Dog show’s young handlers take a grown-up sport in stride

first_imgBiggie’s handler, Esteban Farias, called the dog “a dream come true” after a tragedy: a previous pug pal suddenly died during a routine walk.About 5,000 junior handlers nationwide are registered with the American Kennel Club, a governing body for Westminster and many other dog shows. Young handlers also can compete through 4-H and other kennel clubs.AKC “junior showmanship” competitions are open to youngsters ages 9 to 18. They’re judged on their presentation, not their dogs’ particulars.But there’s no age minimum for handlers in the breed rings, a point driven home to Thanksgiving Day TV watchers who saw (emphasis on the “awwww”) 6-year-old Mackenzie Huston and her long-coat Chihuahua in a semifinal round at the Kennel Club of Philadelphia’s National Dog Show.Mackenzie sometimes feels scared as she waits to show. But “when I get in the ring, I don’t feel nervous,” says the now 7-year-old girl from Bellmawr, New Jersey.She isn’t going to Westminster — yet — but super-young handlers have shown there, including then-7-year-old Raina McCloskey last year (with a borzoi, no less.)Westminster’s 95 junior invitees are “very competitive, they’re very talented and very, very good,” show chairman David Helming said. Westminster is boosting its top juniors’ prize, a scholarship, from $6,000 to $10,000 this year. The eight finalists all get some education money.Dog showing requires an investment of money and, particularly, time. Junior handlers can spend hours per week training, grooming and exercising their dogs, weekends traveling to shows and years balancing it all with school, other activities and friends.All that to don dress clothes and notch accomplishments many of their peers can’t quite understand. (“You’re running around in a circle with dogs?“)But young handlers say it’s worth it for the bond they develop with their animals. John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding MOST READ In this Feb. 13, 2017, file photo, Raina McCloskey, from Delta, Pa., shows Briar, a borzoi, during the 141st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York. The Westminster Kennel Club competition is best known for the dog crowned Best in Show, but it’s also a showcase for young handlers who sometimes go up against grown-ups. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)NEW YORK — Fenric Towell isn’t nervous about his first time competing at the nation’s top dog show. After all, he’s heading to the Westminster Kennel Club ring this week with 100-plus shows under his belt, a record of wins and a champion Lakeland terrier.So what if he’s only 11?ADVERTISEMENT Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises “I’m going to try to think of it as a normal show,” the Oklahoma City boy says. “I just try to focus on the highest place that I can get.”Westminster is best known for the dog that will be crowned best in show Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden. As judging began Monday night, a borzoi named Lucy won the hound group, a pug dubbed Biggie won the toy group and a bichon frise called Flynn took the nonsporting group. Slick, a border collie, won the herding group.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutBut the event is also a showcase for youngsters who can handle both dogs and grown-up competition.While there’s a special contest for junior handlers, many also exhibit their dogs in the breed judging that goes toward best in show. They go up against adults in an atmosphere that prizes poise and formality. “You go and spend time with your best friend,” says Emma Rogers, who’s returning to Westminster as a 2016 juniors finalist (older sister Sophia won).Juniors come away with human friends all over the country, plus an education in animal behavior and patient teamwork.“You have to be very resilient,” says Erin LaPlante, 17, of Caledonia, Wisconsin. “You’re going to lose far more than you’re going to win, but you learn far more than you win.”About five years after her dog show debut ended in tears, she won juniors at the AKC National Championship in December and is returning to Westminster. So is sister Maren, 13.Their family had never shown dogs before Erin started, at the suggestion of their Doberman’s breeder. Molly Anne Forsyth, on the other hand, comes from two generations of breeders of greyhound-like Salukis. But “we trust each other even more from showing together,” says the 16-year-old from Davis, California.For parents, the sport requires acclimating to the occasional double take when a 6-year-old uses the word “bitch” —appropriately, for a female dog — plus a lot of driving and helping out.“I can dress a little boy in a suit in my sleep,” laughs Alysha Towell. Her daughter and six of her seven sons, including Fenric, either show dogs or soon will.Cortlund, 17, was a juniors finalist at Westminster last year, earning a turn in the big ring at Madison Square Garden. He placed fourth and is returning this year.“It’s not like any other sport,” he says. “If you play soccer or football and quit, they can live without you. You can’t quit on a dog.” Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss01:06Palace: Up to MTRCB to ban animated movie Magellan in PH01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City LATEST STORIES “It’s hard because they’re top people, and we’re just kids,” says Faith Rogers, 14, of Bordentown, New Jersey, now at her fourth Westminster. But when she started showing dogs at age 9, she decided: “This is what I love, and I didn’t really care if there were older people or not.”Or, as twin sister Emma puts it, “Let’s just show ’em what we got.”Dogs ranging from wee Chihuahuas to rangy Irish wolfhounds showed what they’ve got in Monday night’s group judging, helped by adult handlers.Lucy “knows when there’s a big stage,” said handler Valerie Nunes-Atkinson. Handlers, meanwhile, need to “go Zen” so their dogs won’t pick up jitters, Bill McFadden said after leading Flynn.Slick has won best of breed previously at Westminster, but Monday’s herding group win “means a lot to us,” handler Jamie Clute said.ADVERTISEMENT NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencerscenter_img Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. AFP official booed out of forum Belangel seizes top spot in 5th week of NBTC 24 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Read Next View commentslast_img read more

