The 9th Junior Handling Training Day, with myself and Helena Hutchings was held on 30th August 2009 at the new venue of Dobermann Showground, Digswell, Herts. Not having been to this venue, I wasn’t sure what to expect, especially when I was told there was ‘limited wet weather accommodation’. Fortunately though, for the 17 handlers and their dogs, the rain held off all day. I, along with everyone else, was very impressed with the facilities, and the marquees outside were large and spacious. It was great too, that at lunchtime, dogs could be let off into the surrounding grass, knowing the entire grounds were fully-fenced. I certainly recommend clubs/society’s to use this venue.
The handlers were treated to a short sportsmanship and etiquette talk with Marina at the start of the day, followed by a number of practical training sessions with both Helena and I, then the day ended with a competition. The handlers were split into their respective age groups and the ‘secret’ judge was announced as Jane Cryer, former JHA Handler of the Year and KCJO Show Handler of the year winner in 2002. Many thanks to Caroline and Sheldon Stoutt for collecting the judge from the train station!
Read the critique by judge Jane Cryer here:
The results were as follows:
1st – Charlotte Norridge, beagle
2nd – Lauren brown, pomeranian
3rd – Alex Hills, affenpinscher
4th – Ellie South, rough collie
5th – Ian Williamson, border collie
12 years +
1st - and best junior handler– Yolander Parker, crossbreed
2nd – Amy Sadler, border collie
3rd – Gaby Oxlade, soft coated wheaten terrier
4th – Emma Tripp, irish red and white setter
5th – Abbie Stoutt, siberian husky
Handlers were asked to fill-out a multiple-choice ‘Junior Handling quiz’ during the day and three handlers received top marks – Antonia Leech, Frances Leung and Hayley Gilbert. Following a quick-fire doggy question round, Antonia was deemed the winner. The follow handlers were also given ‘special’ awards. Most improved went to Frances Leung with her border collie, the handler who tried the hardest was Lauren Hill, with an affenpinsher and the best listener award went to Abbie Stoutt, handling her siberian husky ‘Maverick’.
Goody bags, provided by Our Dogs, were then given out along with a laminated certificate to each and every handler.
At the end of the day, there were big thanks to our judge, Jane Cryer, Helena’s mum, Jenny Hutchings for slaving away in the kitchen all day and Keith Brookes for being the ‘raffle king’ and general all-rounder most helpful person! I must say a big thank you for the Dobermann Club for allowing us to hold our training event at your superb venue.
Judging by the fantastic feedback about the training and the venue at the end of the day, it may well not be the last we see of the Digswell venue!