Granite City Kennel Club

of St Cloud, MN

                                 home | history |training |events | library | gallery | members | e-mail | links   


To see Dana Bower's crested "Toby" go to:



Ch Hekan's Promise For Karma

Owners: Marlene Dick and Karrie Halbur



Owned by Bill & Rose Morris

Terro's Firefly (Beeper)

Owned by Jan Zniewski


PHOTO CREDIT: Times photo by Jason 
 Club Dog Show.
■ It is th
longest sporting event
in the nation.
■ The show will  p.m on CNBC on   broadcast 

Minnesotan steps into Westminster's ring
By Amy Bowen,

Published: January 31. 2008 12:30AM

MONTICELLO Beverly Capstick is known for her calm demeanor and no-nonsense attitude when it comes to judging dog shows.

It may not be what dog show handlers want to hear, but she prides herself on having a good eye and being honest.

Now Capstick will receive one of the biggest honors in the dog show world: She will judge at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City next month.

The retired art teacher will join more than 30 judges Feb. 11-12.

She is the second judge from Minnesota in the dog show's 132-year history, and the only one this year, according to Capstick, who has judged dog shows for almost three decades.

Westminster is "the greatest dog show in the world. Everyone wants to be there," said David Frei, the show's director of communications.

The nation's top 2,627 dogs will vie for the title of Best in Show. Minnesota has 25 entries, according to the club.

Top job

Most dream of an invitation to judge. Westminster officials choose judges based on reputation, Frei said.

"We feel we are getting the elite judges," Frei said. "We like to have someone with a good eye and experience."

That's exactly what Capstick has, said Sandy Donnay, a friend and a member of the Granite City Kennel Club of St. Cloud, where Capstick has judged and worked dog shows.

"She's one of the driving forces of dog shows in Minnesota," Donnay said. "She's one of those judges who does what she believes in."

In the details

Capstick believes in understanding every aspect of a dog breed.

At Westminster, she will judge 134 dogs, including St. Bernards, Siberian huskies and Neapolitan mastiffs.

Judges must undergo intensive training to become certified. They must master individual breed standards, complete observations in the show ring and be mentored by experts on specific breeds.

It takes years to become certified, Capstick said, and then the certification is applicable to only some breeds and disciplines.

She is certified to judge several breeds, breed groups such as working and herding, junior showmanship and Best in Show. She would like to become certified in more toy breeds, she said.

Capstick studies breeds at home and attends seminars around the country when she's not judging.

That kind of dedication makes her stand out among judges, said John Sheehan, an American Kennel Club delegate from Long Lake.

"Beverly has really gone after it," he said. "She knows a lot of breeds. She studies them, and what she doesn't know she finds out."

Her dogs

Capstick has bred Manchester terriers, Doberman pinschers, boxers and Shetland sheepdogs throughout the years.

She has a particular fondness for Dobermans and Manchester terriers. Capstick entered her first dog show with a boxer in 1961.

She turned her attention to Dobermans two years later, drawn to the breed's sleek shape, muscle, agility and intensity.

"I saw a Doberman in a show, and I fell in love with it," she said. "They can be protective, but they can have good temperaments."

She stopped showing her pets after she started judging.

Visitors to Capstick's home are immediately greeted by barking dogs. Mikki, a Manchester terrier, is Capstick's constant companion, and often can be found in his owner's lap.

Her Dobermans, Tigresa and Suka, bound into the room and try to climb on her lap, but she uses a low voice and a secret weapon dried-out marshmallows to make them obey.

That firm and quiet demeanor helps Capstick succeed in the ring.

"I don't play games, and I have a gentle hand," Capstick said.

On the road

Capstick's reputation keeps her in demand. She's judged in almost every state and in places such as Africa, Argentina, New Zealand and China.

She will judge most weekends this year, having booked 43 shows, and she won't have a free weekend between March and July, Capstick said.

She even has shows scheduled into 2011.

New judges are usually expected to pay for travel, food and lodging expenses. Shows pay as little as $3 for each dog judged, Capstick said.

The financial and time constraints are well worth it though, she said.

"You meet people from around the world and with different occupations," Capstick said.

"I don't think there's another sport where people are judging from their early 30s to 90 years old."

Animals dominate almost every aspect of Capstick's life. She is active in several kennel clubs throughout the area.

In her free time, Capstick and a friend create copper portraits of animals.

Dog lovers from across the United States and in 15 countries own her work, according to her Web site.

But spending time with her beloved pets may be Capstick's favorite pastime.

Mikki, Tigresa and Suka desperately wanted to run outside on a cold January morning. Within minutes, Mikki whined to be let in. The others chased after each other in graceful strides.

Capstick admired them from a window.

They are beautiful, she said.


Terro's Firefly   "Beeper"

Owned by Jan Zniewski

Chars Kids

Deanne Green


Ch Snowcrest Speakeasy

Owned by Jan Zniewski



Char's new corgis


Bill with Penny


Bill with Dempsey




Jan with Maude 

The day she finished!


Group 1!

Deanne and Sunny 

A Major!

Jason with Milo

Best of Breed!

Second Place, Bred by Exhibitor, Pug National 2000

Snowcrest Designers Edge

Owned by Jan Zniewski


Ch Buddybears Gentleman Jack

Richard & Jack

Jayne & Andy



Rebecca Smith's Special Friends