• Show Date: 26/04/2019
  • Show Type: Championship Show
  • Judged by: Andrea Keepence-Keyte Contact Judge
  • Published Date: 02/11/2020

West Of England Ladies Kennel Society

Breed: YKC & Adult Handling

WELKS 2019, Handling classes

I would like to thank the committee who invited me to judge the handling classes over the three days of the show. Also for their hospitality and good humour over the course of the show. Saturday proved exceptionally difficult for the committee due to “Storm Hannah” and they should be commended, alongside ground staff and all the trade stands for pulling together to ensure everyone’s safety.

Thank you to all who entered and took part in the handling classes. Overall the standard of the handling skill shown over the three days was exceptional. My job was made extremely difficult and there were some very hard decisions that I had to make. There were many cases where my top winners could change places on any other day.


Young Kennel Club Members Handling Classes

6-11 years (2,0)

1. Lola Lovric – smart handler, showed her charge well. Good straight lines and neat pattern work. Maintained a good rapport with her dog which was testing her skill at times.

2. Grace Rutherford – well turned out and handled her dog well despite it being a little reluctant at times. Lines were a little curved at times going away from me, just need to straighten this up to take the top spot in the future

12-17 years (5,2)

1. Sophie Wildig – smartly turned out handler and dog. Always set her dog up square and level, gentle with teeth and resetting of dog. Fabulously straight lines and tight corners while moving at a fast pace which was suited to her dog. Couldn’t fault her today.

2. Phoebe Toublic – well dressed and smart handler, presented her dog well but not always quite square – the offside hind is just not set correctly on each present (so keep an eye on this in the future to tidy up overall picture). Good pattern work and neat corners, veered off to the right when moving away but straight coming back.

3. Ffion Thomas – Good effort on the day with a difficult dog. Good pattern work although not always straight on the manoeuvres.

18-24 years (6,3)

1. Connie Hazeltine – Super smart handler turned out impeccably as was her charge. Sympathetic handler despite her dog being a little uncooperative at times she dealt with this professionally. Perfect pattern work and corners, shadowing was exceptional. Could not fault her other than on her final present she stood a touch too far away from me – but I am being picky!

2. Elanor Brown – unfortunate to come up against 1 today. Well presented handler who worked her dog well. Good pattern work, tight corners sometimes lines not perfectly straight. Gentle with her dog at all times and attentive to my position in the ring always.

3. Kittiana French – the makings of a good handler, showed her very young dog well and with sympathy. Just some brushing up on movements with practice and will be in the top flight.

Adult handling

25-40 years (2,1)

1. Vicky Davis – well presented handler with beautifully turned out dog. Very bouncy and enthusiastic flat coat did not always make it easy for her but she performed well and was gentle at all times. Good pattern work, good lines. Corners not as tight as they could be; and this can be achieved with a fast-paced dog with practice. Needs to relax a bit and have confidence as she is a very good handler.

41+ years (6,3)

1. Margaret McWilliams – Smart, quiet handler who moved her dog well. Was the only handler to complete the pattern work correctly and with precision that I expect at championship level. Presented her dog square both on the table and on the final present, her shadow work was good but needs to be a bit quicker and not step over the dog.

2. Anita Skinner – well turned out and gentle handler who worked her dog well. Good neat lines and turns, just did not complete the pattern correctly.

3. Maureen Davis – another quiet and unassuming handler who is gentle and patient with her dog at all times. Well presented on the table and neat pattern work but failed to complete the pattern.


Young Kennel Club Members Handling Classes

6-11 years (2,1)

1. Megan Slack – Good smart handler with precise pattern work. Handling a young puppy and was gentle at all times. A good performance, well done.

12-17 years (17, 4)

Toughest class of the day, the standard was extremely high. The final five in this class could change places on any other day. It was a tough class and I genuinely struggled to find fault in my final shortlist. Well done to all in the cuts and in the top 5.

1. Tamsin Blyton – Could not deny this young lady the class in the end, she is a subtle handler who melts into the background ensuring that her dog is always the focus. Always presenting her dog square, correct distance away from me and was aware of my position at all times. Straight lines, neat corners and faultless pattern work. She was totally unphased by everything asked of her. Well done.

2. Leah Scales – it was tough to split my top two. I have judged Leah before and she improves every time I judge her. Fantastic rapport with her dog, good strong pattern work. On the final shortlist pattern she veered off to the right a bit and was not quite as straight in her lines as 1 was – but I am splitting hairs between the two. Unfortunate to come up against 1 today.

3. Elise O’Connor – another strong handler who is always the ultimate professional. Good pattern work and rapport with dog. Could have been straighter on the table on the first present but again, I am splitting hairs. The top three in this class could have and will change places on other days.

18-24 years (1,1)

1. Lyndsey Jones – stood alone in her class but still pulled out all the stops. Performed faultless pattern work with straight lines and tight corners. Gentle and sympathetic to her charge at all times. It was a shame she had no competition but I did not hesitate in giving her the top award for the class.


