Young Person of the Year award

Our annual award is the chance to celebrate young people who are transforming the lives of others. We are looking to recognise young people going above and beyond or overcoming huge challenges to demonstrate their love of dogs, and encourage others to become a part the dog world. They could be giving up their time to mentor other young people, training dogs, fundraising or campaigning. Whatever they are doing, they have one thing in common – a desire to make a difference and improve the lives of dogs.

Shaun McAlpine Memorial Trophy

The overall winner of the Young Kennel Club Young Person of the Year award will be presented with the Shaun McAlpine Memorial Trophy. 

The award has been presented at Crufts for over 26 years by Ed and Cindy McAlpine. The award is in memory of Shaun, who tragically died 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, competing at Crufts on many occasions.

Roll of honour
  • 2021 - Lewis Garstang
  • 2020 - Ryan Hennessy
  • 2019 - Paige Jepson
  • 2018 - Lauren Ashby
  • 2017 - Daisy Buckland
  • 2016 - Charlotte-Louise Page
  • 2015 - Oliver Beckett
  • 2014 - Ryan Ross
  • 2013 - Jessica Ward
  • 2012 - Kian Pellow
  • 2011 - Alice Moodie
  • 2010 - Chelsea Hickford
  • 2009 - Linzi Follet
  • 2008 - Joshua Griffin
  • 2007 - Georgina Ferguson
  • 2006 - Stephanie Lansdell
  • 2005 - Chantelle Prior
  • 2004 - Jodie Harrison
  • 2003 - Rachel Buckwell
  • 2002 - Amy Holmes
  • 2001 - Adam Rose
  • 2000 - Jodie Harrison
  • 1999 - Adrian Marett
  • 1998 - Defrel Owen
  • 1997 - Donna-Elena Hardwicke
  • 1996 - Phillippa Noble
  • 1995 - Dona-Elena Hardwicke

2023 awards

The award is split into the five categories listed below.
Find out more about the five categories
Personal Achievement Award - Celebrating young people who have overcome personal challenges with their dog as well as the skills they have developed to achieve success in 2022.

Sporting Talent Award - Celebrating young people who show real passion and dedication for competing or training their dog/s in 2022.

Inspiring Others Award - Celebrating young people and their dogs who, through their positive attitude and inspirational approach, have proved to be a good role model in 2022.

Compassion Award - Celebrating young people who dedicate their time volunteering to help others and gone over and above what would be expected of them in 2022.

Community Award - Celebrating young people who show commitment and passion through social action – fundraising, campaigning, activities at school, college or community for the welfare of dogs in 2022.

Vote for your winner today

Community Award Winner

Inspiring Others Award Winner
Vote for Emer

Find out more about Jessie
Before Jessie joined her local dog training club she was struggling with extreme anxiety and lack of confidence in herself. Jessie asked her local club if she could come along to sit in on classes and observe training. This in turn was provided Jessie with a place to go with her dog Woody and meet other young people. Jessie retuned to the dog training club and then went onto achieving Good Citizen Dog Gold Award with Woody. Now more young people at the club benefit from Jessie’s help and has proved invaluable in this role. Jessie now continues to help others with training their dogs to a higher level. This in turn has given Jessie the support and confidence she was lacking. Jess also helps with the various charity events the dog training club organise and had proved she is capable of doing so, Jessie has served a positive role in the community.
Find out more about Emer
Emer has dedicated her life to dogs. Her passion is both preserving her beloved breed (Japanese Shiba Inu) and also the pedigree dog world, in general. She is extremely passionate about encouraging young people to become involved in the world of dogs, doing everything she can to advise and guide newcomers. Emer is Secretary of the Irish Junior Handler's Association of Ireland and has been since she was just 20 years old. This is a voluntary role and one which she dedicates a massive amount of time and work to. She organizes events, competitions, and fundraisers for the Junior Handlers Association, in the hope that these young people will remain involved in and committed to the dog world. Although based in Ireland, Emer shows in the UK as often as she possibly can and has been a YKC member for many years. She hopes that more young people start to become involved in showing healthy, happy dogs.

Personal Achievement Award
Vote for Izzy

Compassion Award 
Vote for Faith 

Find out more about Izzy
Izzy is an inspiration to so many.... she's been dealt with a difficult few years. Izzy was diagnosed with a vascular malformation tumour during covid and had and is currently still undergoing treatment at Great Ormond Street Hospital. This not only set her back physically, but it also impacted her mental health, causing a great deal of anxiety. She was helped by the charity MIND and as a thankyou decided to run an online dog show and raised £2100 in 2021. She missed over 60% of schooling due to illness but with lots of revision and hard work she still managed to pass all her GCSE’s and is currently studying A Level’s and planning to start a career within the canine industry. Izzy's dogs have played a huge part in her recovery.
Find out more about Faith
Faith is such an inspiring young person who has shown true dedication to the sport of dog agility, she attends many shows over the year and is always the first to offer her assistance. Faith has shown promising potential and is capable of so much, she is an amazing handler and has endless amounts of knowledge, and this is purely from her commitment to helping out at shows at such a young age, learning the ropes and being an amazing volunteer. She is competent in all areas of ring management (including scriming) and works tirelessly all day, at whatever task she is given. Faith has a very positive attitude, is always smiling and gives encouragement to all competitors. Faith hopes to one day become an agility judge.

Sporting Talent Award
Vote for Ryan

Find out more about Ryan
Ryan is the youngest member of his agility club. Last year saw him take his Jack Russell dog Mitsi to grade 7 and they also made the Junior Team GB team and travelled to Finland where they excelled getting 4 out of 4 clear rounds for his team. Ryan and his sister along with us at club fund raised funds for this trip and Ryan showed great maturity and understanding in this. After, a not so great start in life where he was born 8 weeks premature he has certainly shown great strength and courage, he amazes us at club with his confidence when faced with a big challenge. Ryan is over the moon just to be nominated.