By Cassie Brock
My name is Cassie Brock and I just graduated from high school. I have been showing dogs in AKC for over three years now and am in love with this sport. I started out showing in juniors with my Australian Shepherd, Blanche, when I was 15. Although my skill level was that of a beginner, Blance was a pro, and together we won twelve best juniors in AKC and ASCA shows. Blanche and I qualified for Eukanuba our first year.
After over a year of showing with Blanche in juniors, I decided to start working with my new Aussie puppy, Haley. Our first show out together we won best junior all three days with a large junior entry. Over the past two years, I have gotten to show and finish many Australian Shepherds’ championships for Bayouland Aussies. This past year I was able to show and advertise my new junior’s dog, Cutter, in the breed. In only three months of limited showing, Cutter was the number six Aussie in the country! Cutter and I were invited to show in Eukanuba and Westminster in juniors and we had a blast!
My experiences as a junior handler have taught me many things. I have learned that it is not all about winning but building character and realizing my full potential in the sport. I enjoyed the competition with fellow juniors and the lasting friendships I have made. Junior Showmanship opened the doors for me to assist professional handlers like Clint and Colette Livingston. My favorite aspect about juniors was working to perfect my skills as a handler and knowing I was being judged on my abilities and not how my dog looked.
I would like to thank AKC for the opportunities it offers juniors and for awarding me a college scholarship. I am moving to Texas to work for Brian Livingston and will be attending college there in the fall. My goal is to become a full-time professional handler and obtain a degree in Communications from NTU.