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A teenager and her best Buddy are set to represent England at a world dog agility contest and nominated for an award.

A teenager and her best Buddy are set to represent England at a world dog agility contest and nominated for an award.

A teenager and her best Buddy are set to represent England at a world dog agility contest. In addition to being nominated in The Young Person of the Year Awards by the Young Kennel Club taking place this weekend.

Charlotte Baker, 18, was given Buddy, a cockapoo maltese cross, five years ago after losing brother Dominic in a car accident to help with the grief. The pair then started puppy classes and tried a dog agility lesson and were soon hooked.

Charlotte and Buddy, from Ditcheat in Somerset, have now both qualified to represent England at the World Agility Open Championships in the Netherlands in May next year, a step up from competing at Crufts which they have been to twice.

The Young Kennel Club awards take place this Saturday with Charlotte nominated for the Inspiring OtherÕs Award and in contention for the overall Young Person of the Year Award prize, voting takes place until Friday on the Young Kennel ClubÕs website.

Charlotte who is studying animal management at college said ÔThroughout last season we did lots of competitions, some of them counted for points towards selection for the World Championships and we then got selected from that. The actual competition is only four days long but we'll go for probably just over a week for some training days, and then the competition.Õ

ÔBuddy improves all the time, he is still learning, but he's getting a lot more established in his skills. Thinking back to when he barely knew what a jump was, and now look at him, he has just been amazing. He took to it so easily and was a joy to train. IÕm very excited about the competition, a little bit nervous, but mainly just excited.Õ

ÔI was nominated for the Young Kennel Club inspiring young person award. There is also a vote for the overall winner which is announced on the day. It was a big surprise to even be nominated, I was really touched by it. It's so lovely to know that I do inspire other people.Õ
ÔIt was mainly to do with my shoebox appeal and the fundraising I've done for child bereavement in the past and currently.Õ

Charlotte manages to find time to organise a shoebox appeal every year, making up hundreds of Christmas shoeboxes full of gifts sent to orphanages in Serbia and Bulgaria. This year she has made 300, soon to be sent off, with her tally to date being over 1500.

Mum Sarah Baker said ÔIÕm proud, beyond proud, she inspires us all the time. With just her attitude to life and the way she works hard and gets on. It's going to be hard work and a big commitment. Her older sister Danielle was a huge support and grandparents as well. We couldn't do it without all of them supporting everything at home. But itÕs a lot of hard work now and we'll get out there with Buddy in peak condition and just have some fun.Õ

Pictured is Charlotte Baker 18 and five-year old Buddy the cockapoo maltese cross. Dated 16/11/21.

Please credit: Paul Jacobs/

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