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Emma Rogers and Bloodhound. Rogers won Best Junior Handler at 2021 AKC National Championship
Melissa Olund

The 2021 Junior Showmanship Finals at the AKC National Championship took place on Dec. 18 in Orlando, Florida. To qualify, juniors had to have at least five first-place wins in Open Class with competition present between October 8, 2020, and October 13, 2021. In addition, juniors must have a grade point average of at least 3.0 for the past school year.

Junior Handlers who met these qualifications convened in Orlando to compete for the title of Best Junior Handler.

The Best Junior Handler in Junior Showmanship was Emma Rogers, 17. Winning the award this year was especially meaningful, as this is the last year Emma will compete as a Junior.

Junior Showmanship Finals Results

Best Junior: Emma Rogers, Bloodhound

Second: Cassidy Hayes, Pug

Third: Ariella Harris, Doberman Pinscher

Fourth: Emma Gallaway, Maltese

Missed the Show?

You can rewatch the Junior Showmanship Finals on-demand:

Want to Get Involved?

The AKC Juniors program offers children under 18 an opportunity to develop their handling skills and learn about good sportsmanship, dogs, and dog shows.

Juniors are eligible to compete in Showmanship, Obedience, Agility, Rally, Tracking, Hunt Tests, Herding, Field Trials, Earthdog, Lure Coursing, Coursing Ability, and Coonhound Events. There is no minimum age requirement for sports other than Showmanship (where you must be nine).

If your child is interested in becoming an AKC Junior Handler, the first step is to watch a show and sign up for a class. Juniors under 18 years old can sign up for a Junior Handler number here. This number will be used to track their participation in AKC sports.

Except in Junior Showmanship, Juniors will exhibit in the regular classes and in the field along with all other exhibitors at the trials and tests, where they can obtain the same titles on their dogs and awards as adult handlers if they qualify.

Junior participation in AKC sports will be recognized through the AKC Junior Recognition Program and at the end of the year, AKC will award the Junior Versatility Awards and Scholarships. You can go to this link to learn more about the AKC Junior Recognition Program.

For more information, email your questions to

Related article: Irish Setter Windy Wins 2021 Puppy of the Year
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