Crufts Best in Show Judges
Crufts 2019 Best in Show judge – the late Dan Ericsson
After judging various dog breeds on three separate occasions, the late Dan Erricson was honoured with the role of judging Best in Show at Crufts 2019. With a distinguished career spanning 38 years as an upper secondary school teacher specializing in English and French, as well as Swedish, Erricson attributed his judging appointments to his linguistic prowess. His journey into the world of dogs began with a Scottie, recommended by his grandmother. Over time, he expanded his canine interests to include Pekingese and Labradors, ultimately developing a fondness for the latter breed due to their unique personalities and characteristics. Having successfully bred 175 champions under the kennel name Raglan, with 10 of them being Labradors and 2 Pekingese. He acknowledged his influencers, a quartet of Scottish Terrier greats – Elsa Meyer, Betty Penn-Bull, Muriel Owen, and Maureen Micklethwaite – a remarkable team of ladies who left a lasting impact on him.
Dan Erricson's journey from a seasoned teacher to a respected dog judge reflected his passion for dogs and the profound influence of key figures in the world of canine excellence. Sadly Dan passed away in December 2022.
This interview appeared in May 2019 edition of the Kennel Gazette. To get a copy of the full interview please visit here.
Crufts 2020 Best in Show judge Anne Macdonald
Anne Macdonald, the Best in Show judge of 2020, is hound specialist, and her familial connection with dogs spans many years, instilling in her a deep passion for pedigree canines. Notably, her affiliation with Crufts dates back to her childhood, attending the renowned event regularly, and she reflects on the unexpected journey from spectator to Best in Show judge. With eight prior judging engagements at Crufts, spanning from 1996 to 2020, Macdonald's expertise extends across various breeds, including Afghan dogs, Salukis, YKC Stakes, Norwegian Elkhound, Foxhounds, Deerhounds, Whippet bitches, and Pembroke Welsh Corgis. Her journey in the dog world encompasses a deep connection to sighthounds, with Salukis being her favourite breed, along with occasional involvement in showing Whippets, Borzoi, and Corgis. Beyond her judging prowess, Macdonald's contributions extend to breeding, owning, and exhibiting champion Salukis, accumulating an impressive tally of 13 champions with over 100 Challenge Certificates. The origin of her kennel name, Mabrooka, carries a touch of luck and foresight, reflecting her belief in the need for good fortune in the breeding endeavour. Macdonald's judging journey extends globally. She shares memorable experiences from international shows, including a memorable trip to San Francisco, marked by an earthquake on arrival, and her love for the Australian dog scene. Anne Macdonald's journey is a testament to her passion, dedication, and invaluable contributions to the world of pedigree dogs.
This interview first appeared in March 2020 edition of the Kennel Gazette. To get a copy of the full interview please visit here.
Crufts 2022 Best in Show judge Stuart Plane
With a rich history spanning many years, Stuart Plane's involvement in the canine community is marked by an impressive legacy. Notably, it was 40 years since he last participated in the Best in Show final at Crufts, making this occasion even more special. Plane's journey in the show ring began in 1994 at Crufts when he judged his own breed, Scottish Terriers, and experienced the thrill of stepping onto the green carpet. Over the years, he has judged various terrier breeds and Schipperkes, making notable appearances in the main ring for competitions like The Kennel Club Vulnerable British and Irish Breeds, Breeders’ Competition, and the YKC final. Stuart's involvement in the dog show community extends beyond judging, as he has been an active breeder and owner, particularly in Scottish Terriers, Sealyham, Wire Fox Terrier, Poodles, and Donzeata Griffons. Stuart's journey is marked by memorable wins, including his first Champion, Ch Stuane Highland Empress, who won the Terrier group at Crufts in 1982. Throughout his career, he has bred numerous champions, with 24 Stuane Scottish Terrier champions and two Toy Poodle champions. Stuart's kennel prefix, "Stuane," is derived from his name, Stuart Plane. Despite his demanding career as a teacher, Stuart's dedication to the world of dogs remained unwavering. Stuart's professional background as a teacher, particularly in horticulture, has enhanced his ability to communicate breed information effectively, contributing to his success as a judge and speaker.
This interview first appeared in February 2022 edition of the Kennel Gazette. To get a copy of the full interview please visit here.
Crufts 2023 Best in Show judge Stuart Mallard
Stuart Mallard, the esteemed artist and accomplished figure in the world of pedigree dogs, took centre stage as the Best in Show judge for Crufts 2023. Renowned both at home and abroad, Stuart Mallard's artistic talents seamlessly intertwine with his extensive involvement in pedigree dogs, spanning the United Kingdom and the continent. The interview opens with a congratulatory note on his appointment at Crufts, reflecting the honour and excitement he feels for this significant event. Mallard shares his journey of judging at Crufts, having presided over 32 breeds since his debut in 1993, including noteworthy instances like the Pastoral and Working groups. Beyond the show ring, Mallard reveals his deep connection with various dog breeds, detailing his affinity for Old English Sheepdogs, Bichon Frises, Bouvier Des Flandres, and Tibetan Terriers. He discloses the inspiration behind his kennel names, Lameda and Tuckles, and reflects on memorable wins, such as his Best in Show victory at the Ladies’ Kennel Association in 1974. In addition to his contributions to the dog world, Mallard's passion for art takes centre stage. As an artist, he draws inspiration from the old masters, including Leonardo da Vinci and Rembrandt. He shares insights into his artistic journey, revealing that he appreciates ballet and collects his own unsold paintings. Mallard's judging career extends globally. He highlights the positive changes in some countries, acknowledging the improvement in breed quality and handling standards.
He emphasizes the interconnectedness of his experiences, partner, art, and the canine world, illustrating how they collectively shape his perspective as a judge.
This interview first appeared in February 2023 edition of the Kennel Gazette. To get a copy of the full interview please visit here.
Crufts 2024 Best in Show judge Ann Ingram
Ann Ingram, commands great respect both domestically and internationally, boasting a rich family history deeply entrenched in the world of pedigree dogs. With an impressive background, Ann's involvement spans over 40 years, marked by a diverse portfolio of breeds, including Boxers, Pugs, Shetland Sheepdogs, Boston Terriers, and Toy Poodles. Her kennel, Tirkane, has produced over 100 Irish champions and champions in various other breeds.
The full interview features in the February 2024 Kennel Gazette. To get a copy of the full interview please visit here.
We are wishing Ann Ingram a delightful and enjoyable experience at Crufts 2024!