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Chatting with Our Future – A sampling of WKC Juniors

Now that another year of Westminster has come and gone, I want to say “Congrats!” to all of the Juniors that competed this year. This year’s Junior Ring, judged by Mr. Peter Kubacz, was full of bright and talented kids, I don’t know how the judges could pick! For the lucky finalist, a dream was about to come true: walking into the big ring at Madison Square garden with bright lights shining, a crowd clapping and cheering for you is an experience like no other. Part of being a great handler or junior handler is being able to keep calm, and show just like you were at any other show. One of the most important things to remember is to take everything in because many never get the opportunity to experience running the green. The juniors in this article all commented about staying calm, remaining confident, as they each worked to join the pantheon of Westminster Kennel Club’s Best Juniors.

I was able to chat with three of Westminster’s Junior finalists after their week in New York City. They were excited, thrilled with the opportunity to have qualifified, and for one elated Junior to have come home with that enormous ribbon, recognition of her hard work and excellence in the sport.
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krissy O’Brien BJH Westminster 2014

First up, and winner of Best Junior Handler at Westminster 2014 is Krissy O’Brien.

How old are you?
I’m 16

Where is your hometown?
Weeki Wachee, Florida

How long have you been in dogs?
6 years
What thoughts were going through your head when you stepped onto the green carpet and into the ring?
I kept telling myself that it was like walking into a normal ring

What do you think it takes to win Best Junior at the Garden?

It takes confidence, having a good dog, and mostly having fun.

Now that you have won the ultimate win for Juniors, what is next for you and your dog?
I am going to continue showing in jrs at every show but Westminster. I would like to try to win some more scholarships for school.

What is your best memory from your trip to NY?
Definitely winning Best Junior. It was such an amazing feeling to have being able to stand on that podium with all eyes on me. Nothing can ever beat that.

Caleb Campbell, One of 3 Finalists for BJH

Next is Caleb Campbell
How old are you?

I’m 16.

Where is your hometown?
Sumner, WA

How long have you been in dogs?
I have been in 4-H for seven years and AKC for four years.

What thoughts were going through your head when you stepped onto the green carpet and into the ring?
My biggest competition is always myself. This was my third year competing in Junior Showmanship at Westminster, and in my first two years I definitely let my nerves get to me. I just kept trying to stay as calm as I possibly could and to keep my dog calm as well. I listened to my music until the minute I was called into the ring; I didn’t want anything I heard to worry me. I just kept thinking “Why not me, why not us?” I kept remembering how much I need scholarships and just to never give up until I win one on that garden floor.

What do you think it takes to win Best Junior at the Garden?
I think to win Best Junior at the Garden you need to have a special drive and mindset. I think you have to be extremely motivated and not let anything anyone else says get into your way.

What is your best memory from your trip to NY?
I traveled to New York and worked for Terri Erickson. I could not ask for a better team to be a part of. My favorite part was going to Phantom of the Opera. It was my first Broadway show and I had no idea what to expect and was completely blown away by it.

Devon Kipp a Finalist for BJH at WKC 2014

And finally, Devon Kipp

“Thank you for inviting me to participate in your article, Kendyl!”

How old are you?
I am 17

Where is your hometown?
I live in Muskego, Wisconsin.

How long you have been in dogs?
I have gone to dog shows almost every weekend of my life. I showed my first dog when I was three, so about 14 years.
What thoughts were going through your head when you stepped onto the green carpet and into the ring?
My thoughts when I entered the ring was to stay calm, be smooth, give it my all, and make it a good time for both me and my dog.

What do you think it takes to win Best Junior at the garden?
I think it takes a smooth confident handler to win Best Junior at Westminster. The handler should be able to show off their dogs best qualities to the judge and make their dog stand out to the judge.

What is your best memory from your trip to NY?
My best memory from this year;s Westminster was how well both my Golden (Aly) and my Red and White Setter ( Gilbey) showed for me. They were both on their “A” game and showed amazingly, I couldn’t be more proud of them.

 

Thank you Krissy, Caleb and Devon for your time. Our audience appreciates all your efforts – in the ring and out.

 

If you or someone you know is a Junior or a Junior parent and would like to be interviewed, drop me a note.  Email kendyl@bestinshowdaily.com, personal message on my facebook or Best In Show Daily’s facebook messages.

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