Meet winner of Westminster Dog Show junior competition

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Eighteen-year-old Sophia Rogers of Columbus, New Jersey, took away top honors Tuesday in the Westminster Dog Show's Junior Showmanship competition. (WPVI)

Eighteen-year-old Sophia Rogers of Columbus, New Jersey, took away top honors Tuesday in the Westminster Dog Show's Junior Showmanship competition.

It's where judges consider how a handler moves, presents and controls a dog. Rogers was working with her 6-year-old American Foxhound Bobby and nailed it.

"I think this is every Junior's dream to win Westminster. We all work really hard to do it and it was just a dream come true.

"I was in shock. All the kids there were amazing. It could have went to any one of them. It's the top of the top, everyone's amazing there," said Rogers.

She began competing when she was 12 years old with her Great Dane, Joy, who couldn't help but give her a big hug to congratulate her on her win.

"The thing that I most like I would say is that it's a live animal. It's a partner. Each one is different. None of the dogs are the same, and it's just like a puzzle trying to figure out what makes them tick," said Rogers.

"She's got such a good attitude and she's so good with the dogs and she's so good with the other kids," said Dottie Allen, Roger's first instructor.

Because she's 18, Sophia is aging out of the juniors, but she has no intention of giving up handling - she says she loves the dogs and the competition.

"My next plan is to apprentice for somebody and just learn all I can before I keep going," said Rogers.

Sophie's Best Junior Handler win brings a $6,000 scholarship and qualifies her to go to the world dog show in Moscow this June.

Her Westminster win is a great honor for a composed, friendly teen who clearly knows a thing or two about handling dogs.

Related Topics:
petswestminster dog shownew jersey newsdogMoorestown
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