Best In Show Daily is pleased to announce the debut of 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 first group of Juniors is already 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.

Tyler Wells

Hi! I am 17 and a Junior Handler from Ohio. I have been showing my Siberians since I was around 4 years old. The current Siberian that I am showing is co-bred and co-owned with my parents. His name is Aden (AKC GCH Diamondt’s Sharp Dressed Man), I finished Aden’s AKC championship from the bred-by exhibitor class at the Central Indiana Siberian Husky Club Specialty, and his Grand Championship, and Bronze level grand championship were awarded from Bred-by. I also handled Aden to an Award of Merit at Westminster in 2014. For the last two years I was the #1 Siberian Junior Handler, and was able to show Aden to #17 in Breed standings and #22 in All-Breed standings in 2013, with a Group 1 and a handful of other Group Placements. I won 2 Best Juniors last weekend (May 17 and 18,2014) at the Blennerhasset Kennel Club Show in Marietta Ohio under Judges: James R White & Mrs. Ellen Fetter. The pictures below show me with Aden from March 2014 winning an Award of Merit at the Kentuckiana Cluster’s Regional Junior Handler Competition under judge Guy Fisher and also Best Junior in November at the SHCA 2013 National Specialty under judge William Sahloff.

Ashlee Clagget

Hi! I am 15 years old and I live in Coupland, TX. My parents have been breeding Dobermans under the kennel name Van Orman Dobermans for over 25 years. I am a third generation dog show enthusiast and grew up ringside, handling my first dog when I was 5 years old and have been handling ever since. I have achieved some great wins with my dogs, but recently I had the honor of winning Best In Show with my breeder/owner/handled doberman Chazz, BIS GCH CH. Van Orman’s I Want It All, CGC. It was such a thrill & humbling. One of my best memories at dog shows, besides my recent Best in Show win, was winning a 4 point major when I was 10 years old with my B/O/H Doberman, Ch. Van Orman’s Star of Dixie. It was the first time I had handled a dog I bred to a major, or points for that matter. My first dog that I handled completely to their Championship was Dixie, Ch. Van Orman’s Star of Dixie. But I handled her dam Sizzle, BISD Ch. Van Orman’s Flash Back, in my early career in dogs and handling.I have had many mentors helping me along the way, but I want to especially recognize and thank my parents Susan and Charles Claggett. I also owe a lot to Sharon Roy, Teresa Nail, Linda George, Jeffrey Brucker, and others. I want to say “thank you” to everyone that has helped me in my Junior career.

Stephanie Poot

My name is Stephanie Poot, and I am from Canada. I have a Miniature Poodle CAN Ch Bellefleets Stealth Force. He is currently the number one Miniature Poodle in Canada. This year at the Poodle Club of America, I won Best Junior in Show, and he took 3rd in the open dog class!  Thank you to Judges Dennis McCoy for the Best Junior, and to Mr. Ronald N. Rella for the Open Dog win!

I am in Gr 11 at Bishop Tonnos High school, in Ancaster ON. I was raised with Toy Poodles, competing with my grandmother’s Toy Poodles. But, then I fell in love with the Miniature Poodles. My favorite movie is the Titanic. I listen to Country music. My mentor is Allison Cowie who won PCA 2012 with her Standard Poodle. In August, I am competing for the Jr. Handling National in Quebec, because I won my Zone 7 finals. I want to thank my grandmother for my love of Poodles, my parents and everyone that has supported me this year. I am humbled.

Rebecca Grinsell

Hi, I’m Rebecca Grinsell and I’m 15 years old competing in Open Senior. I live in Florida with my parents. Currently, I am the Number One Junior Handler for Belgian Tervuren as of April 30th, winning Best Junior at the 2014 American Belgian Tervuren Club National. I compete with GCH Bilgay’s Eye of the Hurricane CD RN OA OAJ NF “Kane”, GCH Bilgay’s Eye of the Storm HSAds “Tori”, Bilgay’s Party on the Waterfront “River, and Bilgay’s The One and Only “Lisa”. We compete in Conformation, Agility, Obedience and Rally.Kane, my Belgian Tervuren is my first show dog. I had never been involved in dog showing before he came into my life. I have now also shown Belgian Malinois, Belgian Sheepdog and a Briard.

