Five Young Kennel Club members have been nominated for the
prestigious Shaun McAlpine Outstanding Young Person award, which
celebrates the hard-working, inspirational and selfless actions of
young dog lovers.
The Shaun McAlpine Outstanding Young Person award is the highest
level of achievement for young dog lovers. For over thirty years,
Ed and Cindy McAlpine have presented the Shaun McAlpine Trophy at
Crufts in memory of their son, Shaun. The award is given annually
to encourage young dog lovers to become more involved in dog
activities, as Shaun himself had achieved considerable success as a
Previous winners of the annual competition have been selected for
their volunteering and fundraising for dog charities, helping to
organise dog activities in the local community and for assisting
others through training, stewarding and mentoring.
This year, the five finalists are:
Young Braveheart of the Year
Everyday life for 9 year-old Ruby James is a battle. She lives
with a complex condition called Noonan syndrome, an autism spectrum
disorder and deteriorating visual impairment, yet in spite of these
obstacles she is a little girl completely dedicated to her dogs and
thrives on handling them at every possible opportunity. Junior
handling has boosted her confidence immeasurably and truly gives
her a genuine sense of achievement unequalled by anything else.
Champion of the Year
Lyndsey Jones, aged 16, has put an incredible amount of time and
hard work into community-based volunteering, running a dog training
school twice a week, with all proceeds going to a dog charity. She
is mature beyond her years, incredibly selfless when it comes to
anything dog-related, and is an inspiration to many.
Good Buddy of the Year
Eight year-old Kaydie is the youngest member at the Newton Heath
Dog Training Club, and helps with the puppy course at the club,
informing youngsters about dog etiquette. With her mum, Kaydie goes
to many dog shows and is often seen filling water holders for
anyone who needs help. A number of handlers have asked for Kaydie
personally as she is very responsible around dogs which may not be
used to children - she has even been trusted to work a dog in the
ring when the owner was poorly. She is loved by all who meet her
for her positive attitude and helpfulness.
Sporting Talent of the Year
Belle Howlett started training dogs in agility at the age of
six. At 10, she got her very own dog, a Border Collie, which she
named Ami and trained herself. Throughout the 2015 season, Belle
and Ami won many first place titles including in the Agility Club
Starters Cup Final and in the Kennel Club International Young
Handler Final (for the second year running). They also gained
fourth place at the Kennel Club Novice Agility Stakes Final at
Olympia in London. Belle and Ami have qualified for Crufts in the
Agility Dog of the Year and Jumping Final 2016. Belle, now 14, also
shows dogs and is a talented handler, competing with other people's
dogs as well as her own.
Fundraiser of the Year
Every year Charlotte Page goes through tough physical challenges
to raise money and awareness for charity. Last year Charlotte and
her dog Pandora walked up Ben Nevis and this year they are taking
on the Virgin London Marathon to raise money for Dogs for Good. The
21 year-old gives up her spare time to help two shows each year;
East of England Championship Show and the North of England
Dalmatian Club, and spends most evenings putting together the
newsletter for the Dalmatian Club and various other activities that
the committees need help with. So far she has raised over £3,000
pounds for charity.
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, commented: "Every year we
receive these incredible nominations for young people working with
and helping dogs. This award reminds us of the way in which young
people and dogs together can make such a difference in society.
These five finalists and their families should be extremely proud -
they truly are a credit to their generation.
The winners from each category have been invited to Crufts 2016 on
Sunday 13th March for a special presentation ceremony and each will
receive an exclusive ambassador's badge and award. This year, the
overall winner will be decided via an online vote open to all. As
well as being crowned the Outstanding Young Person of the Year,
there is also a prize fund up to £750 which will be used towards
helping the winner progress their love of dogs.
To vote, please visit http://woobox.com/b82diq