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2023 Top Rally Dogs

Full Results PDF

Fast-moving, upbeat, and tons of fun, Rally is a sport that demonstrates the competency of both handler and dog in performing Obedience exercises without requiring exact precision for success. Watching a CKC Rally event will make you truly understand the meaning of the word teamwork.

This year’s Top Rally Dog is Jiggs, a Miniature Poodle from a line of dogs we often see impressing crowds and in the Top Dogs lists, year after year.

The Canadian Kennel Club is pleased to introduce you to the Top Rally Dogs of 2023.


#1 – RGCH OTCH Belcourt Hero's Journey RAE8 RMX8

Call Name: Jiggs
Miniature Poodle
Date of birth: September 19, 2018
Breeders: Lesley Millar & Murray Eason
Owner: Jean Fisher
Handler: Jean Fisher

Jean Fisher:
I am very honoured to be recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club as the owner and handler of one of the Top Dogs in Canada in Rally. This was my first Miniature Poodle, and he has been such a pleasure to train and work with. I was so pleased that Lesley and Murray gave me the opportunity to work with this lovely boy.
Jiggs was my first Poodle and he has been such a joy. Murray is very devoted to his breeding and cares so much for each and every puppy he has. I am very blessed as Murray has given me the opportunity for a second boy from his breeding to start working with this year. It was a very busy and exciting 2023 for me as Jiggs and I got to do a lot of travelling and a lot of trials this year. We met such beautiful dog teams along our journey this year and had such a terrific fun time along the way. I found much camaraderie between the exhibitors and definitely had a great Rally gang that we all looked forward to meeting up again at different shows. We became great friends and supported and helped each other through the courses with tons of laughs along the way.

My goal in 2024 is to go back to the Obedience ring and work towards getting an OTCh X and MOTCh title. I learn so much every time I go in the ring and love watching and participating in anything I can do at the show.

I train at the Goldunn Training Centre with Del Lunn with Bev at his side. They both have become great friends, and our constantly helping me to improve by sharing knowledge and training experience. I could not have done this without them both.


#2 – RGCH Blueshadow's The Butler Did It RAE14 RMX7 IPV VN AGXV AGIJV JT CGN

Call name:  Butler
Shetland Sheepdog
Date of birth:  April 15, 2015
Breeder:  William Seifried
Owner:  Dayna Nichol
Handler:  Dayna Nichol
Dayna Nichol:

What can I say?  2023 was an amazing year for us. Butler keeps on trucking and made CKC history by being the first Shetland Sheepdog to get his Rally Grand Championship! I couldn't be prouder of the little fuzzy dude and he still loves it. Besides being Number 2 in the Top 10, this is his third stint at it. We had such a great time with all these fantastic friends along the way that it really made our year special.  We were trailing at a Rally trial in London in the pouring rain and still had smiles on our faces while making the most of it.  

#3 – RGCH Hollowshot Milo Minderbender RAE5 RMX4 CD

Call Name: Milo
Border Collie
Date of Birth: April 30, 2017
Breeder: Maxine Netherway
Owner: Jane Uloth
Handler: Jane Uloth

Jane Uloth:
 I am thrilled that Milo and I achieved third highest placed CKC Rally dog in Canada. What began as a fun supplement to our other doggy activities appears to have taken over our lives. Milo throws his whole heart into any work we do together, but he is especially excited to enter the Rally ring as anyone who has seen him there will attest. I would be hard pressed to find a more enthusiastic partner or one with whom I could have a stronger bond.

Rally is a wonderful sport where despite highs or lows there is always a strong contingent of supportive competitors cheering teams on, listening patiently to recaps of rounds or offering friendly advice or help. Most valued to me are the friendships, old and new, which have strengthened and grown because of my involvement in Rally.

I am so grateful to the dedicated clubs, judges, ring stewards and volunteers who continue to make the effort it takes to have the trials that we enjoy so much. I want to acknowledge the teachers and mentors who have worked with Milo and me, encouraging, supporting and guiding us. 
Not least, without the support of my husband, Brian, none of Milo’s and my achievements would have been possible. Thank you.


#4 – RGCH GCH Hi Stakes Never Kiss N Tell RAE5 RMX3 NS CGN ATD

Call Name: Juan
Date of Birth: February 8, 2020
Breeders: Paula Martel & Kim Doan
Owners: Lorraine Purnell, Shirley Grant, Paula Martel & Kim Doan
Handler: Lorraine Purnell

Lorraine Purnell:

Juan and I had a memorable 2023 competing in Novice Rally Obedience in March 2022 and completed our Rally Grand Championship in December of 2023. Juan accomplished many CKC titles this year including RMX, RMX2, RMX3, RCH, RAE2, RAE3, RAE4, RAE5, RGCH, CGN, NS and he went Best of Opposite Sex at the Havanese Regional Specialty. What a versatile breed.

