The Junior Handling Association is an organisation set up to look after the UK's junior handlers. It's been running for more than 40 years and hosts the prestigious JHA semi finals and UK Junior Handler of the Year competition. The overall winner each year represents the UK at the International Junior Handling finals at Crufts in March. To become of the JHA, junior handlers must fill-in an entry form from the JHA, which is available by contacting Liz Cartledge (details on the right) and membership is due on January 1st each year and costs just £4.
JHA semis at National Terrier 2017
Left: Royal Canin kindly sponsored the goody bags donated to all junior handlers. Marina Scott (and her four-year-old son Jayden) represented sponsor DOG WORLD. Liz Cartledge is from the JHA and the judge was Maria Clark.
Right: Winning the JHA 6-11 years semi-final from an entry of eight at National Terrier under Maria Clark was Lauren Bridges, who has been in the final several times before. As above, Marina Scott, accompanied by Jayden, was there for DOG WORLD, and als pictured is the JHA’s Liz Cartledge.
JHA semis UK Toydog 2017
Top: The second Junior Handling Association semi-final took place at UK Toy judged by Joe Magri. Winners of the six-11 years handling were: first, Elizabeth Hodgkinson with a Griffon Bruxellois; second, Willow Johnson with an Australian Silky Terrier; third, Laila Mai Ogborn with a Pomeranian; fourth, Isabella Cox with a Papillon; fifth, Charlie Louise Quick with a Papillon; and sixth, Milly Little with a Pug. Making the presentation are secretary Tom Mather, JHA organiser Liz Cartledge, Anthony Bongiovanni from Royal Canin and Marina Scott representing DOG WORLD.
Bottom: The winning line up for the 12-16 years JHA semi-final: first, Stevie Lou Norley with a Chihuahua; second, Lauren Brown with a Pomeranian; third, Sophie Wildig handling an Affenpinscher (not pictured); fourth, Robyn Arnall with a Bichon Frisé; fifth, Lucy Rudham with a Maltese; and sixth, Brooke Murray handling a Pekingese. Making the presentation are secretary Tom Mather, judge Joe Magri, JHA organiser Liz Cartledge, Marina Scott representing DOG WORLD, JHA organiser Irene Terry and Anthony Bongiovanni from Royal Canin.
JHA semis BUBA 2017
Right: Winning the 12-16 years class was 16-year-old Georgia Brown handling a Shar-Pei, who was winning through to the final for the second time and came runner-up overall in the 2014 final. Barbara Banyard represented Royal Canin and Marina Scott represents Dog World.
UK Junior Handler of the Year Final 2016
At Discover Dogs 2016 14 of the UK's best young handlers who qualified at shows throughout the year were judged by Lee Cox to find 2016's UK Junior Handler of the Year.
Lee is a former junior handler, winning Best of Breed at Crufts when he was just 10, and has campaigned dogs to multiple Bests in Show and even Top Dog.
From the 14 finalists Lee picked just six to swap breeds and come back to be judged again with dogs they have only just met. The six who he chose were Sophie Wildig, Ffion Thomas, Olivia Busby, Lauren Bridges, Robyn Arnall and Danielle Ritchie-Smith.
His eventual winner was Sophie Wildig who was handling a Standard Poodle. So in March 2017 Sophie will go up against the best young handlers from around the world in the World Junior Handler of the Year at Crufts 2017.
Watch previous finals
2016 JHA winner - Sophie Wildig
Read the full report by Haley Jones and Sarah Gibbons here >>
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