Dog showing, or exhibiting as it is known, is the most popular canine activity in the UK. In the Young Kennel Club Stakes finals, the judge will compare each dog against the official Kennel Club Breed Standard (which is a guide for the characteristics for that breed, including health and temperament). The dogs which come closest to the Breed Standard receive the top places.
We caught up with the YKC Stakes 2018 winner Luke Johnson.
How long have you been a member of the YKC?
Since I was 9 years old.
When and how did you get into dog showing?
My mother has been showing Whippets since the 80s handling for others, and bought her very first own Whippet the year I was born. Together, we now own the Danluke affix.
Do you remember the first time you went to Crufts?
Yes, I would have been about 8. I had travelled on a coach setting off at 1am and didn't return home until around the same time the day after. In those days, the coach trip was actually the highlight of the event for me! I don't think I showed at Crufts until a couple of years later.
What did you do to celebrate your win?
Well, to be honest, our win was a little overshadowed by the success of beautiful Tease, last year's BIS winner who happens to be owned by some of my very closest friends in the dog show world. We were fortunate enough to be invited to celebrate with Tease following her wonderful success.
Other than Crufts, what is your favourite show to exhibit at?
I would have said the Hound show but I can no longer exhibit since joining the Committee. A very close second and a show I love is Bath.
What is your favourite part about being a YKC member?
Free tickets to Crufts!
What dog breeds do you have?
Salukis and Whippets.
Do you believe in lucky outfits or charms?
Definitely! (Can I say a pair of red CK boxers?)
Is there anything else you would like to say?
Good luck to all YKC members at this forthcoming Crufts!