Laura Knoll

Junior Handler is Absolute Winner at DCA National Field Trial

The final result is in for the 2008 Dachshund Club of America National Field Trial held in Ladonia, Texas, January 25, 2008. Best Field Champion and Absolute Winner is FC Annie Ochre von Dorndorf, "Ochre", owned and handled by Laura M. A. Knoll of Poplarville, Mississippi. Now for the rest of the story.

Laura Knoll is 10 years old and the first Junior Handler ever to be awarded Absolute Winner at a Dachshund Club of America National Field Trial. Laura has worked with her parents Stan and Tina Knoll running dogs at field trials while helping look after her younger brother Daniel and sister Anna for most of her young life. And Laura has been handling competitive Field Champion dachshunds since the age of six. Two years ago, Laura's parents called breeder Patt Nance in Ohio and asked if she had a dog Laura could run in the field and perhaps finish all on her own. Nine-month-old standard longhaired "Ochre" and eight-year-old Laura met a few weeks later and, as Tina Knoll puts it, "They have been joined at the hip ever since".

Laura finished Ochre in four field trials taking an Absolute along the way. In 2007, Ochre was involved in an accident and lost the sight in one eye but that did not deter Laura's commitment to her dog and to her sport.

This wonderful young lady has handled dachshunds to Top 10 finishes for the past three years. In addition she is learning what it takes to host a trial. Laura helps with bracing the dogs after roll call in the mornings, field marshals, beats brush to flush rabbits and in her spare time either holds or handles dogs for some of her geriatric dachshund owner friends. Laura has successfully competed and won against adult handlers who are decades older. Much to the chagrin of some of her older handler friends, Laura and Ochre remain un-defeated in head on competition with some of the finest field trial dachshunds in America.

The members of the AKC dachshund field trial community are proud of Laura's achievements and consider Laura to be an asset to field trialing and a beacon for the future of our sport. As one of her adult friends from Colorado recently stated so well, "We all hope someday to grow up to be just like Laura!"

Submitted by Judy Gallamore