Holstein wins best dog showman for 2nd straight year


WASHINGTON COURT HOUSE — The 2023 Fayette County Junior Fair Dog Show awarded 12 first place representatives and their loyal canines from each division of the competition. The overall Showman of Showmen, this year, was none other than Miami Trace High School upcoming sophomore, Laine Holstein, for the second time in a row.

Holstein was announced as the “Showman of Showmen” for her excellent scores which put her in first place overall. Holstein has been showing dogs for six years now, as well as goats and other 4-H animals.

According to Holstein, showing goats was “too hard” as she had to sell her beloved goats after raising them. That’s when she found out she could show her own dogs without having to say goodbye.

“I’m definitely an animal person,” said Holstein, holding her 12 year-old Terrier, “Frito.” She added, “I really wanted to show an animal that I could keep.”

Holstein’s mother and organizational advisor for the Fayette County Junior Fair Dog Show, Melissa Holstein, was “proud to see her daughter conquer” after watching the young sophomore put hours of work into training.

“Laine is with those dogs all day, everyday,” said Melissa. She added, “When she first started, Frito was already 6-years-old. He was just a family pet and didn’t have any training, but Laine was adamant about training him.”

The organizational advisor describes her daughter as “optimistic and extremely hardworking.”

“It’s hard to overwhelm her (Laine),” said Melissa, “and that girl is in four 4-H programs.”

This year’s Dog Show was judged by showing expert, Susan Geers-Meiners, who says that dog showing is “her passion.”

The showmanship round was broken down into two parts: the interview and examination and the performance in the ring. During the interview, each handler was asked six questions from a list of 50 that they were provided at the beginning of the year and had to find the answers for those questions in their Dog Resource Book. The judge will also examine the dog’s body condition, grooming and temperament. This is all part of the handler’s overall showmanship score.

Following the interview, the handlers proceed to the ring portion of showmanship by class. Classes are divided by age and experience: juniors (ages 9-11), intermediates (12-14) and seniors (15-18) as of January 1. “A” classes are handlers and dogs with no previous show experience and “B” classes are for handlers and/or dogs with previous show experience.

This year, the Junior Fair Dog Show had five total classes of showmanship competing: Junior A, Junior B, Intermediate A, Intermediate B and Senior A.

The showmanship first place winners were: Violet Hall (with Rainbow) – Junior A, Carter Weade (with Sparky) – Junior B, Kiera Cowman (with Winston) – Intermediate A, Laine Holstein (with Frito) – Intermediate B, and Lynnie King (with Colt) – Senior A.

After the showmanship round, the next event was Rally. Rally is a sport that follows a course from one sign to the next, with the handler and dog performing the skill listed on each sign before proceeding to the next sign. The judge designed the course strategically for the competing dogs and their handlers. After the course is set up, the handlers can walk the course and ask any questions that they have to the judge before performing the course with their dog. This is also a timed event and the time can come into play when it comes to the placements.

This year, the Fayette County Junior Fair had four classes of Rally competing: Novice A, Novice B, Intermediate A and Advanced. The classes are based primarily on the experience of the handler and dog team.

The Rally first place winners were: Landry Smith (with Twix) – Novice A, Matticks Hernandez (with Sadie) – Novice B, Colton Osborne (with Lola) – Intermediate A, Laine Holstein (with Frito) – Advanced.

The top scorer and overall winner of the Rally competition was the Novice A winner, Matticks Hernandez, and his loyal pup, “Sadie.”

Hernandez wowed Geers-Meiners with his calm handling skills and the evident time and effort he has put into training Sadie to maneuver through the Rally course. Hernandez also scored an impressive 218 during the Intermediate Showmanship round, showing his versatility and overall talent in showing dogs.

The Fayette County Junior Fair Dog Show organization would like to “sincerely thank” all of their sponsors, including: Hill’s Pet Nutrition, People and Pet Solutions, Katrina Koski and Pawfections Pet Salon for providing additional awards for the shows.

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