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Richmond JHA Semi-Finals


Gundogs 6-11 years

I really had a great time with the youngsters at this semi final...all the kids were courteous and respectful, handling there charges with gentleness. I would also like to thank my stewards who helped to make the ring run smoothly and efficiently.

We mustn’t forget that whilst ring patterns can be used to challenge accomplished handlers, the real skill comes from a handler who makes their exhibit look and display themselves to best advantage...I therefore look for a handler who I would feel happy sending into a ‘breed ring’ with one of my own dogs.

1 Ceri Oxman. This young lady handled her GWP with style and grace managing at all times to show the dog to best advantage. It is essential to make sure that it was ‘all about the dog on show’ and not about the handler...too many Jun.Handlers are too busy showing off to make themselves competitive! Showing a big dog with such a strong will can be difficult but he was kept under control at all times. Ceri`s quiet and efficient style took her all the way to the top spot against some really stiff competition. I'm sure we will see a lot of this handler in the future.

2 Katie Stewart. I enjoyed judging this handler, she managed to do almost everything I asked of her, whilst also a good handler I felt that this young lady must remain calm to make the most of her skills, I will enjoy seeing her progress in the future.

3 Melissa Osborne-brown. Right up there with the best of them, another excellent display just needing to watch her ‘shadow work’. Another who no doubt will make her presence felt as she grows in confidence.

Miss Leanne Bryant

Gundog 12-16 years

It was real honour and a pleasure to be invited and able to judge this category of the Junior Handling Association Semi Finals. I found the overall standard of the handlers to be very high, I found there approach to be professional yet they still appeared to be enjoying the task in hand.
With such a depth of quality I found myself with a rather large ‘short list’ of very good and/or most promising handlers from whom I had to choose six, not the easiest of tasks and it was splitting hairs all the way down to my final decisions. On the day it may have come down to the balance of the partnership between dog and handler, resulting in very good handlers not being one of my final six.

1 Heather Rose - handling a German Wirehaired Pointer. A most calm and professional performance. I liked the way Heather seemed in control of her space and surroundings, presenting her dog in a way that attracts your attention totally to the exhibit, very much at one with the dog and focused on the job in hand. No exaggeration just a job very well done.

2 Nicola Sturrock - handling an Irish Setter. a truly class one performance and Nicola did not have the easiest of exhibits to handle, but she got the best from this dog without making it look like hard work. So close to winning this but unfortunately hair splitting decisions have to be made there and then.

3 Amy Balch - handling a Weimaraner. Making it a top quality trio of young handlers, whom I would be more than happy to have handling one of my dogs. Amy had similar virtues to those above, good rapport with the exhibit, professional and focused, getting the best possible from the exhibit and enjoying what they do.

4 Poppie Jaconelli - handling an English Springer Spaniel.

5 Emma Craig - handling a Golden Retriever.

6 Stacey Mason - handling a Cocker Spaniel.

Frank H Whyte

Terrier 6-11yrs

It was a great honour to judge the 6-11 yr Terrier age group at the semi-finals of Richmond this year and an appointment I thoroughly enjoyed. The standard in the younger age group is rapidly increasing and was very pleased with the overall standard. One thing a lot of the handlers didn’t do was to show all 3 sides of the dogs teeth, personally I feel this is a must and you should practice this with your dogs. My placings were all a very close and well done to everyone for qualifying.

1 Meghan Chalcraft – Handling an 11 month old border terrier to which Meghan did herself and her young dog very proud. Teeth were shown beautifully and the dog was presented neatly and correctly. Pattern work was effortless and could not be faulted. Talked to her dog the entire time, a part of handling I think is now rarely seen. A lovely sympathetic handler who was a joy to watch and judge. Good luck in the finals.

2 Cerys Wright – Another good handler who presented her dog correctly and executed the patterns very well. Slightly too close to the judge on final presentation, apart from this it was a close decision.

3 Libby Jones – Very sympathetic handler who I have seen before and improves ever time I see her. Watch your lead control on the table, apart from this you did everything very well.

4 Maria Clark – Nice handler who did all that I asked, a quiet handler who got the best out of her Dandie. Ensure you pattern work is accurate as straight up and down was slightly off.

5 Bobby Dale – Did a very good job of handling her Manchester on this cold morning, not an easy task in itself! Need to watch your lead control when doing patterns, it can be very off putting to watch a flapping lead.

6 Laurence Jackson – A smart young man who I have again seen before and has come on in leaps and bounds. Accurate patterns, just remember the golden rule!

