Dogs in Review interviews Ernesto Lara, handler of GCh. Banana Joe V Tani Kazari, the Affenpinscher that took a Group 1st at the 2012 AKC/Eukanuba National Championship held Dec. 15 and 16 in Orlando, Fla.
Dog Name: GCh. Banana Joe V Tani Kazari
Breeders: Mieke Cooymans
Owners: Zoila Truesdale and Mieke Cooymans
Handler: Ernesto Lara
Won: Toy Group 1 at the 2012 AKC/Eukanuba National Championship
Dogs in Review: How did you prepare for the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship show?
Ernesto Lara: The preparation for the Eukanuba show was filled with anticipation and logistical challenges due to the distance to travel at the end of a heavily campaign year with many long clusters preceding the show in Orlando. As a handler, I need to time the dogs with the right shape and condition as well as the proper trim for the special show occasion, such as the National Specialty or major shows such as Westminster, Montgomery, Santa Barbara or Eukanuba, for instance. Hoping to make it down to Florida with the dogs ready and not too tired wasn’t enough; timing was essential to travel south to allow time for the dogs to get ready for the long circuit.
DIR: How did you feel when Joe took the Group?
EL: A great feeling of accomplishment surrounded the Group win with Joe. It was a great topping for his quest as No. 1 Toy dog for 2012 right after he went BIS at the first day of the cluster in the toughest competition where all the top 10 dogs were present competing that day only.
DIR: Other than winning BIS, what was the most memorable experience for you about AKC/Eukanuba?
EL: To meet many friends from all over the world is always a treat thanks to the World Challenge competition. Seeing Ch. Crispy Legacy after a few years since I first saw him in Sweden was exceptional
DIR: What is your most proud moment of Joe?
EL: To name a single moment of pride with Joe is quite hard. The little dog kept on making me and his breed proud every time he stepped in the ring. He never let down.
DIR: What was your favorite moment from showing this dog?
EL: Of course showing him for the last time at Westminster.
DIR: Do you have any future plans for Joe?
EL: Joe’s showing career ended the night he went BIS at the Garden. For him, the future is to be a regular dog at home. He is still with me thanks to the media engagements after the Westminster Kennel Club. He’s being pampered and spoiled, and he’s getting ready to go back to his native country with his breeder and co owner Mieke Cooijmans to be a companion and enjoy life. He will hopefully produce more beautiful Affenpinschers as he has already done in the past.
DIR: Do you plan on attending AKC/Eukanuba next year?
EL: Eukanuba dog show is always a highlight in the calendar year, and I’m always planning on showing there. This year I will bring a set of new dogs since the ones I had last year completed a cycle and now are retired.
DIR: What are your thoughts on the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship show?
EL: Eukanuba is a great showcase for our sport at the highest level. The organization, the plurality seen there with the best dogs from all over the world, along with some of the best dog people gathered in one place from many different countries. It is just a wonderful event.
Stay tuned to Dogs in Review magazine – in the May 2013 issue, Karen Steinrock further interviews Ernesto Lara, reporting on his early career in dogs and what’s in store for the future, and of course, more on his amazing win with Joe at the Garden this past February.
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