Meet our Judges


Regular Classes – Sidney Marx

Bio  Sid Marx

I can’t remember when I was without a dog; however, a chance encounter in 1963 with James Wright, a local judge, started me off in the world of the dog show fancy. The first match show ribbon won by my Irish Setter, Lady, hooked me for life. I credit the time spent as an assistant handler at Marianne Cook’s sporting dog kennel with furthering my understanding why a dog has to be built a certain way to do what its breed was meant to do.

I became an AKC licensed handler, and later was approved as an AKC judge in 1974. My wife and I still show our own dogs, and this makes me appreciate the physical, mental, emotional, and financial effort it takes for every exhibitor to attend a show, and that reminds me that each one deserves the judges’ best look.

I am currently approved to judge BIS, Sporting Group, Hound Group, Border Terriers, Australian Terriers, Miniature Schnauzers, West Highland White Terriers, Smooth Fox Terrier, Wire Fox Terrier, and Junior Showmanship. In addition to my first show breed, Irish Setters, I have also owned and shown Beagles, English Springer Spaniels, English Setters, English Cockers, Flat-Coated Retrievers, Pointers, and a Border Terrier.

I have bred champions in Irish Setters, English Springers, Beagles, and English Cockers. I was the proud owner-handler of Ch. Bayberry’s Sonnet, a National Specialty BOS winner, multi-specialty winner and one of the top-winning Irish Setter bitches of all time. My wife was proudly owned by Ch. Bolingbroke Waterwyn's Sequel (Dawson) I was one of the founding members of the Irish Setter Club of Long Island and it’s second President, and have been active in many all-breed clubs. I am presently the AKC Delegate for the Colorado Springs Kennel Club. 

I received my Master’s degree from Empire State College, and I live happily with my wife, Shelly, our Flat-Coated Retriever, Welsh Springer Spaniel, Beagle, and Irish Setter. 

Non-Regular Classes and Juniors – Betsy Horn Humer

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I’ve been active in the sport of dogs all my life, growing up with Chesapeake Bay Retrievers:   training, showing and going to dog shows.  My parents established Eastern Waters’ in 1947.  When my husband, Rupe, and I established our own household we were given a puppy for Christmas.  He was BISS CH Eastern Waters’ Oak, CD,TD, WD – “Oak” became a two-time National Specialty winner. 

We lived in New Jersey until 1999 and sixteen years ago moved to the Eastern Shore of Virginia, nestled between the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.  We like to say we “brought our dogs back to their roots.”

I have been a member of the American Chesapeake Club for over 45 years and currently serve as Judges Education Coordinator to the AKC.  I am also on the Board of Directors since 2014.  I was AKC Delegate 1997-2006.

I  belong to the Salisbury Maryland Kennel Club 2000-present (Board of Directors 2012-2014, 2016-2018), past member of Monmouth County KC (NJ) 1995-2003, Bayshore Companion Dog Club (NJ) 1974 to present – honorary lifetime membership, and the Navesink River Retriever Hunting Club 1992-1999.

I am approved to judge the Sporting Group and Herding Group, Obedience, Rally, J.S. and Best in Show. My judging and breeding priorities are that our breed retains its original purpose and that form should follow function. I am passionate about our breed and continue to train and show my own dogs in conformation, companion events and performance events.  I usually breed one litter a year (just can’t get out of the whelping box!) and show my own dogs in the Bred-By-Exhibitor Class.  In the last five years I have titled a dog in Agility, and two other dogs have earned BN, CD’s and RE titles.  I have also owner/handled three dogs to their Championship and Grand Championships in the last five years.  My husband’s dog has 3 legs on his JH and I hope that title is completed long before your National Specialty next year.

I look forward to judging at your National Specialty Show – I had the pleasure of judging obedience at your National Specialty held in Frederick MD in 2011.  It is a special privilege to judge at a National Specialty —     

Sweepstakes – Wendy Tisdall


Thank you very much for allowing me the privilege to judge at your upcoming Specialty!  To me  the Puppy and Veteran Sweepstakes are integral parts of a National Specialty; they give us the opportunity to see and reflect on what we have produced with our older dogs and where we are going with our young dogs.

Currently I live in North Saanich, on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.  I met my first Flat-Coats in 1990 and was mesmerized by their beauty.  For me it was way beyond love at first sight; the breed and dog sports quickly became encompassing life passions which have taken me on many great adventures.   I acquired my first Flat-Coat in 1992 and bred my first litter in 1999.   Together with my long-time friend, Judy Teskey, we have bred 20 litters under the Coastalight prefix.

