Martha Brindley from Kilmarnock, Ayrshire has won the prestigious KCAI Trainer of the Year award at a ceremony at the world’s biggest dog show, Crufts, on Saturday 11th March.
Martha began her dog training journey at the age of fourteen when she was handed the lead and instructed to take the family dog to a local training class. This was the beginning of her love affair and passion for dogs and their welfare. As well as being a dog training instructor, Martha’s other passion is volunteering for the Blue Cross charity. She visits schools with her Whippet, Gilly, and teaches children a safe approach to dogs and how to respect their pets.
Martha was nominated by her clients for the KCAI Trainer of the Year award, which recognises inspirational dog training instructors who have made a positive difference to the lives of dog owners and their dogs.
Martha is a Kennel Club Accredited Instructor with the KCAI scheme, having gained her accreditation in the Companion Dog Training and Good Citizen Dog Scheme disciplines.
The purpose of the Kennel Club Accredited Instructor (KCAI) scheme is to recognise and promote experienced and competent dog training instructors who are committed to using dog training methods which are based on the principles of kindness, fairness and the good welfare of dogs. The scheme offers its members the opportunity to gain a nationally-recognised vocational accreditation award, based on standards set by the Kennel Club.
Five finalists were selected for the KCAI Trainer of the Year award for their outstanding work and the winner was decided through an online public vote. Thousands of votes came in from dog owners across the UK.
Speaking about her award, Martha said: It is just incredible, I am shaking, it is just amazing. I love what I do and will always continue in my volunteering. Winning KCAI Trainer of the Year is just a dream - better than winning an Oscar!’
Janine Beacher from City & Guilds, who was one of the presenters of the award to Martha, said: “City & Guilds is very privileged and honoured to work with the Kennel Club’s KCAI Scheme. We think that the work that the KCAI Scheme carries out is very important in maintaining and promoting high skills standards in the industry and the trainers deserve this recognition for the hard work they undertake.”
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “Many congratulations to Martha for winning this award. The number of votes she received from the public is a real testament to how grateful so many people are for her contribution to the world of dogs. The Kennel Club is very thankful for her valuable work both as a dog training instructor and volunteer.
“Once again, this year’s KCAI Trainer of the Year award proved very popular, and we’re proud of all the instructors who were nominated. It’s great to see that KCAI scheme members are getting the recognition they deserve. With their specialist knowledge and practical experience, the scheme’s members are making a remarkable effort to improve the quality of life for dogs and their owners.”
If you're a dog training instructor, find out more about the KCAI scheme.