Best In Show Daily is pleased to publish the  Junior Handlers’ Edition, our newest publication dedicated exclusively to Juniors. JHE will publish weekly and highlight different Juniors from around the Country. Each week, we’ll select five accomplished Juniors, letting them tell in their own words & own formats what makes them “tick”. Our next group of Juniors is another great group Juniors working hard to master their craft and making positive contributions to the Sport & their communities. We think you’ll enjoy their insights & perspectives. JHE is very special to us and we hope to you as well. Join us as we salute the future of our sport, the Juniors.

Allison Fitzgerald

Hi, I’m Allison Fitzgerald. I am a Junior Handler in the Open Intermediate level, and I was born on April 8, 2000. I have been showing dogs since I was 9 years old. My first show dog is a 13″ Beagle named Bedlam Ricochet, call name Ricochet. He’s my heart dog. His breeder is Mandy Bobbitt of Bedlam Beagles in Rockbridge Baths, VA. All three of my Novice Junior wins are with him, I qualified for the AKC Eukanuba National Championship with him twice, competed at the AKC Eukanuba National Championship in 2012 with him, and have put his 3 point major and 15 single points on him. He’s still shown by me today and he’s now six years old. My other juniors dog is Ch. Kiarry’s Pin Ball Wizard, call name Elton. I got him in August of 2012 from breeders Lisa & Harry Miller of Kiarry Kennels in Mechanicsville, MD. I’ve became the #1 American Foxhound Junior as of April 30, 2014 and ended as the #1 American Foxhound Junior of 2013. I have put 4 Grand Championship Points on him with very limited showing this year.

I am also a member of Skyline Kennel Club, Recording Secretary of the Augusta County Classic K9s 4-H Dog Club, and was a member of the Wilson Middle School Future Farmers of America. I am also a upcoming freshman at Wilson Memorial High School.

Some of my mentors are June Cohron, DVM. She taught me a lot when I first started out. Jill Wilkinson, Leader of my 4-H club, taught me a lot also. I want to thank Mandy Bobbitt, for giving me my first dog, love dog, my everything dog. I don’t know where I’d be without him today. Sue Whaley, for helping me with my beagle and my American Foxhound. She’s very supportive of me, and that means a lot. And finally, the entire Miller family. Lisa, Harry, John, and Grahm, I cannot thank you enough for helping me with Elton and cheering me on. It is such an honor to be with such a team. And finally, my family. For telling me all those years I can do it, I’ll always get better, and motivating me to move forward. Without their help, I don’t know where I’d be today. There’s many more, like Emily Goldstein, Lauren Williams, Aarom Wilkerson, Angela Lloyd, Greg Strong, Kandice Kostic, Heather & Zack Helmer, and many more.

Ricochet, my first show dog, had never been shown till I got him in March of 2009. He was a work in progress for a long time. I had a big struggle lifting him on that table when I was nine, because it was so tall back then. He always put his head on the ground, and liked pulling. A lot! Now, he is a free stacker that is honestly perfect. I’ve taken my grooming skills I’ve learned and put them to use on him and he looks awesome. I am so proud of him and how far I have come with him.

In my spare time, I enjoy fishing, hunting, shopping, spending time with my family and friends, seeing my boyfriend (who also comes to my shows), and dog showing. I’m very much into music and can play acoustic guitar, and a video gamer. I’m also a technology geek and try to get the newest in cell phones when I upgrade.

Some of my favorite dog show books are the Winning Edge by George Alston, and reading the old Canine Dictionaries to see how much the sport has changed. My personal favorite books are the Divergent Series by Veronica Roth, The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins, and The Fault in Our Stars, Looking For Alaska, and Paper Towns by John Green.

Some of my goals for my future are to win 1st in Juniors at Eukanuba and Westminster, and to win Best in Show at both of those shows. Career wise, I would like to either become a Registered Nurse in Pediatrics, Prenatal Care, or in the birthing center of a hospital, become an EMT or become a Veterinarian.

Riley Capton

My name is Riley Capton. I just turned 12 yrs old and compete in the Junior Open Intermediate class with my Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, “Griffin” GCH Atas Grauman’s Gypsy Run Through. I have grown up with Miniature Schnauzers and Wheatens; however, my family is new to dog shows. I have only actually been competing for just under one year.

