HUTCHINSON — Ryan Klamm, a 17-year-old junior at Buhler High School from Hutchinson, and his 7-year-old Border Collie, Bandit, have been selected to represent Team USA at the 2018 European Open Junior Agility Competition in Roosendaal, Netherlands, in July. EOJ is a three-day competition where juniors all over the world come together to compete against one another.
Nineteen junior handers, three alternates and their canine companions have been selected from all over the country to represent the U.S.
“This is our first year on Team USA, and we are very honored," Klamm said.
Bandit and Klamm have been training and working hard for seven years. Agility is their favorite sport and they enjoy it very much. Bandit is also very accomplished in obedience, as they have competed at the utility level, which is the highest level of obedience offered, and have received a qualifying score. Bandit also loves rally obedience, and has won many competitions with perfect scores.
Klamm became interested in dog training in 2006 after receiving his first dog, a miniature Australian Shepherd he named Captain Patch, as a Christmas gift when he was 6 years old. He immediately started training with the Reno County 4-H dog club.
In the summer of 2011, Klamm received his second dog, Bandit, a Border Collie. Bandit is a purebred dog but has no pedigree or papers.
Both of his parents were working cattle dogs at a feedlot near Council Grove.
His interest in dog showing peaked in 2012 when he and Captain Patch won the UKC National Top Junior Handler in Obedience at Kalamazoo, Michigan.
From there, he began taking lessons with some of the best trainers in the area. He has since won several UKC Junior Championships and All Star Championships in agility, obedience, and rally obedience.
Klamm competes in multiple statewide AKC trials including the AKC Junior Classic in Orlando, Florida. Bandit has become Klamm's main agility dog. Klamm assists and teaches obedience and agility for the local 4-H Dog Club and the Hutchinson Kennel Club.
Klamm is active in the community by holding seminars for school programs and 4-H demonstrations for children and adults. He enjoys taking his dogs to visit residents at the local senior care facilities and allows the residents to interact with the dogs and ask him questions.
Klamm is a 10-year member of the Thomadora 4-H Club. He is also a member of the Hutchinson Kennel Club and the Wichita Dog Training Club. He leads the advanced obedience class for the Reno County 4-H and assists with agility and obedience lessons at local kennel clubs.
Klamm has a 3.97 GPA at Buhler High School, and is very active in the FFA program.
He attended the 2015 FFA National Convention in Louisville, Kentucky and the 2016 FFA National Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana. He is an Eagle Scout in Troop 301 in Hutchinson.
With the experience gained by being a member of the 2018 EOJ Team, he would like to continue training and showing dogs at a very high level.
Klamm's hopes to become a member of the adult AKC European Open Team, be more involved with international competitions, giving back to the other youths, and one day becoming a coach for the AKC European Open Junior Team USA. An ultimate goal would be to represent the USA in dog Agility, as it becomes an Olympics demonstration sport.