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2019 Canadian Junior Handling National Championships

November 13, 2019
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The annual gathering of Canada’s most talented young dog handlers was witness to an unprecedented display of friendly competition, camaraderie and sportsmanship when the 17 competitors from across our vast country convened for the Canadian Kennel Club Junior Handling National Championships for Conformation and Obedience in Belleville, Ontario on October 26, 2019. 
 
The setting in the beautiful Bay Of Quinte region along the north shore of Lake Ontario is also location of the Belleville & District Kennel Club Championship Dog Shows who graciously hosted this spectacular event. The occasion determined who would be crowned the National Junior Handling Conformation Champion and will represent Canada at the world-renowned Crufts Dog Show Junior Handling Competition in Birmingham, England in March 2020. In addition, Canada’s Top Obedience Junior Handler was determined in this ‘Celebration’ highlighting the talents and rewarding the hard work of the best of our youngsters in our beloved sport of purebred dogs. 
 
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The Quinte Sports and Wellness Center was an ideal location for the juniors to enjoy an inclusive experience all under one roof. The activities held at the Center included a welcome ‘Pizza Party’ and ‘Get Together’ swim in the spacious 3 pool Aquatic Center. Throughout the weekend, the Juniors frequented the Youth Room and their own hospitality room stocked with food, snacks and beverages where they could relax with each other or just ‘hangout’ as they formed new and lifelong friendships with their fellow competitors. It was also the location of the Awards night and presentations on Saturday evening with all the competitors and families unwinding after a fun filled weekend. 
 
Oct26,2019-GroupShot-1.jpgIt was easy to locate the juniors as they all were sporting flashy red embroidered jackets identifying them as the Junior National participants provided by the committee from the tremendous amount of fundraising and sponsorship for the event. In addition they all received Welcome ‘loot bags’ donated by DogShow.ca and a lovely welcome certificate from the local Member of Parliament. A souvenir program was produced and generously donated by Canadian Dog Fancier Weekly, Shawn and Nadeen Bennett. Other sponsors included Purina, Belleville & District Kennel Club, the Canadian Kennel Club, SD&G Dog Association, Wenrick, Wendy, Richard & Jody Paquette, the late Squibs Mercier, the Ottawa Junior Kennel Club, Treasure Coast Pet Products, Theda Pretsell, Alex Saunders, Linda McCaughen, Diane Hopper, Patricia Hunt, Michael Kaluski and Gilles Chaloux. Thank you to all the donors whose overwhelming support even included a $1,000 anonymous contribution. 
 
On Saturday, the festivities began with all judging at the All Breed show taking a two-hour break so everyone could focus on the Junior Handing National Finals. A parade into the ring with all of the juniors proudly carrying their Provincial flags added to the pomp and pageantry of the occasion. Their introduction to the boisterous, enthusiastic crowd of spectators was followed by opening remarks from myself as Chair of the CKC Junior Kennel Club Council and Master of Ceremonies. This was followed by introduction of dignitaries and judges. An appreciative round of applause was given to the Belleville & District Kennel Club and its members when club President, Pat Hunt, was introduced. Equal adoration was extended to Jody Bayly, the Zone 5 Ontario East Junior Kennel Club Council Representative, who deserves high accolades for helping to organize the event. On hand to lend support and represent the Canadian Kennel Club was not only the esteemed Thomas Nesbitt, the CKC Director for this Zone but the dedicated Executive Director, Lance Novak who both share a passion for Junior Handling. The singing of National Anthem ended the opening ceremonies and launched the Obedience judging portion of the Competitions. 
 
The competitors for both Obedience and Conformation were invited to the National because they had won their respective Provincial/Zone finals. The invitation to compete is based on rankings gained from competing in regular Junior Handling competitions throughout 2018 with the juniors placing in the top four of the various classes at these competitions getting the nod. These classes are separated by various age groups from 7 to 17 years old. Juniors stop competing in regular events when they ‘age out’ at their 18th birthday. At the yearlong competitions a non-competitive Pee Wee class is offered for children 4 to 7 years old. Some clubs also offer a non-official fun class called Itzy Bitzy Stuffed Toy for toddlers under 4 when they are invited in the ring with a parent to gait and stack their leashed toy dogs much to the laughter and frivolity of all.
 
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Chantal Ratté (Zone 10) - Obedience Winner  
Amanda Mitchell (Zone 6) - Runner up Obedience Winner          
                      

There were four juniors in competition for the Obedience title judged by in ring working judge Diana Kirkaldy and scoring judges Andy Mann and Darwin Bowles. It was exciting performance by all four as the handlers and dogs performed flawlessly. Chantal Ratte from Alberta emerged as the winner, and received a $1500 Education  Bursary from the CKC, the Squibs Mercier Memorial Trophy offered by the Ottawa Junior Kennel Club, quality set of Scent Dumbbells from the Belleville Club and complimentary premium advertisement donated by CDF Weekly. Runner-up was Amanda Mitchell from Ontario West and she received a Travel Bag from Purina. Third place went to Bente Van Bielsen from Nova Scotia and fourth to Sarah-Lynn Lookwood from Ontario North. The scoring was extremely close amongst all 4 competitors and even required a ‘tie breaker’ run off to determine the placings. 
 
