Kerrie Kuper’s love for dogs dates back almost as far as she can remember. Growing up in St. Petersburg, Fla., Kuper became involved with dogs at age 8 when she began handling her parents’ Standard Poodles in Junior Showmanship.
Now the proud breeder-owner-handler of five generations of multiple Best in Show-winning Whippets, Kuper breeds under the Karasar prefix, a combination of her family members’ names. In addition to conformation, her multitalented Whippets compete in lure coursing and racing.
Although Kuper says her most memorable dog show was the 2006 American Whippet Club National Specialty when she won the Top 20 Competition, she measures success in terms of breeding healthy dogs that are placed in forever homes and loved by their owners.
“I enjoy being a member of Purina® Pro Club®. Redeeming weight circles to get checks to help pay for dog food is such a perk,” says Kuper, who feeds Purina® Pro Plan® SPORT Performance 30/20 Formula to her dogs.
A Beagle lover at heart, Mary Cummings of Stone Meadow Kennel in Johnson City, N.Y., also adores German Shepherd Dogs, Australian Shepherds and Whippets. Cummings, a self-taught purebred enthusiast, began showing her German Shepherd Dog, V-Aiko Von Fuerstenberg, CD, SCH I, in conformation and obedience while she was still in high school.
Notably, at the 2013 National Beagle Club of America (NBCA) National Specialty, Cummings competed with five of her homebred Beagles, four of which placed in their respective classes. Also in 2013, Cummings was recognized as an NBCA Top 10 Breeder for having bred five champions year, and CH Lightfall and Stone Meadow Cracklin Rosie, RN (“Brooklynn”), a female Cummings bred, was named a Top 10 Producing Dam. In addition to the conformation ring, Cummings’ dogs also compete in obedience and rally. In the past, her dogs have earned titles in tracking, agility and Schutzhund.
Throughout her career, Cummings says the best advice she ever received is to enjoy your dogs and the friends you make along the way. “Remember, it’s always about your dogs, not the wins or politics,” she says.