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    March 10th, 2017Laura P (Editor)Crufts, Crufts 2017

    Back in 2015, we wrote about Lydia Williams’ dog Huzzah, the sole White Miniature Schnauzer in attendance at Crufts that year. He drew a flurry of media attention and even ended the day on the purple sofa with Clare Balding! 

    Well this year Huzzah (Beanara Njals Saga at Lyzarho) was back again, with four other whites including his companion Madog (Saraswati Bonno Blue) who was handled by Lydia’s mother. 

    Whites are quite rare in the UK at present – there were 152 Minis entered at Crufts in total this year, for comparison – but they are slowly building a fan base. This is largely due to the efforts of Lydia and other exhibitors who are willing to be different; despite the official UK KC acceptance of the coat colour in 2010, some Schnauzer kennels are still prejudiced against white dogs.

    Why is white controversial?

    Miniature Schnauzers were originally bred in Germany in order to size-down the popular standard and giant Schnauzers (both of which only come in two colours, salt & pepper and pure black). Other breeds like the Affenpinscher and the Poodle were used to achieve this, which lead to puppies being born in two new coat varieties: black & silver and pure white.

    The black & silver pups, being very similar to the salt & pepper variety, were widely accepted. The white pups, however, were considered to be not true to type, as neither of their parent breeds (the Standard and the Giant) ever presented with white coats.

    Genetics are quirky, however, and white Miniature Schnauzer puppies continued to be born. They could still be registered as purebred dogs but could not be entered in conformation shows. This is still the case in Canada and the USA, but in 2010, following a year of campaigning by pro-white breeders and exhibitors, the UK Kennel Club agreed to change the breed standard to include the fourth colour. (White had already been accepted by the parent German Pinscher-Schnauzer Klub and the FCI for some years.)

    Huzzah the celebrity 

    Unfortunately neither of the boys were placed in their postgraduate class this morning, but they were certainly a hot topic of discussion around the ringside. Many people recognised Huzzah from Facebook or the telly, and any who didn’t were quickly informed of their story, and filled in about Madog’s more recent successes as well. 

    The official Kennel Club press were even sniffing around, and whisked Lydia and Huzzah away for interviews as soon as they were finished in the ring. Look our world; not only are the white Minis here to stay, but it seems their celebrity spokes-dog is about to become even more famous!  

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    March 10th, 2016Laura P (Editor)Crufts 2016

    It was a very busy first day at Crufts 2016. Photos will be soon be available via our Facebook page, but here’s a rundown of the highlights and key headlines so far. Don’t forget that you can watch all the Day 2 action live here, or follow us on Twitter for updates direct from the show.

    Team White

    Maddog and Huzzah, the White Miniature Schnauzers, had a disappointing day in the ring, as neither of the boys were placed. However, Lydia said that she was very proud of the way both boys behaved and performed; especially Maddog, considering that he is only 1 year old and that this was his first trip to the big show. Huzzah unfortunately decided that he wasn’t in the mood to play today, which is a shame because the judge was apparently considering him quite carefully. “Ah well,” said Lydia, “Now I just have to qualify them for next year!”

    Lydia was also delighted with the amount of attention which the boys received, and to see two white bitches present on the day as well. They had travelled from Spain and Sweden to attend the show, and Lydia is very optimistic that, with this increased exposure, the white coated dogs are finally beginning to make their mark.

    wp-1457691516172.jpgThere was no TV appearance for the boys this year either, but Clare Balding did stop by to say hello in the morning, and they were immortalised in icing by Peter White, a very talented exhibitor from Ireland. Who needs a ribbon when you have friends like these?

    You can read Lydia’s run down of the day here.

    Vulnerable Native Breeds

    Only two Vulnerable Native British Breeds (VNBs) were represented today, both in the Toy Group. The English Toy Terrier Best of Breed was taken by SHAREX BURNING LOVE FOR DOBRUGH, the bitch, while the King Charles Spaniel Best of Breed was CH BALDRAGON SHE DEMANDS JW, also the bitch. The breeds had entries of 58 and 125 respectively.

    The English Toy Terrier was also represented in the Young Kennel Club ring by Witchstone China Girl, handled by 12 year old Ryan Ross, who made Crufts history when he came 3rd in the Toy Group with the same dog, pet name Pepsi last year. They came 1st in the YKC stakes competition today. Both Ryan and Pepsi will be back on Friday to represent their breed in the VNB competition, and on Sunday to represent the Toy Group in the YKC final.

    Toy Group

    The Toy Group was won by UK show dog Eric, the Pekingese, the first time a Category Three breed has ever won the Group at Crufts. Eric is the grandson of 2003’s Best In Show winner, Danny.