 
Next in the ring were the 13 Conformation competitors representing the various CKC geographic Zones from across our vast country. They were put through their paces in the ring by working judge David Swartwood. David had quizzed each junior the previous evening with the question portion of the event to speed up proceedings in the ring. The experienced panel of scoring judges stationed in each corner of the ring were comprised of handlers Linda Thompson and Thomas Curley, former Junior Handler and now dog breeder Jodie O’Meara and breeder Susan Curtis. With all the competitors remaining in the ring, each was judged individually and then all competitors switched dogs to further demonstrate their diverse talents as the judges marked their scorecards. While the tabulations for the Conformation winner were calculated by Jody Bayly and her scrutineers the Obedience Winners were announced and received their prizes. Amongst the presenters representing the Ottawa Junior Kennel Club were Christine and Larry Surtees along with Belleville Club president Patricia Hunt, CKC Director Thom Nesbitt and CKC Executive Director Lance Novak. 
 

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Isaac Clark (Zone 4)- Conformation Winner Sarah McIntyre (Zone 8) - Runner up Conformation Winner
     

The drama and suspense continued with scoring so close amongst the Conformation group that yet another tie breaking run off was required to determine the winners. To lend to the cliff hanger anxiety of the finalists, the winners were announced in reverse order. Fourth place and the extravagant rosette were won by Caroline Holicka from Ontario Central. Garnering the third placing was Emmanuelle Lepitre from Quebec. Triumphant Sarah McIntyre from Manitoba claimed the Runner Up rosette and a Tote Bag from the Belleville Club. The eventual winner was crowned when Isaac Clark from Zone 4, Ontario North was announced by Jody Bayly. ‘Isaac’ not only won the bragging rights to be called the Canadian National Junior Handling Champion but will also represent Canada at the Crufts Junior Handing competition in Birmingham, England in March of 2020. Lance Novak, CKC Executive Director presented him with a $3,500 cheque to help with costs to attend Crufts. Christine Surtees representing the Ottawa Junior Kennel Club awarded the Squibs Mercier Memorial Trophy. Thomas Nesbitt presented him with the coveted Susan Hillman Trophy. Patricia Hunt presented a Travel Bag from Purina and a certificate for a premium advertisement donated by CDF Weekly.
 
The event was ‘Live Streamed’ on Facebook by Manitoba Junior Council representative Carolyne Cybulsky and Dean Dennis of RINGSIDEIMAGES.ca captured the event with all the awesome group and individual photos to secure the memories. 
 
The day continued with an evening celebratory Awards Dinner. The formal presentations and speeches included many
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Madison Spry (Zone 1A)- Winner of the Wenrick Sportsmanship Award
thank you mentions for all the hard work of the host club, the Belleville & District Kennel and the co-chairs of the event Patricia Hunt, Belleville President and Jody Bayly, Zone 5, Ontario East Junior Kennel Club Council Representative. Special mention also to Belleville Club members Deana Abbott and Janice Mulroney for their efforts in making the weekend a success.

The final award to be presented was the Wenrick Sportsmanship Award, offered by Wendy, Richard and Jody Paquette. The ballots were given to the juniors so they themselves could select the winner. The winner was Madison Spry from Newfoundland. Fitting of her east coast heritage she did embody the typical traits of friendly, warm, welcoming and fun loving nature making it no surprise that she made such an impact on her fellow competitors who voted for her to be this year’s recipient of the Wenrick Sportsmanship Award. 

This year’s competition is a wrap and I am very proud as Chair of the CKC Junior Kennel Club Council to be associated with everyone involved in making the event such a memorable success. THANK YOU...Mark your calendars for the Club Canin Chomedy, Quebec shows in September 2020, the location of next year’s National !!!

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The opinions expressed by authors on the Canadian Kennel Club Blog and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of the Canadian Kennel Club or any of its employees.

Les opinions et les commentaires exprimés dans le blogue du Club Canin Canadien sont ceux des auteurs et ils ne reflètent pas les opinions du Club Canin Canadien ni de ses employés.

Author InformationInformation sur l’auteur

Richard Paquette

Richard Paquette

Richard Paquette has been involved in purebred dogs since 1971. He is a world renowned Shih Tzu breeder of Wenrick fame. He is a former Top Dog owner and handler. Currently he is an All Breed Judge and has served on the CKC Board Of Directors for decades. 

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Erick
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11/30/2019 4:46:40 AM

RICHARD Paquette
Congratulations to all the Juniors... you did us proud. Thank you to the Belleville & District KC, Patricia Hunt and CKC Junior Handling Representative Jody Bayly for all your hard work. Also all the great CKC staff for all the work you do behind the scenes.
11/14/2019 5:31:35 PM

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