The future is here!
Jodie Harrison, judge
I would like to thank Mrs Liz Cartledge for inviting me to Judge at the Semi-Final. It was a very enjoyable experience. I know how important this competition is to the Junior Handlers and how everyone wants to do well.
All the handlers were smartly dressed and the dogs well presented. To my winner and those who were placed, well done.
To all the other competitors, I know you all worked extremely hard and did your best, I was very pleased with you all. Keep training and remember the golden rule - do not go in-between your dog and the Judge. I wish you success for next year.
1st Lily Warren - handling a Shar Pei. I was very impressed with Lily's handling ability. The colour of Lily's suit complimented her dog and they made a good combination. All the exercises were carried out correctly and neatly. A very good triangle and straight up and down and at the end, presentation was in the correct position. When all the handlers moved their dogs around the ring, Lily waited, to create space and not crowd the dog in front. Lily also remained calm and talked to her dog, quietly encouraging and in control. Very good handling Lily. I wish you good luck for the Final and on today’s performance you should do well. I hope you enjoy yourself.
2nd Abbie Moody - handling a Japanese Spitz. Abbie is a very smart and stylish handler who gives a professional performance and has a very good rapport between herself and her dog. Abbie moved her dog at a good pace, also stood and showed the dog well . Abbie appears to have trained her dog very well and they make a good team. I think you will have a lot of success in handling competitions Abbie and you seem to really enjoy it. Keep it up, you were close to first place.
3rd Keturah Sesstein - handling a Tibetan Spaniel. Keturah was a sympathetic and gentle handler who moved her dog well. Pattern work was also good and she showed the teeth correctly. Just one thing you must remember, do not let the lead go out of your hand, which cost you a higher place. Well done on an otherwise good performance.
4th India Jones - Toy Poodle
5th Sarah Hewlett - Tibetan Spaniel
6th Daniel Rogerson - German Spitz
12 - 16 years
Jackie Kitchener, judge
I came to this judging engagement knowing none of the current JH competitors and with no idea of past achievements. I look for efficient, unobtrusive, precise handling with a confident but relaxed approach supported by a good rapport between handler and their dog. In these respects only my two primary placings fulfilled all of these, with the final decision being extremely close.
Several competitors stumbled at the relatively simple hurdles of keeping an eye on their dog’s legs being correctly placed during the individual examination and others not correctly showing the ‘bite’ as I requested. There is a distinction between showing the ‘bite’ and the ‘mouth’ which is something handlers should ensure they learn for the future.
Several otherwise excellent handlers insisted on moving sharply away whenever I came within five feet of their dog. This I find particularly distracting and it is clear that the majority of dogs also react in one way or another to this habit. Even if only the eyes move the true (hopefully lovely) expression of the exhibit is lost as he thinks about why his handler has darted away. Several exhibits reacted more noticeably and lost their neck and/or toplines due to this.
I was pleased with the good sportsmanship and manners of all competitors, although only a few met my eye in acknowledgement at the end of their individual move. Call me old fashioned but I consider this small act a common courtesy between judge and exhibitor which should be fostered.
The decision between first and second was extremely tight - I have no doubt they have battled it out before and will do so again many times in the future. Neither Stephanie Lansdell with her German Spitz nor (name) Karra Lawson with her Apso put a foot wrong and it became clearer as the class progressed that I would find it difficult splitting them.
However, in my final walk down the line Stephanie steadfastly held her ground (and as a result maintained her dog’s correct alert stance and expression) where Karra for some reason moved slightly away from me - something she had not done previously - her dog lifted his nose in response and this affected his neckline. In my experience that last moment before the judge’s final decision is often the crucial one, particularly when things are closely run and so it was in this case and the pendulum swung in Stephanie’s favour.
In third place was Toni Gilman with another Apso who gave a very polished performance and knew precisely what was expected of her. I would have liked her to be a touch more relaxed and sympathetic in her manner and perhaps a little more pleased at her achievement in this high class competition than she appeared. Fourth, with a difficult Tibetan Spaniel, was Briony Dawson who really impressed me with a very quiet, patient, gentle but determined display of good handling. There was no doubting why she was in the ring - to try to get her dog to show itself to best advantage. Despite being obstinate both on the table and on the move Briony cleverly persevered and achieved her objective producing a happy, free moving and attentive exhibit for my consideration by the end of the class.
