From the monthly column “Lines From Linda”. ShowSight August 2018 Issue. (Photos – Above left Joanie & Clint Harris with “DJ” Ch. Chinoes Adamant James, Two Time Westminster BIS Winner. Above right – Clint Harris October 27, 1924 – August 3, 2018)
Always Remember Clint Harris
October 27, 1924 – August 3, 2018
Our sport has lost another legend, Clinton McGill Harris. At age 93, Clint was going strong at what has turned out to be his last dog show, the Louisville Kennel Club only five months ago in March. His friends were amazed as he had overcome a life threatening fall only a year before on July 6. Last month on July 9, he fell again. During the past year Clint was back to normal driving around in a Jaguar and enjoying visits with his friends. He especially loved the company of his best buddies Janet and Darrell Manley.
Following his most recent surgery last month, 20 minutes after he came out of the recovery room, I received a photo of him giving me a thumbs up! That was Clint, always upbeat, fun and positive!
Raised in the Crescent Hill area of Louisville, Kentucky, he attended Male High School and was an Eagle Scout. At age 17 Clint enlisted in the United States Army entering Ski Patrol training in Colorado. He also served in France as a Paratrooper, an MP and for a time cared for the military carrier pigeons.
Following his military service, Clint became interested in dog training. With his first wife Billie Ed Williams Harris, he opened Waggin’Tail Kennels in Oldham County, Kentucky. Eventually the young couple moved the business of boarding, training and grooming to Louisville.
For decades Clint was a Professional Dog Handler. He won Best in Show at the famed Westminster Kennel Club for two consecutive years in 1971 and 1972 with a Springer Spaniel bred by his sister, Ann H. Roberts. Later he became a popular all breed judge and for decades traveled nationally and internationally for judging assignments before he retired in 2012.
Always quite the sportsman, Clint and his second wife Joan Hall Harris enjoyed fishing and golf. Clint and Joanie were married for 48 years before she passed away.
My late husband Jim and I were blessed with so many memories of golf outings with them. From Mackinaw Island at the marvelous Dog Days at Dan and Amelia Mussers’ Grand Hotel to Florida’s Handlers and Hackers golf tournaments, we exchanged jokes and big stories.
Favorites among his golfing buddies were Dick Cooper, George Ward and Dr. Richard Greathouse!
My Mother Hazel Ayers, my brother, Roy Ayers, Jr. and I joined Clint to celebrate and roast Dr. Richard Greathouse for the Louisville Kennel Club and the Collie Club of Kentucky. Doc and Clint, along with close friend Joe Gregory are true Louisville, Kentucky dog world legends!
Judy Cooper and I along with Judy’s daughter Marcy Bankus spent an “Always Remember” day with Clint following his first fall. Oh, what reminiscing! That day I bonded with Clint’s daughter Barbie. She and I have kept in close touch since that special visit.
Clint is survived by his sister, Mary Lee Hendee of Chagrin Falls, Ohio and his three children, Barbara Johnson of Nicholasville, Kentucky, Blake Harris of Louisville, Kentucky and Natalie Mobley of Ann Arbor, Michigan. He was very proud of his seven grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.
Since I was a little girl old enough to walk a Collie on a leash, I have adored Clint Harris. In the old days it was the Professional Handlers who judged Junior Showmanship. He always placed me first. What a doll he was with his handsome good looks, dark hair and that flat top. I will “Always Remember” Clint Harris!
A memorial service is being planned in October. The family requests remembrance contributions be made in Clint’s name to Take the Lead. www.takethelead.org or 800-814-1123. For the many of you who have asked, the following are the contacts for Clint’s two daughters and son:
Barbie Harris Johnson
1509 Orchard Drive
Nicholasville, KY 40356
Natalie Harris Mobley
2894 E. Delhi Road
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48103
202 Idlewylde Drive
Louisville, KY 40206
Joanie & Clint Harris with “DJ” Ch. Chinoes Adamant James,
Two Time Westminster BIS Winner