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Countdown to Crufts 2013


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Crufts 2012 Lhasa Apso, Elizabeth owned by Margaret Anderson


The trophies are polished, the collars are on, the nation’s sweetheart, Clare Balding is warming up. It can mean only one thing - the world’s greatest dog show, Crufts is almost upon us.

No longer just a dog show, Crufts 2013 is bursting at the seams, packed full of events and competitions that celebrate the talents of man’s best friend. The  Crufts Factor competition is back, the tear-jerking Friends for Life competition returns, while agility, flyball and heelwork to music will all be captivating worldwide audiences.

Making its debut at Crufts 2013 will be the crossbreed only competition, Scruffts, but of course, what the world will be waiting for is the judge’s decision on which canine will take Crufts Best in Show on Sunday March 10th.

145,000 people are expected to come through the doors of the NEC from the 7th – 10th March to meet the 27,000 dogs that will be at Crufts over the four days. Visitors will be able to watch the live events each day throughout the NEC and speak to experts about different breeds and the future of dog health.

Olympic medallist Mark Foster is diving into the role of judge for the return of the Crufts Factor competition, which promises a final of the finest canine talent following headline success in its premier year at Crufts 2012. ITV’s ‘That Dog Can Dance’ winner Lucy Heath will be joining Mark on Sunday March 10th as they decide which act will triumph.

Samantha Brick, journalist and previous Celebrity Big Brother contestant will be making a special guest appearance in the Arena on Friday March 8th as she will be making the difficult decision of choosing the Scruffts Family Crossbreed Dog of the Year. The competition, sponsored by James Wellbeloved, will see class winners Becky, Rascal, Alfie and Barley, all crossbreeds with unique and heart-warming stories, go head to head in the first ever Scruffts final to be held at Crufts.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary said: “Crufts really is a fantastic event. Each year it continues to grow and we are delighted to see the Crufts Factor return and the first ever Scruffts final to be held at the show.

“One of my favourite competitions is Friends for Life - each year we hear amazing stories of how dogs have helped people pull through illnesses, given those with disabilities a new lease of life or worked with search teams to rescue those in need. I doubt there will be a dry eye in the arena when these fantastic dogs enter.

“There are so many dogs for the public to meet, greet and fall in love with throughout the show. We have around 200 different breeds visitors can find out all about and each day we will have special rescue dogs make an appearance on the Kennel Club Breed Rescue and Kennel Club Charitable Trust stand.”

For the first time ever, there will be a KCAI Career Zone hosted by the Kennel Club Accredited Instructors scheme in collaboration with Purina PRO PLAN. Aimed at professionals in the dog world, the KCAI Career Zone will see industry experts offer seminars, workshops and career guidance relevant to those who work with dogs across a range of disciplines, from dog trainers and behaviourists to dog wardens and re-homing volunteers. KCAI members and professionals working with dogs, who book into the Career Zone in advance, will be offered free entry to Crufts.

National TV treasure Clare Balding will again be engaging viewers, guiding them through the canine extravaganza on More 4 from Thursday to Sunday and then culminating on Channel 4 for the Best in Show finale on Sunday evening. Viewers throughout the UK will be enthralled by all things canine as they are introduced to the hundreds of different pedigree breeds, the wonderful canine sports and the famous Best in Show competition. Those outside the UK can watch all the key action live on the Crufts YouTube Channel - www.youtube.com/officialcrufts.

Crufts is a British institution, that has been entertaining the country and its dogs for over 120 years. It has changed in ways Charles Cruft could never have imagined, but the one thing that hasn’t changed is the passion the owners have for their dogs.

Tickets cost £14 for adults in advance and £17 on the door. Best in Show tickets start from £17.50. Concessions are also available. All tickets are subject to a booking fee.  Book by calling the Crufts Ticket Hotline at The Ticket Factory on 0844 444 99 44, or online at www.theticketfactory.com.

The Crufts we love is back and better than ever. For more information visit www.crufts.org.uk.


Kennel Club and Royal Canin Invest in Education Of Dog Owners and Breeders


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Royal Canin and the Kennel Club have announced a partnership which will help support education of dog owners and breeders.  The programme includes support of the Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme and a series of Breeder Seminars to be held throughout the year.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary said: “The Good Citizen Dog Scheme has been growing steadily over the last 20 years and it has now become one of the Kennel Club’s major success stories with ‘grass roots’ responsible dog ownership at its heart.  Breeders have been taking more and more interest in the area of health and we are delighted to be working with Royal Canin to establish a platform for education on a broad range of health issues for breeders.”

The Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme has been funded solely by the Kennel Club for the benefit of dog owners for over 20 years.  Royal Canin’s involvement will help the scheme to broaden its audience and promote its educational messages to dog owners.

Gary Gray from Royal Canin said: “We are delighted to be involved in this programme of education.  It fits with our long established programme of activities to support dog owners and breeders.”

The Kennel Club established the Breeder Symposium a number of years ago, but it has only been able to educate a limited number of breeders on the topics of health, science and dog breeding issues.  This partnership will allow many more breeders to receive expert support in this area across a number of regions in the UK.

 A full list of Breeder Seminars will be announced in May.



Huge Interest In First Career Zone At Crufts


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Over 2,200 people who work with dogs have registered in advance of Crufts this week, to take advantage of the first ever dedicated resource for canine professionals at the show - the KCAI Career Zone in partnership with Purina PRO PLAN. 

The Career Zone has been developed by the Kennel Club’s KCAI Scheme and Purina PRO PLAN, as part of their commitment to support canine professionals by delivering the highest standards of care and advice to dog owners in the UK, under the quality badge of the KCAI Scheme.

Part of the Career Zone’s offering to visitors is a comprehensive programme of lectures being given by some of the most respected names in the dog world.  Such has been the level of interest that capacity has had to be increased in the KCAI Career Zone lecture theatre and, even with this increase all the lectures are fully booked.   Those not lucky enough to secure a place at one of the lectures have registered to take the opportunity to talk to the KCAI Expert Panel members to develop their careers or to get advice on current issues.

Over 600 dog trainers and canine behaviourists have registered to attend, but other professions are very well represented too: there will be nearly 50 dog wardens, 320 dog groomers, 183 vets and vet nurses, 200 rescue & rehoming professionals and 120 assistance dog professionals in attendance.  And it is not just those in the more ‘established’ dog professions that are taking advantage of the Career Zone: over 400 visitors are expected who work in the growing areas of dog walking or pet sitting. 

Laura Colborn, Manager of the KCAI Scheme says: “The Career Zone is a very exciting opportunity for anyone who works with dogs to learn from some of the very best in the business.  The KCAI Scheme and PRO PLAN have a shared passion for improving the health and welfare of dogs and we are delighted that so many canine professionals will be visiting the Career Zone. 

“By improving their knowledge and professional standing through the KCAI Scheme, canine professionals will help ensure dog owners receive the standard of care they deserve for their pets. The KCAI Scheme’s flexible framework and modules across a huge range of subjects ensure that those working with dogs have the opportunity to gain a nationally recognised, externally validated qualification and achieve the badge of quality that indicates a professional level of service.

“We look forward to welcoming all those who work with dogs to the Career Zone and helping them achieve the national benchmark in canine advice and services through the KCAI Scheme.”

Although advance booking for the Career Zone at Crufts is now closed, all dog trainers and those who work with dogs are encouraged to visit the area to learn how they can benefit from membership of the KCAI Scheme.



Kennel Club Veterinary Health Checks: Behind The Scenes
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A short film showing what happens during a veterinary health check at General and Group Championship dog shows has been released by the Kennel Club.

The film, created in time for Crufts, is a candid look at the friendly and non-invasive process involved, and demonstrates what the vets look for during a veterinary health check. It was produced for the benefit of exhibitors, judges and the veterinary surgeons involved in the process, as well as anyone else interested in how the vet checks work.  

Veterinary health checks for the high profile breeds were introduced in March 2012 at all General and Group Championship shows, and a dog must pass this check before its Best of Breed or Champion title is confirmed.  The checks aim to identify if there are any visible clinical signs of pain or discomfort, caused to a dog as a result of exaggerations.  During a check the vet will assess a number of aspects of the dog, as per Kennel Club guidelines.    

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “The veterinary health checks have caused some controversy since their introduction, so we created the film to show that the veterinary health checks are a simple, straightforward procedure, with the health of the dog at their heart.

“The vet check process is a far more relaxed and friendly one than many people realise, and the main consideration is always the welfare of the dog involved.

“We are pleased at how the first full year of vet checks has gone and are confident that results will be equally impressive as we progress through the first part of 2013, with continued great work from breeders and exhibitors of the high profile breeds.”

To read the end of year review for the veterinary health checks for 2012, visit http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/item/4704 .


The veterinary health check film can be viewed at the Kennel Club’s Breeding for the Future stand at Crufts, from March 7th to 10th, and can be viewed online at http://www.youtube.com/thekennelclub .


