Hi my name is Katrina Nicholls, and I live in Invercargill New Zealand. I have been involved in the dog show world now for 20 years. All starting when I was 5 years old.

Well it all started with myself wanting another dog, as at that time we owned Honey, a Sheltie Cross. Mum answered an add in the newspaper for Standard Smooth Haired Dachshunds puppies, so along we went to Ann Stewart's of "Pebbleridge Kennels" home to see, these "sausage dogs".

After the agrement was made to take the puppy, "Pebbles" from the litter which consisted of 1 Dog and 2 Bitches, the question was asked, by the breeder- "Would you like to show her?". The decision was made that we would as her first shows she was of age to be entered were the southland shows, (as at that stage we were living in Dunedin), a good excuse to visit family which lived down there, mum thought. So the showing started for Pebble's and at that stage mum.

Well it wasn't long till I got started taking Pebbles into the Child Handler classes. It wasn't until about 6 months later I won first in Child handler competition under Jim Martin, who took junior handler classes. so it wasn't long til I started taking them.

It was at the Otago & Southland Hound Show, when mum was introduced to the Standard Longs, from a breeder who was down at the shows from Auckland Mrs Ann Edmonds of "Artramont Kennels". So the plans were made for mum to get a bitch puppy from Ann,- "Emma". Well at that stage I was really getting the bug to handle the dogs in the show ring, but it was thought that the standards were a bit to big for me to handle (being at that stage only 7). So then it was finally time for me to get my own dog, a Miniature Long Haired Dachshund "Dane", from Aranlea Kennels (this litter was bred by Ruth Havler's daughter Merrilyn) and at his first outing won Baby puppy of group.

After a couple of years when I was 11, I given my first Mini long bitch "Cilla", from Ruth Havler. It was this same year I won the Otago heat for the "Pal Junior Dog Handling competition" under Mrs Kim Butler. At the national final of this competition you are allowed to choose a breed of your choice to handle. Which I had put down I wanted a Border Collie, (as they were my favourite breed- Mum said I could have one when I turnt 15 or when Honey died.) Well it was later on that day after winning I was asked what breed I had chosen. It was then suggested I should take a "whippet" for the final (which I did). Then for some reason (I can't remember how it came about) In May 1991 I got a Whippet puppy. "Sparky", from Jackie Newton, "Kana-ka Kennels".

Also in 1991 I bred my first litter of mini longs,from, Dane & Cilla, with "Wildfern" being my Kennels name. why I chose the name Wildfern to be my kennel name- a part of both Dane & Cilla's pedigree names. Dane being NZ CH Aranlea Wild Fire & Cilla Aranlea Silver Fern.

And from there on, as they say is history.

Katrina Nicholls.



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