11 year old Ryan Ross from Peterborough, Cambridgeshire was named as the Shaun McAlpine Outstanding Young Person of the Year at Crufts 2014.
A total of fifteen Young Kennel Club members were nominated for the prestigious award which celebrates the hardworking, inspirational and selfless actions of young dog lovers. Each nominee was recognised as their individual stories impressed judges and audiences alike, but it was Ryan’s story that shone through.
Ryan was nominated by various nominees for being a polite, smart and well-mannered young handler. He has been showing dogs for over three years and competes in breed and handling. Ryan loves nothing better to show other people’s dogs to learn about all the other breeds and has been highly commended on his skills within the ring and his true sportsmanship.
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 (YKC), the award recognises and celebrates the achievements of inspiring and innovative young people who are making a difference for dogs. The YKC received nominations from over 160 dog trainers, parents and school staff, and shortlisted 15 worthy contenders to take to the YKC ring at Crufts 2014.
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 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.
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.
“We have had some inspiring stories this year, it is great to see the wonderful work our young people do. Ryan and his friends and family should be very proud, as he is such a great example of young people working with dogs to help their community. Ryan’s manners and behaviour have been exemplary - he has real rapport with the dogs that he shows and should go far in the sport.”
The special presentation took place on Sunday March 9th where the winners of the three different categories – 6-11 years, 12-16 years and 17-24 years – were announced in the Young Kennel Club Ring, followed by the announcement of Ryan as the overall winner. Every finalist was given an exclusive YKC ambassador’s badge.
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 .