Conformation/Junior Showmanship/4-6 month Puppy

 Michael Faulkner

The sport of Purebred Dogs has been an integral part of Michael Faulkner’s life.  As a youngster Michael was active in Junior Showmanship and assisted his parents with their kennel and breeding program.  In the late 1960’s Michael acquired his first Golden Retriever, along with Field Spaniels in the 70s, starting a lifelong love for these two breeds.

During the late 1970’s Faulkner pursued his education earning his BFA, MS.ED, from Alfred University, Alfred, New York and a Post Graduate Certification from George Washington.  During this period, he maintained a breeding program and actively showed his Golden Retrievers, Field Spaniels, and Pointers.  Upon the completion of his education Michael established a partnership with the late David White (Woodspoint Springer Spaniels).  For 12 years this team dominated the Sporting Group, completing championships in all of the Sporting breeds, along with numerous group and best in show winners in all seven groups.

Michael has owned, bred and or exhibited eleven multiple best in show winning Golden Retrievers along with owning and breeding champions in the following breeds: Field Spaniel, Pointer, English Springer Spaniel and Pug. He owes his passion and knowledge of the various Spaniel breeds to his “English Mum” Mrs. Peggy Grayson (judge/breeder/author) who unselfishly took him under her wing as a youngster (1974) providing decades of mentoring.  As a student of the various Flushing Spaniels, Michael spent countless hours with many of England’s great spaniel breeders including the late Rae Furness, Kay Holmes, Faith Gilham and many more over a span of thirty-eight plus years.

Michael ‘s vast understanding of the various spaniels and the subtle nuances that make each breed unique is something he takes extremely seriously and refuses to compromise when evaluating breeding stock. He often quotes his mentor Peggy Grayson: “It is the ability to understand the subtle difference between these close cousins that make a truly great spaniel judge.”

Faulkner retired as a professional handler in 1995 and immediately embarked on a judging career.  Michael is approved to judge all Sporting breeds, Herding and numerous other breeds in five of the seven groups. He is proud of his numerous national specialty assignment, international judging experiences, multiple Westminster Kennel Club judging assignments and three past invitations to judge American Spaniel Club.

Michael continues his Golden Retriever breeding program with his partner: Dr. Ann Greenbank, under the “Verdoro and Woodspoint” prefixes and spends countless hours mentoring new judges on several of the Gundog breeds. 

Michael is an active Board Member of Take the Lead, member of the GRCA and serves on the Breed Standard Committee. When Michael is not judging dog shows he keeps busy with his artwork, kayaking, gardening, cooking, writing and serves as the Executive Director for a Health Clinic


Dr. Erin Kerfoot

I have spent my entire life with English Springer Spaniels (ESS). I knew from a young age that I wanted to dedicate my life to showing and breeding ESS. I started showing dogs when I was five years old. I won Best Junior at the English Springer Spaniel National in 1990 and again in 1994. In my Juniors career, I won top handler for English Springers four years (retiring the parent club challenge trophy), was the number 2 ranked junior in the country for 1997, and placed third at the 1998 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

With the help and guidance from breeders and mentors such as Delores Streng, Ruth Kirby, and Robin Novack, I have been fortunate enough to have a remarkable show career and a great start to a sound and healthy breeding program. In over 20 years, I have finished 47 dogs; 36 of which I have either bred or co-bred. Other exciting wins from our kennel include best of breed at the 2011 and 2014 ESSFTA Nationals, winners dog, best of winners, best bred by and best of opposite sex at the 2008 National, and Group one at Westminster Kennel Club dog show in 2015. And most recently, a dog I co-bred was the number one sporting dog for 2019.

Not only am I an ESSFTA member, but I also hold a board position on our foundation organization. As a foundation board member, I have helped pass several health initiatives and educated our fancy on a variety of health topics that affect our breed. Other breed clubs that I am involved with include the Eastern English Springer Spaniel Club and the Mountain Valley English Springer Spaniel Association. Additionally, I am the secretary and assistant show chair for our local all-breed club in Salem, VA. I have learned a great deal about how clubs function as well as the hard work and planning required to put on a show.

In addition to my dogs, I have devoted my career to the study of neural mechanisms of behavior. Sparked by my early interest in training dogs, I became fascinated by psychology and neuroanatomy. I graduated in 2009 from the University of Virginia with a Ph.D. in neuroscience. I then completed a post-doctorate fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I currently reside in Marion, VA with my husband, Dr. Ryan McGlothlin. He is a family medicine physician and I am a professor at Virginia Tech. Along with pet therapy at Ryan’s clinic, I also enjoy taking the dogs hiking and swimming in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.


Michelle Persian

Michelle Persian entered her first agility trial in July 2004 with her English Springer Spaniel, Noodle.  After one run, she almost didn’t go back for the second.  The chute (remember that) had a big wood cut out of a frog surrounding it.  Noodle ran up to it, put her brakes on and barked at the frog with big beady eyes.  She refused the chute, walked over the broad jump and didn’t weave.  Someone convinced her to stay for JWW and she walked away with a pretty blue ribbon.  Well…the rest is history.   She continued her agility career with “The Purple Puppy” – Bria a little lilac border collie.  Bria was affectionally named a HPL – Hairy Purple Ligament as she could turn over jumps like a dog with no bones one Minnesota exhibitor claimed.   Michelle became an AKC agility judge in 2019.  She lives in Eden Prairie, Minnesota and  shares her home with a Border Collie (Vino) and two English Springer Spaniels (Sghetti and Gnocchi) known as the Wine and Pasta Crew.