Rare St Albans dog breed wins certificate at Crufts 2017

Tess the Pharaoh breed at Crufts

Tess the Pharaoh breed at Crufts - Credit: Archant

An incredibly rare St Albans bitch got a top certificate at Crufts this year.

Rhian and Tess at Crufts 2017. Picture: Graham Reeve

Rhian and Tess at Crufts 2017. Picture: Graham Reeve - Credit: Archant

An incredibly rare St Albans bitch got a top certificate at Crufts this year.

Tess, under show name is Ch. Annatefkah Bennu, got a Reserve Challenge Certificate (RCC) for her breed - runner-up best bitch of her type at the show.

The top spot of best bitch of the breed went to one of Tess’ puppies.

She is the very rare Pharaoh breed, elderly to compete at seven years old, and has a Ch. before her name because she has won at least three challenge certificates in the six years she has been competing at Crufts. The Ch. stands for Champion.


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Her handler, a dog trainer from Chiswell Green, Rhian Mcloughlin, said she believes there were only 13 puppies of that pure breed born in the UK last year and as a result of their scarcity, they can be expensive.

The breed is often imported from Europe or America - Annatefkah, the name of the kennel where Tess was born, is one of the places Pharaohs can be bred in the UK.

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Rhian trains Tess, goes into the ring with her, handles her, and described her as “beautiful”.

She said the day was fun: “Tess goes in, she knows her job, she’s such a diva.

“I absolutely loved it, and we were also on the stand in the main arena – to walk in and see the bright green grass and the lights, it was quite a shock.

“They are great dogs, they are absolutely crazy, but they are so fantastic.”

Rhian and Tess’ owner, Graham Reeve, were interviewed by Alan Carr and Clare Balding, but were disappointed to see the interview didn’t make the TV cut.

She said they were both “so sweet” and Alan was “a really nice guy, just like he is on the TV”.

Tess has also had another taste of fame, briefly appearing in the film Exodus:Gods and Kings, with Christian Bale, as one of the Egyptian pharaoh’s dogs.

An American cocker spaniel called Miami Ink won Best In Show at Crufts 2017.

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