Felicity Freer

Terriers 12-16 years

Many thanks to Richmond Championship Show, Ryslip Group Limited and Pedigree Masterfoods for organising and supporting this event which is one of the highlights in the JHA calendar. Thank you also to my very helpful steward Tamara Dawson who had the ring running like clockwork.

I was presented with a lovely class of very competent handlers who were all well turned out and there was a good sporting atmosphere in the ring. The standard of handling was high so decisions were quite tight.

Just a couple of observations. Whenever I walked down the line (as most judges do) I felt that there was an unnecessary amount of moving round the dog by some handlers. This is really not necessary unless the judge moves behind you and is one of those things that judges find distracting rather than enhancing. There was also a bit too much changing of hands with the lead. This is really only necessary if the judge moves in to a position that puts you between the dog and the judge.

1 -Hannah Escott handling a SCWT. Hannah gave an extremely polished performance and is a calm and competent handler with no exaggeration. She gave the clear impression that she was there to get the best out of the dog and not to show herself off. There were no unnecessary movements and when she moved the dog she did exactly as I asked, concentrated on the job in hand and blended in to the background when she returned to the judge and stacked the dog. She was courteous and polite at all times and yet was clearly focussed on giving an exemplary performance which is pretty much what she did. I wish her the very best of luck in the final.

2 Vanessa Taylor handling a PRT. Vanessa pushed Hannah hard all the way. Here is another handler who is calm and efficient and just seems to blend in to the background. I was very impressed with her handling right from the start and she did exactly what she was asked without any fuss.

3 Laura Jackson handling an Australian Terrier. Laura completed a trio of calm and efficient handlers. Her charge was being a touch hyper and she displayed some clever handling to get the very best out of her and you cannot ask for more than that from a handler.

4 Tieryn Clark handling a Cesky. It was certainly no disgrace to stand 4th in this company. Tieryn was very competent, stayed calm at all times and worked in harmony with her Cesky. As I said at the start of this report I was having to split hairs.

Paul Eardley

Utility 6 to 11 years

It was a great honour to be asked to judge the semi-finals. I was a little disappointed that some of our handlers seem to have forgotten the golden rule of not getting between the dog and the judge. Also it would be nice to see more smiling, this is our hobby! Finally a plea on behalf of the dogs - they cannot read your minds so tell them what you want them to do.

1 Victoria Clarke handling a German Spitz. This young handler stood out and did everything that was asked of her accurately and expertly. She never took her eyes off the judge and positioned her dog well at all times. She paced her dog beautifully - good luck for the finals.

2 Brydee-Mae Mills handling a Bulldog. This young lady stole my heart and I think she has the makings of an excellent handler. She handled her dog sympathetically and again did exactly what was asked. It was lovely to see someone smiling and enjoying herself. A handler for the future!
3 Abbie Williams handling a Dalmatian. A good handler who stood her dog well. Could be a little more accurate with her patterns and just needs to keep an eye on where the judge is. Judged the pace of the dog well on the move.

4 Arron Williams handling a Dalmatian. A competent handler who again stood his dog well. Did not judge the pace of his dog as well as his sister.

5 Grace Rodaway handling a Toy Poodle. A young handler who will in time be very good. She stacked her dog well and had a good relationship with the dog. She was a little nervous today and just forgot not to block the dog from the judge. Her time will come.

6 David Knight handling a Tibetan Terrier. His dog did not give this young lad an easy time but he never lost his patience or temper, he never gave up. For me he deserved his placing on the fact that he really had to handle a difficult dog.

Fiona Whitehead

Utility 12-16 years

Firstly I would like to say a big ‘Thank You’ to Liz Cartledge for inviting me to judge at this wonderful show. It is such an important show for all the Junior Handlers. I hope you all enjoyed your special day.

I found every handler polite and smartly dressed; my only criticism was in ‘showing the teeth’. Many juniors showed the teeth incorrectly, please ask your trainer to demonstrate how to show the teeth correctly.

1 Gillman, Toni, handling a Lhasa Apso. This handler is very experienced and completed all pattern work to perfection; very neat and precise. Toni and her dog flowed around the ring and looked a very good team. Toni was also dressed to complement the colour of her dog; I could not fault her in any way. Congratulations Toni and I wish you success in the Final.

2 Tutty’s Brogan, handling a Shiba Inu. I was very impressed with this handler, she has great potential and I think she has a very bright future in handling. Brogan completed everything correctly, showed her dog well and was also smartly dressed. Just lacked the polish of the winner‚ but it will come. Well Done.

3 Warren, Lily, handling a Shar Pei. Lily has to work very hard with her chosen breed and she does this with calm efficiency. I admire Lily’s patience and gentle touch in getting the best she can from her dog. All exercises were completed correctly. Lily is a very skilled handler and should always do well.

