Vet­eran judge goes to the dogs

The Palm Beach Post - - IN YOUR COMMUNITY - Alexan­dra Seltzer

Jef­frey Pep­per trav­els across the coun­try and world to judge dog shows. This week, he spent a cou­ple of days in New York City for the most pres­ti­gious one in the na­tion — the 142nd West­min­ster Ken­nel Club Dog Show at Madi­son Square Gar­den.

The sub­ur­ban Boynton Beach res­i­dent judged the Hound Group on Mon­day night. Pep­per had more than 30 dogs to eval­u­ate and had to de­cide which most closely con­formed to the in­di­vid­ual breed stan­dard.

Pep­per looked at size, color, tem­per­a­ment, how the dog should move and what its job is.

“It’s a blue­print of what that dog should look like,” said Pep­per, 74.

He gave first place to a 5-year-old bor­zoi named Lucy. Sec­ond place went to a 6-year-old blood­hound. Pep­per awarded third place to a 4-year-old, 15-inch bea­gle and fourth place to a 2-yearold whip­pet.

Pep­per felt right at home in New York City. The bor­zoi comes from Palm Beach County and be­longs to Michele Mol­nar, Jamie Dan­burg and Mi­noru Kato. The own­ers could not be reached Wed­nes­day.

The bor­zoi moved up to the Best in Show com­pe­ti­tion with the win­ners of the Toy, Non-Sport­ing, Herd­ing, Sport­ing, Work­ing and Ter­rier groups. But the bor­zoi’s luck ended there. A 5-yearold bi­chon frise named

Flynn from the Non-Sport­ing group claimed Best in Show, ac­cord­ing to The As­so­ci­ated Press.

Pep­per de­scribed his judg­ing ex­pe­ri­ence as “won­der­ful.”

“It was an amaz­ing honor to be asked to do the group,” he said.

This was Pep­per’s third time judg­ing at West­min­ster. He also has judged com­pe­ti­tions in Asia, Aus­tralia, Canada, Europe, Mex­ico, New Zealand and South Amer­ica, ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease. In ad­di­tion to hound breeds, Pep­per is ap­proved to judge all sport­ing breeds, Cava­lier King Charles spaniels and Best in Show.

In 1985, Pep­per re­ceived his first Amer­i­can Ken­nel Club li­cense to judge golden re­triev­ers, his first breed.

Pep­per still man­ages to make time for his own furry an­i­mals. He owns two Cham­pion Cava­lier King Charles spaniels named Angie, who’s 12, and Hugo, 3 1/2, and a whip­pet named Quill, who’s 4 1/2.


Jef­frey Pep­per, a vet­eran judge, eval­u­ates a 5-year-old bor­zoi named Lucy at the West­min­ster Ken­nel Club Dog Show on Mon­day. Lucy won the Hound Group.

Lucy, the bor­zoi that won the Hound Group, is owned by Palm Beach County res­i­dents Michele Mol­nar, Jamie Dan­burg and Mi­noru Kato.

A 5-yearold bi­chon frise named Flynn, from the NonS­port­ing Group, claimed Best in Show in the pres­ti­gious event.

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