Sighthounds at the "Show Dogs of the Year" Awards Dinner
The annual Show Dogs of the Year Awards banquet, sponsored by Purina ProPlan in partnership with Dog News Magazine, was held at Gotham Hall in New York City on the evening of February 8, 2020 — the day before the start of Westminster Kennel Club's 144th annual dog show.
The Show Dogs of the Year Awards are sometimes compared to the Academy Awards for actors (which, incidentally, will also take place on February 9). Several of the winners in the different categories were Sighthound related. Karen Staudt-Cartabona of the Majenkir Borzoi was voted Breeder of the Year; Linda Souza, who shows the Limerick Irish Wolfhounds that she and her daughter Jamie Souza Bartlett own, was voted Owner-Handler of the Year; and Dr. Donald Sturz Jr., who has been successful in several breeds, among them Greyhounds, was chosen as Judge of the Year. The American Whippet Club was nominated for Specialty Show of the Year.
Karen Staudt-Cartabona with two of her Majenkir Borzoi.
Karen Staudt-Cartabona started breeding Borzoi in the early 1960s; her Majenkir kennels is responsible for more than 400 champions and a very consistent type. At least 11 Majenkir dogs have won all-breed Best in Show and many more BIS at specialties, including five times at the BCOA National Specialty. An in-depth profile of the kennel was published in the Summer 2019 issue of Sighthound Review.
Linda Souza has been showing her own Irish Wolfhounds for several decades with great success. Although producing only 16 litters over more than 50 years the Limerick Irish Wolfhounds have included 54 champions. Linda herself has shown the No. 1 Irish Wolfhound of the year in the US at least nine times, and won many Specialty and all-breed Best in Shows.
Dr. Sturz was approved by AKC to judge the Sporting Group in 1996, the Hound Group in 2001, and was approved for all the major Sighthound breeds in 1998. He has judged at Westminster nine times, also at the AKC National Show, Morris & Essex KC and national specialties for several breeds.
The winner of Best Professional Handler of the Year was Marcelo Chagas, Best All-Breed Show of the Year was Houston Kennel Club and Best Specialty Show of the Year was the Labrador Retriever Club of the Potomac.