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Great Barrington Residents to Judge at Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show
04:34PM / Thursday, November 18, 2021
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GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Residents Nioma Stoner Coen and Thomas W. Coen are among the judges at the 146th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York, New York on Jan. 24-26, 2022. 
The dog show is set to return to New York City after the 2021 event was held outdoors at the Lyndhurst Estate in Tarrytown, NY due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is Nioma's first judging assignment with Westminster and Thomas' second. Both will officiate over several breeds at Pier 36 on Manhattan's lower east side.
Nioma will be judging the Collies (both Varieties), Pembroke Welsh Corgis and Shetland Sheepdogs. Thomas will be judging the Australian Cattle Dogs, Australian Shepherds, Belgian Laekenois, Belgian Malinois, Belgian Sheepdogs, Belgian Tervuren, Icelandic Sheepdogs, Norwegian Buhunds and Old English Sheepdogs. All Best of Breed winners they select will advance to the Herding Group competition on Tuesday evening at Madison Square Garden.
Nioma Stoner Coen has been breeding Shetland Sheepdogs since 1968. A Life Member of the American Shetland Sheepdog Association, she has bred and owned numerous National Specialty winners, all-breed Best in Show winners, and Register of Merit Sires and Dams. As a professional handler, Nioma specialized in Collies and Shetland Sheepdogs.
Nioma has judged both Collie and Shetland Sheepdog National Specialties and assignments in Canada, Japan, China, and Scandinavia. She is approved to judge Collies, Australian Shepherds, Pembroke Welsh Corgis, and Shetland Sheepdogs.
Thomas Coen became interested in the world of purebred dogs at the age of twelve and whelped his first Shetland Sheepdog litter in 1964 while still in high school on Long Island, NY. Over the past five decades of breeding Shetland Sheepdogs, Madega has bred or owned seven National Specialty Best of Breed winners, eight All-Breed Best in Show winners, and more than twenty Register of Merit producers, including the breed's All-Time Top Sire. 
After graduating from college, Thomas taught art on the Junior High level outside of Woodstock, NY. In 1970 he obtained his handler's license.
In 2000, he retired from handling and received his AKC judging license. He is approved to judge the Herding group, Dachshunds, and Best in Show. Thomas has judged Best of Breed at the Collie National, the Australian Shepherd National, and twice at the Shetland Sheepdog National. His assignments and his "Quest For Quality" seminar have taken him to Canada, Japan, China, Denmark, Norway, and Brazil. Together Nioma and Thomas were named the 2004 AKC Herding Group Breeder of the Year.
For 2022, Westminster Week returns to Manhattan starting with the Masters Agility Championship on Saturday, Jan. 22, the Masters Obedience Championship on Monday, Jan. 24 and the breed competitions on Monday (Hound and Herding), Tuesday (Toy, Non-Sporting and Terrier) and Wednesday (Sporting and Working), Jan. 24-26 all on Pier 36. The evening Group judging will be held at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 25-26, 2022.
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