In addition to the honour of receiving the ultimate accolade in the world of dogs, the owners of the Best in Show winning dog at Crufts next month will also be offered a special new prize this year.
A specially commissioned oil painting of the winning dog will be painted by talented young canine artist Amelia Siddle and given to his or her owners to mark their special achievement.
Amelia may only be 20 years old but she has already had significant success as both an artist and a dog handler. She has been a member of the Young Kennel Club since 2002 and began working with oil paints on canvas two years later. She produced her first commission at the age of 14 and was taken on by Sally Mitchell Fine Arts when she was just 16.
Her painting career has blossomed since then and her work has been featured in the Kennel Club Art Gallery in London as well as the Society of Equestrian Artists exhibition in Newark. Last year, Amelia had her first solo exhibition, entitled ‘The Pointer in Art’ in Clevedon, Somerset.
Amelia is looking forward to the challenge of painting this year’s Best in Show winner, saying: “Over the years I’ve painted various different breeds across all seven of the groups, so am really excited about taking on this job no matter what breed comes out on top.
“I feel incredibly privileged and honoured to be able to paint the Best in Show at Crufts and hope it could potentially become the first of many beautiful dogs I get to capture in their prime. It’s something you think about but for it to become reality is just fantastic!”
Amelia is no stranger to success in the show ring herself and is heavily involved with her family’s Wilchrimane Pointers along with her mother Annette. Amelia won the YKC Stakes in the Main Arena at Crufts in 2010 with her dog, Tod (Wilchrimane Black Ice JW), and handled one of his offspring, Flo (Wilchrimane Ice Maiden JW) at Blackpool in 2011 where they qualified for the Pro Plan/Dog World Pup of the Year final.
21st February 2012
Image: Amelia Siddle, image courtesy of courtesy of Debbie Fuller
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Notes To Editors
- Watch Crufts on More4 from 6.30pm – 9pm on 8th – 11th March. This will include all of the highlights from the Arena programme, including the presentation to the Friends for Life winner. Also watch Crufts live on the Crufts YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/user/Crufts.
- Crufts is a unique celebration of happy, healthy dogs and of the loving relationship that they enjoy with their owners. It recognises the varied roles that dogs play in society and highlights the many different disciplines and activities in which dogs are involved.
Young Kennel Club
- 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.
The Kennel Club
The Kennel Club is the largest organisation in the UK devoted to dog health, welfare and training. Its objective is to ensure that dogs live healthy, happy lives with responsible owners.
It runs the country’s largest registration database for both pedigree and crossbreed dogs and the Petlog database, which is the UK’s largest reunification service for microchipped animals. The Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme is the only scheme in the UK that monitors and sets standards for breeders, in order to protect the welfare of puppies and breeding bitches. It also runs the UK’s largest dog training programme, the Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme and licenses shows and clubs across a wide range of activities, which help dog owners to bond and enjoy life with their dogs. The Kennel Club runs the world’s greatest dog show, Crufts, and the Discover Dogs event at Earls Court, London, which is a fun family day out that educates people about how to buy responsibly and care for their dog.
The Kennel Club invests in welfare campaigns, dog training and education programmes and the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, which supports research into dog diseases and dog welfare charities, including Kennel Club Breed Rescue organisations that re-home dogs throughout the UK.The Kennel Club jointly runs health screening schemes with the British Veterinary Association and through the Charitable Trust, funds the Kennel Club Genetics Centre at the Animal Health Trust, which is at the forefront of pioneering research into dog health.