Placing in the top 10 of Rally Obedience in Canada has been an incredible experience, and to finish #4 in Canada is a year to remember. Juan finished #1 Havanese, the highest scoring Havanese ever in Canada, #1 Toy Breed and the highest scoring Toy Breed ever in Canada. He is the first Havanese to earn his Rally Grand Championship title in Canada.

We travelled far and wide to trials and met so many incredible teams, making amazing friendships along the way. Congratulations is my fellow competitors on their accomplishments in 2023. These trials are the results of all the hard work of volunteers, trial secretaries and judges.

Special thanks to my training instructors. A huge thank you to Paula Martel and Kim Doan for breeding this wonderful little dog.

Thanks, Juan, for being my teammate and early morning travelling buddy.


#5 – RGCH OTCH Zaniri Not Just A Pretty Face RMX3 RAE3 MH TDX UTD WCI CG

Call name: Marilyn
Golden Retriever
Date of Birth: December 21, 2014
Breeders: Joanne Kinney, Laureen Kinney & Linda Wiacek
Owner: Susan Highton
Handlers: Susan Highton and Kathryn Poirier

Susan Highton:

Marilyn is the most focused and happy dog I have ever shared my life with. Nothing fazes her and she finds joy in every aspect of work and recreation she encounters. She has participated in Obedience and Rally trials, Hunt tests and Tracking tests from Alaska to Alabama and the Pacific to the Atlantic and has been an absolute ambassador for the breed. She has had roles in movies and commercials and one of her animal handlers said after a commercial shoot that he had never liked Golden Retrievers, but she was the all-time favourite dog he had ever worked with.

Marilyn and I had achieved our OTCH in Obedience and our RA title in Rally, but after Advanced, I was hopeless in the ring. Our good friend Kathryn Poirier was looking for a Rally partner and I was headed to Alabama for retriever training for the winter with two other dogs, so Marilyn and Kathryn teamed up in late 2022. Within the year this phenomenal team had earned the RGCH title, finishing the year out as number one Rally dog in Breed and Group and number five all breed Rally dog in Canada with the highest average in the country at 99.06. We have a very limited number of tests in western Canada so finishing in the top five is something I am extremely proud of.

Along with Kathryn Poirier who was not only Marilyn’s Rally partner but also her favourite person in the whole world, I would like to thank Laureen and Joanne Kinney for breeding this amazing girl!

#6 – RGCH MOTCH CH Canwin's Scores E Z RAE2 VN RMX WC CGN

Call name: Score
Golden Retriever
Date of Birth: January 7, 2014
Breeder: Tracy Peterson Snyder
Owners: Gary Hudson & Tracy Peterson Snyder
Handler: Sandy Todoroff

Gary Hudson:

This past year was a very special one for me. Score and I were aiming for an RMX title and possibly RCh. Instead, we earned our RGCh and incredibly finished 6th Top Dog Rally. I’m truly grateful to be included in this wonderful group of dogs and handlers that make up the Top 10 this year.

Score is a happy girl and very enthusiastic while trialing. Her tail never stops wagging! A memorable day was had at the Golden Retriever National, completing her RMX and RCh. At 10 years old she’s not slowing down. Along with her Rally titles she also earned her Working Certificate this summer.

Thank you, Tracy Peterson Snyder for breeding this versatile Canwin girl, and to you and Gary Hudson for your support and encouragement. Thanks also to the clubs, and their volunteers, for holding the trials; and to the judges for the fun, challenging courses.

At every trial, there was encouragement from fellow Rally exhibitors; a genuine celebration for each other’s successes, and appreciation and acknowledgement of a “nice run.” It’s been a great adventure, and I’ve met some special friends along the way.

#7 – RCH GCH Ambertru Tri'n Hard2 Believeit RAE2 RMX2 VB ATD CGN CD

Call Name: Ripley
Golden Retriever
Date of Birth:  September 18, 2012
Breeder: Connie Johnson
Owner: Linda Webb-Sowerby
Handler: Linda Webb-Sowerby

Linda Webb-Sowerby:

2023 was a gift, and what a ride we had!

The previous August, Ripley had a 9cm tumour removed from his liver and almost didn’t come home. Miraculously he did, and we celebrated his 10th birthday.

He loves to stay busy so an RM title was the goal. He qualified in his first 3 runs. I was hooked, and the journey for an RMX began.

A health check showed another tumour along with testicular masses. We continued with life as he knew it while waiting for surgery - he attained his ATD and attended scent classes. Thankfully the masses were benign, removal of the tumour was too risky. Following recovery, his vets cleared him to do whatever he was up for.

