Meet The Judges
Parent Club Specialty
Regular Classes & Puppies 4 to 6 mos. – Susan Norris-Jones
Sweepstakes – Jane Pearson
Junior Showmanship – Grace Freeman
Regular Classes & Puppies 4 to 6 mos. – Lyn McArthur
Sweepstakes – Thelma Carlson
Junior Showmanship – Gina Wieser
After a childhood filled with animals of all kinds, I was introduced to the purebred dog fancy via hunting and obedience trials. In 1974, I was given an Akita bitch and discovered the conformation show ring. Her son became my first homebred champion, and one of the first Akitas in Canada to earn both his championship and a C.D. Our breeding program went on to produce numerous Canadian and American champions, multiple Best in Specialty winners and Awards of Merit. SunoJo Akitas can be seen in the pedigrees of top winning Akitas around the world.
In 1986, the Shiba Inu joined the SunoJo family and since then have earned multiple Best in Show and Best in Specialty, Groups and Puppy Groups, Specialty wins, Awards of Merit, and top rankings in Canada, the US and around the world.
Somehow along the way I became enthralled with the Toys – so much so that Japanese Chin joined the family in 1996. We produced multiple Canadian/American Champions over the years and had the pleasure of being involved with top Japanese Chin for 20 years. We still share our home with two little girls that control the household more than 120lbs of Akita ever did.
As well as conformation, I have been involved with obedience and agility, and have served on the executive of all-breed and breed clubs. I started judging in 1996, became licensed for All Breeds in 2022, and have now judged across Canada, the US, Australia and South Africa. It is a joy and a privilege to judge, and I greatly appreciate all those who have mentored and shared their dogs with me on this journey.
Jane Pearson, this year’s Sweepstakes judge, is a long-time show and hobby breeder. She was born on a farm in the Willamette Valley, Oregon, raising and caring for lots of animals, as well as bringing home every stray dog she could find.
After marrying her husband, Larry, she got her first poodle, a miniature, and started obedience with him. She fell in love with competition sports and loves it still. Her next dog was a standard poodle that needed lots of training. This was her start in AKC events. She went on to breed, train, and show poodles, focusing on not only confirmation but performance. She is proud that all her poodles are titled “on both ends,” including putting a utility title on two of them.
After years of grooming, grooming, and more grooming, she got her first chin. NO GROOMING!! For the next 10 years, she and her friend had a string of poodles, chin, poms, chihuahuas and various other breeds. Jane believes you learn so much from a small breed. “They are so much harder to show. “
Jane believes that “Japanese Chin are a special breed, not needy or barky, but Yikes! do they shed.” She also worked obedience with a chin who “loved to jump and retrieve, but heeling was a different story. “Chin have the independent attitude that perhaps they’ll heel but maybe not today.”
She is honored that the general membership voted for her to judge sweepstakes. “I will do my very best.”
Grace Freeman began showing and training dogs at the age of 9 in 4-H with a mixed breed dog in the city of Columbia, Missouri. She then started in AKC Jr. Showmanship at the age of 10, showing her family’s Golden Retriever puppy. Later in Grace’s Jr. Showmanship career, she showed a wide variety of breeds, yet she spent most of her time showing Standard Schnauzers and English Setters.
Some of Grace’s notable achievements are being the #1 Standard Schnauzer Jr. handler 4 years in a row and a top 10 working dog Jr. handler. She has been invited to the AKC National Championship Jr. Showmanship competition 8 years and the Westminster Kennel club 7 years in a row. At these events, she was chosen as a Jr. Showmanship finalist at the 2012 AKC National and in 2017 she was awarded second place at Westminster in Jr. Showmanship. With her English Setter, she was the 2015 #1 Sporting dog Jr. Handler and #4 Jr. Handler in the country. Grace has also shown her dogs to be in the top 20 of their breeds and has co-bred several Berger Picard litters.
Grace graduated pharmacy school in 2022 and has been practicing pharmacy at an independent retail pharmacy. Currently, she has an English Setter puppy at home that she is working on getting his championship.
Lastly, Grace wants to thank the Japanese Chin Club of America for inviting her to judge the Jr. Showmanship competition at this year’s national!
Lyn McArthur is a successful, established breeder of Japanese Chins for close to 20 years and has built a solid reputation as a judge with a good eye. She is a licensed ANKC and FCI Championship Show Judge for the Toy Group, Terrier Group, Gundog Group, Hound Group, Utility Group, Non-Sporting Group and an Open Show Judge for the Working Group as well as an accredited Junior Handler Judge. She has judged in most states of Australia, New Zealand and in the United States of America.