Pam St Clement and Samantha Brick To Judge The First Scruffts Final Held At Crufts

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Annabelle Shemming - Scruftts Child's Best Friend Winner 2012

Famous animal lovers, Pam St Clement, best known as Pat Butcher from EastEnders, and national columnist and Celebrity Big Brother contestant, Samantha Brick are heading to Crufts to judge the crossbreed dog competition, Scruffts.

For the first time in its twelve year history, the final of the prestigious Scruffts Family Crossbreed Dog of the Year competition, run by the Kennel Club and sponsored by James Wellbeloved, is taking place at Crufts at the NEC in Birmingham. Special celebrity judges Pam and Samantha will join the four finalists, Alfie, Barley, Becky and Rascal, in the Crufts main arena when the competition takes place on Friday March 8th.

The four finalists secured their place after winning their class finals at Discover Dogs in London last November, beating almost 100 other contenders who had qualified at local heats held around the country. The finalists were selected from their respective categories: Prettiest Bitch (Becky), Most Handsome Dog (Alfie), Golden Oldie (Rascal) and Child’s Best Friend (Barley).

Prettiest Bitch finalist Becky is a true mongrel - “the epitome of the competition” explains her owner Margaret McKnight from Bangor, County Down. Becky was rescued along with her litter mates from the River Lagan near Belfast seven years ago and now lives with retired teacher Margaret.

Most Handsome Dog finalist Alfie is a Labrador/Great Dane cross. His owners, Neil and Zoe Stow from Poole, Dorset took him in after seeing him being advertised by his previous owner who could not care for him properly. Neil said: “We were his fifth home. He was incredibly nervous when we got him and was so skinny you could see every one of his ribs. He is now however becoming a really happy, confident, affectionate and loving dog.”

Rascal, a 10 year old Jack Russell/Norfolk Terrier cross is the Golden Oldie finalist. Rascal was adopted by Anne Worthington from Dereham, Norfolk, at the age of 6 months, and has been a loyal, loving and constant companion of Anne, keeping her company whilst her husband is away with the RAF.

Barley is a Pyrenean Mountain Dog/Golden Retriever cross. His best friend is 14 year old Annabelle Shemming from Ipswich, Suffolk, and together they are the Child’s Best Friend finalists. “Barley is so special and different - he loves sleeping and eating, he is very intelligent and also stubborn.” Annabelle explained.


Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club secretary said: “Scruffts is a fantastic competition that recognises wonderful crossbreed dogs and introduces them to all of the fun of the showring. Scruffts has grown and grown since its beginnings in early 2000, we have held the final at our London event Discover Dogs for a number of years and this year felt it was time to showcase the country's favourite competition for crossbreeds at the world's greatest dog show, Crufts.

“Crossbreed dogs certainly aren’t new to Crufts - they have been taking part in the show for many years in activities such as agility and flyball and the Kennel Club has been registering crossbreed dogs since the 1940's. However, this is the first time a crossbreed only showing event will be taking place at the world's greatest dog show.“

Scruffts is run in support of the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, which has donated over £6.7m worth of grants to benefit the canine world since its inception in 1987. Its mission is to promote the improvement of dogs through charitable donations and helping to fund research into canine health problems. The Kennel Club is hoping that more people will get involved with Scruffts throughout 2013, raising more money to make a difference for dogs and spending time with their own dogs in the process.

To find out more about Scruffts please visit www.scruffts.org.uk.




Visit AHT At Crufts And Support Their Cycling Challenge
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The Animal Health Trust is looking forward to being at Crufts this year and hopes to have many visitors to their stand.

This year their focus is on cancer and they plan to raise funds and awareness through holding various cycling events throughout the year including a 400 hundred mile ride over 4 days on training bikes.

Cancer is one of the most common diseases in dogs with one in four developing the disease at some point in their life, which is why AHT have a world-class oncology research group as well as a newly built cancer treatment centre, The Kennel Club Cancer Centre at the AHT, that was officially opened in November 2012. However, support is still needed to help fund this programme. 

You can learn about the great work they are doing at The Kennel Club Cancer Centre and the Kennel Club Genetics Centre, both at the AHT, then pop by the Breeding for the Future Zone next to the AHT stand where you can have a chat with canine cancer and genetics experts.

AHT’s fundraising dogs will be there greet you, including two gorgeous Leonbergers who cannot wait to have their photo taken with AHT supporters.  Representatives from the AHT will be happy to supply you with information on their cycling events too.


