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Haverhill dog trainer, 12, wins a national award from The Kennel Club



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A Haverhill boy has been left ‘stunned’ after not only winning his category in a national Young Person of the Year Award, but also being chosen as the overall winner across all sections.

Lewis Garstang, 12, was named the winner in the Personal Achievement Award category of the Young Person of the Year Award, run by the Young Kennel Club.

Lewis also came away from the Kennel Club Discover Dogs show at the ExCel London on Saturday having been named overall winner from the five categories included in the award.

Lewis Garstang and mum, Lynnette, alongside Gerald King, YKC president and Vanessa McAlpine (furthest right) events and youth development executive at The Kennel Club who presented Lewis with the award. Photo: The Kennel Club
Lewis Garstang and mum, Lynnette, alongside Gerald King, YKC president and Vanessa McAlpine (furthest right) events and youth development executive at The Kennel Club who presented Lewis with the award. Photo: The Kennel Club

On winning, Lewis said: “I feel extremely happy and shocked that I won this award as all the other nominees had such amazing stories.”

Lewis’ mum, Lynnette Garstang, said the outcome left him gobsmacked.

She said: “He was absolutely stunned. He was the youngest person nominated and he was the only boy.

“I said to him. It’s such an amazing achievement.”

Lewis Garstang is clearly gobsmacked to hear his name read out as the winner of the Young Kennel Club Young Person of the Year Award. Picture: The Kennel Club.
Lewis Garstang is clearly gobsmacked to hear his name read out as the winner of the Young Kennel Club Young Person of the Year Award. Picture: The Kennel Club.

Lewis has received two rosettes and two glass trophies and £100 for winning his category as well as a further £250 for winning the overall prize. The prize money is provided by the Kennel Club Educational Trust.

He will receive a further presentation next March when he appears at the Crufts Dog Show in the Young Kennel Club jumping category and the Agility Dog of the Year competition.

The awards were all decided by a public vote and the voters were clearly impressed by Lewis’, story.

The Castle Manor Academy student, who lives in Rowan Close, Haverhill, took on the training of his dad Steve’s two rescue dogs after he was killed in a road traffic collision on the A1 in North Yorkshire in May 2018.

Lewis Garstang at home with his dogs Rosie, left, and Willow, right.
Lewis Garstang at home with his dogs Rosie, left, and Willow, right.

He was shortlisted for the award because of the way he had dealt with losing his dad, while also excelling at dog agility competitions.

Lynnette added: “He’s got this £350 coming his way and he has already said he is going to split it, so he will give half to the charity that the dogs came from (the Ainmhithe Animal Rescue in County Mayo, Ireland) and the other half he will put back into training with the dogs.”