Carlee

 

 

  • #1 GSP for 2002

  • #1 GSP for 2003

  • #1 GSP for 2004

  • A top 5 Sporting dog in 2002

  • A top 5 Sporting dog in 2003

  • A top 5 Sporting dog in 2004

  • Multiple Best in Show winner

  • Best of Breed GSPCA National 2002

  • Best of Breed Eastern GSPC 2004

  • Best of Breed Westminster KC 2004

  •  Best in Show Westminster KC 2005
    **See the WKC web site

Owners:   J Linda Stark & Richard Stark & Carol Cronk & Valerie Nunes-Atkinson

Breeders: Lucretia Coonrod & Lindsey Coonrod & Judy Parietti

Handler:  Michelle Ostermiller

Pedigree

A few pictures of Carlee, early in her career.  They include one of her early Best in Shows, Best of Breed at the Eastern GSPC and Best of Breed at Westminster KC in 2004.

Westminster Kennel Club, Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Carlee and Michelle were perfect as they competed for Best in Show.

After it was over, Michelle played with Carlee, Lucretia was interviewed, and the press mobbed the winner, the handler and the judge, Mrs. Lynette Saltzman.

(Westminster KC photos courtesy of Brian "Ableman" Cho, Seoul, Korea,  www.dogshowphoto.co.kr)

How a Breeder watched the Groups and Best in Show at WKC

 

I have very good Box seats due to the fact that several friends have gone together to buy the tickets for the last 10 years.  The longer you buy them, the better they get.  We are right above the spot where the Pointer marker is.  During the group I was nervous, but felt that things were going well.  Renee (Renee Lara, DVM) was sitting on the step next to me and we knew that the ushers were going to come and make her move pretty soon.

 

As Carlee was pulled, I grabbed Renee's fingers, when [group judge Paula Nykiel] pointed for her to go to the front, I almost lost my breath!!  I was squeezing Renee's fingers so hard I am surprised she had any feeling in them!  When she pointed confirming it, we screamed and jumped, all of my friends surrounding me hugged me.

 

I went running around to the area where they were taking pictures, but I didn't think I would be able to get in.  I had gone down the day before to try to congratulate a friend and they would not let me in.  Along the way I met a friend who owns the Sighthound Review.  She hugged me and put her press pass around my neck, "now you can go anywhere you want to"!  That was a great gift, it really helped me to get where I wanted to be.

 

The time between the Group and Best was a bit of a blur.  I was just so thrilled to win the group that I could not focus.  Renee and I had planned to take our dogs back to the hotel after the Sporting Group, but I was too wired up to think straight.  Thank heavens for good friends, who took the dogs back and I just kind of wandered around in a bit of a daze.

 

Purina has a sky box with lots of room, food and drinks.  We had been up there quite a bit during the day.  I decided that was where I wanted to be to watch BEST.  There was plenty of room for me to pace the floor.

 

It was full of a diverse group of people, with lots o different favorites.  Coco (the Norwich Terrier) was probably #1 choice when it started.   After Carlee's individual, many started saying, 'it's going to be the shorthair'.  "QUIET!!  Don't jinx us!!"  Although I felt that she had given a BIS performance, I still did not really believe that

   she would win.   I didn't have any pockets, so I had my telephone tucked in my

      pantyhose, set on vibrate.

 

At the moment that she said, "Best In Show at this years Westminster is the

German Shorthair" I screamed, hugged Renee and my phone started vibrating,

almost scared us to death!!  It was a close friend ... all I could hear was "AAAAUUUUGGGHHH!!"

 

The next 10 minutes is simply a jumbled memory of screaming, hugging, running, laughing, smiling and general adulation!  It is a moment that I can't remember specifics about, but will be in my memory forever as one of the most exciting moments of my life.  I came running through the handlers benching area where our stuff was and Andrew, a junior that occasionally travels with me, came running and picked me up!  More screaming, more

laughing.

 

Thanks to my press pass, I had no problem.  It was a constant blur of

people congratulating me and hugging me.  Somewhere along the way, I

looked over at the circle of reporters surrounding Carlee & Michelle,

there was a little opening and I could clearly see Carlee standing there

on the Westminster emblem, tail up, looking totally calm....... that

was the moment that I started crying.... that is [the] dog

[we bred] ... we really did win!

 

I was introduced to a woman who I cannot remember, she

congratulated me.  I walked over to the edge of the carpet to

talk to friends who had come down and could not get on the

floor.  A friend came running across the carpet, pursued by

security, she hugged me quickly and said she had better get

going before they hauled her off!

 

  Suddenly, the woman I was introduced to came

 over, grabbed me by the arm and said, "You

  need to be over there, without you, she

    wouldn't be here." She made a path through

   the reporters, pushed me in the middle of the

   back, I ended up in the middle of the circle,

   she said "This is Carlee's breeder and you

   need to talk to her!".

 

EVERYONE turned and looked at me!  The questions started, the first one being, "Is this the first GSP to win BIS at Westminster?",

I told them "No, one other had won" and that Carlee was a distant relative of that dog.  The funniest question was "Is this the first time you have won BIS at Westminster?",  "Ah, yea."  I enjoyed the experience and could not stop smiling.

 

Lucretia Coonrod

Thank You

 

I would like to sincerely thank all of the people involved with helping me to realize this dream.  To Judy Parietti and my daughter Lindsey, who co-owned and loved Carlee's mother Kaydee, as much as I did, there simply are not words to express my gratitude to them, it was a labor of love for all of us.

I want to acknowledge Inge Clody & Leanne Farrell at Minado kennels for their years of dedication to the breed, and for producing Carlee’s father, Toby, Ch Minado’s Parade Drum Major.

Thanks to Valerie Nunes-Atkinson for helping to make this breeding happen, then taking Carlee as her stud fee puppy.  Also, for finding Carol Cronk, who nurtured and loved her for the first 2 years of her life.  Without their dedication to Carlee’s early years, we might not have seen her reach her true potential.

Big THANK YOU to Dick and Linda Stark for helping to guide her career and for finding Michelle, who was able to coax an almost flawless performance out of her at the most important show of her career.  It took a team effort ... and I want to sincerely thank everyone who helped to make this dream come true.

Also, to everyone in the dog show community who has helped to make this so special for me, to all who have congratulated me, hugged me, sent cards & e-mails, called or simply acknowledged my contribution, THANK YOU!!!  It has been as wonderful as I had always dreamed that it could be and you guys helped to make it so.

Lucretia Coonrod

 

 

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