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A Recap of Terrier Junior Handlers at Great Western

As we all know, the Great Western Terrier Association show is one of the “it” spots for junior handlers who show Terriers to compete. This year I was able to attend and watch the competition unfold for the second year in a row, and I have to say it had high and low points.

Each and every handler gave it their all in that ring, whether they were competing in a Novice or Master class, but the entry was not as big as I think it could have been. I was really hoping to see more than a handful of juniors proving that Terriers are indeed great junior dogs. Although I didn’t see as many as I would have liked, I still saw a lot of potential in the kids in competition. But I do feel that events as well known as Great Western should have not only quality, but quantity as well. Wouldn’t you agree?

I would like to congratulate back-to-back Best Junior Handler winner Breanna Uyeno from the Master class. Breanna not only goes around the ring with grace and confidence, she keeps a smile on her face while doing so. She is well known for showing her Great Dane in Junior Showmanship, but she is also frequently seen with other breeds, such as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier she competed with at Great Western. I’m sure this isn’t the last we will see of her!

Breanna and her Staffy Bull, ‘Bob,’ pose for a picture on the beautiful Long Beach show site after being awarded back-to-back Best Junior Handler awards at Great Western 2013.

Overall, these kids knew what they were doing showing their breeds, and they had fun doing it. I even spoke to a relative newcomer to the juniors ring, and she expressed that even though she may not have won her class, she still had fun and looks forward to learning more, which can only be done by showing more! I found it refreshing to see this attitude from such a young handler, and I couldn’t agree with her more!

Junior handlers with their Terriers in the ring at Great Western.

Next year, let’s all shoot for more junior handlers to work with a Terrier for at least one show, and encourage juniors to consider showing at an all-Terrier show. Who knows, it may change a young handler’s life.

No matter the breed, it’s safe to say that Dogs Freakin’ Rule!

Written by

Kayla Bertagnolli is a 23-year-old from Ogden, UT, who's been involved in the dog show world her whole life. A former junior handler who learned about breeding Beagles from her mother Leah, she assisted several professional handlers and is currently working to become a Junior Showmanship judge. Kayla is passionate about photography and writes the twice-weekly blog, DFR. She plans to continue breeding and showing, and expects to stay involved in dogs "for life!"