All who I short listed can consider they did a very good job and I wish them all well for the future. I am certain that nerves or lack of experience contributed to the mistakes of many who did not make the first cut. Please persevere, the dog world needs you all for the future.
Andrew Goodsell, judge
A big thank you to Liz Cartledge and the JHA for inviting me to judge at the Semi-Finals and for all the hard work and enthusiasm she puts into this event and the Junior Handling Association. I considered it a real honour to have been asked to judge.
I was delighted to have 15 young handlers of terriers competing. I judged the class in the same way as I would a breed class, keeping things straightforward without unusual ring procedure.
The standard was excellent throughout, there was not one handler there that lacked the potential to make an excellent handler and wish all of them good luck in the future. Those that were shortlisted I thought did a very competent job and presenting their dog.
The first 6 places were closely fought.
1st Matthew Davies - handling a Smooth Fox Terrier. Very natural calm handler with an obvious rapport with his dog. The pair of them worked as a team throughout the class to get a solid and accurate performance. Matthew was appropriately communicating with his dog, set the dog up perfectly on the table and followed my instructions precisely on the move – moving the dog at the correct pace so the whole picture flowed really well. Quietly kept his eye on the judge at appropriate times and whenever I glanced across the ring I did not see the dog standing in an unflattering way. Overall I felt Matthew and his charge put in the most natural and accurate performance. Well done and good luck in the finals.
2nd Page Allen – handling a Border Terrier. Really excellent handler, with lots of confidence and like Matthew was very calm with her dog. I was so impressed by the way the dog was set up correctly on the table and then moved at the correct pace and stacked quickly and correctly again after moving. Also listened carefully to my instructions and followed them perfectly. Close up to the winner.
3rd Gabriella Oxlade – handling a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier - Really excellent and professional, was close to winning, but to be hypercritical I felt was not quite as calm as the first two on the day. When I was looking at the dog when stacked, moved a bit too sharply and suddenly around the dog as I changed angle slightly. Other judges may have a different view, but for me this detracted attention away from the dog. Otherwise a great job.
4th Rebecca Dixon – handling a Border Terrier - Excellent all round performance concentrating on showing the dog to best advantage.
5th Liam Thornton – handling a Smooth Fox Terrier. Another excellent all round performance – just lost out slightly when handling the dog on the move compared to the first 4.
6th Chloe Aston Wright - handling a Staffordshire Bull Terrier – Very impressed how the dog was stacked correctly, confidently and quickly at all times which won her this place over the other handlers that were shortlisted. Had the disadvantage of a dog that was inclined to pull on the lead when moving, but for a higher place could have controlled the dog slightly better on the move.
12 - 16 years
Kevin Holmes, judge
All were to be congratulated on an excellent performance, without exception they did a very good job indeed, and this made choosing between them very difficult indeed. I was splitting hairs between all six placed. Almost everyone mover their dogs well, but some lost out by not presenting the dogs as well as they could have.
1. Laura Nicholas - Welsh. Really did an excellent job, cool and collected, both she and her dog never put a foot wrong. Presented her dog to the best advantage, always looked four square, legs and feet in the correct position. Moved at the correct pace. A pleasure to watch such an impressive performance.
2. Katie Hamilton - Border. Not an easy breed to present and move to best advantage, but she did a superb job, always composed and unruffled, the dog presented and moved to perfection, totally as one, a close decision.
3. Joanne Bettis - Sealyham. Again not an easy breed to handle and show, but she certainly presented and moved her dog extremely well, head, feet, tail and topline always in the correct position.
4. Cassie Curran - Bedlington. This dog did his utmost to stand the way he wanted, but she was having none of it, and quietly and confidently presented him correctly. Moved him well at a nice speed.
5. Holly Barrington - WHWT, really showed this dog off well, made the most of the outline, moved out steadily and on a nice loose lead.
6. Bekki Dawson - Parson Russell. Another who would have done his own thing head he had the opportunity, but she certainly presented him and moved him extremely well.
