Two lucky Bedford crossbreeds to head to Crufts 2022 for Scruffts semi-final

Frank, a four-year-old crossbreed, owned by Wendy Halling, and Wilma, an eight-year-old Springer Spaniel/Jack Russell Terrier cross, owned by Rachel Hukin, both from Bedford have respectively been named ‘Most Handsome Crossbreed Dog’ and ‘Prettiest Crossbreed Bitch’ in the regional heats for Scruffts, the annual crossbreed competition run by The Kennel Club. The two dogs and their owners will go on to compete in the semi-final stages hosted at the world’s most famous dog show, Crufts, in 2022.

The sixth and final Scruffts heat took place at ExCeL London as part of Discover Dogs on Saturday 20-Sunday 21 November. The competition attracted crossbreeds and their owners from all over the south east but just four have made it through to the next stage, earning them a place in the semi-final stages at Crufts 2022. The overall winners of the semi-final will then have the chance to compete in the final, also at Crufts 2022.

Speaking of their win, Wendy said: “I am absolutely thrilled and delighted that Frank won the Scruffts heat. He is a very special rescue dog with a calm, friendly, soft nature. He makes me laugh every day and is a big chatterbox, but he also supported me when my husband died suddenly as I had to take care of him and walking him even when I didn’t feel like going out.

“I am so proud of him and I love him to the moon and back!”

Rachel added: “I feel great to have qualified for Crufts! Wilma is such a pro at dog showing, having been to Crufts for three years for many different things. She loves the attention!”

Outside of strutting his stuff in the ring, Frank is a registered Pets as Therapy dog and goes to two schools to hear readers as part of the Read2dogs scheme. Wilma also works as a therapy dog.

The Scruffts Family Crossbreed Dog of the Year competition, exclusively supported by pet food makers James Wellbeloved, is open to all crossbreeds and mixed breed dogs, of all shapes, sizes and age (as long as they are over six months).

Judging the competitors on the day was dog judge, Gerald King, who had the tough decision of choosing just one winner in both classes. Joining Gerald to judge the Most Handsome Dog class was famous face and dog enthusiast, Fifi Robertson Geldof.

The winners were:
  • Most Handsome Crossbreed Dog: four-year-old Frank, the crossbreed, owned by Wendy Halling from Bedford, Bedfordshire
  • Prettiest Crossbreed Bitch: eight-year-old Wilma, the Springer Spaniel/Jack Russell Terrier cross, owned by Rachel Hukin from Bedford, Bedfordshire
  • Golden Oldie Crossbreed: 10-year-old Teddy Bear, the Lhasa Apso/Bichon Frise cross, owned by Louise Jacobs from Colchester, Essex
  • Good Citizen Dog Scheme: five-year-old Sammi, the Bichon Frise cross, owned by Rowan Carter from Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire

All dogs competing were judged against the following qualities:
  • Good character
  • Good health
  • Good personality
  • Good temperament with people and other dogs
The four dogs are now preparing to compete at Crufts 2022, which will be held at the NEC Birmingham next March, where the judges will be making the difficult decision of choosing the Scruffts Family Crossbreed Dog of the Year.

Throughout the year, heats of the popular Scruffts contest, which is exclusively supported by pet food makers James Wellbeloved, are taking place at events around the country in search of crossbreeds with that extra special something.

The four heat winners will receive delicious goodies from James Wellbeloved, the sponsor of Scruffts, and ultimately the four category finalists at next year’s Scruffts Grand Final will each win a year’s supply of James Wellbeloved food for their dog!

Lucy Williams, Marketing Manager for James Wellbeloved said: “Congratulations to our four brilliant semi-finalists who have all qualified to Crufts next year. It was a fantastic weekend at Discover Dogs at ExCeL London and we were impressed by all the entrants who took part.

“James Wellbeloved is very proud to exclusively support Scruffts and we’re looking forward to seeing how our semi-finalists progress.”

For more information on the Scruffts Family Crossbreed Dog of the Year competition, please visit the Scruffts website.