German Shorthaired Pointer ‘CJ’ Wins 2016 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show


Taking his routine bow before beautifully floating around the ring, a liver-and-white-ticked German Shorthaired Pointer called “CJ” took the coveted honors at the 140th Annual Westminster Kennel Club (WKC) Dog Show at Madison Square Garden in New York City, becoming the 10th consecutive Westminster winner fueled by Purina® Pro Plan® brand dog food and completing a Pro Plan-fed sweep of the Group First winners.

GCH Vjk-Myst Garbonita’s California Journey, a 3-year-old male, was the third German Shorthaired Pointer (GSP) in history to win the prestigious event. CJ’s pedigree includes “Traveler” (CH Gretchenhof Columbia River), the first GSP winner, who won in 1974, and “Carlee” (CH Kan-Point’s VJK Autumn Roses), his granddam, who won in 2005.

“CJ is my heart dog, and I knew at 6 weeks old that he was special,” says breeder-owner-handler Valerie Nunes-Atkinson of Temecula, California. “He is an old soul that takes his job seriously. Outside the ring, he’s a typical dog that likes to get dirty and have fun.”

Having dreamt about winning Best in Show since she was 10 years old, Nunes-Atkinson fell to her knees as Best in Show judge Dr. Richard Meens pointed to CJ.

“This is the pinnacle of what we as breeders, owners and handlers strive for. Winning Westminster is exactly as I imagined,” says Nunes-Atkinson, who was named Best Junior Handler at the Garden in 1981.


“CJ never stopped moving and stayed focused,” Dr. Meen says of CJ’s performance. “He had an alert, bright expression and was not easily distracted.”

Having only been shown for six months in 2015, CJ’s win at the Garden marked his 18th Best in Show.  Among his wins, he took back-to-back Bests in Show at the 2015 Santa Barbara Kennel Club Dog Show and captured Best in Futurity at the 2014 German Shorthaired Pointer Club of America (GSPCA) National Specialty.

“For those of us in the sport, hard work is 24/7,” Nunes-Atkinson says. “Our 15 minutes in the ring is just the icing on the cake.” Keep reading for more information about CJ and the other Group winners.

BEST IN SHOW & SPORTING GROUP Registered Name: GCH Vjk-Myst Garbonita’s California Journey Call Name: “CJ” Breed: German Shorthaired Pointer Breeders: Alice Manning, Anita Weiss, Valerie Nunes-Atkinson Owners: Valerie Nunes-Atkinson, Mark & Laurie Ulrich, Alice Manning, Yvonne Hassler-Deterding Handler: Valerie Nunes-Atkinson Formula Fed: Purina® Pro Plan® SPORT Performance 30/20 Chicken & Rice Formula

RESERVE BEST IN SHOW & HOUND GROUP Registered Name: CH Belisarius Jp My Sassy Girl Call Name: “Lucy” Breed: Borzoi Breeder: Kyoko Ozeki Owners: Mai Ozeki Handler: Shota Hirai Formula Fed: Purina® Pro Plan® FOCUS Sensitive Skin & Stomach Formula

TOY GROUP Registered Name: GCH Wenrick’s Don’t Stop Believing Call Name: “Panda” Breed: Shih Tzu Breeders: Wendy & Richard Paquette, Jody Garcini Owners: Sharon Bilicich, Jody Garcini Handler: Kathy Bilicich Garcia Formula Fed: Purina® Pro Plan® SPORT Performance 30/20 Chicken & Rice Formula

NON-SPORTING GROUP Registered Name: GCH Imperious Hamitup Southern Bell Call Name: “Annabelle” Breed: Bulldog Breeders: Suzanne & Rick Glover, Rick & Kelly Franz Owners: Ellen Charles, Imperious, Hamitup, Hetherbull Handler: Jean Hetherington Formula Fed: Purina® Pro Plan® SPORT Active 26/16 Formula

HERDING GROUP Registered Name: GCH Lockenhaus’ Rumor Has It V Kenlyn Call Name: “Rumor” Breed: German Shepherd Dog Breeders: Pamela McElheney, Kent Boyles Owners: Deborah Stern, Pamela Buckles, Patti Dukeman, Pamela McElheney, Kent Boyles Handler: Kent Boyles Formula Fed: Purina® Pro Plan® SPORT Performance 30/20 Salmon & Rice Formulaand Purina® Pro Plan® SPORT Performance 30/20 Chicken & Rice Formula

WORKING GROUP Registered Name: GCH Pebbles’ Run Play It Again Ham Call Name: “Bogey” Breed: Samoyed Breeder: Amy Kiell Green Owners: Amy Kiell Green, Andrew Green, Barbara Bruns, Wolfgang Stamp Handler: Andrew Green Formula Fed: Purina® Pro Plan® SPORT Performance 30/20 Chicken & Rice Formula

TERRIER GROUP Registered Name: GCH Cragsmoor Good Time Charlie Call Name: “Charlie” Breed: Skye Terrier Breeders: Eugene Zaphiris, Matthew Stander Owners: Victor Malzoni Jr., Nancy Shaw, Eugene Zaphiris, Matthew Stander Handler: Larry Cornelius Formula Fed: Purina®Pro Plan® SPORT Performance 30/20 Chicken & Rice Formula

Congratulations to all!