My future plans are to attain Kane’s Bronze GCH and finish my girls River and Lisa, then I want to special them. I plan to continue to train and show in agility, obedience and rally. I have started working my dogs in herding and hope to compete in that venue once we have completed our training. I am currently a Sophomore at my high school and my goal is to become a veterinarian, I would like to continue showing my Belgians and plan to stay active in this breed by learning more about health and breeding.

The Tervuren community has been very welcoming and helpful and I can’t imagine my life without a Tervuren in it.

I want to thank my mentor Lynne Wetherell of Bilgay Kennels for her advice, guidance & providing me with beautiful dogs for competition.

Samantha Van Buren

The Central States Top Junior Handler was awarded to Samantha Van Buren at the Sunflower Cluster in Wichita, Kansas in April.

Originally from Kingsport Tennessee, the 15-year-old moved to Eagan, Minnesota at the age of four. They always had family pets, but she was inspired by her sixth grade teacher, Bethany Pearson, after learning about dog showing while working on a school project. After much research on many breeds, she decided upon a chihuahua. She went to the Animal Inn in Lake Elmo, Minnesota, which has a great program for Junior handlers. She started training her chihuahua, Sunny, in the summer of 2011. She started showing Sunny in the breed ring so she could learn the ropes, while she was showing a corgi in Junior Showmanship.

After a year of showing the corgi in Junior Showmanship and qualifying for Eukanuba, she started to transition to showing Sunny in Junior Showmanship.Still showing her in breed, Samantha achieved both her championship and grand championship and also received her first group placement. Her mentors have been Donnamarie Temple-Burgess who breeds and shows Toy Fox Terriers, and also Patti Kleven, who bred the corgi Samantha originally showed. Donna has helped Samantha learn how to handle and care for toy dogs. Within the next year, she qualified for Eukanuba a second time, and also qualified for Westminster. During Samantha’s second year competing at Eukanuba, she had been one of the 12 to make it to finals after making it through many rounds of cuts and competing with 147 other Juniors. Three months later, in February of 2014, she competed at Westminster for the first time and made it through the first cut. Also in February, she was offered an opportunity to own and show a very nice Australian Terrier, Dunham Lake Goody Two Shoes (Judy). With very limited showing, Judy has 11 points with 3 majors at less than 10 months old and competing with a natural tail! Samantha has qualified for both Eukanuba and Westminster this year. She values having fun with her dog and always staying positive whether she wins or loses. To her, what matters the most is always having good sportsmanship and being happy for the people who do win, if she doesn’t. Before she ages out of junior showmanship, one of her goals is to win Best Junior Handler at either Eukanuba or Westminster, and even to compete at Crufts someday!

Emma Black
Emma is a 12-year old junior from Highland, Maryland who has been involved in raising, training, breeding or showing Vizslas nearly her entire life. Born into a Vizsla family, Emma first started handling in fun matches at around 3 years old and started juniors the day she turned 9 in 2010. Though she generally does not show more than a couple weekends a month, Emma loves her time in the ring with her 4-year old Vizsla, Talli (BISS Am. (Bronze) GCH/Int’l CH Sassafras Play’N For Keeps CGC).

Emma was the No. 1 ranked Vizsla Junior Handler in the country through April 30, 2014. Emma had three Best Junior wins in April and May — at Mason & Dixon KC on April 13, 2014 under Judge Walter Sommerfelt, at Penn Treaty KC on April 27, 2014 under Judge Beverly Drake, and at Mattaponi KC on May 17, 2014 under judge Barbara Pepper — all from the Open Intermediate class.

When not showing, Emma loves training her 7-year old former Juniors Vizsla, Maddox, for obedience, and playing soccer and lacrosse. She is a Sixth Grader at Sandy Spring Friends School in Sandy Spring, MD.

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.

A special thank you to this first round of Juniors and their parents for working with us on our Inaugural Edition.  Not knowing what to expect, they bravely plunged in.  We hope we met their expectations.We look forward to comments & feedback to bring you the best of the Juniors, weekly.