6 - 11 years
Firstly I would like to thank Mrs Cartledge for asking me to judge such a prestigious event. I thoroughly enjoyed it. All competitors worked very hard to get to the semi finals, and they all did themselves proud. Everyone was dressed smartly to compliment their dogs, which was excellent, and they all gave their dogs lots of encouragement, so they enjoyed themselves as much as the juniors did no doubt. Just two things to watch out for:
1. Not to get your head in the way when showing the judge the teeth.
2. Sharpen up patterns so that the judge can see a good front, side and rear view of the dog’s gait.
Everyone did really well, and I wish you all lots of luck for the future.
1. Daniel Petrie - GSD. This young man handled his dog with tremendous energy and enthusiasm, giving his charge so much encouragement. His floor presentation was accurate, showing me all teeth without getting in the way himself. All pattern work was very precise. A fantastic handler - faultless. Will go a long way in the future. Good luck at the finals in January!
2. Ashley Pike - Tervueren. This young lady handled her Tervueren with confidence, again giving a lot of encouragement. Was very close to 1st. Presentation of teeth was extremely clear, and she moved her charge at the correct pace. Just needs to relax a little and enjoy herself! Another excellent handler who will go a long way - Well done!
3. Hollie Kavanagh -Groenendael. I heard afterwards that this young lady only met this dog half an hour before going into the ring - this was no mean feat in itself. Hollie is a very quiet, enthusiastic handler who always gives her all. Her floor presentation was very smart, and pattern work at the correct pace and precise. This young lady could handle my dogs any day - Well done!
4. Tiffany Dalby - Border Collie. Handled her dog with lots of encouragement. She is a quiet, smart handler who was always thinking of her dog first. Both floor presentation and pattern work was accurate, just needs to be a little clearer with the showing of the teeth - well done!
5. Laura White - Rough Collie. Another smart handler who did everything I asked neatly and precisely. Just needs to relax and have a little more confidence in herself as she is a very good handler who will go a long way - Well done!
6. Charlie Johnson - Norwegian Buhund. Handled her Buhund with quiet confidence. Floor presentation could have been slightly neater, but pattern work was excellent always keeping her dog top priority. Well done!
Mrs Avril Lacey, judge
It was a honour to have the privilege to judge these youngsters,who could put many adults to shame with performance and skills.
I was looking for attentiveness and a rapport between dog and handler;without excessive vocal commands, which at times can be very distracting and even confuse the dog.
We had an excellent ring of good size,but sadly not all used the ring to its full advantage irrespective of the breed.
The final six all gave their best and it was a pleasure to award -
1st to Jade Binden with a GSD,not an easy breed to handle ,but at all times the handlers awareness was excellent so that both dog and handler were on their toes; handled to achieve a good response from the dog to do all that was asked of him,he was balanced at all times,in stance and on the move where the compatibility with dog and handler showed to its best,he was kept alert and you could see the trust in each other.
2nd Danielle Jones,BSD,this young lady coped so well with this young 15month old dog who was a handful,,keeping his mind on the job in hand was not easy,Danielle kept the dog under control,and coped with his youthfulness to her credit.
3rd - Amy Bennett,Border Collie,a very quiet and discrete handler,,keeping the dogs attention at all times,a very compatible pair.Coped with the situation of being bitten just before entering the ring,bounced back and put up a good performance.
4th - Shannon Thomas, Sheltie, very fluid and definite in their performance,used all the ring to its full advantage ,no short cuts because the dog was a small breed,well controlled at all times.
5th - Roxanne McDonald, ASD, handler coped well with this energetic dog,had control,they worked well together,and had great awareness of the situation.
6th - Samantha Cooper, Samoyed, well handled in the free stand, this was a very busy dog and keeping its attention was hard work,handler coped very well,and there was no bored look or the feeling of 'Oh well I will do it because I have too!!' with this dog.
6 – 11 years
Emma-Jane Hallgarth, judge
Not being around the show ring for some time this judging appointment brought back many fond memories. Judging this semi-final has to be the highlight of any Junior Handers career. A day I shall aways remember.
1st Chole Venning handling a Weimaraner. Very well presented dog and handler. Always had her eye on the judge at all times, never put herself between the dog and the judge. Nice to see her talking and reassuring her dog throughout the class. Stacked the Weimaraner perfectly. Well done and good look at the finals.
2nd Kiri Hurst handling an American Cocker. Would have liked to see this very young handler use the full ring, but produced the best patterns of the day, they were clean, neat and tidy. Pleased to see the lead been kept neat at all time. This was not the easiest dog for Kiri to handle, had to work very hard to gain such a high position.
