Irish Wolfhound wins the Vulnerable Native Breeds competition at Crufts

An Irish Wolfhound named Gordon, owned by Louise Pinkney from Carnaby, Bridlington in East Yorkshire, won the grand final of the Kennel Club Vulnerable British and Irish Breeds competition at Crufts yesterday (Saturday 10th March). His crystal trophy was presented by Dandie Dinmont and British breed enthusiast Paul Keevil.

Gordon (official Kennel Club name Champion Hydebeck Imperial Ruler JW) and Louise won the Vulnerable British and Irish Breeds competition in front of a packed Genting Arena at the NEC in Birmingham, beating 22 other vulnerable breeds to be crowned winner.

The Kennel Club Vulnerable British and Irish Breeds competition helps raise awareness of rare native breeds whose annual puppy registrations stand at fewer than 300, thus leaving them at risk from disappearing from the UK’s streets and parks.

Just 256 Irish Wolfhounds were registered with the Kennel Club in 2016, but the breed will be ineligible to compete in this competition at Crufts next year, as its registrations increased to 372 in 2017 – which is very good news for the breed. The Irish Wolfhound will now be transferred to the ‘At Watch’ list, for British and Irish native breeds with between 300 and 450 registrations.

In the run-up to Crufts 2018, the Kennel Club launched its Save Forgotten Dog Breeds campaign which aims to remind people about all 220 breeds of pedigree dog in the UK, including those historic native breeds that are at risk of disappearing, as they become forgotten. The campaign encouraged people to meet these breeds at Crufts.

Louise commented on her win: “You stand there in the ring and you hope your dog is going to do well – otherwise you would not be standing there. And you know when your dog goes well, so you hope it might be you and suddenly the judge points to your dog. Wow!

“It is unbelievable that Gordon won. It is nice to see how well Wolfhounds fare in competitions at Crufts, which is always such a special show – Gordon competed in the Junior Warrant final at Crufts last year so to win the VNB final this time is incredible.”

Gordon was chosen by judge Tom Mather as having the best overall quality evident from each of the 23 dogs representing their breeds.

The Kennel Club launched this competition for dog show exhibitors who show vulnerable British and Irish breeds, to raise awareness of these breeds and to recognise those who are dedicated to their survival and prosperity.

The competition, which was open to all 30 vulnerable breeds competing at designated championship shows, enabled dogs that are on the Kennel Club’s vulnerable breeds list to qualify for the final which was held at Crufts.

A Bloodhound, Champion Harvidene Chardonnay of Badina, owned by Tina and Badger Gibson of Glasgow, was named as Reserve Best Vulnerable Breed.

The other dogs which qualified for the 2018 final were:

  • Deerhound, Mr R Gillie’s Dorrator Garvey
  • Otterhound, Miss M Lerego’s Ch Teckelgarth Mimi
  • English Setter, Mr N & Miss E Bryant & Mrs V Hollis’ Sh Ch Phenset Blue Max
  • Gordon Setter, Mrs A Mappin’s Bryerdale Texas Star JW
  • Irish Red & White Setter, Mr B & Mrs S Barry’s Sh Ch Rustasha Rhapsody In Red
  • Curly Coated Retriever, Miss D Courtier’s Maycourt Hunky Dory JW
  • Clumber Spaniel, Mr J & Mrs Newsham’s Sh Ch Anbrook Burma Star at Brazenhill JW
  • Field Spaniel, Mr C & Mrs J Holgate’s Sh Ch Nadavin Thistledown JW
  • Irish Water Spaniel, Mr M Ford’s Sh Ch Cuboglach Petite Wave
  • Sussex Spaniel, Mrs S Vowles’ Sh Ch Jubilwell Beast Of Bodmin at Vobrook
  • Welsh Springer Spaniel, Mr C & Mrs L Tain’s Sh Ch Taimere’s Two Step
  • Miniature Bull Terrier, Mr M Kaestner’s Ch Bullrichs Catch Me If You Can
  • Dandie Dinmont Terrier, Mrs J Tinsley’s Ch Cloverwood Ice And Fire
  • Smooth Fox Terrier, Ms J Griffiths’ Ch Yoxella Wish List
  • Glen of Imaal Terrier, Dr J Alstead’s Ch Golden Spurs
  • Kerry Blue Terrier, Mr R Ramsay’s Ch Torum’s Cairo Fred
  • Lakeland Terrier, Mr J Schembi’s Ch Saredon Enigma
  • Manchester Terrier, Miss F Freer’s Ch Mansiya Casting Circles with Felfree
  • Norwich Terrier, Medames L Crawley & Y Baldwin’s Ch Ragus Jump The Gun
  • Sealyham Terrier, Mrs M Evans’ Ch Nileda Great Expectations
  • Skye Terrier, Ms A Zvezdina’s Ch Juger Edelweiss Mary Poppins
  • Mastiff, Mr D & Mrs L McKevitt’s Ch Glaciers Edison The Inventor at Tyketarn
  • Bearded Collie, Misses M Baker & R Van De Hoef’s Ch Malandex Most Xciting JW
  • Smooth Collie, Mrs J Hartley’s Ch Foxearth Finnish Spirit at Jimjack
  • Lancashire Heeler, Mrs J Flanagan’s Trapsyke Gytha
  • Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Mrs T & Miss B Taylor’s Ch Tamlin Starman
  • English Toy Terrier (Black & Tan), Miss C Ramsden & Mr M Kagzi’s Ch Witchstone Siouxsie Sioux
  • King Charles Spaniel, Miss J Pennington’s Ch Tudorhurst Diamond

The Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Miniature Bull Terrier, Lakeland Terrier, Norwich Terrier, Deerhound, Mastiff, and Field Spaniel winners did not attend to contest the title.

There was no Irish Terrier finalist listed in the show catalogue.

All the finalists who attended were pre-judged in the afternoon. Shortlisted were the Irish Red & White Setter, Curly Coated Retriever, Welsh Springer Spaniel, Kerry Blue Terrier, Sussex Spaniel, Dandie Dinmont Terrier and King Charles Spaniel.

Gerald King, Crufts Chairman, said: “Congratulations to Louise on this wonderful achievement. Her commitment and passion for her breed will help to ensure that we continue to see Irish Wolfhounds in our streets and parks.

“We are extremely grateful to the owners and breeders who qualified for this competition for their hard work and dedication to these vulnerable British and Irish breeds – they should be very proud of their achievements.”

You can see a gallery of all the finalists at Crufts 2018 here.

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