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The American Kennel Club (AKC®) is pleased to announce that Clifford W. Steele and Jeffrey Wright have been hired as Executive Field Representatives in Conformation, with Mr. Steele covering the New England area, and Mr. Wright covering the Midwest. Both started their positions in July 2021.

“Both Clifford and Jeffrey have been handling dogs for more than 40 years and bring a wealth of knowledge with them,” said Patricia Proctor, Field Director, Conformation. “They have the skills and experience that are necessary to be a successful Field Representative. We are happy to welcome them as members of the AKC Staff.”

Clifford Steele had his first experience with purebred dogs when his parents purchased a Boxer in the mid-60s. His family quickly became involved in breeding and exhibiting Boxers, eventually producing CH Regency’s Nite Life, which became the number one Boxer who also won the Working Group at Westminster in the early 1970’s.

Steele began working for professional handlers in the 80s and started showing Cocker Spaniels, Bichon Frises and Bearded Collies. He went on to begin his own handling business, showing mostly Sporting, Herding, Non-Sporting and Working dogs. Steele began judging in 1998 and returned to professional handling from 2002 on, achieving multiple Best in Show and Group wins.

Mr. Wright has been involved with dogs as a professional handler, assisting clients with training and showing, and managing up to 30 dogs of various breeds and sizes. He has judged Cocker specialty events in Australia, Sweden, Finland and Budapest, and shown in countless Cocker Spaniel and English Toy Spaniel shows. He has been a member of the English Toy Spaniel Club for 15 years.

Both Mr. Steele and Mr. Wright are eager to bring their knowledge to the AKC as Executive Field Representatives.