3rd Alice Turnbull handling a German Wirehaired Pointer. Another very well presented dog and handler. Both dog and handler worked well together, being able to execute everything asked of her. Be careful to make sure that the dog is stacked correctly and not over balanced and please relaxing the dog whilst others are being judged.
4th Charlotte Mount handling a Labrador. Worked very hard and well with her dog, they both seemed to really enjoy themselves. Again everything done as asked. Needs a little more practise moving round the dog when being judged. Having shown freestanding dogs for many years I still feel that it is far harder to show than a stacking dog. Carry on the good work.
5th Polly Cole handling a Flat Coated Retriever. Very calm handler, always talking to her dog, which is most important. Executed her patterns well and tried to show her dog off to the best advantage, remember to keep checking to see where the judge is.
6th Louise Butler handling a Welsh Springer Spaniel. Smart young lady, who worked well with her dog. Stacked the welshy well and moved at the correct speed for that breed. Lead was neat and tidy at all times.
Sharon Pinkerton, judge
THIS WAS an excellent semi-final to judge and the majority of the exhibits were so very close in their skills that I was looking for such little things to separate them. Even those who were not shortlisted still did an excellent job with their dogs, gave clear instructions and were quick in their praise for their dogs, creating a bond which is so important.
Just a few handlers were a little over the top in their handling which did distract from the dogs, as although I wasn’t judging the dogs on the day, there will be times where you will be handling a dog in conformation classes, where the dogs are the main judging factor.
I was not looking for any of the different moving patterns and I did not penalise anyone who did not ‘exactly’ freestack at the end, as the main thing I was looking for was some form of rapport with the dog and how the handler reacted to doing something they were not quite prepared to do.
On the whole I was looking for handlers I would be happy to use in showing my own dogs ie someone who did the job nicely, competently and was relaxed and pleasant with the dogs and displayed their exhibits to the best of their ability. In my shortlist I would be more than happy to use all of those handlers - well done.
However, it was a competition and so it came down to some serious comparing between Faith Earl and Kirsty Miller - both excellent handlers. Towards the end I felt that Faith maintained a calmness that enabled her to stack her Pointer without any fiddling; whereas Kirsty was perhaps looking for just a little too much perfection as to where her Springer’s feet were placed. Ideal though for conformation classes, but it meant that Kirsty was still fiddling long after Faith had set her dog up, so my decision went to Faith Earl, showing a Pointer male who was sympathetically handled throughout the class.
Faith gave clear instructions to her dog, kept good straight lines, maintained a low profile eye contact as to where I was standing, with praising the dog and being quite relaxed they became very much a team.
Second was Kirsty Miller, who also did an excellent job in handling her Springer bitch. Very competent in her handling, gave clear instructions to her dog and move at the right pace, keeping her straight on her lines and eye contact. Just that little bit of extra placing of her dog’s limbs just distracted on the last look.
Third was Nicola Sturrock, handling an Irish Setter male whose length from head to tail really tested Nicola’s reach of arms. Another very good performance with clear instructions, good movement and stacking and was very pleasant with her dog. On the final show Nicola was just a little ‘over’ her dog and would have distracted from the dog in conformation classes, but I would imagine this will improve once Nicola’s arms grow a bit more show she can stand back just a little more from her dog on the stack.
Fourth was Kelly Cadwell handling a fidgety Sussex Spaniel bitch. Once again, another of very good performance and although she gave clear instructions to her exhibit, she really tested Kelly with her back legs on the stack. However, Kelly kept her cool and kept re-stacking her with instructions and eventually her exhibit gave in and co-operated. NIce calm handling, quietly spoken and was quite understated in her handling, which would display her exhibit to the best potential in conformation.
Fifth was Hailey Stevens who was handling a Golden Retriever male. Hailey is similar to Nicola insomuch as she shows quite a ‘long’ dog and her stretch of arms is at a maximum. Once again this was a very good performance and the dog was well stood at all times, including lead placement, was moved in straight lines where applicable, nice clear instructions and praise were given throughout.
In sixth place was Hayley Walker showing a Cocker Spaniel bitch. Hayley was very precise in her movements and stacked her exhibit correctly each time, including the placing of her lead. Nice and quietly spoken, giving praise where needed. Ideally she needs to relax a little and allow herself a little smile, as she really does a nice job.
