Young Kennel Club Artist Of The Year Winners Revealed

The Young Kennel Club (YKC) has announced the winners of its ninth annual YKC Artist of the Year competition, which will be presented at the world’s greatest dog event, Crufts 2017.

The popular annual art competition was relaunched this year, inviting talented YKC members to design the front cover of the brand new YKC Crufts catalogue. Members were encouraged to get creative and submit their design which features their interpretation of the YKC, Crufts and their love of dogs.

The competition received an exceptional number of entries from members whose creativity and talent impressed the judges, but only one member is to be crowned overall winner at Crufts in March.

The overall and 17-24 category winner, twenty year-old Samantha Webster from Northfield, Birmingham, won the judges over with her entry.

Proud winner Samantha said: "It feels amazing to have won! I was really surprised to receive the phone call. I’m very happy and proud.

“I draw almost every day just for fun, mainly dogs but I draw other animals too. I’ve been drawing ever since I can remember; it’s a huge passion of mine and a big stress reliever.”

Speaking about her winning drawing, Samantha said: “I wanted to combine all the activities that the YKC support and encourage youngsters to take part in with their dogs, especially as the winning design was to feature as the cover of the YKC Crufts catalogue. So I thought it would be good to add in little drawings representing each activity, plus I wanted to add in my own dogs as a fun cameo.”

Samantha is currently working as a compliance administrator for a care company in Rubery. She has been a YKC member for four years and shows her three Beagles, Samson, Delilah and Lily.

This year’s competition was judged by a panel of Kennel Club representatives which included art gallery manager, Marianne Walker and events manager, Cathy Guiver.  Marianne, a practicing artist and curator whose work has been shown internationally, has worked within the library and collections department at the Kennel Club since 2014, whilst Cathy has overseen the Crufts catalogue for fifteen years and has worked in the events team organising Crufts for over twenty years.

The judges were looking for a striking cover design that was well executed, has an imaginative concept and clearly places the cover within the brief.

Speaking about the winning drawing, Cathy Guiver said: “We were really impressed by the high quality of all the entries and it was an extremely difficult decision. Samantha’s drawing really reflected the criteria set out by the YKC team and was a clear overall winner for us. We hope that exhibitors and competitors enjoy seeing her fantastic image on the cover of the Crufts 2017 YKC catalogue.”

The winners and highly commended runners up of the Young Kennel Club Artist of the Year competition are as follows:


  • 1st place: 20 year-old Samantha Webster from Birmingham (Samantha also won the 17 – 24 years category)
  • 2nd place: 13 year-old Chloe McLellan from Presteigne, Powys (Chloe also won the 12 – 16 years category)
  • 3rd place: 11 year-old Rosie Ainsworth from Coleford, Gloucestershire (Rosie also won the 6 – 11 years category)

Highly Commended:

  • 6 – 11 Years: Kim Drew (11) from Bristol and Pierce Reynolds (9) from Bleary, County Armagh
  • 12 – 16 Years: Laura Wilson (13) from Salisbury, Wiltshire and Amelia Barrable (16) from Raunds, Northamptonshire
  • 17 – 24 Years: Ella Garwood (18) from Hilton, Derby and Hannah Gates (17) from High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire

Samantha, Chloe and Rosie will receive their awards at the YKC stand in Hall 3, stand 23 at Crufts in March, the date and time of which will be confirmed in due course.

The new YKC Crufts catalogue will showcase all members who are competing in the YKC ring at Crufts 2017, and will be available at the show for a small fee. Alongside having her artwork featured on the cover of the catalogue, Samantha will receive £75, art supplies and a year’s free YKC membership. Chloe also wins £50 and art supplies and Rosie will receive £30 plus art supplies.

The winning image will be on display on the YKC stand at Crufts from March 9th-12th at the NEC, Birmingham.