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.
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.
National Gundog Association semi final winners
The final two Junior Handling Association (JHA) semi-final classes were held at the weekend at Houndshow and National Gundog. The JHA semi finals are sponsored by DOG WORLD and supported by Royal Canin.
Left: At National Gundog, James Newton judged the six-11 years class and his winner was Stevie-Lou Norley, from Kent, handling a Pointer who goes into her first final. Pictured with Liz Cartledge.
Right: Also through to her first final is the winner of the 12-16 years class, Chloe McDonald with a Hungarian Vizsla from Scotland. Pictured with Liz Cartledge.
Houndshow semi final winners
Left: Hound specialist Serena Parker had judged the junior handlers at the Houndshow and her six-11 years winner was Ella Findlay from Scotland handling a Beagle. Ella therefore goes into the final for the second year in a row. Pictured with them are Irene Terry and Marina Scott.
Right: Winning the 12-16 years class and making it through to her first final was Danielle Ritchie- Smith from Northern Ireland handling a Whippet.
National Working & Pastoral semi final winners
Four junior handlers won through to the Junior Handling Association/Dog World UK Junior Handler of the Year competition last Saturday when National Working and Pastoral Breeds Society hosted a qualifer. The judge of the two working classes was all-rounder Frank Kane and judging the pastoral classes was former JHA winner Hollie Kavanagh.
Left: Lauren Bridges is through to her second final as she was the winner of the six- 11 years pastoral class from an entry of ten – this time handling a Cardigan Corgi. They are seen with judge Hollie Kavanagh, Liz Cartledge and Marina Scott.
Right: Robyn Arnall is through to another final, this time with an Australian Shepherd after winning the 12-16 years pastoral class out of ten entries. Also pictured are judge Hollie Kavanagh, Liz Cartledge and Marina Scott.
Left: Winning the working six-11 years class in an entry of five was Elizabeth Hodgkinson, handling a Bernese Mountain Dog, who is through to her first JHA final. Making the presentation are Marina Scott from sponsor DOG WORLD, judge Frank Kane and Irene Terry.
Right: Kizzy Porter has been in the final a few times before handling a Parson Russell and this time qualified handling a Siberian Husky and winning the 12-16 years working class in an entry of 12. She is pictured with judge Frank Kane and Marina Scott.
National Terrier semi-final winners
Left: The third Junior Handling Association semi-final of 2016 took place on Saturday at National Terrier. Hannah Bouttell was the judge – a five time JHA finalist – and she chose 11-year-old Lauren Goddard handling a Border Terrier as her winner of the six-11 years class (nine entries). It’s Lauren’s second consecutive year of qualifying for the final. Marina Scott represents sponsor Dog World and Liz Cartledge of the JHA is on the right.
Right: Winner of the 12-16 years class out of 20 entries was 17-year-old Olivia Busby handling a Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier. Olivia won through to the final two years ago handling a Great Dane. Hannah Bouttell was the judge.
Read more here >>
UK Toy Dog semi-final winners
Left: Winner of the six-11 years JHA semi-final at UK Toy out of 12 entries was nine-year-old Charlie-Louise Quick handling an Affenpinscher. It was Charlie-Louise’s third time competing in the JHA semi-finals where she has achieved a fourth and second placing previously.
Right: Melissa Phillips chose 14-year-old Ffion Thomas handling a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel to win the 12-16 years semi-final at UK Toy out of 13 entries. Ffion won through to the final here at UK Toy last year. Both girls will now compete at the UK Junior Handler of the Year final on October 23, 2016 at Discover Dogs, London. Pictured are the judge Melissa Phillips, who was runner-up UK Junior Handler of the Year in 2012, Marina Scott, representing sponsor Dog World, and Liz Cartledge, secretary of the JHA.
Read the judge's report here >>
New season of JHA semi-finals begins at BUBA
Watch previous finals
2015 JHA winner - Harvey Small
Read the full report by Haley Jones and Sarah Gibbons here >>
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