Paw-fect canine candidates, Clinton and Kennedy, crowned Westminster dogs of the year
There was a worthy winner in Westminster today, as Clinton and Kennedy, two Labradoodles, belonging to Jonathan Reynolds MP for Stalybridge and Hyde, was crowned 2016 Westminster Dog of the Year.
The 24th annual Westminster Dog of the Year competition, organised by the Kennel Club and Dogs Trust, took place today (Thursday 8th September), in Victoria Tower Gardens, Westminster. Clinton and Kennedy showed dogged determination as they battled it out to defeat a staggering number of paw-litical opponents to win the coveted title of Westminster Dogs of the Year.
The MPs entering the competition campaigned hard, canvassing for votes from the public before meeting the expert judges to boast about their dog’s heroic deeds and acts of devotion. This year, the event focused on the need for education to ensure that children understand how to act safely around dogs.
Winning MP, Jonathan Reynolds, said of his beloved dogs;
“I am delighted to have won Westminster Dog of the Year with my terrific pooches Clinton and Kennedy. They’ve had such a fantastic day, meeting all the other paw-litical candidates and I was never in any doubt that they would wag their way to victory. I am very proud that they’ve been part of an event that promotes responsible dog ownership.”
The judging panel – Steve Jenkinson of the Kennel Club, Graeme Robertson from Dogs Trust, 2015 winning owner Andrea Jenkyns MP and last year’s ‘pawblic’ vote winner Hugo Swire MP - spent the morning with dogs from different political persuasions and ambitions.
Commenting on the reasons Clinton and Kennedy were selected as the 2016 Westminster Dog of the Year, Graeme Robertson, Chairman of Dogs Trust says:
“We are thrilled with the number of MPs and commendable canines who competed for the title of Westminster Dog of the Year 2016. The competition was fierce but we feel Clinton and Kennedy and Jonathan Reynolds MP really stood out. It was wonderful to see the bond between all the dogs and their owners and I would like to thank the MPs and their devoted dogs for taking part.”
Steve Jenkinson from the Kennel Club continued,
“It was such a joy to see the strong bond between Jonathan and his dogs. Their relationship really struck a chord with us and they are clearly popular with their constituents too. Having deliberated over so many wonderful paw-litical pooches we decided that Clinton and Kennedy truly deserve the title of Westminster Dogs of the Year.”
Leading the opposition in second place was Milo, a Lurcher owned by Rebecca Harris for Castlepoint, with a place in the (trophy) cabinet awarded to rescue dog Fiona, a Dachshund from Dogs Trust Basildon who competed with Liz Saville Roberts MP for Dwyfor Meirionnydd in third.
In addition to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place awards, the competition also had a winner decided solely from the public vote which was Sgt Watchman V, who is mascot to the people of Staffordshire, entered the event with Amanda Milling MP for Cannock Chase, but was also supported by Andrew Griffiths MP for Burton, Gavin Williamson MP for South Staffordshire, Michael Fabricant MP for Lichfield, Christopher Pincher MP for Tamworth and Jeremy Lefroy MP for Stafford.