|Following in Her Mother's Foot Steps
By Meghan Bassel
Growing up, much of Meghan Bassel’s time was spent traveling to dog shows with her mother, Susan Riese. Some of her fondest memories are from carpooling to dog shows with her mom and various breeders, listening to hours of “dog talk”. They discussed structure, breeding, type, genetics, health, grooming, and all other things dog-related. Meghan describes her mother’s circle of friends as “exceptional”, not only because of their experience with dogs, but because they always encouraged her to participate in their discussions and evaluations. She appreciates the fact that they taught her like a student rather than a mere child.
Meghan is fortunate enough to be a second generation dog enthusiast. Her mother, Susan, has shown Welsh Springer Spaniels since the mid-1970’s. She and her mother now co-breed Welsh Springers under the Statesman prefix. Between their two homes they breed a combined 2-3 litters a year. To date, they have bred/owned almost 80 champion Welsh Springer Spaniels. Among their dogs, there have been national specialty winners, American Spaniel Club winners, regional specialty winners, Westminster Best of Breed winners, group winners, and even Best in Show winners. Not only do they breed for dogs that conform to the breed’s standard, but they also breed for functionally true dogs. They have bred/owned 17 Welsh Springer Spaniels with either AKC and/or parent club hunting titles, with a total of 27 titles earned.
The lessons Meghan learned from her mother and her other mentors has not only contributed to her success with breeding and showing, but also helped her to become an AKC judge. Currently Meghan is licensed to judge four sporting breeds, Junior Showmanship, AKC Spaniel Hunting Tests, and Welsh Spring Spaniel Club of America Working Dog Tests. She has even judged a Swedish Welsh Springer Spaniel Specialty Club show and has been invited to judge the 2010 Australian Welsh Springer Spaniel Specialty show. One of her proudest achievements was getting to judge at the 2006 AKC/Eukanuba National Championship Show. In the future, Meghan wants to continue judging and become licensed to judge more breeds because she enjoys learning about different breeds and feels it helps her better understand her own breed.
Being actively involved in the Welsh Springer Spaniel Club of America is also very important to Meghan. Since aging out of Juniors, she has served as a variety of positions including: vice president, board member, Scholarship and Junior Committee chairperson, 2005 Regional Specialty chairperson, 2008 National Specialty chairperson, and 2010 Regional Specialty chairperson.
Dogs are Meghan’s passion, and there is nothing she enjoys more than learning about them. She has been lucky enough to have wonderful mentors, especially her mother, who provided her with a strong foundation of dog knowledge. Building on this knowledge through her own experiences and working along-side her mother, Meghan has achieved so much in the dog-world very early in life.
Meghan was an AKC Junior Scholarship recipient who we are proud to see continuing her involvement in AKC events.