Crufts award for dog handler

Catriona Riach
Catriona Riach

A teenage girl from Leighton Buzzard has been shortlisted for a prestigious award after years of working with dogs.

Catriona Riach, 17, has overcame operations to treat Scoliosis in order to concentrate on the work she loves best – caring for rescued dogs as they wait to be rehomed.

Now she has been selected as the ‘Champion Volunteer’ of the Shaun McAlpine Outstanding Young Person award, to be held at Crufts on Sunday, March 8.

She will compete with four other young Kennel Club members for the overall title.

Catriona said: “I was surprised to be nominated but very pleased and excited about coming to Crufts in March. We go to Crufts every year but this one gives us an extra reason to go.”

She added: “ I would love to be the overall winner but I am sure the other nominees are great too.”

Catriona currently studies animal management at Shuttleworth College and is hoping to go to university in September.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club secretary, said: “Year after year we are told of amazing young people working with and helping dogs.

“This award serves to highlight the fantastic way that young people and dogs can interact to perform such wonderful feats in society.

“Catriona and her family should be very proud, as she is such a great example of a young person working with dogs to help their community.”