25-40 years (1,1)

41+ Years (6,1)

1. Bev Manners – Exceptional handler who is near enough foot perfect. Put in an A class effort today which just gave her the edge over her competitors. Excellent lines and corners, patient and gentle with her dog at all times. Aware of my position in the ring without staring at me. A subtle handler who is very good at making it all look effortless.

2. Shelly Skinner – another handler who I have judged before and I have to say this is the best performance she has ever done. A vast improvement, less fussy and quieter with her dog. Precise straight lines and corners, very good shadow work. Keep working hard at this, you are seriously nearly there!

3. Janet Rice – Another who has vastly improved and upped her game. Good pattern work, cool under the pressure. Excellent lines and corners, just a little wobbly going away veering off to the right. Just pulling it all together will give you the edge.


Young Kennel Club Members Handling Classes

6-11 years (10, 4)

1. Amelie Smith – Strong handler, neat pattern work, subtle in her actions not over done in anyway. Good present of her dog and showing of teeth. Completed the pattern correctly and with accuracy.

2. Alexis Kirkwood-Emery – Smart handler, well turned out. Sympathetic to her dog at all times and aware of the dog and me at all times. Strong pattern work, but another who veered slightly off course going away.

3. Erin Robinson – An excellent and serious little handler who was gentle and patient with her dog who was not the most cooperative today. Good lines and corners, and good final present. Sadly, did not complete the pattern correctly which meant her lower placing today.

12-17 years (11, 1)

1. Jessica Bootes – Cool, calm, collected and unassuming handler who I think sometimes is overlooked because she is such a cool character that she gets the job done, and done well! Her dog was very difficult today and she proved her skill by anticipating some difficulties, allowing for them and correcting it. Excellent pattern work, the best triangle on the first cut and worked well with her partner when I move two dogs together. Excellent lines, tight corners and patience won her the class today.

2. Poppy Wynter – another workman like handler who is the ultimate professional at all times. She also had a difficult charge today who tested her skill as a handler. She is so subtle in all her actions that she melts into the background when showing her dogs. Again, excellent pattern work with straight lines and tight corners. Not quite as smooth as 1 on final present of dog but a stellar performance none the less

3. Sophie Wildig – again impeccably turned out, good pattern work with good lines, I felt today she was a little rushed and tense in her performance.This was a shame as on the first day she was so relaxed that this shone through on the performance. A strong performance with a difficult charge, which proved what an excellent handler she is and ensured her place in the top three. Just relax and enjoy it as this will give you the edge as on the first day.

18-24 years (8,1)

1. Charlotte Dalgarno – This polished handler did not disappoint today. She is the ultimate professional who has amazing handling skill. Her lines are poker straight and her corners are super tight but flowing. The best triangle pattern and T pattern of the day, always using the entire ring. My advice on the day was just to be aware of her fellow handlers in the ring with regards to her positioning.

2. Samantha Webster – this handler improves every time I judge her and it was unlucky she met 1 today. She is so quiet and gentle with her dog who obviously adores her, and they are a true team. Good pattern work and use of the ring. Her T today was a little unlevel, but I was splitting hairs between the top two today. A polished and accomplished performance – well done.

3. Beth Holmes – a good effort today with a young dog. Good overall performance with good pattern work and shadowing. The final triangle was a little wobbly but the presentation of the dog and use of the ring was very good.


25-40 years (6, 2)

1. Lorna Dandy – Smart and accurate handler who was cool and collected at all times. The best pattern work in this class with straight lines and tight corners. Presented her dog square on all presents and was attentive to my position in the ring at all times.

2. Samantha McBain – another handler who improves time and time again with each time I judge her. Excellent pattern work and shadowing, good turns and lines. Attentive to my position in the ring without staring at me and aware of her fellow competitors. I just felt the performance of 1 was a little bit more polished but continue with the practice as you are very nearly there with it all!

3. Rebecca Collins – A really jolly handler with a very young and enthusiastic dog. An excellent effort today, good pattern work and shadowing, just all needs bringing together, and you will be in the top flight.

41+ years (9, 2)

1. Simon Sampson – I could not deny him the class today; his dog was so reluctant that I would have withdrawn had I been in his shoes. Somehow with patience and coaxing he carried out all that I asked of him without getting flustered. It is not always about having the dog which can perform at the drop of a hat. An excellent effort and demonstration of how to win your dog over while under pressure.

2. Jenny Thornton – another handler who gets better every time I judge her. A quiet confidence about her now shows when she is handling her dog. Another with a difficult dog but completed the patterns correctly and demonstrated good shadow work.

3. Vic Pearce – a well turned out gentleman who performed well today. Such a shame that he preformed (what was a very good) T when I had asked for the reverse pattern. Gentle with his dog at all times and attentive to my position in the ring, well done.

In closing, as I have said throughout, the standard of competitive handling over the course of the three days was extremely high. I am so proud to have been given the privilege of judging some very very good handlers and hopefully putting them through their paces. Thank you again for all your entries.

Mrs Andrea Keepence- Keyte (Alandobel)