Crufts is the oldest and biggest Hound-show on the planet. It started out as a Terrier-show in
Only once has an Irish Wolfhound become Best In Show at Crufts. That happened in 1960, when Florence Nagle’s Sulhamstead Merman won the award.
As Crufts takes place in England, it has been dominated by UK bred-dogs. It wasn’t until 1997 that a foreign-bred dog won a CC. Shadow Of Kilmara was bred by Gary Janssens in Belgium and was owned by Dagmar Kenis Pordham in England.
Over the last 14 years, foreign hounds have started to dominate the Crufts-awards for Irish Wolfhounds, with 16 of the 28 last CCs being awarded to hounds bred outside of the UK. Around half of these were awarded to hounds bred in Italy.
There are numerous reasons why foreign hounds are doing better now than they used to do. Removal of quarantine regulations and easier travel over the years have obviously been important for them to actually compete. In order to enter at Crufts, the hound also needs to qualify. In continental Europe, qualification is done by being Best Dog, Best Bitch or winning the junior class at one or two qualifying shows in each country. In addition, international champions are automatically qualified for Crufts.
The breed-history has seen 227 CCs being awarded to
Below is a list of all 227 Irish Wolfhound Crufts CC-winners so far.
Sources for CC-winners: Crufts annotated catalogues, A. du Quoy’s “The Irish Wolfhound in competition” and Fosse Data.