Welcome to 2024 and the start of champion status for the Lagotto in the UK. 

Our showing is limited until the summer, due to our impending litter from Prada (due in May). 

Ted will make an occasional appearance at shows and Tango will continue to build her qualifications in Level 4 Rally until such times as we can announce the next generation.

The following articles was published by Our Dogs to commemorate the breed's first set of CCs at Crufts 2024:

Very few Lagotti were exhibited at shows for the two decades that followed the breed’s arrival in the UK, and therefore it was difficult to meet the criteria for progression from the Import Register onto the Rare Breeds list for some years. A group of enthusiasts gathered together in 2011 (later registered as the Lagotto Romagnolo Association) in order to help progress the breed, and at Crufts 2016 the Lagotto celebrated its first championship show breed classes as a Rare Breed, judged by the esteemed judge, Carla Molinari. It was fitting that the Lagotto representative, Katrien Van Gemert’s Gleska Goody Goody, bred in Sweden by Camilla Backman, was placed third in the Gundog Group under Di Arrowsmith that day. A first at this level for the breed in UK competition.
With health as a high priority for the new generation of owners, in 2016 the Kennel Club was approached to consider publishing all recognised health testing information, providing clarity for potential owners and for those wishing to breed with health-tested UK dogs. This transparency was essential for the future health of the Lagotto and publication became effective in 2017. