Meet the Judges

Regular Judge: Mrs. Susan Shephard, Deja Vu


I met my Grandmother's Pekingese, Footsie, when I was a toddler and it was love at first sight on my part. For Footsie, not so much. I didn't get my own Pekingese until I lived on my own and several pet store Pekes came into my life, increasing my infatuation with them. More than 25 years ago I got my first show dog and life has never been the same or any better! I retired from the corporate world in 2018 and became a full-time Pekingese Wrangler.

Some of the highlights of my Pekingese/dog life are:
I served on the Board of the Pekingese Club of America as Vice President, Newsletter Editor, Publications Chairperson, and the Judges Education Chairperson.

  • I bred the first and only American bred Pekingese dog to be awarded his UK Championship title; GCH Deja vu Stand By Me.
  • I bred and showed the 2019 Pekingese Club of America Best of Breed winner, a bitch, GCHB Deja vu Kiss Me Like You Mean It.
  • I am a Silver Register of Merit breeder (PCA)
  • I am a board member of the Pekingese Charitable Foundation.
  • I am the Show Chair for my all-breed club; West Volusia Kennel Club.

Sweepstakes Judge: Mrs. Lori Stephen, Aslan


I grew up showing horses and with Persian cats. I purchased my first Pekingese from a pet store in 1999, and he completely stole my heart. I had intended on buying a handbag when I left the house that morning but instead came home with a Pekingese puppy appropriately named “Coach. I was enamored and mesmerized with that dog and began a serious study of the breed. I had many pets and rescues over the years, some with serious health issues. I learned how to properly care for, and help the ones that were poorly bred, before I started breeding my own. I did a lot of research before I started showing and breeding.

Early on, I realized the importance of healthy, sound dogs. I was blessed with fabulous mentors who gave me years and years of their time and knowledge. My husband Mark and I breed under the prefix of Aslan. We have finished 34 and an additional 17 that we have handled for others Pekingese of our own breeding/co breeding, and an additional 17 that we have handled for others. We have bred multiple group winning dogs, and several BISS Winners and Multiple All-Breed Bests in Show. We have won the PCA National three times with two different dogs under Breeder Judges Thomas Curley, David Fitzpatrick, and Elizabeth- Tilley Poole.

We have been also dabbling in Afghan Hounds for the past few years. When I put my hands on a dog, I want and expect it to be built just as nice under the coat as it is beautiful. I am a member of several dog clubs, and serve on the boards, so I can work to advocate for this beautiful ancient breed.

Junior Judge: Mr. David Fitzpatrick

David Fitzpatrick has been involved with the dog fancy since 1970. 2023 marks his 53rd consecutive year of dedication to purebred dogs.

Starting as an AKC licensed assistant handler, David went on to enjoy a successful handling career. Among the honors bestowed upon him, David was named the AKC Toy Group breeder of the year in 2009, and the AKC Breeder of the year in 2021, in addition to award for Member of the Year and the AKC parent club Good Sportsmanship award.

Pekingese handled by, bred by or co-owned by David have had the honor of winning Best In Show at Westminster in 2012 and 2021, Reserve Best in Show there in 2023, and nine times have won the WKC Toy Group. David's Pekingese have been awarded Best In Show at Morris & Essex 3 times, Best In Show at the AKC National and twice Best Bred By In Show at the AKC National as well as many other notable wins. They have also been top dog All-Breeds and many times the top dog in the Toy Group. On the breed level David has handled the Pekingese Club of America Specialty winners 21 times. Over 100 champions have been bred under the Pequest prefix, 17 have been Best In Show winners.

David is a Board member of the Pekingese Club of America, The Progressive Dog Club, and the Pekingese Club of New Jersey. He is also a member of the Maryland Kennel Club.

Enthusiastically adding another chapter in December 2022, David is now a judge of the Toy Group, Best In Show and limited Junior Showmanship.

Tuesday Dec 12
Space Coast Kennel Club of Palm Bay
Breed Judge: Mr. Sei-Ichiro Ishimaru - Group: Dr. Gareth Morgan-Jones

Wednesday Dec 13
Brevard Kennel Club
Breed Judge: Mrs. Polly Smith - Group: Shawn James Nichols

Thursday Dec 14
Central Florida Kennel Club
Breed Judge: Dr. Gareth Morgan-Jones - Group: Jan N. Paulk

Friday Dec 15
Pekingese Club of America National
Breed Judge: Mrs. Susan Shephard - Sweepstakes: Mrs. Lori Stephen - Juniors: Mr. David Fitzpatrick

Saturday Dec 16 AKC National
Breed Judge: Mr. David Kirkland -
Group: Mrs. Rosalind Kramer