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Event Helpers

Please note, working with national level helpers is permitted up to the helper tryouts on Friday, April 26th. Once the helpers are selected on Friday for the National Event the assigned/selected helpers may not work any dogs from the time of the tryouts until the completion of the trial.

Helpers will be selected via tryout on Friday, April 26, 2013.


Helper Candidate #1 - Jeffery Batiste (IPO1 - Front Half)

Hello my name is Jeffery Batiste and I live in Atlanta, GA where I am a Helper and Vice-President of the South Metro Atlanta Schutzhund Club. I have been performing trial helper work at our club for several years and I am honored to be selected to tryout for the 2013 GSDCA-WDA National Championship. I am fortunate to have so many who have trusted me with their dogs both in training and trials, without them I would not be in such a privileged position to have an opportunity be to a part of this events.

Notable Highlights:
- 2012 GSDCA-WDA National Championship (Front Half)
- Training Helper Rhonda Southern - Bac von der Siebengebirgsperie (2012 WUSV Competitor 22nd/95 pt Protection)
- Training Helper Wallace Payne - Greg vom Maulachtal (2012 GSDCA-WDA National Championship 4th place)

Good luck to all the competitors at this years GSDCA-WDA National Championship, and thanks again to the GSDCA-WDA for inviting me to participate in this prestigious event.

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Helper Candidate #2 - Curtis Brantley

Hello. My name is Curtis Brantley. I live in Palm Bay, FL and I am a member and helper of the Space Coast Schutzhund Club. I was introduced to schutzhund over 12 years ago while living in New York. I have been doing trial and teaching helper work for the last 6 years since moving to Florida.

It is a honor to be chosen to tryout for the 2013 GSDCA-WDA National Championship. I would like to thank Phil Hoelcher and Wallace Payne for taking the time and coaching me into the helper I am today. I also would like to thank my club and all the other clubs for supporting me through my journey of becoming a helper by letting me work your dogs.

Best wishes to all of the competitors and helpers participating in this event.

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Helper Candidate #3 - Cedric Green

Cedric has been involved in the competitive dog world for the past 15 yrs. Starting with rottweilers he is currently working with his breed of choice, the German Shepherd. Active as a helper since 1996, he as learned and trained under some of the best in the world and has worked over 15 trials and breed surveys. Cedric has handled and shown several dogs on a national and international level including handling a female at the German Seiger show in 2001.

His previous experience includes being a training helper for the following:
- 2012 WDA Nationals Helper
- 2012 WDA Universal Seiger Helper
- 3 time National Champion and 2008 WUSV Vice Champion Ace of Nike van het Bleekhof;
- WDA, USCA, National Champion and 3rd place at 2005 WUSV Merlin von Conneforde;
- WDA National Champion Torro van het Bleekhof;
- 2008 WUSV Team member Thor vom Daelenberghutte;
- 2010 WDA Vice Champion 2010, 2011 WUSV team member Chash von der Suderholmer StraŖe.

Cedric currently lives in Wellington, Florida and when he isn't training dogs he is keeping up with the Dallas Cowboys and Alabama Crimson Tide. He works fulltime in the Insurance industry.

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Helper Candidate #4 - Ray Jeffers (WUSV Helper Candidate Only)

Ray has been doing helper work and competing in our sport for 14 years. He trained his first dog Brix from 7 weeks of age to several time SchH3. He and Brix competed together several times nationally. Ray is a national level helper, and has worked numerous local, regional and national events and is certified with GSDCA-WDA. He is Training Director at OG Carolina.

He and his wife Treco reside in Roxboro, North Carolina, and professionally Ray serves his community as an elected county commissioner. He is currently serving his second 4 year term and also serves as the President Elect to the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners.

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Helper Candidate #5 - Wayne Kemper (IPO2 - Front Half)

Hello my name is Wayne Kemper and I live in Denver, CO. I have been the trial and training helper at my club for the last 8 years. In 2006, I worker my first regional championship and in 2008 I was selected for my first national championship. All in all my experience includes 5 national championships and 8 regional championships. I wanted to take the time to thank everyone that has helped me get to this point in my life. Unfortunately there are too many to people to list.

Good luck to all the competitors and everyone involved at this year's national event.

