On the final day of Crufts, as most wondered which dog would be named Best in Show, a different kind of trophy was handed to Daisy Bucklend, 15: she was named overall winner of the Young Kennel Club's Shaun McAlpine Outstanding Young Person of the Year.
Already named Young Braveheart of the Year for her success in "battling to overcome personal barriers with her dog to achieve success", Daisy suffers with selective mutism and Asperger syndrome, which always made it very difficult for her to speak and interact with adults outside a familiar environment. However, her family noticed a dramatic change when Daisy and her six year-old Border Terrier, Charlie, joined an agility club and began taking part in agility classes, winning several rosettes. The experience allowed Daisy to grow in confidence, and she can not interact more easily with other people.
Daisy, along with the other categories' winners, were each invited to Crufts 2017 on Sunday 12 March for a special presentation ceremony in the YKC ring. They each received an exclusive ambassador’s badge and certificate signed by the Kennel Club Chairman, Simon Luxmoore.
“I'm really surprised, it's wonderful to win this award," Daisy said upon being named overall winner. "Charlie really looks after me and that's what I love about him most. I love everything about him, I just feel really proud of Charlie."
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said, “Congratulations to this year’s YKC Outstanding Young Person of the Year, Daisy Buckland. Her story is an inspiration to young dog lovers all over the UK and she truly deserves the recognition for all of her hard work, time and effort that she’s put into helping the lives of dogs.
“We are so proud and delighted to be able to have such generous, talented and strong young people as Young Kennel Club members and we urge all young dog lovers to follow in these wonderful finalists’ footsteps.”
Image by onEdition and the Kennel Club.