Unscrupulous Breeders Cash In On Twilight's Wolf Dog Craze

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Siberian Husky


Official registrations of ‘wolf type’ dog breeds, popularised by the likes of Twilight and Game of Thrones, have dropped as rescue figures for these breeds continue to increase, leading to fears that unscrupulous breeders are cashing in on the latest canine craze.

The Kennel Club has released the statistics, ahead of Crufts, which show that pedigree registrations of dog breeds resembling the wolf, such as the Siberian Husky, Akita and Alaskan Malamute have dropped. There was a 23 percent drop (to 1,053) in Alaskan Malamute registrations in 2012, a 15 percent drop (to 1,684) in Siberian Huskies, and a 30 percent drop (to 732) in Akitas.

At the same time, Kennel Club Breed Rescue organisations rehomed 203 dogs within these breeds last year, and this is just the tip of the iceberg with many other breed and general rescue homes also struggling to cope with the ever increasing numbers coming through their doors. The Kennel Club Breed Rescue organisation, Akita Rescue and Welfare Trust, which will be at Crufts, saw the number of dogs needing rehoming treble to 91 in 2012 and the Friends of Akitas Trust took in another 35. Similarly, the Siberian Husky Club of Great Britain Welfare Scheme reached its maximum capacity last year, which alongside two other rescue organisations took in 158 huskies in 2012. Meanwhile the Japanese Akita Welfare Trust rescued more than 100 dogs.

These breeds have gained popularity due to the likes of Jacob Black’s half man half wolf character in Twilight and the Dire Wolf based on the Northern Inuit dog in Game of Thrones, to which these breeds display close similarities.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “Crufts is the perfect chance to get people talking about dogs, and we hope that the opportunity to see around 200 breeds over the course of the event will encourage people to research the differences between the various breeds before they buy.

“One of the biggest reasons that Kennel Club Breed Rescue organisations are overflowing with dogs is because people have bought a breed of dog that is not suited to their lifestyle, often from irresponsible breeders, and they later can’t cope with their needs.”

Stephanie Brown, from Akita Rescue & Welfare Trust which will be at the Kennel Club Breed Rescue area at Crufts, said: “We simply cannot cope with the ever growing number of Akitas we are being asked to take on. Akitas are big strong dogs, should not be let off lead in public due to their prey drive and lack of recall. They are a luxury to own and are not cheap to look after.  They are suitable for people who understand the specific breed traits and can give them a stable, permanent home.

“Too many people are advertising Akitas on the likes of Gumtree and Facebook and selling their pups with no papers to unsuitable homes. Many land in the hands of dog fighting gangs. People on Facebook are putting their dogs out to stud for as little as a six pack of beer and selling puppies to the highest bidder. Health issues and temperament are of major importance in selective intelligent breeding. People should always do their research before they buy, and then only go to a Kennel Club Assured Breeder or to one of the four UK Akita Rescues.”

Sue Jones, from Siberian Husky Club of Great Britain Welfare, said: “All the Siberian rescues are inundated with unwanted Siberian Huskies. Sadly the breed is a victim of its own beauty and people buy without making themselves aware of its needs. Huskies need lots of exercise and company, to be kept on a lead when out on a walk and to have secure fencing in the garden.

“Sadly, people often want to walk the walk but aren’t willing to talk the talk when it comes to this breed.”

The Kennel Club is also concerned that people are buying these breeds of dog from unscrupulous breeders who are willing to sell puppies to people regardless of whether they are suited for their lifestyles.

Many of these breeders trade over the internet, which is the most popular way to buy a puppy. There is currently no legislation to deal with breeders who sell pups online, although the Kennel Club is one of a number of animal welfare charities trying to set guidelines of good practice through the Pet Advertising Advisory Group. It also runs the Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme, so that people can find breeders who agree to put the health and welfare of their dogs first and who find out about the suitability of the owner before they sell their puppies.

Sally Leich, a Kennel Club Assured Breeder of Siberian Huskies, said: “Too many breeders are selling their puppies with no questions asked, in order to cash in on the latest canine craze. The internet makes this so much easier because you can simply get a puppy delivered to your door.

“Any good breeder will vet potential owners and make sure they know what the breed is like and that they have the right sort of lifestyle, before they would consider letting them have one of their pups. Siberians Huskies are a specialist breed and they have certain requirements; people should ensure that they are fully aware of these needs before they buy.”



Help-A-Dog-A-Thon, Powered by Samsung
DONATE A LIKE AND HELP US PROVIDE A HEALTH CHECK TO 2,000 DOGS.

