BEST JUNIOR HANDLER
SARAH ELIZABETH CONGLETON
Stats: 356 Points
Junior Showmanship is dear to my heart. Showing in Juniors has taught me skills that apply to everyday life. Responsibility and time management are the two that I use every day. I am working on a college major in Biology with plans of becoming a Physician’s Assistant. The world of dog showing mirrors real life in many ways. You gain valuable experience every time you walk into both “rings”. It is what you do with that experience that makes you the person you are. I have used my time in the Juniors well and earned the following rankings in 2011: #1 Junior Handler with a Sporting Breed, #7 All Breed and, the highlight, #1 Junior Handler with an English Springer Spaniel.
There have been many positive influences in my life, but I am very thankful for the commitment of my parents and my brother, Tanner. Besides a great family, I am grateful to my mentors Robin Novack and Beth Fink for always challenging me to do the best, for teaching me to keep my head up at all times and most of all for teaching me how to perfect everything a Springer handler needs to know. I would also like to acknowledge Karen Lesley for breeding CH Magnolia Diamond Deuce RN, CGC. He is my heart dog and my partner. He is working towards his titles in Novice Agility and Therapy.
To be able to give back to the sport, I am working on my AKC Juniors judging license. See you at the dog shows!
RUNNER-UP TO BEST JUNIOR HANDLER
Stats: 284 Points
As soon as I turned 10 years old, I eagerly entered the world of Junior Showmanship. My parents, Bob and Julie Wickwire, raise and show Clumber Spaniels so that was what I had to compete with. Even though I felt fortunate to earn the Clumber Spaniel Club of America’s Best Junior award 5 years in a row, I knew that I wanted a different kind of sporting dog to compete with.
I got my Springer, ‘Spinner’, when I was 16 and our career together took off right away. In the two years that I had to show Spinner in Juniors we qualified twice for both Eukanuba and Westminster, and made finals at Eukanuba both times. Showing in 2011 was even more special having qualified for Westminster in only 6 months and winning the award of the Northwest’s Best Junior Handler. Our roll together continued in 2012 when we won the limited Juniors competition at the always competitive Rose City Classic Dog Show this last December. After that, we went on to complete Spinner’s Championship.
Spinner has taught me a great deal, and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to own and show him. I am now a student at Oregon State University majoring in Industrial Engineering. While school is my main focus for now, dog shows will forever be a part of my life.
I would like to thank Mary Batson and Rick Perkins for trusting me with Spinner, my parents for their unconditional love and support throughout the years, to everyone else that has helped me along the way, and most of all to Spinner who has become my "heart" dog.