Young agility star from Worcestershire crowned winner at Crufts

Daniel, a four-year-old Border Collie, and Mariann Bayliss, 17, from Worcester, won the Young Kennel Club (YKC) Agility Dog of the Year at Crufts on Saturday 12 March.

The competition, which was open to YKC members aged from 6-17 and their dogs, saw top young agility handlers compete for the coveted title of YKC Agility Dog of the Year, before Mariann and Daniel (Lilihaze Spring Dan Sir) triumphed in the Resorts World Arena at the NEC, Birmingham.

Mariann said: “We were going second to last knowing everyone had a foul and that we would likely win with a clear. The pressure was enormous! It is all I have ever dreamed of!”

To reach the Crufts final, YKC members competed at qualifying classes in their categories for under and over 12s, and for small, medium and large dogs, looking to complete an agility course in the fastest time.

Vanessa McAlpine, Crufts Show Manager, said: “We would like to share our huge congratulations to Mariann and Daniel for winning the YKC Agility Dog of the Year! It was great to see Mariann demonstrating such high professionalism and confidence in the ring already, and we will likely be seeing her at many future Crufts. It is always incredible to see the high skill levels in the YKC competitions and all competitors should be proud of themselves for inspiring other young dog handlers.”

If you would like to find out more about the Young Kennel Club and how to join, please contact the YKC team by emailing ykc@thekennelclub.org.uk or by visiting thekennelclub.org.uk/ykc.

Crufts took place from 10 – 13 March at the NEC, Birmingham. For more information and results from the show, please visit crufts.org.uk.