Peter Shaffer’s play Amadeus enacted at St Stephen’s College auditorium in Delhi

first_imgBeads of sweat streamed down Antonio Salieri’s face as he swore to finish Mozart. It was a particularly hot, sticky afternoon in the St Stephen’s College auditorium in Delhi when Peter Shaffer’s famous play Amadeus was enacted by a 14-member cast of The Shakespeare Society, the Stephenian theatre club.But the,Beads of sweat streamed down Antonio Salieri’s face as he swore to finish Mozart. It was a particularly hot, sticky afternoon in the St Stephen’s College auditorium in Delhi when Peter Shaffer’s famous play Amadeus was enacted by a 14-member cast of The Shakespeare Society, the Stephenian theatre club.But the cast, all dressed up in flamboyant 18th century costumes, intolerable in the heat, needn’t have worried about the response for their annual play. They got both remorse and claps from the audience, mostly Stephenians.Even the on-stage kiss between Saliero (Dhruv Mookerji) and Constanze Weber (Susan George) couldn’t help but step up the temperature in the hall. “You don’t notice the sweat when you have to tell your lines,” said a perspiring Angad Singh Chowdhry, who turned in an impressive performance as the Austrian composer.For director Neel Chaudhuri (in final year history) and his motley cast, the show, no sweat, just had to go on. And a couple of days later the very cast along with hundreds of other sophomores rocked at a jam session in their intra-college fest “Harmony”. Fewer people complained about sweating.The use of sanitary napkins by Eleena Banik in her paintings on display at Mumbai’s Guild Art Gallery generated more than a fair amount of interest. The Calcutta-based artist, however, dismissed allegations of gimmickry by saying that it was “masculine politics at work”. “Beyond Body and Mind”, in lace, crochet, tissues, strings and frills, is what Banik claims is a personal expression of womanhood with nostalgia, creative energy and intimacy shown through pinks, greys and whites. “I feel a sense of both power and helplessness in being a woman,” she says. Was the medium a reflection of that?Raveena Tandon with adman Prahlad Kakkar and Sushma ReddySociety magazine’s definition of “Young Achievers” is very accommodating. This explains the often-felicitated, 30/40-somethings who were on the winner’s list at the award function at Mumbai’s Jewel of India held last week. While aging Tarun Tejpal topped the media category, been-around Vishwanathan Anand got accolades for sports (Milkha Singh was not considered).advertisementRamakrishna Hegde with Anand and Society’s Nari HiraThere was some reprieve when the queen of catharsis, Eakta Kapoor, 25, was honoured, but she was too busy cooking up another familial saga to attend the show. The glamour for the evening was added by Sushma Reddy (a prize for being the most glamorous) and actress Raveena Tandon (the judge). There were rumours of a Young Achiever’s Lifetime Award for Dev Anand . . . but maybe that’s for next time.last_img read more

Mike Gundy jokes that he was the clown who voted TCU No. 1

first_imgTCU wins the 2014 Peach Bowl. (USATSI)TCU wins the 2014 Peach Bowl. (USATSI)Mike Gundy can be quite humorous when given the opportunity.Whether that comedy is intentional or unintentional is up for debate but when he’s self-deprecating as he was earlier this week about the college football playoff it comes off as self-aware and hilarious.As you know Gundy was the only coach in the country to vote TCU No. 1.This week he told the O’Colly he used to think outliers like himself were “clowns.”“I noticed, when I looked at it in the paper, it had the ‘1’ in parentheses outside of there. I used to look at the polls forever and I used to think ‘Who is the clown that voted somebody No. 1?’ that was like eighth or ninth in the country.”Well this year that would be you.“This year, when somebody showed me the newspaper, I was wondering who that clown was, and I realized that clown was me.”That moment when you realize the clown is you.There was some justification on Wednesday, however, when the Frogs smoked Ole Miss’ land sharks.“They certainly played really good, and I think it was good for our conference.”It’s been about the only good thing for Gundy’s conference so far in bowl season.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!last_img read more