2008 AKC National Agility Championship

Judging Panel

AKC is proud to announce the judges for the Twelfth AKC National Agility Championship.

Laura English - Evansville, IN

Laura A. English lives in Evansville, Indiana with her 13 year old son and 4 generations of female Cocker Spaniels. She teaches obedience and agility classes and judges AKC agility. 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, hoping this would present a positive experience for her dog. The guys where working their dogs on agility-like equipment. Sarah became so excited she pulled away from Laura and ran to the top of the Aframe-like wall, and sat 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. She and her dogs have earned over 150 titles in various dog sports and venues.

Being asked to judge the AKC Nationals and have the opportunity to have the best seat in the house to view such wonderful Agility teams is such an honor to her.

Donald Farage, Jr. - Bartlett, TN

Don Farage has been training and showing for about 15 years. Alicia & I started with a Mini Schnauzer. Beau was my first AKC titled dog. We never went beyond our NA in agility. We later added our first 'Show' dog to the house with a Standard Schnauzer named Kaysee. We finished her title in the breed ring at about 18 months and later went on to complete a CD. Kaysee is the dog I have done the most with over the years. We finished our MX & MXJ and went on to compete in the preferred classes until she decided to retire completely at a little over 13 years of age. We're looking for our next SS to compete with; we added a rescue BC in 2004. This has been a very positive and different experience. I like all the dog venues, but agility has me hooked. I applied for the AKC judge's seminar and was planning to attend on Sept. 16, 2001. Needless to say we all had bigger issues to work through after 9/11. We all decided to try again in February the next year. I started my first official AKC assignment in March 2003. 2008 was a major milestone in judging for me. I was invited to be in the judging panel for the Nationals in Ohio! That was a tremendous honor and experience to judge that group. Wow. I'm obviously still having a blast judging and exhibiting. I hope those that are playing this game are having as much or even more fun at it than I am!

Kera Holm - Fresno, CA

AKC judging has expanded my world by allowing me to meet wonderful teams from all parts of the United States. I have been judging for the past 9 years and have loved every minute of it!

The ability to travel and judge is supported by my wonderful husband, Scott, who takes care of and loves our three shelties when I am gone. He and my son, Miles, are part of my team every time I step on a course to judge or to compete. I could not be there without them.

In the working part of my life; I am a Division Operations Manger, with a responsibility of 20+ branches in our company. It keeps things interesting and always lively.

I like to think I contribute to the sport by having fun and challenging courses out there for you. I want to be there, for each and every one of you, when you step out together onto one of my courses. I hope that all of your hard work to get here is rewarded, as together we see our best compete, laugh, and enjoy in this great part of AKC!

Rachel Long - Rosharon, TX

Rachel has been an agility enthusiast since 1988, when she started with her German Shepherd Dog, Belle. A Doberman soon followed and then, more recently, Border Collies. She currently has a Labrador and a Canaan Dog in training. In addition to agility, Rachel has also competed in obedience, flyball and herding. Her first Border Collie, Maestro, even �dabbled� in some stage acting after he retired from agility.

After completing her undergraduate education at the University of Florida, Rachel became a Registered Dietitian specializing in Renal nutrition. However, she now works full-time in her dog training business�Bellecreek Sports Dog training Center, located near Houston, TX.

A life-long animal lover, Rachel now lives on a small farm where she raises sheep and free-range chickens. Her long-suffering husband, Mark, is a professional theatre director, an Equity actor, and, when Rachel is travelling, he serves as shepherd and farmhand.

Jean Munger - Hampshire, IL

My husband bought me my first Keeshond in Dec. 1976. I of course had to train her, so I was referred to a local obedience club to start training. This was just the beginning!! I was then introduced to breed shows, tracking and then agility. I was afraid to get into the agility world because I thought it would take over my life. Guess what� it pretty much did. Then in 1999 I became an AKC agility judge.

I have earned MACH's on 2 of my Keeshonden, as well as various Obedience and Rally titles including the Utility Dog title, several Champions and 7 Tracking dog titles. My Kees were the 1st & 2nd in the breed to earn the Versatility title when they earned their VCD2's.

I acquired a Bernese Mountain Dog in 2005. She has earned a CD RN NAP NJP NA and a TDX. We are also working on a Drafting title and would also like to try some Herding with her.

It is an honor to be asked to judge the 2008 AKC Nationals in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

I wish every one a fun and a successful weekend.

Pamela Sturtz - Afton, NY

Mrs. Sturtz became involved with showing dogs in the early 1980's after observing an obedience trial sponsored by a local club. After competing in obedience for many years first with her German Shepherd Dogs, then with Belgian Sheepdogs and, finally, with Border Collies, agility came to the AKC. She began competing in agility in 1994 with her older, OTCH border collie and became hooked.

When judging, Mrs. Sturtz loves to see the joy on the faces of the dogs and handlers as they negotiate the course and loves to see a team celebrating their run, whether they have qualified or not. As a competitor, she finds the challenge of devising a strategy to handle the course a major component of the fun of agility. She has competed at several national events sponsored by the AKC as well as other agility organizations and has earned many upper titles, including MACH, but feels that the best part of agility is spending time with your dog(s) and friends at the trials.

Mrs. Sturtz became a judge in 1999 because she enjoyed agility so much. She felt that she wanted to give something back to the sport and wanted to be able to see agility competitors from other areas. She also teaches agility classes in her local area.

Mrs. Sturtz is a retired high school physics teacher but is currently an adjunct professor at a local community college. She lives in upstate New York with her husband, Eric, and their son, Randy. Their canine household consists of two border collies, with whom she is currently competing, a retired papillon and a German Shepherd Dog that is a companion to Eric and Randy.