BestJunior.com’s conception was a vague idea in June of 2005.The Junior Show fancy at
the time had no resource to reference junior showmanship statistics.By September of 2005,
a plan was in motion to obtain a web provider, purchase an annual subscription of the AKC Awards Book and decide on a domain name – on September 21, 2005 BestJunior.com
Those last 3 months in 2005 were a whirlwind of leafing through hundreds of pages of Awards Books, desperately learning Excel and setting up trial spreadsheets. Mistakes were made and a
great deal of experimenting went on before the foundation of a reliable system was found.
In January 2006, BestJunior was contacted by Pedigree Dog Foods. An agreement was reached:Pedigree would cover the costs of monthly AKC electronic show reports in exchange for BestJunior maintaining the statistics for the Pedigree Open Intermediate and Open Senior Competitions. Not only did this arrangement save hours of paging through Awards Books, the statistics would now be more accurate (received directly from the AKC Show Records Department) and available a month earlier.
2006 saw remarkable growth for the website.BestJunior grew from a statistics only website to our current goal of "help juniors connect with each other, express and exchange ideas & promote the sport of showmanship amongst Junior Handlers and to provide parents, kennel clubs and all other interested individuals with a reliable source of information". A BestJunior Message Board was incorporated with the website to assist juniors in communicating with other juniors across the US and around the world.A BestJunior Photo section was added and expanded to include Agility, Obedience and Breed photos. Westminster, Pedigree, BestJunior Honor Roll, Novice Welcome Page, Funfacts, and dogs available for juniors to show in the Junior Show ring were new additions to the website.The 1st Annual BestJunior Recognition Program was launched to acknowledge the #1 junior for every Breed handled in the Junior Show ring and over $2700 was collected with the help of National Breed clubs, parents, handlers and junior supporters. The Logo Contest supplied BestJunior with an official logo and offered over $200 in MB-F gift certificates to juniors.
Moving forward through 2007, additions to the website included the Hall of Fame, Novice Derby, Parents Corner and National Breed Club section. The photo section was expanded to include all the Performance and Companion events.After a year of trial and error the Companion/ Performance Events Point Schedule was finalized and statistics are now maintained for those juniors who compete in these events. The 2007 Junior Recognition Awards now includes Performance and Companion Events and the Total Junior Award.
As we look forward to 2009, BestJunior will host the 2nd Annual Junior Achievement Banquet in New York City the Sunday proceeding the Westminster Kennel Club.Plans include finalizing the Hall of Fame and offering members the ability to request their Junior Show history on-line.
Thank you all for your continued support!
The juniors of today are the breeders, exhibitors, handlers and judges of tomorrow.