Sherman teen wins best junior handler at Westminster Dog Show

Posted: Updated:
SHERMAN -

A western Connecticut teenager is back home after winning the Best Junior Showmanship title at the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City.

Lily Mancini, 18, and her dog Liam beat out more than 90 other junior competitors. The win includes a $10,000 scholarship prize.

She began competing in dog shows at age 9, learning from the mother of her sister's boyfriend who was looking for help with her kennel.

"I never had a dog growing up at all, so it was totally a new thing for me, but I just loved being around them," she says. "They make such a big difference in my life."

She's now shown at least 10 dogs during her time as a junior handler.

Liam not only helped Mancini win best junior handler, but the 8-year-old English springer spaniel also won best of breed and went on to compete in the sporting group at Westminster.

"He's really an outgoing dog, and he's the sweetest," says Mancini, whose win came just a few days before her 18th birthday.

Although she'll be off to college next year, Mancini says she hopes to continue competing in the older age groups but isn't sure how much time she'll have once she starts school.

  • Connecticut SlideshowsGalleriesMore>>

  • Westminster Kennel Club's annual dog show trots into New York

    Westminster Kennel Club's annual dog show trots into New York

    Westminster Kennel ClubWestminster Kennel Club
    Westminster Kennel ClubWestminster Kennel Club
    Photos from the 143rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Piers 92/94 in February, 2019 in New York City.
    Photos from the 143rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Piers 92/94 in February, 2019 in New York City.
  • Connecticut Birthday Smiles

    Connecticut Birthday Smiles

    Is your or a loved one's birthday coming up? Let us know! Send us your photos and you could end up on air and News12.com!Is your or a loved one's birthday coming up? Let us know! Send us your photos and you could end up on air and News12.com!

    It's a celebration! Is your or a loved one's birthday coming up? Let us know! Send us your photos and you could end up on air and News12.com!

    It's a celebration! Is your or a loved one's birthday coming up? Let us know! Send us your photos and you could end up on air and News12.com!

  • Foxwoods Resort Casino performer lineup

    Foxwoods Resort Casino performer lineup

    A look at the performers and acts coming to Foxwoods in Mashantucket, Connecticut.

    A look at the performers and acts coming to Foxwoods in Mashantucket, Connecticut.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."