There is so much truth to the saying "form follows function"; to me there is nothing more beautiful than a well made Flat-Coat working in the field.   I love the diverse talents of the breed and in my breeding program strive to produce dual purpose dogs with both bred type and field ability.  Well structured and typey dogs who are both biddable and willing to try anything with their owners, but keep them on their toes with a touch of mischief! 

I am very proud of the many successes and achievements Coastalight dogs enjoy; I greatly appreciate the dedication of numerous Coastalight puppy owners.   Awards include Best of Breed and Best of Opposite at National Specialties, along with multiple Puppy and Veteran Best in Sweepstakes and Best of Opposite in Sweepstakes at National Specialties.  Coastalight dogs earned multiple Specialty Judges Awards Merits, many were owner-handled and two were from the Specialty working/field classes. Coastalight field achievements  include multiple Specialty Steady Singles Championships and Un-Steady Singles winners.  Currently there are three Coastalight AKC Grand Champion / Master Hunter titled dogs.  Coastalight dogs have earned an Amateur field trial placement in the U.S. and Qualifying and Derby/Junior Field trial placements in the U.S. and Canada.  In addition, there are multiple Coastalight Master National Hunt Test qualifiers and finishers in the U.S. and Canada.  Other achievements include group winners, multiple obedience High in Trial winners, and MACH agility titles.  I have also bred dogs who work as certified search and rescue and assistance dogs.

I've been fortunate to travel and to meet breeders from other countries; for me last year's highlights were to owner-handle the FCRSC Best of Breed at the National Specialty and to show a friend's lovely dog to 2nd place at Crufts Show in the UK.  Even after 25 years, I feel one can never stop learning and never learn enough about our amazing breed.   Currently I enjoy competing with my Flat-Coats in the show ring as well as field and obedience.  I have also competed in agility, tracking and drafting.  I am a member of the Flat-Coated Retriever Society of America, the Flatcoated Retriever Society (UK), a previous board member of the Flat-Coated Retriever Society of Canada, a member of the Victoria City Kennel Club and a life member of the Nanaimo Kennel Club.

I am honoured to judge Sweepstakes and look forward to meeting and going over your much-loved veterans and your young hopes and dreams!

Gun Dog Sweepstakes – Nancy Cavallo


As a 50- year veteran of the dog show game, I first attended the Ladies Kennel Club show in 1962 and decided that I wanted to participate in showing and breeding dogs of high quality conformation and temperament.  I was fortunate to have wonderful mentors to begin in my neighbors, Lil and Bill Williams and got a Standard Schnauzer from their CH Indi Von Volken UD. Thus I begun a career in Jr Showmanship and was able to finish a Championship and CD while I was in high school. 

Following college, I embarked on showing and breeding Labrador Retrievers and bred and showed several Champion Labradors.   I also showed a Golden Retriever in Breed and obedience. 

It was while we were showing our Labs in the early 70's that we happened to be at a show in South Carolina and while waiting to go into the ring saw a group of lovely black dogs with wagging tails. We inquired about their breed and found out that they were called Flat-Coated Retrievers. Within weeks, we travelled to Springfield Kennels in Warrenton, VA to pick up our first Flat-Coat, CH Springfield's Black Ibis. She had already finished her Championship but we were able to train and show her in obedience and she attained her CDX. We attended the first National Specialty in Illinois in 1976 and have missed only one National in 40 years. Shortly after Ibis arrival at our home, she whelped a litter of 16 PUPPIES! That catapulted us into the world of breeding and from that first litter came CH Lady Obsidian Crystal CD who was an early top producer in the breed. Bertschire Retrievers was up and running. Following Crystal came some illustrious dogs of the time including Am Can CH Bertschire's Doc Holliday CD WCX, Am Can CH Bertschire's Jesse James, CH Bertschire's Black Teal, CH Bertschire's Orphan Annie, CH Bertschire's Black Raven and a number of others who are found in many pedigrees of the top dogs today. 