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Celebrating 20 years of Crufts sponsorship, Samsung wishes to deliver and share its commitment and care to dogs. Samsung, Blue Cross, and Crufts have come together to launch the Help-A-Dog-A-Thon Facebook app, and are  calling for your help to participate in providing much needed health checks for homeless dogs being cared for by the pet charity Blue Cross.

Come and “adopt” your very own virtual rescue dog and care for the dog, and just by doing that you are helping us raise the much-needed money that is required to fund 2,000 health checks.  All dogs that come to Blue Cross are given a full MOT before being found a happy new home. Part of this is a health check by a vet who will look at the condition of a dog’s coat, skin and teeth, check weight, measure heart rate and breathing, and check the dog’s hearing and sight.

Get Involved

Choose your very own virtual homeless dog and interact with it to make sure your dog has everything it needs to be happy and healthy – from taking it for a walk to buying it a new ball. For every virtual dog “adopted”, for every ‘Like’ donated, Samsung will make a contribution towards a vital health check for a Blue Cross rescue dog – so come and play and help a rescue dog today!

Just log in to Facebook and help raise money for the Samsung and Blue Cross rescue dogs here:


www.facebook.com/crufts

www.facebook.com/samsunguk



Crufts Birthday Present For Youngest Competitor

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Findlay Penniston and Kaylee

Findlay Penniston from Helensburgh, Argyll turned seven this Sunday and next week will be seeing his birthday wish come true as he competes at the world’s greatest dog show, Crufts.

Findlay is believed to be the youngest person to compete at Crufts this year, and he will be handling his dog Kaylee, a Norwegian Buhund, in the Young Kennel Club ring on March 10th, cheered on by his proud family.

Findlay’s mother, Debbie has been showing dogs since she was fourteen and her enthusiasm has obviously rubbed off on Findlay. From a very young age, he attended dog shows with his mum and was always keen to be involved. He would help when he could, previously assisting his mother in the Kennel Club’s Breeders’ Competition. However, he had to wait until the age of six before he could show dogs by himself and become a Young Kennel Club member.

Debbie says: “Showing dogs is in our blood. Findlay’s great-great grandmother had the Graymount kennel of Pekingese dogs over 100 years ago and we have lots of memorabilia from her time in the show ring.

“We currently have two Norwegian Buhunds from the USA and both of them took an instant shine to Findlay. He has handled them in both junior handling and breed classes.  Both of the dogs really enjoy having a child to look after and living in the house as part of the family.

“Findlay enjoys the razzmatazz of dog showing and the challenge of getting a dog to work for him, although he also enjoys getting mucky about our farm and playing in the fields with the dogs, much as I did as a youngster.”

Findlay says: “Going to Crufts will be awesome - I have never been before.”

Crufts takes place at the Birmingham NEC from 7th – 10th March. For more information or tickets visit www.crufts.org.uk.

The Young Kennel Club is open to all young people aged from 6 to 24 -  whether they own a dog or not. To find out more about the YKC, and how to join visit: www.ykc.org.uk .


Crufts Dream Comes True For Young Caitlin

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Caitlin Channon is no ordinary ten year old. The schoolgirl, from Exeter, acts as a part time carer for her mother, and has won a place at the world’s greatest dog show, Crufts in March.

Caitlin, whose ambition is to become a dog show judge, is on her way to make that dream a reality as she prepares to step into the Young Kennel Club Ring at the world famous dog show with her family’s dog, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel called Codi.

Caitlin is a schoolgirl by day and a selfless young lady by night. Each evening when she comes home from school, Catlin, along with her brother, twelve year old Conor, acts as a carer for their mother Samantha who has several spinal problems. As well as housework, Caitlin makes sure the family dogs are well walked, fed and groomed.

Caitlin has always loved dogs and, after spending time with her godmother, Trudi, who shows dogs, decided she wanted to follow in her footsteps and start showing. Aged just five, Caitlin told Trudi that she wanted to take the dogs into the show ring herself - Trudi explained that you have to be six years old to take a dog into the show ring and to ask her again in a year if she was interested. On Caitlin’s sixth birthday she asked her godmother if now she could do it.

Caitlin’s mum Samantha explains: “Caitlin lives for the show ring - she loves dogs and they love her too. Showing is not just about what goes on in the ring - she is also responsible for grooming and taking care of our dogs, and she does such a fantastic job.

“I am so happy that she has qualified for Crufts - it is such a wonderful achievement and a great reward for all of her hard work. She wants to be a dog show judge and so taking part in Crufts, with judges from all over the world around her, is a huge deal. Caitlin is a normal ten year old with an extraordinary life - sometimes I think she is older than her years, but then she goes and does something any other ten year old would do and I think, no she is definitely only ten!”

