• Date: 17/08/2018
  • Show Type: Championship Show
  • Judge: Charlotte-Louise Page Contact Judge
  • Published Date: 07/04/2019

Welsh Kennel Club

Breed: YKC Handling

13 years ago I won my first handling class at Welsh Kennel Club. It was an honour to be asked to return and judge my first YKC Handling classes at a General Championship show. Thank you to the Welsh Kennel Club Committee, all the handlers and my stewards across the 3 days for making it so memorable.

Across all the days I felt the standard of handling was incredibly high, each handler had something different to offer and in many cases I literally had to split hairs to pick my placings.

The one thing that a lot of handlers did which lost them the top spot was not returning to my feet on their pattern work. A pattern is never complete unless you return back to the judge and then present. Smiling and enjoying yourself is something I also always look for - there is nothing better than a handler who looks happy to be there. Well done to everyone who competed and the very best of luck to those who have now qualified for Crufts.

Day 1

YKC Handling 6-11 years (6,abs 1)
1st Alana Harp-Jones with a Dachshund 
Alana has the ability to catch your eye when she enters the ring but not distract you from the dog. She is a complete natural when it comes to handling. Very sympathetic to her dog and constantly chatting to encourage her dog - nothing is overdone. 

2nd Grace Rutherford with a Pug
Grace is another very good handler. Moves her dog at the correct speed and makes sure that her dog is always positioned correctly. Unfortunately today her lines were slightly off compared to Alana, however I have no doubt they will both switch places in the future.   

YKC Handling 12-17 years (9, abs 1)
1st Isobella Cox with a Papillion 
Isobella is exactly what I look for in a handler. Quiet, happy and generally happy to be showing her dog. I don't think a smile left her face all the way round and her dog looked to be having a wonderful time too. Everything was doing quickly and without a fuss. 

2nd Sophie Mitchell with a Whippet  
Sophie is another handler who is exactly what I look for. Sophie has a natural ability to get the best out of her dog and really catch your eye. I thought at first Sophie would be my winner but on her pattern work she was just slightly off. This being said I have no doubt her and Isobella will switch places. 

YKC Handling 18-24 years (6, abs 2)
1st Anthonia Leech with a Basset Fauve  
Anthonia has mastered the art of handling your dog to its best advantage. She does everything calm and efficiently. Her presentation of the teeth was possibility the best over all three days. She moved her dog at a good pace, had tight corners and presented quickly. An A* performance! 

2nd Beth Holmes and Papillion
Beth had to really work today with her dog. You can see Beth knows exactly what she wants from her dog but today they just weren't working as a team. Beth didn't get flustered at any point and cooperated well with her dog. Her lines were straight and presentation was good.  

Day 2

YKC Handling 6-11 years (9, abs 1)
1st Bobbie Lee with a Border Collie 
Bobbie whole focus the whole way round is her dog. She doesn't take her eyes off of him. She is such a quiet handler who just takes her time and does everything quickly and efficiently. You can tell these two work as a team as they both move at one. Lines were one of the best of the weekend and her corners were perfect.  

2nd Isabel Khawaja with a Bearded Collie
Isabel makes it hard for you not to notice her, she literally loves the ring and her dog! She chatted the whole way round to her dog, thanked the judge and really made you feel like she enjoyed every moment. There is nothing better than a handler who smiles and enjoys themselves and this is exactly what Isabel does. Her pattern work was perfect, her final presentation was just slightly off which lost her the top spot today.  

YKC Handling 12-17 years (7, abs 2)
1st Min Witheyman with a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier 
Min is another handler who just stands out and is such a natural at what she does. Nothing is over done with her and she genuinely enjoys showing in the ring. Her overall performance was A* perfect. Anyone new could learn a lot from her.  

2nd Izzy Perry with a Swedish Valhund
Izzy did everything without a fuss. She really impressed me with her presenting of the teeth, pattern work and final presentation. All of these were done quickly and efficiently. Unfortunately today her final presentation was off which therefore meant she was 2nd.  

YKC Handling 18-24 years (5, abs 1)
1st Robin Alner with a Dobermann 
Robin is another handler who knows how to get the best from his dog. Everything quick smooth and efficient. I really like the fact he knew how when to loosen the lead and when not to on his pattern work. He knew where I was at all times and had his dog presented to its best whenever I was looking.  

2nd Libby Tanton Joy with a Border Terrier  
Libby is another handler who is naturally just happy to be in the ring with her dog. Her teeth presentation, pattern work and moving of the dog was fantastic. It came down to the final presentation where she was slightly off. Another handler who will I’m sure swap places.  

Day 3

YKC Handling 6-11 years (10, abs 3)
1st Isabel Khawaja with a Standard Poodle 
Today Isabel had to work extremely hard with her Standard Poodle. This being said, she didn’t once get frustrated but instead talked to her dog to try and bring back the attention she needed to complete her pattern work.  

2nd Alana Harp-Jones with a Shih Tzu
Alana has the ability to take any dog in the ring and make them shine. Today she showed a Shih Tzu who she worked well with. Lines were perfect and presentation was great. She is a handler who I am sure will go far.  

YKC Handling 12-17 years (12, abs 2)
1st Latoyah Mainwaring with a Miniature Schnauzer  
Latoyah was one of my favourites across the whole weekend. She stood out from the moment she entered the ring. You could tell her and her dog had a great report and worked well together. She spoke to her dog all the way around, presented quickly and made the pattern work A* perfect.  

2nd Min Witheyman with a Tibetan Spaniel
Min has the ability to change her handling style depending on her dog. Having been my previous day winner, today she displayed a different style of handling with a free stood dog. Everything Min did was perfect, it literally came down to her final presentation where she was a little too close and her dog was at a slight angle.  

YKC Handling 18-24 years (6, abs 1)
1st Alice Turnbull with a GWP 
Alice has a natural ability to make you watch her dog and not herself. Despite her beautiful bright yellow suit which makes her stand out, the whole time you watch her dog on the way round. The big ring really enabled her to get the best out of her dog. Her lines were straight and presentation was quick and to the point. Everything was done in a calm and quick manner. 

2nd Melissa Osbourne- Brown with a Flat Coated Retriever
Melissa is another complete natural. Today her dog didn’t want to co-operate but I truly felt this was what made her stand out as a handler. She kept calm, cooperated and made the most of the situation she was given. Everything was done quietly and at no point was I distracted. She was close to the top spot, I just felt Alice presented the teeth slightly cleaner today.