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Helper Candidate #6 - Jason Opiola (IPO1 - Back Half, Breed Survey Helper)

I am honored to be selected for the opportunity for the 2013 GSDCA-WDA Nationals. I have been selected to be a helper for four National events for GSDCA-WDA. I have been involved in Schutzhund for the past 11 years training both police and sport dogs. I currently belong to CIPWDA in Peoria, IL and currently serve as the Schutzhund training coordinator for Topline GSD in Westmont, IL. I train and title my own dogs and help train and title my club members' dogs.

In my personal life Iím married to my beautiful wife Denise and a proud father to my two sons: Nathan and Brayden. For the past 12 years, Iíve been a police officer in IL where Iím currently assigned to the Investigations division. I look forward to seeing you all at the event and want to wish everyone and their dogs a safe journey and good luck!

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Helper Candidate #7 - Luis Rodriguez (IPO3 - Back Half)

My names is Luis Rodriguez, I am a member of the South Florida Schutzhund Club. In the last couple of years, I have dedicated myself to become a professional Decoy/Helper. All my improvement and achievements, I have to credit my teacher and mentor in the sport Mr. Phil Hoelcher. His teaching and guidance has made me the Helper/Decoy I am today. Iíve participated in numerous club trials (Front and Back Half) in the last couple of years.

Notable mentions:

  • 2012 GSDCA-WDA National Championship. Back Half
  • 2012 D.V.G. Southeast Regional Championship. Front Half
  • 2013 D.V.G. Southeast Regional Championship. Back Half
  • South Florida Schutzhund Club Championship 02/23/2013. Back half

It is an honor to be selected for the opportunity to work the 2013 GSDCA-WDA Nationals.

In the professional field, I have been in Law Enforcement for the past 13 years. I was a New York City Police Officer for approximately 6 years (Sept. 2000 Ė Dec. 2006). I am currently a Detective with the Miami-Dade Police Department. I am currently assigned to the Criminal Investigation Division, Robbery Intervention Detail (R.I.D).

Best of luck to all the competitors!!!

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Photo by Shellshots


Helper Candidate #8 - Carl Smith (IPO2 - Back Half)

My name is Carl Smith, I am currently the Deputy Chief of Operations at the Franklin Police Department. I have been in Law Enforcement for 30 years. I have been involved with Police K-9ís since 1984. I trained my first Schutzhund dog in 1990. I became certified as a National Level Helper in 2004. I have worked the GSDCA-WDA National Championship 4 times, 2004 back half, 2006 back half, 2007 back half, and 2008 front half. I also worked the 2004 Pan-American games in Mexico City. I have been a helper at 4 NASS events and most recently worked the front half of the 2012 combined qualification trial. I was the 2010 and 2011 GSDCA-WDA National Champion with my dog Bodo Vom Flutgraben. I represented the USA (GSDCA-WDA) team in Spain in 2010. I have been a teaching helper since 2005 and I am Chair of the WDA Helper committee.

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Helper Candidate #9 - Mark Torrence (IPO3 - Front Half)

Mark Torrence was born and raised in Fort Washington, Maryland. In early 2007, Markís curiosity was peaked with interest in K-9 training, which led his search to the Greater Washington D.C. Schutzhund Group (GWDCSG). Mark was later voted into the GWDCSG in late 2007 which he received his training by the training director and club helper.

Mark has actively trained dogs since 2007 and is currently a member of (3) clubs in the metropolitan area. The Greater Washington D.C. Schutzhund Group, Commonwealth Working Dogs and DMV Working Rottweiler Klub, where he is the training director. Mark was the Decoy for the KG North Championship in 2010, 2011 and 2012. In October 2012, Mark was selected to decoy the IPO 1 & 2ís at the LV Nationals Championship in Atlanta Georgia. During the past (5) years, Mark has trained and participated as a decoy in numerous club trials, regionals and as a National level helper. Mark has been very successful with outstanding ratings and favorable feedback from every judge.

Mark is very thankful for this opportunity and honored to be one of the selectees for the GSDCA-WDA National Championship.

I would also like to thank everyone who has been an integral part of my career. Good Luck and best wishes to all the competitors.

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Event Tracking Coordinator
Matt Levine - Tracking Coordinator