4 Corcoran, Amber- Louise, handling a Dalmatian. This handler was a pleasure to watch. Amber-Louise completed all pattern work correctly, and also both she and her dog seemed to be relaxed, happy and enjoying themselves This is not an easy breed to use in handling classes, as they really do seem to have a mind of their own but Amber-Louise kept talking to her dog to keep it focused and showed the dog very well.

5 Brown , Carrina, handling a Japanese Spitz

6 Grimmett Beccie, handling a Toy Poodle

Jodie Harrison

Toys 6-11 years

Liz Cartledge and her dedicated team make this show very much a highpoint of the season for Junior Handlers and, indeed, this was one of my most enjoyable appointments ever. The standard was extraordinarily high - if only all adult handlers were as good as those under me in these Semi Finals, breed judging would be so much easier for everyone.

Every single competitor looked so smart and tidy with beautifully presented clean dogs but it must always be remembered that, at a dog show, nothing should detract from the importance of the actual DOGS themselves and a few could obviously not resist the temptation to add an extra bit of glamour to their own outfits. Basically, it is best to keep it plain and simple and for some good examples just watch such expert handlers as Geoff Corish, Michael Coad and Patsy Hollings - to name but a few - who are always quietly but smartly dressed themselves allowing their charges to shine out.

I was truly spoilt for choice to find a shortlist as everyone without exception had a great rapport with their dogs and did their very best to do exactly as they were asked. A few were so keen to copy what they had seen others do before them that they forgot to wait for their own specific instructions and went off to the corner rather than straight across the ring while others put their dogs on the table and expected them to stand without any further reassurance. Hardly surprisingly a degree of nervous anxiety came into play at times, particularly with continual calling of dogs’ names to attract their attention, which can be irritating to both the judge and the dog concerned as well as being unfair on other exhibitors.

I must stress that the above are purely comments and far from criticism - just to emphasise the point, I would be more than happy for any one of these competitors to handle my own dogs and I am extremely fussy!

1. 11 year old Emelia Whipps, who simply did everything right, making it all look so easy, effortless and relaxed doing exactly as asked quietly and calmly, alert to every instruction, sypathetically encouraging her Papillon to look like a star both standing and on the move. It was a joy to see the rapport between them.

2. 10 year old Joely Sandells with, it has to be said, a very cheeky Pug! He appeared to have his mind on other things when on the table and, indeed, it transpired that he had suddenly taken great exception to a passing Deerhound. He was cleverly caught in mid leap by his gentle, patient handler, who proceeded to move him exactly as instructed although this little chap was still, and all too obviously, not behaving as well as he should. Joely encouraged him so quietly and sensibly that, by the time he was half way round the ring, he had calmed down completely and looked positively cherubic! A clever handler with a happy smile, who made a difficult dog look great.

3. 10 year old Melissa Phillips, who quietly encouraged her Tri Cavalier in just the right ways at just the right times. She was so obedient to every instruction, virtually faultless in her presentation and in obvious accord with her dog. The proverbial hair’s breadth separated these first three, very obviously expert handlers.

Also shortlisted and placed in the following order were Kaitlin Boal, already a happy talented handler at just seven years old, so in tune with her Papillon; 11 year old Mikaela Allit with a Cavalier, who was very accurate in obeying instructions to the letter and, finally, nine year old Emily Moore, who handled her 6 month old Affenpinscher puppy so gently and efficiently. Thank you to everyone concerned for a thoroughly enjoyable day – if only there had been 16 first prizes to award!

Jane Lilley

Toy 12-16 years

My thanks to Liz Cartledge and committee, for this prestigious appointment. In this age group, most of the handlers were efficient and knew their job. However, as normal, I had trouble seeing some dog’s teeth without crouching down and some handlers started their pattern with the dog set up off to one side of me. One last thing, Juniors, please try to have the best tempered dog you can to show in J/Handling. It won’t help you get to the top if your charge growls at the judge, no matter how good the handling.

1 Fran McWade- Papillon. Lovely, sympathetic handler, who was very hard to fault. She was one of a few who allowed me to see her dog’s teeth clearly. Her charge was always set up correctly, even when I looked around the ring between dogs. Her movement patterns were precise and the final presentation was the best of the day. Well done & Good Luck at the Finals!

2 Helen Rishworth- It. Greyhound. Another very good handler. She gave her usual polished performance, which was difficult to fault, but just wasn’t as precise on the finish.

3 Clare Butler- Papillon.

Val Cumpstey

Richmond JHA Semi Final Photo Special