The 3rd Junior Handling Training weekend was held on 23/24 August at the new, but very clean venue that is Chieveley Village Hall in Newbury, organised by Helena Hutchings and myself. It was held as near to Richmond as possible to allow handlers to brush up their skills before the semi-finals.
Over two days we saw 44 handlers, from all over the country put through their paces on all aspects of junior handling. The weather was very kind to us on the 1st day – warm sunshine, the 2nd day, a little more overcast, but not for long – as they sun broke through by mid-morning, like I promised!
Each day was split into three training sessions with a nice break for lunch to allow handlers and their dogs, a rest! First thing, they were treated to an informative 30-minute talk by my good self to cover subjects like presentation, sportsmanship and etiquette. They were able to listen while munching on bacon rolls, provided by the A-team, that is Helena’s parents – Jenny and Eric.
The 22 or so handlers on each day were split into two groups to be taught individually by Helena and I.
For the first time, I produced a 22 question multiple choice quiz, which covered all aspects of junior handling. Each handler was asked to complete and then it would get marked, for the winner to be announced at the end of the day. The results were of a very high standard, which only means one thing – I’ll have to make it even harder for next time! Day one winner was 11 year old Laura Camilletti who got 43 out of 43 correct and won the tiebreaker question against Charlotte Dalgarno who also got all questions correct. On day two, we had another tiebreaker as both Lucy Norridge and Georgina Ferguson got all questions correct, Georgina pipped Lucy at the post and took home the quiz prize.
A raffle at lunchtime was run by my husband, Kriss, who has finally come out of hiding after all these years! Then the groups swapped over to get training from the other teacher, then a break before the competition.
We were very privileged to have two excellent and knowledgeable junior handling judges for both days. On Saturday, Ray McDonald, cast his eye over the 6-11 years handlers and secretly gave us the placings before he continued on judging the 12-16 years handlers. Ray is a junior handling trainer and adult handling competitor (winning the Adult Handler of the Year title in 2007) and the sire of two excellent junior handlers, Joseph and Roxanne. On Sunday, we were treated to Danielle Jones, who was Runner-up Pedigree Junior Handler of the Year 2005 and now an accomplished breed handler, obedience and junior handling trainer at YKC training days. On both days while judging was ongoing, Helena and I picked out handlers for 3 special awards.
The results for both days were as follows:
DAY ONE – Judge, Ray McDonald
1. Laura Camilletti, rhodesian ridgeback
2. Charlotte Dalgarno, PBGV
3. Callum Harris, alaskan malamute
4. Jemima Milford, pointer
5. Rhianna Brooks, papillon
1. and BJH - Victoria Clarke, border terrier
2. Rebecca Clarke, German spitz
3. Chloe Jeffries, German spitz
4. Harry Channon, welsh springer spaniel
5. Lauren Chapman, GSP
Most improved – Emily Horler with her Gordon setter
Handler who tried the hardest – Chloe Jeffries with her SCWT but swapped breeds half-way through the day
Best listener – Peter Campbell with his border terrier
DAY TWO – Judge, Danielle Jones
1. and BJH Charlotte Norridge, beagle
2. Sophie Ellis, finnish spitz
3. Iain Williamson, SCWT
4. Jodie Brutto, border collie
5. Antonia Leech, bearded collie
1. Georgina Ferguson, miniature schnauzer
2. Beth Holmes, whippet
3. Hannah Hadfield, welsh springer spaniel
4. Josephine Hadfield, whippet
5. Nicola Schofield, golden retriever
Most improved – Olivia Hanson, miniature poodle
Handler who tried the hardest – Lauren Brown with her pomeranian
Best listener – Keisha Adams with her field spaniel.
Special prize – Nathan Hartfield
After a long day, every handler was presented with a laminated certificate and a goody bag provided by Our Dogs. Everyone went home, happy, improved and very tired and I enjoyed a glass of wine on the Sunday night to celebrate my 26th birthday! Wish I was 10 years younger – could still be competing!
Many thanks to Eric and Jenny Hutchings for their excellent catering, Kriss Scott, both judges, June Caffel for supplying the huge array of raffle prizes and Our Dogs for the amazing goody bags.