Our Future is in Good Hands

Part of the mission of American Kennel Club is to “take whatever actions necessary to protect and assure the continuation of the sport of purebred dogs”. In furthering this mission, beginning in the 1930’s AKC fostered “children’s handling” which in current day verbiage is called Junior Showmanship. See the AKC History of Junior Handling.

To quote the AKC, the concept behind and reason for Junior Showmanship is “to encourage participation in the sport by young purebred dog enthusiasts; to teach good sportsmanship, win or lose; and to educate the next generation of the fancy”.

  • In 1954 George Alston won the coveted Leonard Brumby, Sr. Trophy for Top Junior Handler at the Westminster Kennel Club with his Boxer. Since that time many of today’s current top Boxer Handlers have won the same coveted honor. No small feat considering that only the top Juniors throughout the country are invited to compete.
  • In 1963 Lydia Ceccarini, Westbury, NY won the coveted Leonard Brumby, Sr. Trophy for Top Junior Handler at the Westminster Kennel Club with her Boxer under Judge Howard Tyler.
  • In 1978 Sondra Peterson, San Diego, CA won Top Junior Handler at the Westminster Kennel Club with her Boxer under Judge Michelle Billings.
  • In 1986 Wendy Rene Mattson (better known as Wendy Bettis), Newbury, CA won Top Junior Handler at the Westminster Kennel Club with her Doberman under Judge Howard Atlee.
  • In 1999 Kimberlie Steele, Riverside, CA won Top Junior Handler at the Westminster Kennel Club with her Boxer under Judge Mary Ann Alston.

While not every Boxer junior handler has topped the competition at Westminster, many have met the stringent requirements to qualify and to compete. Three past Junior Boxer Handlers, MacKenzie Jones, Brooke Moyer and Madison Rose, have won Best Junior at the American Boxer Club National and qualified for Westminster. While they did not win the Westminster Top Junior award all three have piloted their Boxers to Awards of Merit against the top boxers in the Breed competition.

ABC recognizes all the past, present and the next generation of Boxer handlers as the future of the Breed. At the ABC Board of Directors meeting in May 2015, the Board voted to establish a scholarship fund to recognize the Top Winning Boxer Junior Handler each year. Tim McCormack is the Chairman of the Junior Showmanship Committee and welcomes any suggestions and input to further encourage the Boxer handlers of tomorrow.

For more information visit: Getting Started in Junior Showmanship. View ABC Junior Showmanship Stats

1979 Westminster Junior Showmanship Finals
(4th Place Boxer – Jr Handler: Beau Galle – Judge: Frank Sabella)

1980 Westminster Junior Showmanship Finals
(2nd Place Boxer – Jr Handler: Beau Galle – Judge: Edd Bivin)

News from the Jrs. Corner for 2021

ABC loves their Juniors and wants to put some New Energy into not only the youth, but the present and future of our beautiful breed and club. Most recently, the Board of the ABC approved two initiatives to not only recognize the youth but to show support. As a committee chair, I communicate with the board regarding the needs of both the Jrs and the Club. I’m happy to announce that effective immediately, there will be NO entry fees for youth to enter Jrs conformation competitions at ABC National or Regional shows. We hope that both member clubs and all breed clubs will jump onboard and do the same.

As well, this year at the ABC National each Jr that placed in the Top 10 for the prior year will receive a special rosette and certificate of achievement as recognition for their efforts. We know that not all Jrs can attend the National, so each Jr not in attendance will receive theirs via mail.

We have other things in the works for Jrs. and welcome any and all feedback, input or contribution.

Tuni Conti, Chair
tcovie@aol.com

2023 Juniors Breed Top 10
1. Samantha Hutchins
2. Caroline Evans
3. Chloe Pennington
4. Alexis Gamero
5. Leah Payne
6. Olivia Lange
7. Katherine Jackson
8. Caleigh Novak
9. Brianna Hutchins
9. Vanessa Barrera
10. Brianna Hall

2022 Juniors Breed Top 10
1. Samantha Hutchins
2. Alexis Gamero
3. Salena McCloud
4. Katherine Jackson
5. Chloe Pennington
6. Peyton Turnbull
7. Brooklyn Burke
8. Jaden Gussis
9. Lea Payne
10. Valentina Zayas

2021 Juniors Breed Top 10
1. Salena McCloud
2. Katherine Jackson
3. Samantha Hutchins
4. Samantha Elliott
5. Emma Rogers
6. Peyton Turnbull
7. Ally Zapadinsky
8. Brooklyn Burke
9. Faith Rogers
10. Julianna Medina

2020 Juniors Breed Top 10
1. Salena McCloud
2. Samantha Elliott
3. Teagan Blount
4. Katherine Jackson
5. Madison Thompson
6. Serena Edgerton
7. Laci Peterson
8. Thomas Colucci
9. Envy Thomas
10. N/A

Don’t forget to check out our Junior Showmanship Scholarship Program!