A Young Kennel Club member was rewarded for her remarkable achievements in the dog world at a special ceremony at the world’s greatest dog show, DFS Crufts last weekend.
Chelsea Hickford, aged 18 from Brentford, was the recipient of the Shaun McAlpine Outstanding Young Person Over 18 Years award and was also the overall winner of the competition, the highest level of achievement for the country’s young dog owners. Presented by the Young Kennel Club (YKC), the award acknowledges excellence through involvement with dogs, such as working tirelessly to raise funds or increase awareness for charity, helping to organise dog activities in their area or succeeding in dog showing or training.
Chelsea won the award after being involved with dogs her whole life. After having serious health issues when she was younger, she developed a passion for agility with her dogs and fundraising for local charities through working with dogs. She is a trainer at the Essex Flyers Agility Club and helps out at Young Kennel Club events, encouraging other young people to enrich their lives with dog activities.
The ceremony included a celebratory parade for all of the young achievers along with their dogs, followed by announcing the winners in each category; under 12 years, over 12 years and over 18 years. The awards coincided with the Young Kennel Club’s Silver Jubilee anniversary, celebrating 25 years of helping young dog lovers learn new skills.
For 25 years, Ed and Cindy McAlpine have presented the Shaun McAlpine Trophy and awards at the event in memory of their son Shaun who was tragically killed in a road accident two weeks after his 22nd birthday 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.
Parents, trainers and teachers have been contacting the YKC team since the start of the year to nominate young achievers to be applauded for their efforts in the world of dogs.
Caroline Kisko, Communications Director at the Kennel Club, commented: “Congratulations to Chelsea on winning this award, a real landmark for young dog lovers. Her dedication to dogs and philanthropic nature make her a very special young woman.”
“Dogs helped her overcome adversity and now it’s clear that she is keen to pass this on to other young people in her area which is just fantastic to see. We’re delighted to be able to recognise her achievements through the Shaun McAlpine Award.”
Notes to editors
· Young Kennel Club membership is for anyone aged 6-24 years (with or without a dog, pedigree or crossbreed).
· The YKC aims to educate young people in the care and training of dogs, whilst promoting fun and friendship.
· The YKC aims to encourage young adults to enjoy participation in, and management of all activities connected with dogs.
· The YKC provides and promotes activities that enable members to train, compete and socialise with like-minded youngsters.
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 www.ykc.org.uk.
For further information about DFS Crufts, a celebration of happy, healthy dogs, please visit www.dfscrufts.org.uk.
19th March 2010
For further press information or interview requests please contact:
The Kennel Club Press Office
020 7518 1008