ROSWELL, Ga. — Kylie Soafer, the 17-year-old daughter of Glen and Kim Soafer of Roswell, successfully showed her Great Dane “Tara” to a first place finish in the Open Mantle class Nov. 25 at the annual Great Dane Club of America dog show.
“Kylie began showing Great Danes at 9 years old, which was quite a sight, as the dog outweighed Kylie by over 50 pounds,” said her father, Glen.
Soafer has handled many other dog breeds as well in the confirmation ring at American Kennel Club dog shows all across the country.
“It’s not a beauty contest,” said Soafer. “The judges are comparing each dog’s temperament, movement, type and structure to see which dog best conforms to the AKC’s definition of the breed. Since there is no perfect dog, the handler’s job is to maximize the dog’s best features and minimize any faults.”
The Roswell High School senior showed Tara in the open mantle class, which is Tara’s color type. Most would simply call her black and white. At Great Dane Nationals, Soafer and Tara were up against the best mantle Great Danes in the country, coming out on top in the end.
“The best thing is after we won the class, we made the final cut into the top seven girl dogs,” Soafer said. “There were over 20 class winners in the ring, representing the best of over 160 girl dogs in total at the competition. That’s a big deal.”
Soafer also won the prestigious “Best Junior Handler” award a day after showing Tara in the confirmation ring. Junior Showmanship judges youth handlers between the ages of 9-17 on their dog handling skills.
“It really made for an unforgettable event, far exceeding any of our expectations,” said Glen.
For more information about the Great Danes and Great Dane Nationals, visit www.gdca.org.