Irish Wolfhound from Italy crowned UK's top Vulnerable Breed at Crufts

Irish Wolfhound from Italy crowned UK's top Vulnerable Breed at Crufts 2024. Crufts Vulnerable Breed Competition winner Credit BeatMedia - The Kennel Club
Crufts Vulnerable Breed Competition winner Credit BeatMedia | The Kennel Club

Franca, an Irish Wolfhound, co-owned by Stefano Erea and Dr Francesca Agnoli from Milan, Italy, and handled by Ludovica Salamon, won the grand final of The Kennel Club Vulnerable British and Irish Breeds competition at Crufts, on Thursday 7 March.

Two-year-old Franca (Brida Della Bassa Pavese), won the Vulnerable British and Irish Breeds competition in front of a packed Resorts World Arena at the NEC in Birmingham.

The Kennel Club Vulnerable British and Irish Breeds competition helps raise awareness of rare native breeds whose annual puppy registrations stand at fewer than 300, thus leaving them at risk of disappearing from the UK’s streets and parks.  

The Irish Wolfhound is often described as a gentle giant due to its large size but calm nature. The breed registered just 191 puppies in 2023.

Co-owner Stefano commented on Franca’s win: “It’s been thrilling, exciting and overwhelming. This breed has a wonderful temperament, they’re very friendly and great with people and kids.”

Franco was chosen by judge Mr Gavin Robertson as having the best overall quality evident from other dogs in the final.

The Vulnerable Breeds competition, which was open to all vulnerable breeds competing at designated championship shows, enabled dogs that are on The Kennel Club’s vulnerable breeds list to qualify for the final at Crufts.

A Curly Coated Retriever, Sh Ch Tessmene The Cats Whiskers, owned by Mrs F and Miss C Carrick was named as Reserve Best Vulnerable Breed.

Helen Kerfoot, Crufts Show Manager, said: “Congratulations to Franco and Stefano on this fantastic achievement. We are very thankful to everyone who has qualified for this competition for their dedication and passion for their breeds; their commitment is a true testament to their hard work ensuring that these Vulnerable British and Irish breeds continue to be a part of our society.”  

More information about Vulnerable British and Irish Breeds is available on our website.

Crufts takes place from 7 - 10 March 2024 at the NEC, Birmingham. For more information and results from the show, visit Crufts website.

The following dogs were entered in the 2024 final at Crufts: 

  • English Toy Terrier (Black and Tan), Ch Witchstone Crazy Horse At Boimans, owned by Mrs J & Mr T Harman
  • King Charles Spaniel, Ch Baldragon Shoots He Scores, owned by Mrs C Bowles-Robinson
  • English Setter, Sh Ch Severnsett Firecracker, owned by Mr N A & Mrs P M Darley
  • Gordon Setter, Sh Csh Glenmaurangi Storm Trooper JW, owned by Mrs A, Ms T & Mr N Phillips, Watkins & Sykes
  • Irish Red And White Setter, Sh Ch Charnborough Charisma Of Danwish JW, owned by Miss T Gardner
  • Retriever (Curly Coated), Sh Ch Tessmene The Cats Whiskers, owned by Mrs F & Miss C Carrick
  • Spaniel (Clumber),Sh Ch Vanitonia Soloist, owned by Mr L A S Cox
  • Spaniel (Field), Nadavin Yirki At Tumblebar, owned by Mrs E Barker
  • Spaniel (Irish Water), Sh Ch Curlyco My Hot Rockstar (Imp Fin), owned by Mr J Hackett & Mrs A Williams
  • Spaniel (Sussex), Harasteorra Aphrodite, owned by Mr L J Bradbury & Miss D S Preston
  • Spaniel (Welsh Springer), Sh Ch Glenbrows Revolution JW, owned by Mr T Harrison & H Harrison
  • Mastiff, Hallberd Finbar, owned by Mrs S Burgoine
  • Bearded Collie, Ch Potterdale Precious Rose, owned by Mr M & Mrs J Lewis & Mrs D Moreland
  • Collie (Smooth), Ch Blamorder Ice Cream Dream, owned by Miss A Lusty
  • Lancashire Heeler, Ch Parabar Mohican's Medlar, owned by Miss J Grant-Parkes
  • Welsh Corgi (Cardigan), Ch Elessar Howling Moon, owned by Miss J Down
  • Bull Terrier (Miniature), Byzantine Blaise, owned by Mr K Stevens
  • Dandie Dinmont Terrier, Ch Cloverwood The One And Only, owned by Mrs J Tinsley
  • Fox Terrier (Smooth), Ch Kanix Quickstep, owned by Mrs K S Wilberg
  • Glen Of Imaal Terrier, Eng & Bel Dutch Int Ch Esp Ch Boudivella Osca, owned by Miss A Hannington
  • Kerry Blue Terrier, Ch Clanciarrai Aria, owned by Mr P & Mrs E B Martin
  • Lakeland Terrier, Ch Northcote's Isn't That The Way, owned by Mr T Alloway, Mr K Wendling & Mr F W Schoeneberg 
  • Manchester Terrier, Ch Talanors Typically Special, owned by Mrs G & Mr C Knight
  • Norwich Terrier, Ragus Sweet Bay At Elantiz, owned by Miss J N Armstrong & Miss P Lawrance
  • Sealyham Terrier, Ch Zippor Sleepy Sapphireson At Letara, owned by Mrs C Bell
  • Skye Terrier, Kilfinan Nightingail, Mr A Burscough
  • Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, Ch Silkcroft Sky Full Of Stars ShCM, owned by Mr C and Mrs C Satherley
  • Bloodhound, Ch Farlap Qui Martha (A.I), owned by Miss S Clark & Mrs L Hayden
  • Deerhound, Ch Ormanstar Dark Shadow, owned by Mrs S J Taylor
  • Foxhound, Dazzleby Chorister, owned by Mrs R C S Griffiths
  • Greyhound, Ch Ina's Fashion Dedicated To Boughton (Imp Deu), owned by Ms R Howlett, Ms C Boggia & Ms I Koulermou
  • Harrier, Henissy Fancy, Miss C J Farrar
  • Irish Wolfhound, Brida Della Bassa Pavese, owned by Dr F Agnoli
  • Otterhound, Ch Teckelgarth Ebony, owned by Miss M Lerego