**Guest post from Matt S.**
Junior Showmanship has become a major facet of the dog show world. Children and teens, ages 9-17 participate, not only for the excitement of competition, but also to refine their handling skills, develop a sense of confidence, and enjoy the comradery that the sport offers. Former junior handler often make the transition to professional handler as adults.
For a junior handler to be invited to Westminster, they must take ten 1st Place wins from the Open class in order to qualify. It is the goal of most juniors to receive that coveted invitation each year. The junior handlers competing at Westminster are the very best in the country, and they could probably teach their older counterparts a trick or two!
The Junior Handler Preliminaries were judged late in the afternoon on both Monday and Tuesday. Advancing from the two first prelim groups on Monday were Savannah Livingston, Grace Kofron, Cassie Rice and Devon Kipp. Devon is the younger sister of Dylan Kipp, who won Best Junior Handler at the 2009 Westminster Show. Advancing from the final two prelim groups on Tuesday were Chaz McDonnell, Katelyn Scott, Aaron Bradshaw and Joanne Thibault.
The final Best Junior Handling competition was judged Tuesday evening just prior to the national telecast. The 2010 Juniors judge was Mrs. Jennifer Paul from Prince Anne, Maryland. Mrs. Paul awarded Aaron Bradshaw Best Junior Handler.
The final Junior Showmanship results were:
1st Place: Aaron Bradshaw (Bullmastiff)
2nd Place: Joanne Thibault (Portuguese Water Dog)
3rd Place: Savannah Livingston (Tibetan Terrier)
4th Place: Cassie Rice (Beagle – 13”)
Other Posts From Westminster 2010:
- Westminster Best in Show: The Scottish Terrier
- A Day at the Garden – 2010 Westminster Dog Show
- Westminster Dog Show Preview