Mary Lynne Elliott acquired her first Rhodesian Ridgeback in 1986. Her first home-bred litter in 1989 produced a multiple group winner and hooked her into the world of dog shows. Having bred many litters at her home and several other co-bred litters, she has produced numerous champions under the Vedauwoo Kennel name.
Mary Lynne has handled several dogs, both her own and those of others, to Group wins and Group placements. She has a passion for dog shows and is currently the AKC Delegate for the Rhodesian Ridgeback club where she has served as president twice, First and second vice president, and as a board member. She is an active member of the Evergreen Kennel Club where she serves as secretary, a member of Flatirons Kennel Club, and a member of Morris and Essex Kennel Club. She judges the majority of the Hound Group and Border Terriers.
Mary Lynne looks forward to judging the National Specialty – it is a thrill and a tribute being selected and is thankful to the membership for this honor.
Sweepstakes/Stud Dog/Brood Bitch/Brace
4-6 Month Baby Puppy
Stewart has been around purebred dogs all his life. Family dogs included, Standard
Dachshunds, Irish Setters, mixed breeds, and the Rhodesian Ridgeback. Together with his wife Jacquie, the Cedarpoint Kennel name was born in the early 90’s and has produced many champions, specialty winners, coursing champions, tracking, and hunting dogs. Stewart started working towards his all-breed judging license in 2004 and is currently licensed to judge 6 groups (Sporting, Hounds, Working, Terriers, Non-Sporting, Herding), and Best in Show. Stewart has
judged all over Canada and the United States and is looking forward to judging around the world.
Stewart has a particular interest in Canine Anesthesia and Canine Bleeding disorders. Dogs are Stewart’s passion. Stewart currently sits as the Chairperson of the Canadian Kennel Club Breeder Relations Committee and is Vice President of the Oakville and District Kennel Club a local all-breed club and teaches dog show handling for the Swansea Dog Obedience Club in Toronto. In his non dog life, Stewart is a Director of Property Management at a Major Canadian University. Stewart and Jacquie have 2 grown up sons, Ben and Josh. Currently only one dog in the house but maybe adding to that soon!
My husband, Wayne, and I adopted our first ridgeback, a ridgeback mix, in 1999 from RRRInc and our 2nd rescue came a few years later. We fell in love with the breed almost immediately. In 2004 I knew I wanted to do more with the breed and started looking for a girl that would become the foundation for
our kennel, Azize Rhodesian Ridgebacks. We welcomed our foundation bitch Libby, MBIF, DC, U-Ch, Intl Ch Jabulani's Liberty's Fire RA, SC, LCM2, CGC, HRQ1, into our home in the summer of 2005. Libby started us on this crazy journey of owning, showing, coursing and breeding ridgebacks.
A sound mind and body highlight the things I look for in a Rhodesian Ridgeback, which leads to both Form & Function. Form: A grace in the show ring coupled with solid lines that conform to the standards set by the Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of the United Sates (RRCUS). Function: Agility, power and discipline displayed in the field and in performance events showcasing the God-given abilities and instincts of the Ridgeback.
In 2019 I had the honor of judging sweeps at the Raisin River Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of Michigan supported show.
I look forward to seeing and judging the triathlon conformation dogs at the 2022 National Specialty.
Denise Flaim acquired her first Ridgeback in 1998 and breeds under the Revodana prefix. Approved by the American Kennel Club to judge the entire Hound Group, most Working breeds and all-breed Junior Showmanship, she has judged our breed in England, Germany, Italy, France and Denmark. Denise has served as RRCUS historian, AKC Gazette columnist, co-chair of the Health & Genetics Committee and co-show chair of the 2015 National Specialty and is currently a member of the H&G and Education committees. The founder of Revodana Publishing, which produces high-quality dog books, she is also on the editorial staff of Dog News magazine and writes frequently for the American Kennel Club. Denise shares her life with her husband Fred, their 18-year-old triplets and three Rhodesian Ridgebacks.
Grove City, OH
I was born and raised outside of Pittsburgh PA, in the suburb of West Mifflin. I currently live inGrove City, OH but will always be a Pittsburgh Steelers fan. Next to watching the Steeler gamesevery Sunday, I was THAT girl, that watched all of the reruns of Lassie. Since I was a little girl, I dreamed of owning a “Lassie” dog. The time finally came when I was in my twenties and got my first Collie. I was in heaven. That dog was magical. I was still living at home, and my Mom wasn’t a dog lover, but Captain magically placed a spell on her, and she fell in love with the breed. Soon afterwards, I got married to a guy named “Timmy”..….and we lived happily ever
after! Hahaha - Yes, we do live happily with our 3 sable and white collies, Colin, ZZ and Punch. Our dogs all love to play in the sport of agility, and all have been great working dogs. In addition to agility, I’ve also shown in Breed, Herding, Obedience and Fast Cat.
I had seen Borzoi at shows, but never knew the breed until 1981 when a friend at college bought a beautiful grinning Borzoi. Having setters – where the show and field lines are barely the same breed - I liked the idea of being able to have a show dog and sporting dog in the same animal.