Our mantra became DREAM BELIEVE ACHIEVE and this boy took me on the journey of a lifetime. Following the judge’s “Exercise Finished”, I would kiss his nose, thankful for another run with him.

Thank you to the best partner who always keeps me humble. Toys are Ripley’s kryptonite - every walk, outing and Rally run is an adventure for him.  We have learned so much together and he has taught me more. He is a strong-willed boy, but our bond has grown stronger with hard work, fun and so much patience.

With limited showing, he attained his RMX in September, then celebrated his 11th birthday with swim time.

An RCH and Top 10 placement have been icing on the cake, and made this a year to treasure. Thank you to the judges who made this accomplishment possible.

I am thankful to my fellow competitors who supported each other through ups and downs - friendships were forged. Best of luck to everyone as you aim for new goals.

Thank you Connie Johnson for this fun-loving boy.

“Don’t wait for the perfect moment, take the moment, and make it perfect”.


#8 – RGCH Azka's Dreams Of Greatness RMX6 RAE8 CGN VN CD HNT ITD

Call name: Ranger
Date of Birth: September 25, 2015
German Shepherd Dog
Breeders: Heather Dost & Rob Christiansen
Handler: Diana MacKenzie
Owner: Diana MacKenzie

Diana MacKenzie:

2023 was a difficult year for me, I was diagnosed with colon cancer in late March and after bowel resection surgery in May had to have 6 months of chemotherapy.

With my husband Ken’s love and support, I decided to set a goal for myself and that was to compete, when I could, and achieve a Top 10 placement for Ranger again.
Ranger was my therapy, both on chemo weekends staying by my side while I recovered and giving me his best at dog shows, even though he knew I wasn’t well. The support of my friends and fellow exhibitors and being in such a positive and supportive environment was also very therapeutic.
In 2023 along with his top 10 finish Ranger also earned top placements in Rally with #1 German Shepherd Dog and #3 in group as well as RAE 8, RMX 6 and his Rally Grand Champion titles, more than I ever thought possible.

This year we will do some Scent Detection, Tracking or his favourite thing, Herding.
I have been declared cancer free and am forever thankful for my husband Ken, my many dog owning friends and my boy Ranger for getting me through the tough times.
Congratulations to everyone on their achievements and here’s to a great 2024 for all.

#9 – RCH OTCH Deephollow's Emma RAE4 RMX3

Call name: Gemma 
German Shepherd Dog
Date of birth: June 28, 2017
Breeder: Brittany Poulin
Owners: Cory & Amanda Dauphinee
Handler: Cory Dauphinee
Cory Dauphinee:
What a year 2023 was for this team! At the end of the 2022 season, Gemma earned her RCH. In 2023 she earned her RAE2, RAE3 and RAE4 as well as RMX2 and RMX3 titles. She is only one Double Q away from her RGCH title then she will be retiring from CKC Rally Obedience. The sky is the limit for this team.

#10 – RCH Bigbay Songs Of Brigadoon  RAE2 RMX2 CD

Call name: Molly
Portuguese Water Dog
Date of Birth: March 27, 2018
Breeder: Lorraine Wilson              
Owners: Ann & Bill Staddon

Ann Staddon:

My journey started when I met Lori Slack, our groomer at the time, who recommended I start Obedience classes with Del Lunn, and I haven't looked back.

Molly is a sweet girl who hardly leaves my side, enjoys cuddles sitting on my lap. Molly is constantly carrying \ holding a soft toy even at a trial. Her favorite toy is a flying green saucer as she can do her favorite activities, jumping and retrieving!
Molly is quite versatile. She enjoys Agility in the backyard. The minute you put on her collar she knows the fun starts! Loves to work! She has earned her CDX RCH RME2 RAE2, a couple HIT and presently working on her RGCH. Molly also loves the water, jumping off the boat and retrieving articles. She has earned her Working Water Dog Excellent and received the “Charles Robinson Performance Award” at the PWDCC Water Trial. It was the most emotional award that Molly and I have ever received as her breeder Lorraine Wilson (RIP) wasn't there!

We need to encourage the younger generation to participate in Obedience and Rally. My breeder said your dog needs to learn sit, stay, come and you're on your way to learn greater things. In Rally, you can talk, say “Woo-hoo”, whatever, building connection &relationship. Obedience / Rally people are fun! Regardless of your trial outcome, there is always someone giving encouragement and advice.

I remind myself that I bring and leave the trial with the best dog. It's not about the ribbon, it's about our relationship. Molly is the best. She’ll do anything I ask of her. You have got to love her.

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