MK teen wins young handler of the year at Crufts

Winner of the YKC Young Handler competition Antonia Leech with Elvis and second winner Kyle Andrews with Piglet, on the fourth and final day of Crufts 2016, at the NEC Birmingham. Picture by -onEdition and the Kennel Club
Winner of the YKC Young Handler competition Antonia Leech with Elvis and second winner Kyle Andrews with Piglet, on the fourth and final day of Crufts 2016, at the NEC Birmingham. Picture by -onEdition and the Kennel Club

A teenager has won the Young Kennel Club Handler of the Year award at Crufts with her dog Elvis.

Antonia Leech, from Great Brickhill, and her five year-old Basenji took first place in the YKC ring on Sunday.

The competition was open to Young Kennel Club (YKC) members from the ages of 6-24 years and their dogs.

Antonia, 18, said: “I’m absolutely elated, I just can’t believe it. The standard of competition was ridiculous; it was just so high which makes it extra special.

“It certainly makes me feel great and it was a complete surprise.”

To reach the Crufts final, YKC members competed in age appropriate categories: 6-11, 12-16 and 17-24 years.

Junior handling qualifiers were held across the country throughout the year and the first place in each age group qualified for their respective finals at Crufts, with Elvis and Antonia winning the ultimate title of YKC Handler of the Year.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “Congratulations to Elvis and Antonia for winning YKC Handler of the Year. Handler of the Year is a fantastic title to win and no doubt we will see them at Crufts for many years to come.”

For further information about Crufts visit www.crufts.org.uk.

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