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Salute to the Juniors!

Sadly, this week there is no room for me to gloat about recent football results as this is the junior special – dedicated to you, the Richmond semi-finalists. Just scan the relevant pages to see how your advert looks, pour yourself a cup of coffee and come back to me here as there is lots to tell!

Let me start with seventeen year old Louisa Rogerson who won the 12-16 Working class with a Siberian Husky. The judge for this class was Lisa Bridges and when the judge pulled her out first Louisa was amazed, she said having won a semi in 1999 she didn’t think she’d win again. In preparation she has been training at her local club and also with her Mum.

Louisa says she was a little nervous before entering the ring but to combat her nerves she just thinks about much fun she is having with her dog. For luck she wore a ring belonging to a family member and she says that when she wears it, it brings luck in both breed and handling competition. Her parents are her biggest support and the handlers she looks up to are Gary Upton, Michael Coad and Geoff Corish. Louisa is going to do her best at the final and when it comes to proud moments in the world of dogs there are plenty to choose from, including making two dogs up on the same day, winning second in the group at Southern Counties this year and having current Top Dog and current Top Puppy with father and son.

Other things that Louisa has set her sights on include showing Siberian Huskies and Russian Black Terriers and she would like to become a professional handler. She is currently at college studying for a BTEC National Diploma in Animal Care and Zoology. She supports Leeds United and her favourite pop group is Madhouse and she also enjoys listening to dance and R&B. Finally Louisa would like to wish all the other finalists good luck as they are all winners.

The 12-16 Pastoral class was judged by Gary Gray who found his winner in seventeen year old Jane Cryer handling a Border Collie. When the judge pulled her out first she was just really happy and couldn't believe it. Jane says she hadn't done much preparation as she is too old for junior handling now and she has been busy with school work, although she did practice with Denver on the morning of the show as she'd never handled him before. Jane was a little bit nervous but by concentrating on her dog helped her forget about it so she could enjoy the experience. As far as lucky charms go Jane didn’t have one specifically although the lead she uses seems to be quite lucky. Her Mum has been her biggest support, encouraging her and driving her to all the shows!

There are also many other people in the breed who have helped Jane out with dogs to handle. Jane says there are lots of handlers she looks up to but to name a few, Helena Hutchings, Hannah Boutell, Mike Gadsby and Mikael Nilsson. She is really looking forward to the final but says although she will be excited she’ll be very nervous on the day. Jane’s proudest moments were both at Crufts 2002 when she represented the UK in the International Junior Handler of the Year finals and came 2nd and won the YKC Pastoral Stakes final with her bitch Wanda (Locksbridge Reminscing). In the future Jane would like to make up a champion and after that, to handle a dog to a champ show group win. Jane is hoping to go to vet school next year and she supports Manchester United, and at the moment Jane’s favourite pop stars are Vanessa Carlton and Alicia Keys. Finally she would like to thank Judith Gregory for letting her handle Denver in this year’s semi finals.

The Terrier 12-16 class was won by Joanne Bettis with her Sealyham Terrier, the judge for the class was Gemma Alpe. Joanne says her initial reaction was ‘fantastic’ as well as feeling shocked! Her preparation has been practising at home and watching experienced handlers, before the class she felt nervous and excited. She didn’t have a lucky charm and says her Mum and Dad have been her biggest support. She looks up to Rebecca Barber as a handler and she is really excited and looking forward to the final. Her proudest moment prior to this was winning a really large junior handling class at Welsh Kennel Club. Her aims for the future are to make up a champion and to eventually breed her own dogs and Joanne would also like to work with animals. As far as football teams go Joanne supports England and her favourite pop stars are those Pop Idol boys Will Young and Gareth Gates.

Gary Upton judged the 6-11 Gundog semi final and his winner was ten year old Nicholas Rihoy with a Cocker Spaniel. Nicholas says he was surprised when the judge pulled him out first and in preparation he has been going to ringcraft and practising in the garden. Prior to the competition he was panicky but didn’t think he would do anything so he was just looking forward to enjoying his day! His lucky charm was a Cocker Spaniel ringclip and his biggest support in the dog world is his Mum. The handlers he looks up to are Louise Morgan from Guernsey who first trained him and also Lauren Vincent. His first thoughts on the final in January are just to enjoy his day. His proudest moment other than this was winning his class at Portsmouth & Southsea show and he would like to compete at Crufts one day. He supports Sheffield Wednesday and his favourite pop star is Will Smith and Nicholas really enjoyed his day at Richmond and says it was worth all the practising and training.