I’ve always had a passion for animals and wish to become a veterinarian for small animals and exotics. (My mom is not thrilled with the caring for snakes part!) I lost one of my Mini Schnauzers after many years of living with liver disease. My first Wheaten died tragically before his 2nd birthday. My family said goodbye to him on a sad Christmas morning, after he got very sick from a dog treat. Griffin came to my family soon after losing him. Griffin’s breeder and the breeder of my first Wheaten suggested trying Junior Showmanship. It seemed like a fun way to spend time with my dog and also learn about all breeds.

In the short time we’ve been showing, I have had some great experiences. I really wanted to qualify for Eukanuba, and I did at our breed specialty weekend in Sacramento. We also won Select Dog under Judge Clay Coady that weekend, which was amazing. We have won Best of Breed under Mr. Clay Coady, Mrs. Mareth Kipp, Mr. Wood Wornall, and Mrs. Barbara Dempsey-Alderman. I thank these judges very much for their support and kind words.

The coolest things so far have been winning both a Group 3 & Group 4 under Judge Wood Wornall. My parents took a photo of me skipping with those ribbons back to our car! That experience and then winning my first Best Junior under Judge David Krogh was awesome!

I feel there are so many people to thank for their love and support. My family and friends are always cheering us on. I have learned so much from the mentoring of Jeanine Flavell & Ilze Barron, Griffin’s breeders, Louise Brady, and Cathryn Bennett. Bergit and Hans Kabel mean the world to me and are my role models. The members of our SCWT local and national club have also been really kind and helpful.

I live with Griffin in Venice, CA. I attend Le Lycee Francais de Los Angeles where Griffin has many admirers. My other activities include: Student council, karate, archery, honor society, and a member of our regional & national breed clubs (SCWTCA & SCWTCSC).

* Started showing dogs less than one year ago: July 2013-current.

Showing Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier GCH Atas Grauman’s Gypsy Run Through “Griffin”. (Griffin is my first show dog. Our family is new to dog shows.)

Current statistics:

*Qualified to compete at Eukanuba 2014. Won first Best Junior under Judge David Krogh.

*Multiple BOB wins under the following judges:

  • Mr. Clay Coady
  • Mrs. Mareth Kipp
  • Mrs. Barbara Dempsey-Alderman

*Won both a Terrier Group 3 & 4 under Judge Wood Wornall.

*Won Select Dog under Judge Clay Coady at NCTA Specialty Weekend in Sacramento, CA.

*Currently ranked #18 out of GCH Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers and Ranked #2 Junior Handler of Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers.

Other activities with dogs:

  • Just started Agility training.
  • Extra Curricular Activities:
  • Student Council-Vice President, School Choir, Karate, Archery.
  • Attends Le Lycée Français de Los Angeles; fully bi-lingual. Honor Roll.
  • Member of our breed’s regional and national clubs, SCWTCA & SCWTCSC.

Rebecca Flood

Hello , my name is Rebecca Flood , I’m 14 and I show Smooth Collies. I started showing when I was 10 years old with a Russell terrier and slowly transitioned to Collies. I love music, art and reading out of school. When I’m not in the ring or grooming dogs , I’m reading or drawing..

This year at the Collie National, I competed against 27 other Juniors and took best Junior. By winning Best Junior at the National, I was able to cross off another goal on my list. This year, I have qualified for both Westminster and Eukanuba where I will be competing in the Master class. I’m currently the number 1 Collie Junior and Number Six Herding Group Junior in the country.

Dog showing is an amazing sport that has been and always will be a huge part of my life. I want to thank everyone that has helped me compete in Juniors.

Morgan Miller.

Morgan has been active in Junior Showmanship since she turned nine, and she is now approaching her
end of her junior career and is from New Bloomfield, PA.

She began her career with a Samoyed and in 2007 was the #1 Samoyed Jr. Handler and the #3 Open Jr.
She continued to be ranked as the #1 Samoyed Jr. and a Top 20 Working Group until she
started showing a Bedlington Terrier in 2009 when she was ranked #20 Working and #8 Terrier.
She decided to go with a Bedlington Terrier because she wanted to learn a difficult groom.