Once again thank you handlers for giving your best performances - it was an excellent class to judge and do keep up with the good work.
by Jeff Horswell, judge
HAVING COMPETED in a similar class myself some 30 years ago, I know how exciting and nervewracking a JHA semi-finals is! I am sure that nerves got the better of some handlers on the day. which had an impact on their performance. However, this is something we all go through and is part of the never-ending learning process. The experience gained this year will serve you well in future semi-finals.
I thought it might be helpful to make a few general comments on where handlers could improve their performance. The first thing I would mention is gauge the best speed at which to move your dog. A quick practice beforehand with someone watching will be a great help. Some of the longer legged hounds could have been taken faster, and some of the Dachshunds struggled with the ground. You need to be aware of what your dog is moving like at all times and watch your dog, not stare at the judge.
Remember when moving to go away from the judge and come back where the judge is standing. When than standing your dog, it is far better and quicker to walk the last few steps and let the dog stand as naturally as possible, just moving the odd foot if needed.
Finally, get someone to watch you practise showing your dog’s teeth, if only to get your dog used to you, rather than the judge, doing it.
I hope everyone enjoyed their day at Richmond as much as I did and will continue to compete in handling classes and breed classes.
1 Summer Cawley with a Mini LH Dachshund. Put in a good all-round performance with no glaring errors. Was sympathetic with her dog, quiet yet confident in handling, always had the dog looking right and smart moving at the right speed.
2 Neil Leiper with his Afghan. Moved the dog at the correct pace and set him up well. Not quite attentive enough to spot the legs had moved when I was going over the dog. Kept an eye on me as well as the dog. A very competent display and should always be there or thereabouts.
3 Katie Pinkerton with a Whippet. Very good ability, presented mouth well, especially as doing so from the floor, not the table.
4 Rebecca Rowe with a Wire Dachs. Could be a bit sharper in standing her dog but showed great sympathy and a quietly confident performance.
5 Ebony Owen, stood her Deerhound very well. Could have made a bit more use of the ring with such a large hound.
6 Lauren Finch with a Beagle. Moved her dog well, but could have set up better.
12 - 16 years
by Pat Latimer, judge
Firstly I have to say 'thank you' for a very enjoyable time. I was really impressed with a lot of the J. H. here today. Some need more practice but I am sure they will get there in the end.
I was looking for unobtrusive handlers who listened to my instructions and performed the movements required with minimal fuss. Far too many kept looking around all the time when going away from me when they should have been concentrating on their dog. I purposefully positioned myself so that the straight up and downs finished in the middle of the ring. Many could have checked the positioning of my feet to avoid bringing their dogs to a halt to the right or left of me!
On many occasions, when the dogs came to a stop, the handlers stacked them too close to me and I had to step back to actually see the profile of the dogs. A few were not paying attention when I moved the dogs leg out of position - they just left it there and several actually blocked my view of the dog.
My winners today were excellent. Having travelled overseas many times with my Afghan and seen their J.H. I feel that they could quite easily compete with them.
On a negative side, so many did not even manage a smile. Everything was so serious. I do realise that it is your dog on show but a smile costs nothing and sometimes it actually helps to relax you and helps your personality to come through.
1st Kylie Petrie - Gould aged 16 handling a Basenji. Took my eye immediately when entering the ring. Kylie listened and did everything that was asked of her perfectly. There was showmanship and flair without 'flash and dash'. I was particularly impressed that when asked to do a reverse triangle, she did not panic when her dog would not cooperate. Instead she calmly stopped to get her dogs attention and carried on. All the movements were precise and moved at the correct pace. She was always aware as to where I was standing. Kylie talked to her dog and gave it praise. Kylie herself was clean, tidy and smartly dressed. The overall picture of dog and handler was excellent. A very worthy winner.
2nd Emily Thornton - aged 14 handling a Beagle. Emily and her dog worked as a team. Her dog was always under control. Emily also did everything that was asked of her perfectly. She showed her dog with plenty of flair, moving at the correct pace, and was always giving plenty of praise. A very unobtrusive handler, never getting in the way of my vision at any time. Her movements were excellent but on the last straight up and down she was not quite as positive as she could have been. Emily herself was perfectly mannered, smartly dressed with the colour complimenting her dog. Well done.