    Reserve was the Havanese, CH LARWINSCA LADY GUINEVERE. 3rd was the Italian Greyhound, FLORITA TUELETTA and 4th was the Pomeranian, N UCH/SE UCH/DKCK ALPHA LYRAE¦S BE MY LOVER.

    The Top Toy Dog 2015, the Papillon CH GLENIREN SHOOTIN STARMAKER SUNSHOO, won the Reserve Dog CC. Second Top Dog, Longcoat Chihuahua CH HOLLYEL TOPAZ CHANCER came 3rd in his Open Dog class, while the Smoothcoat (joint 10th Top Dog) CH SUNDOWNER PLAY MISTY FOR ME AT DACHIDAS, won Best of Breed.

    Dexter the Papillon, a former ShowTails star, came 3rd in his class of 15.

    All three High Profile breeds in the Toy Group passed their vet checks.

    Video
    Toy Group Judging & Presentation
    Winner’s Interview
    Behind the Scenes

    Utility Group

    The Utility Group was also won by a Britsh dog, Jen the German Spitz Klein. Reserve was the Japanese Shiba Inu, CRO/BALT CH VORMUND LEONARDO DICAPRIO. 3rd was the Toy Poodle, CH AEDAN TALK OF THE TOWN, and 4th was the Lhasa Apso, CH FOROCHEL FJORD.

    The Top Utility Dog 2015, the Bulldog CH SEAVILLE HE’S TYLER, came 3rd in his Open Dog class.

    Both High Profile breeds in the Utility Group passed their vet checks.

    Video
    Utility Group Judging & Presentation
    Winner’s Interview
    Behind the Scenes

    Other

    Tess Daly launches lungworm awareness campaign
    Kennel Club launches online ‘academy’ for breeders and judges
    Stoke on Trent agility star wins British Open (Medium Dogs)
    Peacehaven agility star wins British Open (Small Dogs)
    Oxford agility Star Wins British Open At Crufts (Large Dogs)
    Scunthorpe agility stars win Team Event
    Young Agility Star Crowned Winner at Crufts
    Watford Agility Star Crowned Winner At Crufts
    West Midlands Dog and Owner Crowned Heelwork to Music Freestyle Winner at Crufts
    Oxford Agility Star Wins British Open At Crufts

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    March 9th, 2016Laura P (Editor)Crufts 2016

    You may remember Huzzah, the Miniature Schnauzer who we featured in our 2015 ShowTails series; he had the distinction of being the only white Mini in attendance that year.

    Huzzah had a disappointing start to his Crufts debut: he was entered in a class of 18 dogs and sadly finished the day there without being placed. Despite this, Huzzah’s owners Lydia and Austin said they were extremely proud of his performance on the green carpet, and that they were overwhelmed by the amount of support and admiration he received both inside and outside the ring.

    With their turn in the spotlight apparently over, ‘Team White’ relaxed with a bottle of “it’s an honour just to have qualified” bubbly and prepared for the long journey back to Wales. The day picked up, however, when Lydia was approached by a member of the Kennel Club Press Office, who wanted to know if “the famous white Schnauzer” would be available to appear on TV that evening with Clare Balding!

    huzzahAnd so Huzzah ended the day on a high note, making a celebrity acquaintance and a few more fans to boot. “He refused to eat out of Clare’s hand,” recalls Lydia, “but he made her laugh by presenting his backside to the camera” – during a commercial break, thankfully!  Once on air, a cube of cheese held just out of sight meant that Huzzah behaved beautifully, and his adorable face was beamed out to 1.6 million British TV screens.  You can see more photos of Huzzah’s big moment here.

    The good news continues, as Huzzah qualified for Crufts again at the Schnauzer Club of Great Britain show (where he also took Best White Specialty in Show) and will return to represent his breed and his colour once more in 2016. And he won’t be the only one: his partner in crime Maddog will be joining him!

    Maddog, or Saraswati Bonno Blue With Lyzahro as he’s more formally known, joined Team White from Macedonia and debuted at the age of 6 months at Treharris and District Open Show in October 2015. “He was the first dog his breeder, Tanja Angelkova, has ever exported to the UK and we’re very lucky to have him,” said Lydia. Maddog is co-owned by and lives with Lydia’s mother, but enjoys show weekends with Lydia and Huzzah on a regular basis.  The boys are both sponsored by Schnoozing Schnauzers.

    “As a kennel we are absolutely thrilled to have achieved the fabulous feat of qualifying not one, but two white schnauzers for Crufts 2016!”

