Cicero middle school student on her way to exhibiting at Westminster Dog Show
At 13, Renee McGlone is already a veteran of national-level dog shows, but the Westminster Kennel Club is special.
She and her 5-year old collie 'Dodger' (that's his call name, not his registered name) stopped for a visit with us, Sunday morning on Weekend Today in Central New York. They left our parking lot, in the snow, for the drive to Manhattan, where they'll be showing in Junior Exhibitor classes starting at 1:30pm on Monday.
Today Junior Showmanship at Westminster is a limited class for young people who have won a qualifying number of first places at AKC Licensed or Member shows in a certain time period. The competition has a preliminary judging round where nearly 100 Juniors from across the US are judged with 8 Finalists being selected to move on to the finals competition. All the finalists will get college scholarships.
Renee says having a good dog (Dodger is a champion, and nationally ranked) can be an advantage in front of the judges, but having a hard to handle partner can help too, because it shows the judges that the handler knows how to work the situation.
Renee has been mentored by Onondaga Kennel Club, which is encouraging more young people to get into dog showing. Even though showing at Westminster is a high point, it's not the only show on her agenda: she's moving to another show at the end of the week, and tells us she's in the show ring most weekends.