From the three breeds making history at Crufts this year, to the new face of the TV show, Sophie Morgan
Today (8 March) saw the official launch of Crufts 2022, the world’s biggest celebration of dogs, at the NEC in Birmingham.
Showcasing the four-legged representatives of three breeds making history at this year's show; the cute Hungarian Pumi, the versatile European new-comer, the Smooth Faced Pyrenean Sheepdog, and the historic Harrier; the launch also introduced Sophie Morgan, Paralympics presenter and new to the line up for Crufts on Channel 4.
Welcoming over 20,000 dogs of all shapes and sizes under one roof, Crufts 2022 begins on Thursday, culminating with the prestigious Best in Show on Sunday.
Speaking at the launch, Sophie commented: “I’m so happy Crufts is back! Every dog has its day at this amazing event and these three breeds making history are among them. I can’t wait for the show to officially begin on Thursday and to be a part of it, and meet lots more dogs!”
Will one of these dogs making history have their day at Crufts 2022, and be crowned Best in Show?
The historic Harrier makes a comeback
There are 19 Harriers competing at Crufts 2022 - this historic hound will be vying for the ‘top dog’ Best in Show crown for the first time since 1898!
The Harrier is an ancient, medium-sized, British scenthound breed, like a small Foxhound, but larger than a Beagle. This specialist breed was recognised by The Kennel Club in 2020, after Harriers had all but disappeared in the UK in the 1920s.
In 2021, a revival year for the breed, The Kennel Club registered 38 Harrier puppies and there are 19 competing at Crufts 2022 for the Best in Show crown – for the first time in over 120 years.
The European new comer – the Smooth Faced Pyrenean Sheepdog
Crufts 2022 is this breed’s big debut!
The Pyrenean Sheepdog (Smooth Faced) is competing for the Best in Show title at Crufts for the first time ever, after being recognised as the 222nd breed by The Kennel Club last year. There are just two competing for Best in Show at Crufts 2022!
The Pyrenean Sheepdog (Smooth Faced) is a small breed of herding dog from the Pyrenees region of France. It is very closely related to the Pyrenean Sheepdog (Long Haired), recognised by The Kennel Club in 1988, although the Smooth Faced has a softer, shorter coat.
The versatile Hungarian Pumi gets a class of its own
A favourite of Crufts TV presenter Clare Balding, the Hungarian Pumi is a newcomer to the UK, recognised by The Kennel Club in 2015 and first seen at Crufts in 2016 in various import breed classes and activities, like agility.
This year, new for Crufts 2022, the 31 Hungarian Pumis competing will have their own breed classes for the first time and will be vying for the Best in Show title.
The Pumi was developed in the late 17th and 18th centuries by crossing herding dogs with terriers, and German Spitz. In Hungary, the Pumi are still used as herding dogs but their lively temperament and distinctively cute curly hair are gaining them growing popularity as pets.
These are just three of around 200 breeds vying for the Best in Show title at Crufts 2022. Elsewhere at the show is the Discover Dogs zone, where visitors can meet and greet over 200 different breeds, speak to experts about what they are like to live with and care for, and find out which four-legged friend might be best suited to their lifestyle.
More than just a dog show, Crufts celebrates the many diverse roles that dogs play in our lives, and sees competitions such as The Kennel Club Hero Dog Award, the Scruffts Family Crossbreed of the Year competition, Obreedience, in which different breeds compete against each other in teams to prove who is the ‘goodest dog’, and the ever popular fast-paced agility and flyball competitions.
This year will also see a record-breaking 16 hours of the Crufts TV show broadcast for dog-lovers across the UK on Channel 4 and More4.
More information and tickets for the event are available on the Crufts website. Please note that tickets are only available through our official ticketing partner Ticket Factory.