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(Updated 17/6/01)

The KCJO Handler of the Year

by Geoff Corish

IT WAS a great pleasure, and indeed also an honour, to judge the KCJO handling classes at this most prestigeous show. I had looked forward to this appoitment for a long time, l certainly was not dissapointed! I have always tried to take an interest in the junior handling classes, for this is where the next generation of handlers will come from.

In the past we have been able to have, as assistants, several up and coming handlers. Sarah Jackson, Rebecca Gilbert and Colin Yates nephew of the famous judge Violet. It is good to see Sarah doing so well with her Maltese and latterley Afghans as well. For anyone to say judging these classes is easy would certainly not be correct, the juniors are slick, attentive, very smart and never miss a trick, they are respectful to their competitors and to their charges. I can now say l would have been hard pressed to have gone around the show and found twenty or so better handlers than these juniors, it was as much a disapointment to me, as some of the juniors, that some had to leave the ring cardless. I would be more than happy to have any of these youngsters as our new assistant, if any of you would like to apply then just give us a call. Thank you to Meriel Hathaway, Eric Smethurst and all the wonderful team for their part in this slick operation, it certainly was a day for me to remember the Show Handler of the Year awards.

Show Handler of the Year 8-11 years

1. Karra Lawson handling a Lhasa Apso. This young lady did a splendid job, l know only too well how difficult this breed can be,she was smartly dressed without being over the top, she was calm, she listened to my instructions and carried them out well. I feel this young lady has a very good future ahead of her.

2. Hannah Tose handling a GSP. A rather taller young lady than the winner and this suited her breed. She was also well turned out and with this faster moving breed than the Lhasa she moved at the right speed for her dog. 3. Sally Pearce also handling a Lhasa. Obviously owning this breed l have watched Sally in the breed and feel she has come on a lot in the past few months in her handling. She was attentive all the time and also moved her dog at the right speed without the silly running we often see with the adults.

12-15 years

1. Adam Rose with a GSP. This young man is very tall and this can sometimes be a problem with some breeds, especially moving. Adam was certainly calm, he gave his dog confidence all the time, he never flustered even at the critical moments. Her moved his dog just a the right speed and corrected him when necessary. He was completely focused on his dog the whole time and l felt him a worthy representitive for the international junior handler competition were he was in the final line up. I think this young man has a very good future ahead of him.

2. Jane Cryer with a Border Collie and splitting these two was certainly some decision to have to make, on another day l could put them round the other way and still be completely happy. Her style of handling with this breed had to be completely different and she did a sterling job, dressed for the part, smart and unobtrusive, she was calm and showed her dog very competently.

3. Kelly McWilliams with a Dobe and at this stage l was really pulling out what hair l have left! These juniors were so good, Kelly was not quite as relaxed as the two above, which just helped me slightly in my decisions. Not a strung up breed Dobes can be a little difficult when they want. Kelly moved her dog just right and with the right amount of distance between her and her dog..

16-17 years

1. Lisa Moir with a German Spitz. She had her dog looking good every time l looked her way, on the table she had her stood just right and baited with being obtrusive to the judge. She never flapped and when asked to stop moving and set up her dog she did this again without getting flustered. She did a nice job to win the class.

2. Glenn Robb with a Papillon. A very smart young man showing, what sometimes can be, a breed which can be difficult to keep still but thats Paps. Glenn moved his dog at just the right speed and also had one eye on his dog and the other on me all the time. Last week at Sth Cts l watched him take a well deserved BOB and a group placing and he did a great job, l think this young man has a very good future.

3. Mathew Hoddy with a Whippet. Like Glen Robb, Mathew was very smart in a suit, he was calm attentive to his dog and carried out my instructions well. He moved his dog at the speed which suited best and didn’t need to resort to running which some seem to think impresses the judge.

Senior Handling

1. Kirstie Venton with a Sheltie. A very shy and quiet young lady, she was dressed nicely without being over the top. She had her dog looking good each time l looked her way. She moved at the right speed and did her triangles correctly.

2. Ann Stewart with a Pom and this breed can sometimes be difficult but Ann was calm, she made sure she looked good on the table and on the ground, and made sure the plume was well up and over before moving off to do her triangle. She did a nice job.

3. Claire Robinson with an Afghan. When they came into the ring l thought this young lady would figure in the final line up. She was dressed to complement her dog without being over the top. This was a big class and her dog got a little tired towards the end and made her job a little more difficult, and Afghans can be awkward! She moved very well didn’t cut any corners and was supportive to her dog all the time.

18 plus handling

1. Helena Hutchings with a BSD. Well this young lady is just a wonderful handler in my opinion and what a great job she did with this dog. She is slick and so well turned out to complement her dog. She moves at just the right pace and makes use of the whole ring. She has her dog well trained and there just seemed no way l could catch her out. She is a good ambassador for the British juniors handling group and l would be delighted to give her one of my dogs to show should l be busy.

2. Julie McCaig with a Bedlington and maybe with the winners report you would think this young lady was outclassed, not a bit. Obviously with this breed you have a completely different style of handling and Julie did it beautifully, she knew how to correctly stand a Bedlington and moved just right. She was closer to the winner than she may have realised.

3. Jenny Storer with a Lab and again another different style of handling to the ones above. Jenny’s dog was less than co-operative for her but she kept calm and she gave words of encouragement all the time, something not all the juniors did. She kept the dogs attention without the total use of bait often seen in the breed rings.