    Maddog has taken several Best Puppy’s at Open level and qualified for Crufts at South Wales, his first Championship show.  Huzzah hasn’t let his young rival upstage him though; he still hasn’t left a show (aside from Crufts) without being placed. He’s had several Best of Breed awards, and one Group placing at Open Show Level. You can read more about all their  successes at the Lyzahro blog.

    At home, both boys have to play second fiddle to Lydia’s older dog, Romanii the eunuch Cavalier, who retired from showing this year. They’ve also got to share the limelight with another new addition, a black Miniature Schnauzer bitch called Hope (Habanera Eldzh Hope For Lyzharo), who was imported from the Ukraine just a few weeks after Crufts 2015. While she won’t be making a trip to the ‘big show’ this year, she’s had a successful season so far with a fourth place win at her very first show (Three Counties), puppy group 4 at Pembrokeshire and District, and Reserve Best of Breed (behind Huzzah) at Hereford.

    At Crufts, the focus will all be on the White boys, as they go up against 149 other Miniature Schnauzers in Ring 2 on Thursday. They’re expected in the ring sometime after 10am, and we’re sure they’ll welcome any friendly cheerleaders.

    And who knows, maybe Clare Balding will soon be seeing double too…

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    February 23rd, 2015Laura P (Editor)Crufts 2015, Show Tails

    Huzzah1Meet Huzzah, who’ll be the only white Miniature Schnauzer at Crufts 2015. He’ll be strutting his stuff around the rings on Sunday 8th March, along with 157 other Minis.

    His owner describes Huzzah as excitable, mischievous and eager to please. When not winning rosettes, he enjoys racing round the garden like a loony, and is very loving. Known affectionately as ‘Whinge Bucket’ and ‘Beardy’, he rarely misbehaves (unless he thinks you’re not watching). He has a laid back, soft temperament and lives in harmony with Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Romanii.

    Beanara Njals Saga at Lyzahro, as he is more formally known, was born in April 2012 in Liverpool and now lives in Wales with Lydia Williams. She says: “We are exceptionally proud to have been entrusted with this fantastic and very distinctive boy, and are very excited about his future.”

    Huzzah has placed no lower than 4th at every show he’s attended in the past 18 months. He qualified for Crufts at South Wales Kennel Association Championship Show, where he came 2nd in post graduate dog. “Being white, a colour that is rare in the Miniature Schnauzer world (and not a popular colour with all judges and exhibitors), Huzzah has had an absolute battle to qualify for Crufts.”

    Why is white controversial?

    Miniature Schnauzers were originally bred in Germany in order to size-down the popular standard and giant Schnauzers (both of which only come in two colours, salt & pepper and pure black). Other breeds like the Affenpinscher and the Poodle were used to achieve this, which lead to puppies being born in two new coat varieties: black & silver and pure white.

    The black & silver pups, being very similar to the salt & pepper variety, were widely accepted. The white pups, however, were considered to be not true to type, as neither of their parent breeds (the Standard and the Giant) ever presented with white coats.

    Genetics are quirky, however, and white Miniature Schnauzer puppies continued to be born. They could still be registered as purebred dogs but could not be entered in conformation shows. This is still the case in Canada and the USA, but in 2010, following a year of campaigning by pro-white breeders and exhibitors, the UK Kennel Club agreed to change the breed standard to include the fourth colour. (White had already been accepted by the parent German Pinscher-Schnauzer Klub and the FCI for some years.)

    Against the odds

    Despite the official UK KC acceptance of the coat colour, some Schnauzer kennels are still prejudiced against white dogs. There will be some attendees at the ringside at Crufts who feel like Huzzah does not belong there.

    However, he has an equal number of supporters from around the world on social media. In fact, as of 2015, Huzzah even has his own sponsor: Schnoozing Schnauzers, a company providing all the pet accessories you can think of.

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    The future looks bright for this unique little dog. But Huzzah is extra special to his owner and handler, Lydia, for a reason which has nothing to do with his colour.  She has been handling dogs on and off since she was 11. Shortly after acquiring Huzzah as a present for her mother in 2013, she underwent major spinal surgery to remove a tumour and was told that she probably wouldn’t walk again. “Huzzah brought me hope and comfort after the surgery,” she said. “He also got me back on my feet and into the show ring again.” Qualifying her own dog for the world’s greatest dog show was just the vanilla icing on the cake.

    “I shouldn’t be walking, he shouldn’t have qualified. But Team White are here to stay!”

    Please join us in wishing Lydia and Huzzah the very best of luck at Crufts 2015. We’ll catch up with them at the show and let you know how they get on.

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