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When Caitlin Forbes first competed in the Westie ring at the age of 7, she immediately set her sights on competing in the YKC ring. These days she works as a Registered Veterinary Nurse. We caught up with her to find out more about her experience volunteering at the YKC.
I was a member of the YKC for 18 years, I started volunteering nine years ago.
As a member, I competed in handling, stakes and grooming. I have volunteered on the stand at Crufts selling merchandise and memberships, working as part of the YKC ring party at Crufts and in the past couple of years have helped at the SKC/YKC Camp in Scotland.
I am a Registered Veterinary Nurse and work primarily in surgery.
Veterinary Nursing (BSc) at Napier University.
I competed in the Westie ring for the first time when I was 7 at Crufts and was hooked. I knew from there that I wanted to compete in the YKC ring. The following year I qualified for the UK handling finals for the first time which has to be a highlight - my Westie and I also made it onto the opening credits on TV! My favourite part of Crufts is getting to see my friends and showing my dogs.
I compete in the breed ring with my Cesky Terriers, occasionally my mum’s Glen of Imaal and sometimes handle for other people. Previously I judged Scottish Junior Handler of the Year 2016 and the JHA National Terrier Semi finals in 2018.
The YKC has introduced me to so many likeminded individuals who just want to have fun with their dogs and encourage other young people to do the same.
Crufts and the SKC/YKC weekend are the highlight of my year. It is really rewarding to watch how the partnerships between the kids and their dogs grows other the camp. I have also helped run the YKC Groomer of the Year qualifier in Dundee for the past three years.
Speak to other members, go to Discover Dogs and Crufts, check the website or Facebook page. I have met so many of my friends through competing and volunteering, and has given me the opportunity to try several different disciplines and even participate in the Crufts Best in Show rehearsals. So if you are thinking about it - just do it!