3rd Laura MacDonald - aged 16 - handling a Mini Smooth Dachshund. Laura and her dog took my eye on the initial look around. Laura listened to me and carried out all the movements correctly and precisely. However I did feel that she could have made more use of the ring. Her dog was sympathetically handled and she was another who talked to and praised her dog. When her dog started to fidget, when stacked, she calmly corrected it and restacked it. Her dog was always in my vision. Laura herself was smartly dressed and she and her dog looked good together.
4th Russell Marett - aged 17 handling a Standard Wire Haired Dachshund. Russell and his dog also took my eye on the initial look around. The movements that I required were done correctly and precisely. However, for me, he did not have his dog moving with any showmanship and the movement was too slow .Everything seemed very serious and I felt that he needed to relax a little more and enjoy it. Russell however is an excellent handler.
5th Charlotte Nickel - aged 14 handling a Whippet. Charlotte pushed the previous handlers all the way. She handles her Whippet very sympathetically giving it plenty of praise. I liked the way she actually 'talked' to her dog. The movements asked for were done to a high standard but on the straight up and down her dog was moving slightly wayward. She also needed to have her dog moving at a faster pace. These two things cost her a higher place on the final run off. Charlotte herself was well mannered, dressed very smartly and was enjoying herself. At only 14 things can only get better!
6th Rhian McLoughlin - aged 12 - handling a Beagle. I liked the way Rhian handled her Beagle. She was never fazed when it started to fidget but calmly re-stacked it. She listened to my exact instructions and performed the movements correctly and precisely. However, like Charlotte, the straight up and down was slightly wayward. Also at times her dog was not quite stacked correctly. The overall picture was very good. She also 'talked' to her dog. Rhian was also very well mannered, dressed smartly and really seemed to be enjoying herself. At only 12 she must be destined for greater things. Well done.
Miss Fay Matthews, judge
12 - 16 years
Brian Rix, judge
It was a pleasurable, but also a daunting task,to judge these talented young handlers,all keen to get to the prestigious finals. In my assessment of the handlers, I asked myself what qualities a good handler should possess and looked for a handler whom I would be happy to engage to handle my own dogs. Therefore I looked for a handler who had a real rapport with the dog,who employed the right approach to suit the mood of the dog,and who showcased the dog,and not themselves.Ironically,good handling should be unobtrive; if a judge notices the handler and not the dog,then there is something amiss.
The standard was generally very high but I did not ask for anything more than what would be expected in the showring,with a few little tests to see that the handlers were keeping an eye on the judge and what he was doing.
With these things in mind I chose as my winners;
1st Clare Butler, handling a Papillon.Clare corrected the dog's position on the table, moved it at the perfect pace,kept an eye on me whilst I was judging the rest of the class,but didn't overshow the dog,keepinh it fresh for the end of the class.That is sensitive and intelligent handling in my book.Well done Clare,and good luck at the finals
2nd Naomi Maroney handling a Chinese Crested,giving a very efficient performance with her charge on the table and on the move.On the final inspection I felt that she was a little obtrusive.;I was splitting hairs to divide these two.
3rd Amber Henshaw doing a very good job with a Peke,not the easiest of breeds and demanding some specialist techniques which she has mastered.She allowed the dog to go with the slow dignified roll that the standard requires;she pressed very hard for the top spot
4th Kimberley Bird handling an Italian Greyhound with confidence and style.
5th Vikki Loader handling a Papillon.
6th Sarah Mathews, giving a very mature performance. with a buoyant little Pom.
How I wish I could have sent you all to the final, I know how much the day meant to you all.
Good luck for the future.
Glynn Payne, judge
1st Jodi Allen, Rottweiler. 2nd Jonathon Lane, St Bernard. 3rd Gail Porter, Boxer. 4th Jayne Perks, Rottweiler. 5th Kelsey-Marie Dring, PWD. 6th Joshua Reddin, PWD.
Glynn Payne, judge
1st Hannah Rose, Rottweiler. 2nd Stacey-Ann Grice, Great Dane. 3rd James Rogerson, Sib Husky. 4th Sam Dean, Rottweiler. 5th Fiona Mycroft, Dobermann. 6th Jodie Rogers, Boxer.