Caitlin’s school, Bowhill Primary School, is supporting her passion. Teacher, Matthew Smout said: "We all know about Crufts and it is amazing to have one of our pupils go there and take part at such a young age. Caitlin is a dedicated young girl and we are all wishing her luck and cannot wait to find out how she gets on."

Crufts takes place from 7th-10th March, Catlin will be competing on 8th March in the Young Kennel Club Handling competition in the Young Kennel Club ring.



Local Girl and Her DogTo Be Given Special Award At Crufts

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Sarah Cunnington and Alfie


Fifteen year old Sarah Cunnington from Northamptonshire will be taking centre stage with her dog, Alfie, a Cocker Spaniel, at the world’s greatest dog show, Crufts next month. Sarah will be presented with the Young Kennel Club’s prestigious John MacDougall Quaich.

The John MacDougall Quaich, which is awarded by the Young Kennel Club (YKC) is given annually to a YKC member who has shown considerable promise and dedication in a range of Kennel Club disciplines.

Sarah was nominated for the award after impressing her trainers at the annual YKC Summer Camp near Melton Mowbray last July. Lucy Creek, who worked with Sarah in heelwork to music, the activity made famous by Ashleigh Butler and Pudsey on Britain’s Got Talent said: “Sarah is helpful and extremely polite. She is always willing to give everything that the trainers put forward a go, and was a great example to the younger members throughout the week.”

Sarah says: “I am absolutely delighted to win this award. Alfie worked really hard at Summer Camp and we both learnt so much from it.  He is the most amazing dog and I am so very proud of him.”

The John MacDougall Quaich has a long history within the Young Kennel Club. It originally recognised multi-talented dogs and was presented to the triathlon winner at Crufts, but later it was decided that the award should be presented to a YKC member who had shown dedication, put in lots of effort and was seen to improve the most over a range of disciplines at Summer Camp.

The trophy was acquired in 1997 and is a sterling silver quaich on a wooden plinth with a sterling silver band.  It was donated by Sir John Spurling KVCVO, OBE to the Kennel Club Junior Organisation, as the YKC was known at the time, in memory of the late John MacDougall, former Chairman of the Kennel Club.

Sarah will be presented with the John MacDougall Quaich by President of the Young Kennel Club, Valerie Foss on Saturday March 9th at 14.45 on the YKC Stand at Crufts.

If you would like to find out more about the Young Kennel Club and how to join please contact the YKC team on 020 7518 1030 or visit


Obedience Rewarded At Crufts

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Lydia and Magic

Local teenager, Lydia Urquhart-Smith from Immingham, Lincolnshire and her dog Magic will be presented with a special award at the world’s greatest dog show, Crufts.

The pair will be presented with the Rebecca Pointer Memorial Award at Crufts at the NEC, Birmingham on Thursday March 7th after gaining the most points in dog obedience with the Young Kennel Club (YKC) over the past year.

Seventeen year old student Lydia, who dreams of becoming a veterinary nurse, excelled at obedience with her Border Collie, Magic, whose Kennel Club name is Beat Baxa Ladylikee. The pair achieved a total of 182 points over the last year, 44 more points than their nearest competitors. The presentation provides the winners with the recognition that both the young people and their dogs deserve for working so hard at obedience shows all year.

The Rebecca Pointer competition is run annually for YKC members aged 6-24. The trophy is presented each year at Crufts to the YKC member who has achieved the most points with their dog in obedience. Points are given for wins and places up to sixth at YKC events and classes at Companion, Limited, Open and Championship dog shows.

Lydia has been immersed in dog obedience from a young age. Her grandmother, Mel Ely, runs Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme club, Klever K9s, which holds classes in Humberston, Grimsby and Habrough, and from a young age Lydia was keen to help. At first Lydia started training with her grandmother’s dogs, but when she was old enough she was allowed her own dogs and keenly trained them. Now Lydia helps other people and teaches obedience and agility at Klever K9s.

Looking forward to Crufts, Lydia said: “It is so overwhelming and rewarding to have achieved such a great award with Magic. Magic is my only dog and, from having her from a puppy, she has always been a pleasure to train and live with. She is a perfect dog and I couldn’t ask anything else of her - she gives 110% in everything she does.