I graduated as a veterinarian in 1989 but have otherwise devoted most of my time and money to preserving and promoting the athletic Borzoi. To this end I have finished show, lure coursing, racing, and open field championships. I have bred 30 litters for 103 American show champions, including 31 dual champions, 20 field champions, and several dogs with titles in other countries.
I have conducted two objective studies comparing structure to speed in Borzoi. I
measured Borzoi across the United States and Europe and the results are available at: http://www.nktelco.net/teine/speed3.htm
I consider lure ops to be the most important member of the field committee. But watching and judging any breed run is pure joy.
My wife, Susan, and I acquired our first ridgeback in 1991 and started coursing her in 1993. She earned her ASFA championship, was very steady, but not a star. Our second girl, who came along in 1995, was the #1 ASFA ridgeback and #1 combined AKC/ASFA in 1997, and the Specials Stake winner at the 1998 National Specialty in Batavia (yes, we were very proud parents!). She also competed in agility and obtained excellent titles in both standard and jumpers. We added a Borzoi to our crew in 1999; she coursed and obtained an ASFA championship. and earned a Novice Jumpers title in agility. Our third RR came along in 2003. She was our first AKC dual champion, earned her ASFA championship, and completed Open titles in agility. She received an Award of Merit at the 2007 National Specialty in Cincinnati (again very proud parents!). She had a litter of 11 in 2008, 7 of which attained their conformation championships, and three of those coursed, two to titles. Since then, we have had 3 additional Ridgebacks, 2 of which are still with us, and although neither are inclined to chase plastic, both compete in agility. We also rescued a redbone coonhound mix in 2014, who, ironically, absolutely loves to chase the bunny!
We have been active club members of OKIGO since 1994. I started lure operating in the early 2000s and became a licensed judge, in both AKC and ASFA, in 2011. I am truly honored to have been considered, let alone selected, to judge the specialty coursing. I am looking forward to a great day on the field!
Best Ridge In Show
I bought my first Ridgeback in 1994. Previously I had been owned by several cross
breeds/mixed breeds, Newfoundlands, English Setters and Pointers. As a kid and young adult, along with my father, I was involved with breeding and training Setters and Pointers. It became quickly apparent that watching the partnership that develops between handler and dog was art in motion. I was hooked on performance for life!
Since owning my first Ridgeback, Sophie, I have been involved in both Conformation and
Performance believing that the two go hand in hand. While Lure Coursing is my passion, I have discovered that handling a dog in Agility and Obedience builds a unique relationship between dog and owner that is truly rewarding.
RRCUS activities include serving as RRCUS President for four years, Chairman of the Rhodesian Ridgeback Charitable Foundation, Chairman of the 2002 & 2009 Specialties in Michigan, Coursing Committee for the 2000 Specialty in Kentucky, Performance Committee Chair and Triathlon Chair for the 2004 Specialty in Texas.
I am honored to be invited to judge the overall Best Ridge at this year’s National Specialty.
Best Ridge, Bitch
Patricia Hoffmann of Gillette, New Jersey, obtained her first Ridgeback in 1988. Together with her husband Bob, they have owned eight Ridgebacks over those many years. Pat is a former board member of the Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of the United States, where she was instrumental in managing the club website and its implementation of digital commerce and is currently on the board of the Greater Valley Forge Rhodesian Ridgeback Club. She has been very active in agility and conformation, titling her dogs both in the field and on the bench. When she’s not doting on her two Ridgebacks, you can find Pat puttering in her bloom-filled garden.
Best Ridge, Dog
In 1966 a visiting friend showed us a picture of their ridgeless Rhodesian Ridgeback. We were intrigued, having looked at several other large, short haired breeds. The very next Sunday there was an ad in the Chicago Tribune for RR puppies…the breeders lived 10 miles from us……Fate?
It was love at first sight! The parents were imported from South Africa’s Rockridge kennel, and had been shown to their championships in the U.S. We named our new puppy Walgroh’s Lady Tanga. She was “pet quality” with no intention of showing, paying the pricey sum of $150! But, of course, someone encouraged us to show her, we won one point, and the rest is history. Tanga finished her CH, and then we bred her. We chose Rifrug as our kennel name, meaning Ridgeback in Africaans. At the time AKC allowed only 25 letters for a dog’s name and kennel name, hence the short kennel names in the 60s…..Kwetu, Kimani, and Rollings to name a few.
We showed in conformation for close to 50 years, and bred several litters, but were never “big breeders”. The first puppy we ever sold was CH Gera’s Tawny Taja of Rifrug, who was the dam of Ch Rutans Mpenzi Rafiki of Gera, a dominant sire for many decades.
George became involved in RRCUS shortly after purchasing Tanga, and served on the Board, first as Secretary (only one Secretary at the time) and then Delegate to the AKC for 30 years. I worked on more Nationals than I care to count and chaired and was on committees for the club. After George died, I was on the RRCUS Board for 6 years.
My first ever judging assignment was being the Sweepstakes Judge at the Allentown National in 1996. Since then, I have judged many Supported Show Sweeps all around the country. Judging the Top 25 as the breeder judge at the Loveland, Colorado show in 2018 was a true honor. I am look forward to seeing all the beautiful ridges at the National in Ohio and am very appreciative of the opportunity to do so.