Top dog handler will ‘speak’ on command

Published 4:57 pm Thursday, August 4, 2005

By By JOHN EBY / Edwardsburg Argus
CASSOPOLIS - Stephanie Thorpe, 17, of Niles, won champion dog showman Saturday at the Cass County Fair.
Stephanie will be judged on her oratory on Friday and will take part in Ag Olympics on Saturday.
Stephanie, a home-schooled senior, belongs to Country Clovers 4-H club. She and Hunter, her purebred Australian shepherd, also won first in senior showmanship, fourth in Novice B obedience Class 2223 and a second place in agility.
Other winners in Saturday's show included:
Brooke Lamb, 15, of Dowagiac, will be a sophomore at Union High School. She belongs to Silver Spurs 4-H club.
Brooke and Kelly, a 6-year-old Shetland sheep dog, won champion intermediate agility.
Reserve champion was Mitch Evans, a 5-H 4-H member from Granger, Ind.
Sydney Foote, 10, of Dowagiac, will be starting fifth grade at Patrick Hamilton Middle School. She belongs to 4-W 4-H club.
Sydney won first place in beginner showmanship, first place in beginner obedience and reserve champion beginner obedience to Jenee Antoniu of Edwardsburg in her second summer showing dogs.
Kaitlyn Wagley, 17, of Edwardsburg, will be a senior at Edwardsburg High School. After graduation she wants to study psychology or sociology at Cornell University in Iowa.
Summers she's likely to help her mother at their dog training school in Edwardsburg. Silver Spurs 4-H club's origins in horses is evident from its name, but it has also become a force in the dog ring in a few years.
Kaitlyn for the third year showed her Australian shepherd, Lyric. She has been showing dogs for eight years. Kaitlyn was champion of the advanced agility class, champion of the open obedience class and second in senior showmanship.
Kaitlyn's brother, Ryan Wagley, 15, showed a Shetland sheepdog, Shiloh. He will be a sophomore at Edwardsburg High School and also belongs to Silver Spurs.
Ryan won graduate novice Class 2225 and champion graduate and advance grad obedience in Class 2227.
In the horse ring Ryan gravitates to gymkhana events. "I usually focus on the racing and speed. I really don't get into Western pleasure or showmanship."
For the Eddies he's on the equestrian team, wrestles and plays third base or centerfield in baseball.
Erika Schroll, 17, of Union, will be a senior at Three Rivers High School. She exhibited Bandit, a terrier mix, and won champion beginner agility and first in sub novice obedience Class 2216.
The Flaming Youth 4-H club member finished fourth in senior showmanship behind Stephanie Thorpe, Kaitlyn Wagley and Courtney Ferrell.
Erika started showing dogs in 2004. She still shows chickens and entered still projects in cooking and conservation.
Courtney Ferrell, 16, of Vandalia, won champion novice obedience and reserve champion advanced agility and grand champion novice-utility with her 4-year-old Australian shepherd, Skyler. She is home-schooled, an 11th grader and belongs to Flaming Youth 4-H club.
Rachel Ferrell, Courtney's 13-year-old sister, also belongs to Flaming Youth. She is home-schooled and starting ninth grade. Her Australian shepherd is named Cody.
Rachel won champion beginner intermediate agility and reserve champion showmanship in her fifth year showing dogs, her second with Cody. They are starting to show dogs outside the fair.
Marcell Chiddister of Dowagiac, a TEAM 4-H member, was reserve champion.
Tom Blunier, 15, of Edwardsburg, won reserve champion novice obedience and first place in obedience novice A Class 2221. It is his second summer paired with Arwen, a Springer spaniel named for a "Lord of the Rings" character.
Tom, who will be a sophomore at Edwardsburg High School, has been exhibiting at the fair for seven years. He belongs to Silver Spurs 4-H club.
Matt Marbach, 16, of Edwardsburg, won reserve champion graduate and advance grad obedience to Ryan Wagley.
Matt, an Edwardsburg sophomore, is also a Silver Spur. He's in his sixth year showing dogs. He tried still projects one year.
Tristan, 9, is a golden retriever. "Big dogs are real dogs," Matt said.