Vulnerable British and Irish Breeds competition returns in 2023

Heats for the Vulnerable British and Irish Breeds competition have started to take place and as in previous years will culminate in a grand final at Crufts 2024.

To raise awareness of vulnerable British and Irish breeds, and to recognise those people who are dedicated to their survival and prosperity, The Kennel Club created the competition in 2015. In 2023, 34 breeds fall into this category, having generated 300 or fewer puppy registrations in the UK in the previous year.

The competition has already proved very popular and at Crufts 2023, Tracy Irving’s four-year-old Welsh Corgi Cardigan Libby (Ch Pi Et Ra of Trefilio Borntobe Avalanche (JW) (Imp Hun)), from Bolton won the grand final, judged by Mrs Patsy Hollings.

Following a similar format to the one used in 2022, only the Best of Breed winners at designated championship shows this year (two of which have 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 who win Best of Breed at the above shows will qualify for the competition and will be invited to compete in the grand final at Crufts 2024. In cases where the Best of Breed winner is unable to compete in the final, the Best Opposite Sex winner will be invited. 

Tom Mather, Crufts Chairman 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 these vulnerable breeds really are.”

To find out more about the competition and vulnerable breeds, please visit The Kennel Club website. All Crufts 2024 finalists will be contacted by The Kennel Club in December 2023.