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Crufts Champions Young Dog Lovers

Celebrating the hardworking, inspirational and selfless actions of young dog lovers, the Young Kennel Club's Shaun McAlpine Outstanding Young Person Award returns to Crufts next week.

The Young Kennel Club (YKC) received nominations from over 160 dog trainers, parents and school staff, and has shortlisted 15 worthy contenders to take to the YKC ring at Crufts 2014.

The YKC members, aged 6-24, have all been chosen for their passion and dedication in either training, helping or working with dogs and will now head to the NEC, Birmingham for the final on Sunday March 9th.

The Shaun McAlpine Outstanding Young Person Award is the highest level of achievement for the country's young dog owners. Presented by the Young Kennel Club, the award recognises and celebrates the achievements of inspiring and innovative young people who are making a difference for dogs.

Gerald King, Chairman of both the Young Kennel Club and Crufts, said: "The Young Kennel Club would like to thank everyone who took time to nominate these brilliant young people.  The range of nominations we received was huge and varied which leaves no doubt that Young Kennel Club members have great talent which is to be celebrated and honoured."

For nearly 30 years, Ed and Cindy McAlpine have presented the Shaun McAlpine Trophy and awards at Crufts in memory of their son Shaun who was tragically killed in a road accident two weeks after his 22ndbirthday in November 1984. The trophy is awarded annually to encourage young dog lovers to become more involved in dog activities, as Shaun himself had achieved considerable success as a dog handler.

The special presentation will take place on Sunday March 9thwhere the winners of the three different categories - 6-11 years, 12-16 years and 17-24 years - will be announced in the Young Kennel Club Ring, followed by the announcement of the overall winner. Every finalist will receive an exclusive YKC ambassador's badge.

Crufts takes place from 6th- 9thMarch at the NEC Birmingham - for further information or tickets visit If you would like to find out more about the Young Kennel Club and how to join, please contact the Young Kennel Club team on 020 7518 1030 or visit

The nominees are as follows:

Age Group: 6-11 years

Age Group: 12 - 16 years

Age Group: 17-24 years