The Westminster Kennel Club’s dog show recognizes the best breeds, but also gives honor to only humans.
Just hours before Trumpet, an Illinois dog, won Best in Show at the 2022 event, a teenage dog trainer from Monmouth County received the coveted award.
Erin Berniker, 18, was named Best Novice Handler on Wednesday at the 146th Westminster Kennel Club dog show.
She received the award with her one-year-old child. The name of the breed, which is part of the Westminster non-sporting group, means “little lion” in German.
This honor comes with a scholarship of $10,000 USD.
The Westminster Junior Contest, which debuted in 1934, features dog handlers between the ages of 9 and 18, and instead of dogs, the event focuses on young handlers – evaluating presentation, the economy of movement and the breeding of knowledge.
Berniker, a student from Middletown High School South, was given the honor of showing up for the juniors before the final stage of the collegiate competition begins in Tarrytown, New York. It was the eve of her school’s graduation party, scheduled for Thursday afternoon.
(Westminster relocated from Madison Square Garden in Manhattan to its Lyndhurst estate in Westchester County for 2022, and moved from winter to June for a second year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.)
Bernecker is healer, co-owner and co-born of Lowchen – registered name CH Skyline’s Take ‘Em To The Station – with Rachel Kolb and Ryan Tebera of Reading, Pennsylvania.
Next, Bernecker, who is also in charge of Vizslas, enrolls at North Carolina State University, home of the College of Veterinary Medicine.
The 2022 Westminster Masters Obedience Championship resulted in another jersey winner as the breed’s show began Monday.
Except that this had nothing to do with any breed standard.
Flemington’s Kathleen Keeler and her Australian Shepherd Willie returned the Obedience Championship, maintaining the Jersey Obedience Dog Show’s seven-year streak.
Since the event — which, like agility, allows mixed dogs — was added to Westminster in 2016, every obedience winner has been from the Garden State.
Thank you for counting on us to provide journalism you can trust. Please consider support NJ.com with subscription.