend, BOW at the BFCA National, and great-grandmother of JR. Finally, my Jenny, Ch. Dreams Came True Jennifer ROMX, dam of 12 champions, winner of Best in Sweeps at the BFCA National. The very first Bichon I imported from Brazil. Thank you, Cristine. And yes, she, too, was a line- breeding for me. She and Muffy had the same grandfather, which would be great-grandfather to Cody. Linebreeding… if it ain’t broke, why fix it? Please comment positively on your breed’s present condition and what trends might bear watching. As Judges Education Chair for the Bichon Frise Club of Amer- ica, I start my seminar by stating that the Bichon is a breed of illusion. A talented groomer can enhance any dog and make them appear more balanced. I think, today, our dogs are better balanced although I do not want to see them get more short-backed and up on leg. I also do not want to see them running the Indianapolis 500. Our standard calls for free and easy movement; a faster dog is not a better dog. Maybe it’s because of my gymnastics background, but free, easy movement, extension, and a sense of “self ” mean so much to me. Let me answer this question from another angle. I would like breeders today to establish their own breeding programs. I would like to see pedigrees that contain the same kennel name for three generations. I think, in addition to judges’ education, perhaps breeders’ education offered at a National Specialty would be so worthwhile; “old-timers” sharing their knowledge, filling in the gaps, sharing the phenotypes of dogs in the pedigrees from years ago. Going back to the beginning is a concept I like. The sport has changed greatly since you first began participating. What are your thoughts on the state of the fancy and the declining number of breeders? How do we encourage newcomers to join us and remain in the sport? Yes, it has changed so much. Years ago, you could look in the ring and know which dog came out of what kennel. You knew lines, you knew lineage, and you knew progeny. I will tell you this story to illustrate my point. A few years ago, I was sitting ringside at Westminster watching Bichon breed judging. This woman leaned over and asked me how it felt, after all these years, to have nothing of mine in the ring. I said, “You can’t be talking to me… BOB and BOS are both my grandchildren.” That lack of knowledge would have never happened years ago. She had imported her dogs; she had no mentor. She asked me what I meant, so I explained and told her to call me. I have since taught her to read and understand pedigrees. Knowledge and sharing adds another layer to our sport; it stimulates the mind. We have to encourage new people by shar- ing our love and knowledge. I would beg new breeders to pick our brains, to ask us questions; we would love to share. As they say, “Reach out and touch someone.” Tell us a little about Mimi outside of dogs… your profession, your hobbies. I am the mother of four wonderful children who have produced five delicious grandchildren. I also share my home with two birds, Malibu the Macaw and Harvey the African Grey, who has been talking (and cursing) this entire afternoon.
In addition to judging dogs, I have been a gymnastics judge since the late 1970s. I have had the honor of judging Olympians both here and in Europe. My life is full. I have always had the belief that my glass is not half empty or half full. If I am not happy, I simply get a new glass and start over. Finally, where do you see your breeding program in the next decade or two? I see the most beautiful show ring, adorned with flowers, the audience filled with notables, officiated by the best judges to have ever entered a ring. My dog, of course, will be owner-handled... and the rosette will read, “Best in Show, Pearly Gates Kennel Club.” Thank you for letting me share this with your readers.
68 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, MAY 2021
Powered by FlippingBook