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Westminster Junior Roundup

The Show of Shows Juniors’ Round-Up

It is a Junior’s’ dream come true to show on the green carpet. To receive that special invitation from The Westminster Kennel Club, the show of shows is the pinnacle of achievement for a Junior. Recently, we had the opportunity to sit down with three Junior Handlers headed to the 2014 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden:  KayCee Klang, Jordan Confer & Marina  Nagatani.  They are articulate, well-rounded individuals with a passion for dogs.  Each was excited, energetic & eager to share their experiences as they counted down the days to “The Garden.”  For these three kids,  it meant months of hard work and dedication with their dogs to qualify. For some, it’s their first time running the green and others are back for another run. We think you’ll enjoy getting to know them and share their enthusiasm as they prepare to be in the most famous sports venue at the most prestigious & oldest show for dogs. Like most of us, it started with a love for dogs that became a commitment to excellence.

We asked these questions:

    • •Their age
    • •Where they’re from
    • •How long have they been involved in the sport
    • •What breed(s) do they show in Juniors
    • •How did they get their start in dogs
    • •What is their goal for this year to accomplish in dogs
    • •How many years have they qualified and shown at the Garden

KayCee Klang

How old are you and where are you from?

I am 14 years old from Thousand Palms, Ca.

How long have you been involved in the sport?

I have been showing dogs since I was 5 years old and I have never wanted to do anything else.  My mother has been showing and breeding Briards for 18 years, under the kennel name “Mon Amie.”  Once I was old enough to walk my mother handed me a lead and a dog; it just seemed to click.

What dogs have you shown? What breeds for Juniors?

On occasion I have shown a Whippet, Bouvier des Flandres, and Boxer but my primary breed is the Briard. I started with my Briard bitch, “Denim,” CH Mon Amie Bell Bottom Blues. She was my first dog that I showed to complete her championship. When Denim came in season I started to show my boy, “Cagney,” GCH Deja Vu Mia Calk Walk, and since then Denim has never been back to the junior ring. Cagney and I have had an amazing connection from the start.

How many years have you qualified for the Garden?

I have qualified for the garden every year since I was nine and have gone each year. So the 2014 Westminster Kennel Club will be my fifth year to compete.

Goals for 2014:

My goals for the new year would to do as well as I did in 2013. I had to stop showing in October due to a surgery. With that as a challenge,  I am very proud to say that I was #5 in the country and #1 herding junior, I would love to accomplish this and more for the new year.


Jordan Confer

How old are you and where are you from?

18, Hereford, Arizona.

How long have you been involved in the sport?

I have been showing for eight years now. My first Juniors’ dog was a Bullmastiff, but after a year I switched to a Parson Russell Terrier. I showed them in Juniors until I was 17 at which point I switched to my Treeing Walker Coonhound. We finished the year as the number seven hound junior in the country. We are also the first Treeing Walker team to qualify for Eukanuba and Westminster.

How many years have you qualified for the Garden?

I have only qualified once for Westminster and this is my first time showing there.

Marina Nagatani

How old are you and where are you from?
I am 15 years old and I am from Visalia California.

How long have you been involved in the sport?

I have been showing dogs since I was 9, so 6 years.

What breeds do you show in Juniors?

I have been showing the same Maltese, “Lucy,” in juniors for 6 years. I now show a Toy Fox Terrier named “Hef” in juniors as well.

How did you get your start in dogs?

When I was 8, my mom was looking for a small dog for the family. She was originally looking for a Malti-poo, but didn’t have any luck. She looked at the American Maltese Association (AMA) website for a Maltese, and found a breeder near by. An hour later we were driving home with our first Maltese and my first show dog, Lucy.

what is your goal for this year to accomplish in dogs?

I hope to get a group placement, or even better a group one on my bred by, “Steve,” Ch. Bellarata’s Captain America. I also would like to win a Best Junior with him.

How many years have you qualified and shown at the Garden?

I have qualified and shown at the Garden for the past 3 years. This will be my fourth year attending the Garden.

Watch for these talented in the Jr. Showmanship ring at the Westminster Kennel Club.  If you would like more information on the Juniors competition at Westminster Kennel Club, follow this link for background, history, qualifying and Judges:  http://www.westminsterkennelclub.org/2012/show/jr.html

We wish the Class of 2014 the best of luck!


Written by

  • sydney jones February 7, 2014 at 1:33 PM

    Great article. Great Photo. Best of luck Kendall and Wrangler…

  • Teena Dunker February 10, 2014 at 10:22 AM

    Congratulations KayCee Klang!!! Great interview…hope you & Cagney take all! Good Luck~

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