We were able to meet many wonderful Flat-Coat people during our two years in New England in the early 80's We were very active in dog activities at the time and we're happy to meet and learn from some great people in the breed such as Pat DeBree, Pat Carlson, Maureen Kolasa, Jeff and Jennifer Andrews, Kurt Anderson, Gillian Impey, Valerie Bernhardt, Joyce Rein, Margot Brown and of course, Bunny Millikin. Through Bunny's help we were able to gain a huge appreciation of field work.  Also, at that time, Flat-Coats around the country were very far flung and we never saw many of the influential dogs. It was my decision that the breed needed a sourcebook to see pictures and pedigrees of Flat-Coats, and the Flat-Coated Retriever Directory of North American Dogs was born in 1982. The first of 9 Directories, it was begun to help breeders and fanciers around the country make breeding decisions and purchase the right puppy for their needs. 
After moving to Georgia in the 80's, we happened to meet Andrea Holsinger when she was interested in a puppy from our litter from CH Wingmaster's Astronuat WC and CH Bertshcire's Black Teal CD JH WC. Andrea had a great run with her pup from that litter, CH Bertschire's Cotswold Chaos, TD, CD , JH WCX HOF. It was at that time that Andrea was interested in becoming active in breeding and we merged Bertschire Flat-Coats and most of the operations moved to Athens, GA. Many other Bertschire Flat-Coats followed, most notably National Specialty Winners including two- time Specialty Winner CH Bertschire's Jasper-Rue, Sweepstakes Winner Bertchire's Venus Williams, CH Huntlane Under the Sea (Sired by HOF CH Bertschire's Bad Bad Leroy Brown), CH Berschire's Horse Power. There have been many many great dogs in this lineage – too numerous to list here but I feel fortunate to have been able to be a part of this lovely breed and hope that through the years we have improved on a breed that was wonderful from the beginning.  It has been a privilege to know all the wonderful dogs and people associated with this breed. 

I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunities I have had to mentor prospective judges at a variety of Specialties and have had a wonderful time judging Sweepstakes at the New England Flat-Coated Retriever Club and the Capitol Region Flat-Coat Club Supported shows. I am thrilled to have been invited to judge the Gundog Sweepstakes at the 2017 National Specialty. I look forward to judging some exceptional dogs! 

Obedience and Rally:  

Ted Leslie

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Ted has been a licensed Obedience judge since 2002 and also judges Rally. He has been involved with dog training and Obedience trials since 1979, trialling first with  boxers and then with Border Collies. He has extensive experience in Flyball as well.

Ted is a retired teacher with thirty-five years in the classroom. In addition to teaching in the primary grades, he also specialized in Geography at the middle school level for ten years. He is married to Sheila, who also trials in Obedience. This year they are celebrating their fiftieth wedding anniversary. They live in Hamilton, Ontario and are active members of the Hamilton Dog Obedience Club. Ted has served the club as president and training director and in many other capacities over the years. Ted and Sheila have two grown children, five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Ted enjoys the outdoors; hiking, fly fishing,and bird watching. He is an avid fan of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats football team. He is also an active elder in the Presbyterian Church, Canada 

Leslie Marshall

Leslies and ChillzBio

Leslie’s first experience with formal obedience training was in 1986, with a Wire-haired Fox Terrier, earning a Can/Am CD. Wanting a small, non-shedding dog that was a little more willing to please, she obtained her first Miniature Schnauzer in 1987.

Leslie has been breeding Miniature Schnauzers, under the Marwyn prefix, since 1991. She competes with her dogs in conformation, obedience, rally and agility, and has earned many HIT’s and breed/group rankings along the way in each discipline.

Leslie has also trained a Doberman to a CD, and a Golden Retriever to an AM UD.

An obedience judge since 2008, Leslie also judges rally. She also judges in Canada, USA as well as Bermuda.

As a Registered Veterinary Technician who still works occasionally in clinical practice, Leslie runs her own dog training business, The Puppy Tutor. In her spare time, she enjoys cycling, reading and gardening. 

Del Lunn


I became involved in dog training in 1978. The first dog I trained was a German  Shepherd. The training and exhibiting of this dog led to a career of over thirty five years in dog training. 

In 1980 I purchased my first Golden Retriever from Meadowpond Goldens in Michigan. I have bred a number of litters over the years under the prefix “Goldunn”.

 I have trained my dogs through many obedience titles over both through the Canadian Kennel Club and the American Kennel Club. I have also trialed my dogs through Rally titles. I am currently exhibiting two dogs.

I am actively involved as an obedience training instructor at my own facility.

In January 1999 I became a licensed obedience judge and in 2007 a Rally judge. I find judging another level of training where the experience is invaluable. I have been fortunate to have judged obedience in many states in the U.S. I have also judged in Canada, Puerto Rico and Bermuda.

I am president of the Canadian Association of Obedience Trial Judges, a life member of the Canadian Kennel Club and a member of the Golden Retriever Club of Canada.

I retired as the Chief of Police after a thirty year police career. I have been married to my wife Bev for over 40 years. I have two children and one grandson. My other interests include cycling, personal training and recreational trail development.


