GARDEN BREEDS & VARIETIES OWNER-HANDLED DOGS ARE AMONG WKC BEST OF BREED WINNERS
ARTICLE BY DAN SAYERS (PHOTOS PROVIDED BY OWNER HANDLERS)
T his year’s Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show will long be remembered for its unique summer set- ting at Lyndhurst in Tarrytown, New York. Equally memorable in the hearts and minds of many dog show enthusiasts will be the names of owner handlers—and breeder/owner handlers—who piloted their beloved companions to a particularly memorable win at this year’s once-in-a-lifetime event. Among the seven handlers in this year’s Best in Show line-up were five (five!) professionals who have dedicated themselves to the presentation of their homebred dogs to the highest degree possible. Not to be outdone, however, were this year’s amateur owner handlers who also presented their quality-handled dogs to a Best of Breed win. Their victories have reinforced the belief that the sport of dogs remains accessible to anyone with a competitive spirit, a dedication to excellence—and a good dog. So, how does it feel to win at Westminster? Let’s find out from a few of the owner handlers whose dogs were show- cased among this year’s WKC Best of Breed winners.
CURTIS FREELING HELENA, MONTANA IBIZAN HOUND “FLEURY” GCHB CH ORION’S CALGARY FLAME “It was truly a dream come true—something all breeders strive for at Westminster.”
REBEKAH JAMES BOILING SPRINGS, SOUTH CAROLINA SWEDISH VALLHUND “GRAYSON” GCHS CH KINGSCREST STAR OF THE NEW YEAR FDC CGC “It was just so awesome. I felt so blessed. It was such a wonderful experi- ence to show at Westminster this year ! We really enjoyed the experience. As Grayson’s breeder and owner, it was just plain awesome to win! We are so proud of our boy and all he has accomplished.” Grayson is the culmination of years in the breed, and he is the best, Rebekah feels, that she has ever produced. According to Rebekah, Gray- son is not only correct and typey, he also has a great show attitude.
244 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, JULY 2021
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