Since 2009, she was the #1 Terrier in 2010 and 2013 and the #1 Bedlington Terrier through present

She has apprenticed/assisted Andrew Green for the last 8 years
learning animal care and grooming.

She became active in FFA and won a National Gold Medal for her Dog Showing Project in Small Animal

She has finished numerous Samoyeds including her own from the Bred-by class and next week will be debuting her first bred-by
Bedlingtons in the show ring.

As she ends her career in August, she is alternating between showing the Bedlington and Samoyed in juniors. In the
fall, she will be attending Shippensburg University majoring in biology
with the aspirations of working in the canine genetic field.

Mentors: Amy and Andrew Green (PHA handler…she has worked as his assistant for 7 years) Bedlington Terrier mentor- Laurie Zembrzuski and Gaby Gilbeau, Samoyed mentor- mother and Amy Green

First junior dog BISS CH Winter Magic’s Ever After (she put the BISS on her at the age of 9)
Started showing at age of 5 with CH Winter Magic’s Northern Light

With her Junior career ending & her college life about to begin, Morgan wants to thank everyone that has mentored her both in dogs and in her school life. She is especially grateful to her parents.

Joshua Frenia

Hi, I’m Joshua Frenia.  I am 16 years old, born on January 25, 1998 from Homer, NY. I show in Open Senior. I have been showing all of my life and trained by my mother, Terri Frenia. I have been showing my Smooth Dachshund special KO for about a year now. KO and I have been awarded 2 Group Firsts, several Group Seconds, Thirds and Fourths throughout the year. For breed so far, KO is number 5 in Breed and number 3 in All-Breed for Smooth Dachshunds. I have qualified for Westminster last year and also this year for Juniors. The Best In Specialty Show win was very exciting. For juniors, I am number three in ranking for Dachshund Juniors. My first breed was Shetland Sheepdogs. I have always loved spending the time with the dogs, and I have loved showing them the most. I plan on becoming a Professional Handler in the future.  I want to thank everyone that has helped me as a Junior, but I especially want to thank my mother, she made it all possible.

Cori Countryman

Hello, my name is Cori Countryman I am 16 years old from Lubbock TX. I have been showing dogs since I was 12 , and have shown multiple breeds throughout my juniors carrier. I started out showing a Pembroke Welsh Corgi and have also shown a Finnish Spitz, a English Springer Spaniel, Golden Retriever and now a 15′ Beagle. During September of last year I started assisting Brooke and Rudy Ayala who are all breed handlers and also breed and show Beagles. I quickly fell in love with the environment I was in and also the breed. Shortly after that I got my 15′ Beagle “Gunner” Ch Blueprints Get Your Guns Up. In January, I started showing him and quickly finished him at the Beagle Specialty in March in Houston TX when he was only nine months old! We also got our first best junior together that weekend. That was only the beginning from then on we became a team. I would have never thought going into this that I would be where I am now. On Saturday May 3, 2014 Gunner and I received our 7th Best Junior for this year qualifying us for Westminster 2015. I am currently the #2 15′ Beagle Junior Handler and the #6 Hound Junior Handler as of April 2014.

I’m currently home schooled. I am a senior and scheduled to graduate early in September of this year. The breeds I have shown throughout my Juniors career have been due to the influences present in my life at that time. My hobbies outside of dog shows include playing softball and volleyball with my friends. My favorite movie is Pitch Perfect. I enjoy many different types of music from country to hip hop.

I could not even imagine being where I am today without the love and support of my parents Stan and Kim Countryman. Also, a big thank you to my mentor Michelle Badger who got me started in showing dogs. A huge thank you to Brooke and Rudy Ayala they have taught me so much! They have helped me find the confidence in myself to become the handler I am today. Thank you guys for all your love and support!
(submitted Jun 10th)

All Juniors are welcome to contribute to JHE. We will select the Juniors for publication on a first-come, first-served basis. The Junior Of The Week will be the first Junior submitted that sends a short article on themselves and photos. The clock for submission starts each Monday at 8:00A PDT.