2015 BEST JUNIOR HANDLER
Photo by Kayla Bertagnolli
Stats: 367 Points
I want to thank Susan Still for trusting me and teaching me, taking me under her wing!
GCH foxboro ill have another "Belmont" was my birthday and Christmas present when i turned 12. I had the pleasure to pick him out myself, I can remember the 6 hour car ride home like it was yesterday. Since day one Belmont, other known as "Lips" has slept in my bed and been by my side. After all the practice, hours of grooming, the sweat, the tears , the miles we've driven and everything in between. I fell in love with this sport and i owe that to this amazing springer, Belmont has done way more then i could ever ask him to, he has shown me how to love every minute win or lose, how to have fun and love what i do. He is everything a junior dog should be. We have done so well together, making junior finals at Eukanuba, almost 100 best juniors, many scholarships, and Twice best junior at the prestigious Eukanuba Pre-shows. The future is bright for us!
Thank you again Susan Still and Hannah Kolzow for Belmont, my perfect junior dog and my best friend.
2015 RUNNER-UP TO BEST JUNIOR HANDLER
Photo by Chris Duppenthaler
Stats: 302 Points
I have competed in Juniors since the age of 9, starting out showing a Golden named Dawson. 4 years ago, I lost him suddenly to cancer and began the search for a new Juniors dog. A very good friend of mine, Kim, has always had English Springer Spaniels, and after showing her boy Will in Juniors in Canada one day, I just knew that was my next breed. In August of 2013, I was lucky enough to be asked to co-own a beautiful 18 month Will son named Domino. We bonded immediately. Now anyone who owns and shows a Springer knows there is A LOT of work involved on a daily basis to keep them in show coat, and I was bound and determined to learn as much as I could in this journey with Domino. I didn’t just want to be a good English Springer handler, I wanted to learn about the breed, grooming, training, ring presentation, the whole thing. And I wanted to be able to do it myself. It has been an eye opening and extremely rewarding journey.
Domino and I have been lucky enough to qualify for Eukanuba every year we’ve been together and we’ve qualified and competed twice at the Garden. Along the way in very limited local showing, we have multiple class wins and 18 Best Junior Handler awards. Together we have obtained his Canadian Championship, in group winning style…my First Every Group ONE!! We earned his Int’l CH with multiple Group wins and RBIS. After finishing his American Championship this past June, in his first weekend as a Special, he won the breed over many top Specials, won Owner handled Best of Breed, Group 1 and went on to win Best Owner Handled in SHOW!!! Capped off only by a regular Group 3 and Best Junior. That was a day I’ll never forget. And thru it all, in the hot weather, and blazing sun, Domino gave me everything he had, he showed better and better as the day went on. He is always ready for the next adventure, the next spin around the ring, he Loves it! To be at the end of his leash is a privilege and I cherish every moment.
This past February at the Garden was our last spin around the Juniors ring together and I can’t think of a better ring to take that last round in. We made the first cut and Domino showed like a million bucks. It meant the world to me that so many of the people who have helped us and supported us along the way, also made the trip to be ringside to cheer us on. And multiple more friends and family watched online.
While our time in Juniors is done, I’m so happy that we will always be together as I’m lucky enough to have him retire to my couch. (We’ll see how long he stays there ) I also compete in 3 day Eventing with my horse Sheen and I’m SO excited that Domino will be there on that journey as well..(Minus a little bit of hair ) Domino and I have grown thru the Juniors journey. We learned how to make each other laugh, how to celebrate and to love each other unconditionally. We’ve made some amazing lifelong friends thru dogs and I will cherish those forever. Showing Domino in Juniors has never been about rankings or how many BJH wins we could garner, it has been about the bond, the relationship and the journey. And what a journey it has been.
Thank you again to Everyone who has been there thru all of this, I could have never done this on my own. I will forever cherish my friends I’ve made thru showing dogs. To Kim, I will forever be grateful to you for taking a chance on a kid who just wanted to show a Springer… He is my heart.
And to my “Partner in Crime” - Am/Can/Int’l CH Journey’s Let The Games Begin, RN…aka Baby D… - I love you more than words can say!!!