Champion Chatter
Home » Breaking News » Aoife shows she can ‘handle’ pressure as she gets set for Crufts
Newmarket's Aoife Garry, with her dog Sasha, winner of the Junior Handling Association All-Ireland final. She now goes forward to represent Ireland at Crufts, the European Dog Show in May and The World Dog Show in August. Photograph by John Kelly

Aoife shows she can ‘handle’ pressure as she gets set for Crufts

Car Tourismo Banner

A CLARE teenager is on her way to the most famous dog show in the world after winning the All-Ireland junior handing title

Newmarket’s Aoife Garry recently won the Irish final at Navan Racecourse and as a result the 17-year-old will represent Ireland at Crufts in the UK in March.

She will also compete at the European Dog Show in Denmark in May, and at the World Dog Show in Switzerland in August.

Explaining Junior Handling, her mother Joan said, “It’s on the child’s handling, not the actual dog. During the year you have a lot of competitions and you have to qualify. There might have been about 40 kids in total during the year and 16 qualify.

Marina White, one of the Crufts presenters, and a high profile personality in the world of dog shows came over from England to judge the Irish event, which Aoife won.

The final was held at Navan Racecourse, with judging taking about three hours.

“At the final you had your own dog and you stood the dog on a table if it was a small dog, if it was a big dog it stayed on the ground,” said Joan.

“The judge comes over, asks you questions about the dog, maybe about the coat and the breed, they could ask you about another dog in the ring, then the judge would give you a procedure to do, they might say a triangle, or straight up and down, or a reverse triangle.

“The whole thing is you can’t come between the dog and the judge. If you do that you lose points. Your presentation of yourself and the dog is very important also.”

Aoife had to show her abilities with dogs other than her own also.

“In round two the judge brought them all back in again, she had them swap dogs, so in the second round Aoife got a big dog she would never have met before.

“She was given 15 to 20 minutes to practice with this dog and then she went back into the ring, and the judge judged her handling a strange dog, with a different type of procedure.

“From the 16 it is cut down to six, and then to four, then two. At that stage they were given a different dog, the judge saw them with a third dog, and picked Aoife as winner.”

The weekend before the All-Ireland Aoife was in Belfast for a dog show, and is very committed to it.

“Every weekend there’s a different dog show. So far this year we’ve been to about 24 dog shows,” said Joan.

Aoife has been showing dogs since she was nine years old, and had been having success before Covid, finishing third three years ago, in the last All-Ireland competition held prior to the pandemic.

Owen Ryan
+ posts

Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.

About Owen Ryan

Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.