Laura English


Laura lives in Evansville, Indiana with her Mother and 6 dogs. The only thing she enjoys more than judging is showing her own dogs. Laura started working with dogs at the age of six when her mother took in the over-flow from the local humane society. This turned into a kennel with 7 different breeds.

She got her start in obedience and conformation showing in 4-H. Laura’s first Cocker Spaniel, Sarah, turned out to be extremely fearful in certain situations even though she was well trained. When Laura was invited to attend an outing with the police dog team, she jumped at the chance since this was one such situation that Sarah might be fearful. The police where working their dogs on agility-like equipment and Sarah became so excited that she pulled away from Laura and ran to the top of the Aframe-like wall, standing there with her eyes just twinkling. Laura and Sarah left there that day with a newfound joy.

Agility became a wonderful addiction for them both when AKC introduced their program. Laura has shown Cockers, Schnauzers, Golden Retrievers, Collies, and a Lab in agility and is enjoying training her first Cavalier. She and her dogs have earned over 300 titles in various dog sports and venues. 

Jeff Ipser – back up


My wife and I got our first bearded collie in 1983. My wife showed her in conformation. We enjoyed showing and soon adding more beardies to our family. We also started to take them to obedience and herding trials. In 1999, we watched agility at our national specialty. I made the commitment at that time that I would enter agility at the 2000 specialty. My first agility dog was my wife’s Group winning stud dog. My second agility dog was his son, Zoom. I’m now running Zoom’s son Rezoom. 

Over these years, we breed over 150 Champions, won multiple Best in Shows, won the top agility bearded collie numerous times and have earned 24 MACHs. We have participated in the AKC Agility Nationals and the Invitational on numerous occasions.  Today we currently have 6 beardie collies living with us.



Ken Barna

KEN+BARNA+001[1]Ken Barna, from Burton, OH, has been judging Tracking dogs for nine years and is approved to judge all 4 levels of Tracking.  Ken and his wife Debbie, have raised, trained, and shown Bloodhounds for 25 years and have earned AKC titles in Conformation, Obedience, and Tracking with their dogs.  Their dogs have also earned breed specific titles in Mantrailing.  Ken is looking forward to seeing the exhibitors and their dogs have fun with their tracks and wishes everyone a successful day. 

 Laura McKay

LauraMcKayI live in Guelph, Ontario, Canada with my husband, Larry Schaeffer, and two Labrador Retrievers, a 6 year old black male, Tenor and a 2 year old yellow female, Cassie. When I was a child I became interested in dog training and  began training the family dog, a Cocker Spaniel x Labrador cross. I got my first purebred Labrador in 1985. In 1987, we passed our first CKC TD and I was hooked on tracking. Since then, I have owned 4 other Labradors and put 5 TDs, 3 TDXs, 3 UTDs and 2 UTDXs on my Labs in Canada. Two of my Labs became CKC Tracking Champions (TCh). Both these dogs also passed AKC TD tests.

I have also trained and titled my dogs in Obedience, Rally Obedience, Agility, Retriever Working Certificate tests and Retriever Hunt tests, but tracking remains my favourite performance dog sport. As well, in the winter I skijor with my two Labradors.

I earned a BSc. In Biology and an MSc. In Biology (Evolutionary and Population Behaviour Genetics) from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario and a Ph.D. in Animal and Poultry Science (Animal Breeding and Quantitative Genetics) from the University of Guelph. I worked for 25 years at the University of Guelph doing research on genetic improvement of salmonid fishes. In 2007, I retired from work to devote more time to dog training and trialing. In that year, I began teaching tracking. Since then, I have coached numerous people and their dogs to tracking titles, including the first and only legally blind person (Brooke Sillaby) to train and handle a dog to a CKC tracking title. 

I have been licensed to judge CKC TD and TDX tests since 2012 and UTD and UTDX tests since 2013. I have had numerous judging assignments in Ontario and Nova Scotia since licensing and have also judged NAMBR (North American Mixed Breed) tests since 2011. I have been the tracking representative to the CKC tracking council for South Western Ontario since 2015. 

Tracking remains my passion and I feel privileged to be able to train, coach and judge tracking dogs and their handlers. I am continuously learning from the people and dogs involved in this sport.



Ron Reed and Megan Baker – Master Hunter

Sherie Cartledge and Beckie Swetic – Senior Hunter and WCX

Mario Cilia and Betty Dust – Junior Hunter and WC (land)

Bunny Millikin & Chris LeBel – WC (land)