Photo by Karl Donvil
Chantelle Prior must be one of the youngest exhibitors ever to have taken a Best In Show award at a general championship show, an achievement most adults would be delighted to emulate Sixteen year old Chantelle, has not only piloted her young whippet Spinneyhill Secret Love of Chanynoa to that coveted award, but has done so at a Kortrijk International show last Sunday which also happens to be one of the most prestigious in Europe.
Was Chantelle overwhelmed by tears or excitement? Unlikely says her aunt Mrs Randall who went on to say that Chantelle is a very quiet and unassuming young lady, and has been totally dedicated to dog handling since the age of eight, since when she has won numerous Junior handling events, including winning the 12 to 16 yr old Hound group semi finals at Richmond 2003 under judge Graham Hill who wrote of her Chantelle Prior handled her Whippet with extreme competence and efficiency. She was attentive to my judging and responded to all that was asked of her. She exhibited her Whippet to ensure she achieved the best out of it without being obtrusive and did not put a foot wrong. Her concentration and handling expertise was something to be commended, a well deserved win and I am sure she will do herself justice in the finals
This complements Mrs Randalls comments, she told Our Dogs that out of the ring one would hardly even notice Chantelle, however once she enters the ring it is a different story, she is calm, confident and totally focussed on her dog. Apparently Chantelle has such an affinity with dogs that she can take almost any animal and get it to go with her confidently and happily.
So sure is Mrs Randall of Chantelles ability as a handler, that she frequently allows her to handle her own top winning Deerhound Ch Kilbourne Keltic at Hammonds. Chantelle piloted him to the CC and BOB at Crufts 2003, and has done the same with him at several other Championship shows and, gone on to Group placings and a stakes win with him.
At present Chantelle is completing an animal care course, and is hoping to become a veterinary nurse in time. Mrs Randall believes she could also make an excellent career as a professional dog handler, and Chantelle has more than proved her ability to do so, particularly culminating with her most recent win of best in show At Kortrijk. Only time will tell, but it would seem that Chantelles handling ability could take her just as far as she wants to go with it.
One might think that wins such as these, combined with her youth, would make her arrogant and big headed, but Mrs Randall assured us that the reverse is true, She is one of the nicest, kindest, unassuming people you could hope to meet...she is a really lovely person
Let hope she continues on into the future as she pursues her hobby, and her career.