Cindy Vogels, Morgan owner and breeder, of Andover Farm in Greenwood Village, Colorado, has been selected for the ultimate judging assignment in the dog show world, Best In Show at the 136th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show which was held at New York’s Madison Square Garden on February 13th and 14th, 2012.
Cindy has been busy and successful in the sport of dogs, having first made her mark in the show ring, and producing well over 100 Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier champions in partnership with her mother. Among those dogs were many Group winners, with two Best In Show winners, and the top-producing American Terrier dam of all time.
The Vogels’ Andover Farm has owned World Champion Morgan Horses Chandel Absolut, Delusions of Grandeur, and produced many more with their AMHF prefix. They were the breeders of the 2010 Circle J Futurity Champion AMHF Mata Hari – the third AMHF Morgan to win that coveted award.
So this week we have the honor of interviewing Cindy Vogels, who judged the Best In Show at this week’s Westminster Dog Show, in NYC. We thought you might enjoy a look behind the scenes of and get to know Cindy outside of the horse world….
I started riding at summer camp when I was probably about 8 years old. Interestingly, at the second camp I went to, outside Naple, ME, we rode saddle seat.
We moved to our present location in 1988, and although it had been a horse farm, I just wanted the space for dogs. An employee’s child connected with our neighbor Mary Woolverton who had Morgans. From my New England camp days, I had heard about Morgans, and I began to ride at Mary’s. We acquired a few horses, went to some shows, and in 1991, decided to train with Mary Cockriel. It’s been a twenty year alliance, and we are truly grateful to Mary Cockriel, Bob Kellert and the staff at the River’s Edge for all their hard work and encouragement that has led to the success we’ve had with Morgans.
Our only child lives here in Denver and manages our wine publication (Sommelier Journal) office. We have an 18 month old granddaughter and I can’t wait to get her on a horse.
Winning with our homebreds means a lot to me. I think it’s my success as a breeder which has led to my success as a judge. I’m very proud of both.
Dogs, like horses, are judged against a Standard of Excellence. The winner is the dog who best represents that Standard. The biggest similarity between the dog show and the horse show worlds is that both show worlds are based on conformation. But, the dog shows I judge is strictly conformation, much like the saddle horse in-hand classes. AKC recognizes over 150 different breeds and we are approved to judge breed by breed. There are many dog shows held every week all over the world, so the scope is larger than the saddle horse scene.
I began showing dogs when we acquired a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier. At that time the breed was quite rare, and all owners were encouraged to show. My Mother and I gave it a try and we were hooked!
My most memorable experience showing dogs was winning a record breaking fourth Best of Breed at the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier National from the veteran’s class with my almost 10 year old dog Song N Dance Man. Twenty years later, most of his breed records still stand, but a professional handler put most of the wins on him (including his Terrier Group win at Westminster in 1989) but he had been home for years and I did all the preparation and showed him myself to that special win.