“Other than training, Magic enjoys nothing more than a good long walk in some muddy woods or curling up in bed. Magic doesn’t only compete in obedience, but she also competes in heelwork to music and agility. I find all three sports very rewarding and love trying out different things nearly as much as Magic. She’s also quite keen at barrel racing and rally.

“Magic and I have travelled all over, taking part in different training days and weekends to try and learn something new. I take Magic everywhere with me - she is like a best friend, and anywhere I go she goes.”

The Young Kennel Club is open to all young people aged from 6 to 24 -  whether they own a dog or not. To find out more about the YKC, and how to join, or if you are a member and interested in this competition for next year, contact the Young Kennel Club team on 020 7518 1030 or visit www.ykc.org.uk
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Young Volunteer to Receive Award At Crufts


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Daniel McGuire, 17, from Maidstone in Kent will receive a special award at the world’s greatest dog show, Crufts next month. Daniel has been a volunteer with the Cinnamon Trust for two years and his dedication and reliability have earned him recognition as their Young Volunteer of the Year 2012.

Throughout 2012, Daniel was one of a team of volunteers who ensured that Belle, a Collie cross, enjoyed a daily walk. Belle’s owner, Joyce, suffers from dementia and although she cannot walk Belle, Joyce gains so much from her faithful, loving friend – in fact it is safe to say Belle is Joyce’s world.

Daniel, who walks Belle for Joyce twice a week, said: “I started as part of my Duke of Edinburgh award but liked it so much that I carried on!  I’m glad I can help as Belle is a great dog.”

Daniel will receive the prestigious Young Volunteer of the Year trophy at Crufts on Saturday 9th March at 11.30am in the Young Kennel Club ring.

Mrs Averil Jarvis, Founder and Chief Executive of the Cinnamon Trust, said “Daniel’s level of commitment and absolute reliability tipped the balance in his favour ahead of several other strong candidates for this award.”

In conjunction with the Young Kennel Club, the Cinnamon Trust scheme encourages young people who love dogs to help frail, older people who also love dogs but are unable to fully care for their canine companion themselves. It’s a win-win-win situation - the dog wins as they get a fun walk and stay healthy, the owner wins as they get peace of mind with a happy dog, and the young volunteer wins as they make new friends and gain a great sense of pride.


RELATED ARTICLE:  The Cinnamon Trust



Woman Overcomes Grief To Fulfill Dream of Competing At Crufts


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Karen Goodall


Karen Goodall, a veterinary nurse from Wakefield lost four stone to fulfill her lifelong dream to compete at Crufts and will compete at the world’s biggest show next month at the NEC, Birmingham with her Cocker Spaniel, Breeze.

Karen, aged 43, has had a difficult few years and found herself comfort eating after the loss of her sister to cancer and the death of her father. With her mother suffering from Alzheimers, she was struggling to come to terms with all that had happened to her.

Karen started competing in dog agility to lose the weight she had gained after the loss of her sister and father.  Karen commented: “Since l lost my sister and dad l put on a lot of weight, but by competing in agility and taking part in the training l have lost four stone and feel great. It helped me get out and meet friends; it really has given me something to look forward to each day. I’m enjoying life again and it’s down to my dogs, agility and dog showing, alongside my wonderfully supportive husband Andrew, that I’ve been able to pick myself back up.”

Breeze was welcomed into the family after they had lost one of their dogs, Smokey, a nine year old Cocker Spaniel after a three year battle with meningitis.  Karen began competing in agility with her other dog Inca in 2009 before starting to train and show Breeze last year.

Karen said: “Breeze is my first ever show dog and competes as Samsonli Sapphire Girl. I didn’t even think of showing her until someone I work with mentioned it to me. We started her off competing in agility and still hope to continue with the agility training as well as showing her.  I didn’t have any experience of showing and didn’t know where to start, but my friend Tammy helped me learn how to groom her and gave me lots of advice on how to show Breeze.”

Karen will be showing 11 month old Breeze on Saturday 9th March in the special puppy class at Crufts. Talking of competing next month at Crufts, Karen said: “I have only ever gone to Crufts as a visitor in the past and this is a lifelong dream of mine to compete with my very own dog at Crufts. It really has been a fantastic boost after such a bad few years and it’s extra special that it’s with Breeze as she is of the same pedigree line as Smokey.”

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “Karen really has been through a difficult time and her story can inspire others going through similar situations. By becoming involved in dog showing and agility, she has improved her confidence and boosted her fitness, losing an incredible four stone. This is a wonderful example of how dog sports can really help with health and fitness for owners and dogs. The Kennel Club’s Get Fit With Fido campaign encourages people like Karen looking to improve their health and fitness with the help of their dogs.

