On August 12, 2017, the nation’s best and brightest competitors in Junior Handling entered the ring to compete in the Canadian Kennel Club’s (CKC) 2016 Junior Handling National Championships hosted by Conception Bay Kennel Club (CBKC) in Bay Roberts, Newfoundland.
The Junior Nationals are more than a dog show. This event brings together Junior Handling Zone Finalists from each CKC Junior Zone to promote sportsmanlike competition, forge friendships that transcend distance, and inspire CKC’s youngest exhibitors to follow their passion.
On Saturday, Caroline Holicka earned the title of CKC Junior Handling Conformation Champion (Best Overall Junior in Conformation) and the honour of following her passion to the international stage next spring as CKC’s and Canada’s representative at Crufts’ 2018 International Junior Handling Competition. Caroline has been involved in Junior handling since she was seven years old. “I was just a little kid with a big dog and sparkly shoes,” she recalls in her Junior Nationals Program biography. “I hope that I will be able to continue enjoying this sport for a very long time, seeing more and more Juniors…entering the ring, a huge smile on their faces…” she added.
Caroline was also the recipient of the Wenrick Sportsmanship Award. It is awarded annually at Junior Nationals to the competitor who truly embodies sportsmanship – a fundamental aspect of dog sport in Canada.
Chantal Ratté is this year’s CKC Junior Handling Obedience Champion (Best Over Overall Junior in Obedience). Chantal’s journey in the CKC show ring began five years ago when a three-year-old chocolate lab seeking a home stole her heart. Chantal worked with “Kita” slowly and steadily, eventually achieving PCD, CD, CDI, CGN, and certifying her as a Therapy Dog with Therapy Dogs International. They are working in Open Obedience towards with the hopes of earning a CDX title in the future.
CKC thanks esteemed judges Fabian Negron, Christine Heartz, Judy Taylor, Caitlin O’Brien-Dyke, Paul Dinn, Danielle Pike and Diane Hiseler. Selecting winners from among these competitors was no easy feat.
Richard Paquette, Chair, CKC Junior Kennel Club Council, was at Nationals cheering on the competitors. “I am proud to be part of CKC’s Junior Handling Program. It involves an unimaginable number of people volunteering countless hours to facilitate events and mentor each Junior handler. This devotion is matched only by the dedication of the Junior handlers themselves. I have watched as past Junior handling participants grew up to become some of the most recognized names in the Canadian dog fancy. Each of them carried the most important parts of Canadian dog show culture with them: sportsmanship, mentorship, and a deep commitment to the dog community. That is what it means to say that our Juniors are the future of Canadian dog sport,” said Mr. Paquette.
CKC, its staff and Board of Directors would like to thank everyone who was involved in putting together the CKC 2016 Junior Handling National Championships. Particularly, this event would not have been possible without the hard work and devotion of CKC Junior National Championships Chair, Faye Andrews, her team at Conception Bay Kennel Club, and all of the Junior Handling Zone Representatives who work tirelessly year-round to facilitate this exceptional program.
CKC would also like to thank our generous sponsors for their invaluable support including returning sponsors DogShow.ca for partnering with CKC to provide the winners’ bursaries and Canadian Dog Fancier for designing, printing and shipping the Junior Nationals Program. CKC and CBKC would also like to thank the local community that also came together to sponsor this year’s Junior Nationals.
Congratulations to the all Junior Handling National Finalists!
Best Overall Junior (Conformation): Caroline Holicka
Best Overall Junior (Obedience): Chantal Ratté
Wenrick Sportsmanship Award: Carolina Holicka
1st Place: Caroline Holicka, Zone 7 (Ontario Central)
2nd Place: Xander Scriver, Zone 4B (Ontario North)
3rd Place: Dillon Conod, Zone 6 (Ontario West)
4th Place: Isabelle Loranger, Zone 12 (BC Interior & Yukon)
1st Place: Chantal Ratté, Zone 10 (Alberta, Northwest Territories & Nunavut)
2nd Place: Breanna Stephens, Zone 4A (Ontario North)
3rd Place: Chloe Cook, Zone 1A (Nova Scotia)
Photo courtesy of Dean Dennis, ringsideimages.ca
Conformation Winner, Caroline Holicka from Zone 7, Ontario Central. Photo courtesy of Dean Dennis, ringsideimages.ca.
Winner Chantal Ratte, Second: Breanna Stephens, Third: Chloe Cook, Photo courtesy of Dean Dennis, ringsideimages.ca.