Lyn is currently president of the Toy Dog Club of SA Inc. and is a Justice of the Peace in South Australia. Her involvement in the toy ring has allowed her to gain extensive knowledge and experience with toy dogs and in particular the Japanese Chin, Chihuahuas, Bolognese, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Papillon, Pomeranian and King Charles Spaniel. Recently she imported the very first ANKC Registered Bolognese into Australia.
Lyn’s first dog was a Rottweiler which she trained in obedience. Soon after Chihuahuas moved into the household as family pets, from which came the Tonantzin prefix for showing and breeding. Her first two males came from Lynne MacLellan of Minegold Kennels in Canada, three more followed from Minegold to increase the depth of line breeding. Tonantzin has bred many champions over the years including homebred Grand Champion Tonantzin Legendary Myth followed by multiple Philippine Champions.
Success with Chihuahuas was followed by Japanese Chins: Lyn imported a male and female from the Amronchi affix in England and from there started breeding Japanese Chins under the Kiseki prefix. Lyn’s first male import went on to many wins from a young age and was the strong foundation of her kennel along with her foundation girl from Chinsan here in Australia. Her imported girl went on to win Best in Show at the Japanese Chin Club of Victoria in 2008 and again in 2015 from the Veteran Class.
Lyn has imported a further three males from England, from Yama, Sangria and Sharlarna, to complement the existing lines here in Australia.
Showing and breeding under the Kiseki prefix, Lyn has made up many homebred Champions and Grand Champions including C.I.B Supreme Champion Multi Best in Show winning Japanese Chins. Her breeding program has proved to be successful having bred multiple BIS winners, multiple RUBIS, multiple BISS, RUBISS, Best in Group, Class in Show and Best of Breed Royal winners including a New Zealand Champions under the Kiseki prefix. Lyn owns and co owns five Japanese Chins that have won the Japanese Chin Club of Victoria Best in Specialty Show nine times since coming into this breed.
Lyn campaigns her Japanese Chins and now the Bolognese, who has recently gained his BIS C.I.B Supreme Championship title, the first Bolognese in Australia to do so.
Lyn is very much looking forward to judging the National in September 2023 for the Japanese Chin Club of America.
My husband and I, along with two of our grandkids live in the Ozarks of Missouri. Overall, we have raised four of our grandkids with two of them now able to live on their own. Needless to say, the kids keep us young!
I have been raising and showing Japanese Chin for 33 years now under the kennel name Tsunami. I originally got involved with the breed and showing after the tragic loss of one of my sons. The shows, the people and the Chin were a much needed “therapy”. This therapy continues after all these years with new friends, new shows, new cities, new restaurants and new Chin to show. I have finished many Champions as well as had top winning Chin of both sexes. My Tsunami bred Chin have won at Specialties as well as receiving awards at Westminster.
In addition to showing Chin and raising grandkids, I also enjoy painting. My favorite media is watercolor. I enjoy painting landscapes and animals of all kinds, of course including Japanese Chin. I have donated my artwork to the Japanese Chin Club of America for decades. My artwork has been used in auctions, logos, awards etc. It truly is a joy to be able to share my Chin art with the JCCA club members.
As a breeder, It is such an honor to have been voted by the club members to judge Sweepstakes. I am looking forward to seeing all the beautiful Chin at the Specialty in September! Thank you again for the privilege of being able to judge . . . I just LOVE it!
Gina received her first AKC Toy Poodle as a gift from her mother in 1964 . . .this was the start of it all. Her mother was an avid dog lover, a passion passed down from her father. By the following year, there were multiple show Poodles in Gina’s family which eventually became the home of Hell’s-a-Blazen Poodles. Located on five acres of farmland in Connecticut, Hell’s-a-Blazen was built with the guidance of their mentor, Wendall Sammet. Gina’s mother, Frances, was the driving force behind the development of Hell’s-a-Blazen. In 1975, Gina became a licensed AKC Professional Handler specializing in Poodles and Toy breeds. She continued actively breeding and showing with her mother. The Hells-a-Blazen breeding program produced approximately 200 champion Poodles worldwide and continues to be present in most white Toy Poodle pedigrees today.
In 2006, Gina accepted a position as an AKC Executive Field Representative. She retired in 2021 during the thralls of Covid. Gina is the director/presenter of the Poodle Club of America Judge’s Education, and co-Chair of the PCA Junior’s Education program. During her time with AKC, Gina was a regional rep for the AKC Registered Handler’s Program, traveled internationally to train judges, and presented at the AKC Advanced Institutes. Gina’s involvement with Judge’s Education began in the ‘70’s under the tutelage of Jim & Annie Clark.
Gina and her husband Cliff live in the small historic town of Weston, Missouri. The resident pets are Ziggy the Poodle, Mary Frances the Chihuahua, and Tula the cat. Keeping busy . . . Gina judges, works part-time in a designer boutique, and is active in her local city government.
Gina and Cliff have two sons, Nate and Danny, and five amazing grandchildren.