“We wish Karen and Breeze all the best for Crufts and look forward to hearing of their future successes in showing and agility.”

Crufts take place from 7 - 10 March 2013 at the NEC, Birmingham. For more information visit www.crufts.org.uk


World Book Day Comes To Crufts


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Reading to Danny the greyhound

The Kennel Club’s Bark and Read Foundation will be giving away free books to children at Crufts in celebration of World Book Day (March 7th).

To mark the occasion, Bark and Read, with the help of Danny the Greyhound, a Reading, Education and Assistance Dog, will be giving ten copies of Danny’s new book away at the Library and Gallery stand at Crufts to promote the benefits of children reading to dogs.

Danny, who is sponsored by the Kennel Club’s Bark and Read Foundation to go into schools and listen to children read, will be at the world’s biggest dog show to promote Bark and Read and to launch his new book, ‘Danny Strikes Out In America’.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary said: “World Book Day aims to help children explore the pleasure of books and reading by providing children with the opportunity to have a book of their own.

“In celebration of this and the first day of Crufts, we will be giving out copies of Danny’s new book to promote the benefits of reading and show how magical books can be.

“The Bark and Read Foundation was started in November 2011 and some of the results we have seen since the beginning have been fantastic. Improved literacy and confidence levels are just two examples of the benefits to children.”

Also taking part in events on the Library and Gallery stand at Crufts on World Book Day are children from Maplefields School in Corby, Northants, who are visited once a week by Danny and his owner, Tony for a read to dogs session.

Bev Wright, Deputy Headteacher at Maplefields School said: “It’s really moving to see the close and trusting relationship between the children and Danny. As teachers, we know very well that emotional security is important in allowing children to take risks with their learning, as fear of failure can often prevent them even trying. The beauty of Danny is that the children know they won’t be judged when they read to him.”

One pupil from the school, Macey aged eight commented: “I like reading with Danny because he’s cuddly and soft and cute. I look forward to him coming in and reading stories to him.”

The Bark and Read Foundation is funded by the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, and supports four charities: Pets As Therapy, through their Read 2 Dogs programme; Reading Education Assistance Dogs (READ); Dogs Helping Kids, a North Devon charity and Caring Canines, based in Bournemouth. The Bark and Read initiative improves pupils’ literacy skills and confidence through encouraging them to read to a non-judgemental companion, and is free for schools to take part.

For more information visit www.thekennelclub.org.uk/barkandread .


Dog Who Changed Owner's Life After Strokes Heads To Crufts

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Ludo


A dog from Gravesend which helped his owner recover after she suffered two strokes is heading to Birmingham next Sunday (11th March) to compete at the world’s greatest dog show, Crufts.

Ludo, a five year old Portuguese Water Dog, became the inspiration for owner Cheryl Matton’s recovery after she fell ill suddenly back in 2010.

Cheryl, now 30, suffered two strokes, leaving her with slurred speech, reduced vision and the inability to read or recognise family members. Following this life-changing incident, Ludo was looked after by family members temporarily whilst Cheryl recovered in hospital.

After eight long days in the hospital, Cheryl returned home with Ludo, at which point their bond was strengthened.  Cheryl says: “After spending ten minutes sniffing and checking me out, he decided his main purpose from that moment on was to protect me.

“I spent the next three months trying to recover as best I could, but I quickly realised I had become quite fearful of leaving my house and I seriously lacked self-confidence.  I had pretty much given up on the idea of ever taking the dogs to dog shows again.”

With the help of an occupational therapist, Cheryl was able to walk Ludo herself again safely, and the pair got back into training classes.

Cheryl says: “Ludo adapted so well to my new ‘funny speech’ and slower pace that we were finally encouraged to enter another dog show which has now led us to Crufts.

“It has been a long battle during my recovery and through it all Ludo has been my rock, along with my husband of course! My confidence and health has improved so much due to my life with dogs, and taking them to dog shows has played a massive part in this.  Ludo was even awarded his Show Champion title after doing so well at Kennel Club-licensed Championship shows.

“I truly owe my life as it is now to all my dogs, but one in particular – the beautiful Ludo.”

As well as competing at Crufts, Ludo will be representing his breed at the Discover Dogs area of the show on Thursday 7th March, where the public are invited to come and meet around 200 different breeds of pedigree dog throughout the duration of the show, and find out more about their favourites by speaking to breed experts.

Crufts takes place at the Birmingham NEC from 7th – 10th March. For more information or tickets visit www.crufts.org.uk .

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