New date and venue for Kennel Club Junior Warrant semi-finals and National Junior Handler of the Year final

The Kennel Club has announced that the Junior Warrant semi-finals and the National Junior Handler of the Year finals will be taking place on Sunday 22 October 2023 at Stoneleigh, Warwickshire.

These two popular competitions have previously been held at Discover Dogs, but with the event not happening in 2023 - they are now taking place as stand-alone competitions at The Kennel Club building at Stoneleigh.

The Kennel Club Junior Warrant Winner of the Year competition is for dogs between the ages of 6 – 18 months and has been running since 1998. Dogs qualify at a series of heats at open shows held by general canine societies around the country during June, July and August each summer. Five dogs and one reserve will be selected from these heats and subsequently invited to the semi-finals on 22 October 2023, with the final being held at Crufts 2024.

The National Junior Handler of the Year final, organised by the Junior Handling Association, has been running since the 1970’s and is one of the most hotly contested junior handling finals in the country. Three semi-final heats have already been held since December 2022 at group championship shows and another three semi-final heats are due to take place in July and August. The winners of which will take part in the final on 22 October with the winner going on to represent the UK at the Joe Cartledge Memorial International Junior Handling competition final at Crufts 2024.

Events and Education Executive at The Kennel Club, Vanessa McAlpine, said: “We are delighted to be able to continue to host these two fantastic events – both of which are not only encouraging the young generation of owners, handlers and exhibitors but also to celebrate the top young dogs in the country.

“The Junior Warrant is one of the highest levels of success for young dogs and is a great indicator of an exciting future career. The standard of dogs competing is incredibly high and we wish owners the best of luck in making it through to the semi-finals.

“The Junior Handler of the Year final is steeped in history with many former winners going on to become top judges, breeders, exhibitors, volunteers and workers in the dog world. It’s important to display the talent, enthusiasm and dedication of these young handlers in this prestigious junior handling final, of which all handlers want to win!”
For further information on the criteria for entering and dates of the Junior Warrant qualifying heats, visit the Crufts website.

For further information on how to take part in Junior Handling please visit the Junior Handling Association’s Facebook page here.