Vulnerable British and Irish Breeds competition returns this year

Heats for The Kennel Club Vulnerable British and Irish Breeds competition have started to take place and will again culminate in a grand final at Crufts 2023.

To raise awareness of vulnerable British and Irish dog breeds, and to recognise those people who are dedicated to their survival and prosperity, The Kennel Club created the competition in 2015. The competition has proved very popular and at Crufts 2022, six-year-old Elsa (Sh Ch Flaxheath Top Model at Glenmaurangi), a Gordon Setter, owned by Angela Phillips from Lincolnshire, and Tereza Watkins from Gloucester, won the grand final.

Following a similar format to the one used in 2021, only the Best of Breed winners at designated championship shows this year, one of which has already taken place, will qualify for the final.

The competition is open to all vulnerable British and Irish breeds competing at the following championship shows:

  • Hound Association
  • National Working and Pastoral Breeds Society
  • National Gundog Association
  • United Kingdom Toy Dog Society
  • National Terrier Club

Dogs of breeds which are on The Kennel Club’s Vulnerable British and Irish breeds list which win Best of Breed at the above shows will be invited to compete in the grand final at Crufts 2023. In cases where the Best of Breed winner is unable to compete in the final, the Best Opposite Sex winner will be invited.

Following registration statistics from 2021, the Miniature Bull Terrier, Old English Sheepdog and Bearded Collie have shown an increase in registrations at just over 300 a year and are therefore no longer on The Kennel Club’s Vulnerable British and Irish Breeds list so are unable to qualify for the Crufts 2023 competition.

Vanessa McAlpine, Crufts Show Manager, said: “The Vulnerable British and Irish Breeds Competition final is a very important event at Crufts. It is a fantastic way to highlight the plight of these breeds and promote them as the wonderful dogs they are.

“It is important that the show societies work with breed clubs of vulnerable British and Irish breeds so that these clubs can inspire their membership to enter the classes and take part in the competition. Crufts is a great showcase for pedigree dogs and the perfect chance to show the world just how special the vulnerable British and Irish breeds really are.

“We are delighted to see the increase in registrations for the Miniature Bull Terrier which is up 97%, the Old English Sheepdog, 66% and the Bearded Collie, 28% and hope that the registrations for these breeds continue to rise.”

To find out more about the competition, please visit crufts.org.uk/dog-exhibitors/dog-showing/vulnerable-breeds-competition. All Crufts finalists will be notified by The Kennel Club.