The 12-16 Utility class was won by sixteen year old Lucy Dixon with her Miniature Schnauzer, the judge was Matthew Bostock. Her first reaction was when she heard her Mum scream that realised she’d actually won it and then she says she couldn’t stop shaking!

Before she went in the ring Lucy says she felt sick and her Mum had prescribed her some rescue remedy and Bach Flower remedies to help calm her nerves. Her biggest support is her Mum and she says she really looks up to Hannah Boutell as a handler with her calm manner and ability to get the best out of every dog she handles. Her proudest moment in dogs was coming third at the final in 1998 and winning a RCC with her Standard Schnauzer.

In the future Lucy would like to make up a homebred Schnauzer. Her favourite football team is Liverpool but she says she mainly supports Michael Owen, she is also a big fan of Robbie Williams! Lucy would like to say a big thank you to her Mum and also to the Boutell family and Emma Bugler for introducing her to junior handling and for all their support over the years. Finally she would like to wish the other finalists good luck.


The judge for the Toy 12-16 class was Shona Grieve and she found her winner in Julia Gilchrist who handled a Papillon. Whe the judge pulled her out first Julia says her first reaction was, “er, who? Me?”. She also says she was very relaxed as she had done so little showing this year that she felt she had no chance of being placed. Her biggest support has been her Mum and the handlers she looks up to are Helena Hutchings and Glenn Robb. Julia is looking forward to the final but says she’s going to do some practise! Her proudest moments in dogs prior to this have been coming second at Richmond the previous two years and also winning her first championship show class.

Her main ambition was to win at Richmond although she had convinced herself she would never do it, so now she has got to think of something else! Julia thinks she would like to study music and/or English at university and then maybe become a professional bassoon player, she has achieved Grade 8 and has been a member of the National Children’s Orchestra. With this in mind she would like to achieve her diploma for the bassoon and clarinet and pass Grade 8 on the piano. Julia isn’t a football fan but her favourite bands at the moment include No Doubt, Counting Crows, Goo Goo Dolls, Sublime, Mad Caddies, Reel Big Fish, Live and Save Ferris to name a few! Finally Julia would just like say that she is very honoured to have won and she is pretty excited about Birmingham.

The 12-16 Hound group was judged by Gavin Robertson and his winner was Toula Lucas with her Saluki. When she was pulled out first she says she was overwhelmed and felt a mixture of emotions, particularly as the competition with the other handlers was high. As far as practise goes Toula has been handling her other peoples dogs in breed classes as well as her own dogs. Prior to judging Toula was happy to be there, feeling comfortable, not too nervous and concentrated solely on her dog. She didn‚t have a lucky charm, although the dog she showed belongs to her sister and has always been lucky for her. Her family have always supported her handling career and she has also received a lot of support from friends in Leonbergers and Salukis. Toula says she looks up to top handlers in all breeds and as she has been to the final once before she is not so nervous but still looking forward to the strong competition from the other handlers and she hopes to achieve a good result.

Her proudest moment was winning one of the first Leonberger CCs with one of the dogs she regularly handles for her friends. She would like to do well and win the final in Birmingham and also be the first to make up a Leonberger champion as well as being recognised as a top handler in several breeds. In the outside world Toula would like to work with children and travel the world. She supports Ipswich Town and she hasn‚t really got a favourite band as she likes such a wiode variety of music. Finally Toula would like to say good luck to all of the other finalists in January.

Mr John Halstead demonstrating retriever training

In the sight hound exhibition Mr M Brown with his Borzois Sholwood Silver Dollar and S Raziel

The Rev Graeme Sims with some of his 16 Border Collies

The labrador handlers in the main ring gundog parade won the best dressed team

The Game Conservancy Open Test final,
l to r, organisers Michael & Sue Fraser-Allen; third Carol Goodes, first Jenny Walton; second Roy Mitchell and judges Linda Partridge and Dennis Heath

A working springer spaniel competes in the BASC Obstacle Course

Children at the ringside meet the hound packs

Tally-ho! The Albrighton Foxhounds leave the ring