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Should Elderly or Infirm Judges Be Forced To Resign?


We polled almost 9,000 subscribers on whether it would be FAIR or UNFAIR if AKC Asked Elderly or infirm judges to resign?  This was prompted by an unconfirmed rumor that revered terrier man Ric Chashoudian (who has had back problems), All Breed Judge and magazine columnist Marcia Foy of Delaware and popular multi-group judge Bob Sharp of NY may have been asked to resign.


Link to Ballot Results and your comments below but first, please note the following:


CORRECTION: 5/20/08 "My name is Bob Sharp, I have not been asked to not judge, I judged in Michigan last week and am Judging in New York in two weeks, Please retract your article on my status." We decided his email is the most factual correction we could make.  While our source was extremely reliable, we sincerely apologize to Mr. Sharp.  Just proves you can't believe everything you read online, even at


We posed several questions for readers before asking them to vote.  They were:


Is it unfair to require someone who has been so devoted to the sport to just “go away” because they can no longer do a good job? Let’s face it, many young healthy judges do a miserable job but they still get entries.


Is there a sensible formulae by which AKC can and should ask judges, regardless of their health or age, to withdraw from center ring? How many letters of complaint from the average exhibitor might it take to justify that action?  How many letters would it take to have a young, healthy but incompetent judge removed?


Many judges have continued to judge during their last years. Lina Basquette judged her last show from a wheelchair. Going to shows is a major part of their lives but should judges attend dog shows as a spectator or as the one deciding important wins?


Could/should judges be removed based on performance and exhibitor satisfaction, not arbitrary decisions by AKC officials who are neither exhibitors nor medical professionals?


Has AKC asked for your opinion on this important issue? We will forward a consensus of your votes along with a selection of one-sentence comments to Peter Gaeta, AKC Judges’ Dept.


We then asked readers to VOTE and they vote they did!  About a hundred more votes and comments were still coming in on Tuesday after the ballot box closed.


The two ballot questions were:


If you believe requiring judges to step down when deemed by AKC to be incapable of doing a good job due to age or health issues, click FAIR


If you believe that AKC should not discriminate against a judge due to age or health issues, click UNFAIR




6/08 | We called Mr. Peter Gaeta, Director Of Judging Operations who graciously agreed to an interview.  He was candid and genuinely concerned, both for exhibitors and judges.  AKC has excellent procedure in place, as does the Senior Conformation Judges Association (Interview later this month).  Click Here for AKC Judging Dept. Interview.




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