New York – The Westminster Kennel Club continues its nearly 80-year tradition of support for youth in the sport of dogs with its newest contribution-a donation of $5,000 to the 2019 American Kennel Club (AKC) European Open Junior (EOJ) Agility Team. The donation to the AKC EOJ Agility Team will be made at the Masters Agility Championship at Westminster finals competition on Saturday, Feb., 9, 2019 at Pier 94 in New York City.
This donation will help offset travel expenses for young handlers and their families as they represent the sport and the United States in international dog agility competition. By supporting participation in agility competitions, the club fulfills one of its missions to celebrate the love and companionship that accompany dog sports. The Westminster Kennel Club first supported juniors and their dogs in 1934 with its Children's Handling Class, which has grown into the Junior Showmanship competition.
"Westminster has a long history of supporting young people competing in conformation and now we are excited to also assist young agility handlers," said Westminster Kennel Club President Charlton Reynders, III. "The future of our canine celebration is in good hands with these passionate dog lovers."
"This support from Westminster will help fulfill the dreams of our young competitors who are dedicated to this sport," said Carrie DeYoung, AKC Director of Agility.
In addition to the new junior agility team donation, The Westminster Kennel Club continues to offer the eight Junior Showmanship finalists Scholarship Awards totaling $24,000 for their use in post-secondary schooling for the college or technical school of their choice. Westminster Junior Showmanship-where the junior handler's capabilities to show their dogs are being judged-attracts nearly 100 of the top junior handlers from across the country each year.