Junior Handling competition Tiia Virtanen, Finland
It is a great honor to judge the last qualifying competition for the Finnish Championship Final in Messukeskus! I´m looking forward to it with excitement and nervousness.
I´ve been competing in Junior Handling since I was 12 years old. Since my own Miniature Poodle couldn't participate in the official competitions I borrowed a lot of different dogs from every FCI group. This lovely hobby took me all around Finland and I made a bunch of new friends that are still my best friends today. I also fell in love with the dogs I got to compete and travel with and some of the best memories are from these trips. My favourites at the time were Afghan Hounds, English Setters and Poodles.
After my junior handling years, I focused on handling for friends until the fall 2019 when I brought home my long awaited own Toy Poodle puppy. Since then we have attended a lot of shows with nice results. He has gained many Champion and Winner titles. One of the greatest being the European Winner 2021 title from Budapest.
I think the most important thing in showing is that both the handler and the dog enjoy working together. I like handling where the dog is made to be the star. The handler's personality can of course show but to me it's important that the handler does everything to make the day the best and most fun for the dog. I also appreciate a wide knowledge of breeds that shows on the handler’s adaptation to different dogs. An excellent handler knows how to adapt to different breeds and temperaments and bring out the best from each one – and of course to know how to hide the faults.
I´m so honored that I get to judge this Finnish Championship qualifying competition at the Winner Shows. Whether you are a beginner or a more advanced handler I hope I´ll see you at Messari!
Finnish Championship final Rickard Hagström, Sweden
I got in to dogs and dog shows as soon I was born. My parents breed Irish Terriers and Jack Russels under the fame MerryMac. As long as I can remember I've been to dog shows and when I was old enough I started competing in children with dog. As I got older I continued in junior handling.
The summer I turned 15 I went to work in USA for a handler and went back for two more summers. That was really exciting and a great way to learn more about showing and preparing dogs.
I'm also in charge for Swedish Terrier clubs group "Terrier juniors". Where we try to teach and involve our young members to show and train with there dogs.
I have my own Irish named James that I show and groom myself. He also helps me at work.
I'm really excited and honoured to judge the Finnish championship this year. I've always thought Finland has a very high standard in there competitors.