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GroupShotJustJuniors.jpgThe 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. 

 

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Belleville-and-District-Kennel-Club2.pngOn October 26th, 2019, Junior Handlers from across Canada will participate in the CKC Junior Handling National Championships hosted by the Belleville & District Kennel Club in Belleville, Ontario. Juniors will compete for the title of Best Overall Junior of 2018 in their discipline, Conformation or Obedience. In addition, the Conformation winner will have the chance to represent Canada at Crufts in England in March 2020.

​Please meet the talented and dedicated Junior Handling Provincial Zone Winners that are competing in this year’s National.

Canada, Conformation, Dog Show, Junior Handling, Junior Nationals, Juniors, obedience Canada, Conformation, Dog Show, Junior Handling, Junior Nationals, Juniors, obedience
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Kayla-Penney-3-edited.jpgOur Junior Handling National Champion is heading to England for the International title

14-year-old Kayla Penney of Chilliwack, B.C. won the Canadian Junior Handling National Championship in October and is now headed to Birmingham, England to compete in the Crufts International Junior Handling Competition on Saturday March 9th, 2019. I had the chance to ask this representative of Zone 12 – B.C. Interior and Yukon some questions before she takes off across the pond.
Canada, Conformation, Crufts, Ian Lynch, Junior Handling, Junior Nationals Canada, Conformation, Crufts, Ian Lynch, Junior Handling, Junior Nationals
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All-Competitors-1.jpgCKC’s Junior Handling National Championships celebrates the accomplishments and talent of dedicated Junior Handlers from across the country. Bringing together the top Juniors in both Conformation and Obedience, the Junior Nationals is more than a competition – it is an opportunity for some of our most promising, up and coming handlers to see and be seen by fellow canine aficionados in different parts of our spectacular country. Friendships that begin at this event can last a lifetime, bonding contestants as they laugh and learn together, supporting one another as they prepare for the challenge of their respective rings. 
Conformation, junior handling, junior nationals Conformation, junior handling, junior nationals
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gQo3TpkhTn9WXeGQzYJA_29025538_10156291012049187_2200693087297077248_n-1-1.jpgMy name is Caroline Holicka, and I had the honour of representing Canada at the International Junior Handling Competition at Crufts this past March. It was one of the best experiences of my life, not only because I had the chance to compete with the best junior handlers in the world, but also because of the love and support I received from our dog show community.

Before I get into the details of my trip, I have to take you back about 10 years, to when my handling career began. I was seven years old, with pigtails and chubby cheeks. My family had just purchased our first boxer, and we started to attend shows sporadically. My mom showed Lambada, our girl, while I was the designated clapper, and even an occasional towel holder. It was a great job, one of my favourites, until one day I got a promotion.

 
Conformation, Junior Handling, Junior Nationals Conformation, Junior Handling, Junior Nationals
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Wd8NJ7GKRBGc4Dw6934A_JN-007.jpgJunior Handlers from across Canada will be competing for the title of Best Overall Junior of 2017 in their discipline, Conformation or Obedience, at the CKC Junior Handling National Championships hosted bythe Battle River Canine Association in Camrose, Alberta on October 27th, 2018.

The event starts at 11 a.m. with Obedience followed by Conformation.  The Obedience champion wins a $1,000 bursary. The Conformation champion wins a $2500 bursary to attend Crufts’ International Junior Handling Competition. Back in 2014, CKC National Champion Colton O’Shea won this competition and it was an enormous thrill to see Canada do so well on an international level.
Ian Lynch, Junior Handling, Junior Nationals Ian Lynch, Junior Handling, Junior Nationals
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DSC_4690_Final.jpgAt the risk of sounding as if all I do is travel and attend shows, I want to share my experience from this year’s Junior Handling Nationals Championships.  I had the privilege of receiving an invitation from the Conception Bay Kennel Club to attend the Junior Nationals held during their show in Bay Roberts, Newfoundland last month.  This was my 3rd Junior Nationals as ED of the CKC.

One of the things I learned is that a small club can certainly put on a big show!  Granted, the club had a head start with traditional Newfoundland hospitality, the club created an environment of organized chaos and positive spirit.  When it was time for the Junior Handling Finalists to compete, the show stopped and the entire focus turned to the Juniors. You could hear a pin drop by the time the winners were announced.  It was wonderful to see everyone come together to support the Juniors and give them their-well deserved time in the spotlight. Congratulations again to Caroline Holicka (Conformation winner) and Chantal Ratté (Obedience winner)!  I don’t think anyone will be surprised to hear how, every competitor displayed high levels of skill, maturity and professionalism. Their love of the sport is almost tangible...  I recall one competitor that took the time to speak with me and explain the performance of his dog, the nuances of the breed and even some grooming tips.  All the while he was probably anxious about the event he was about to compete in.  
Junior Handling, Junior Nationals, Lance Novak Junior Handling, Junior Nationals, Lance Novak
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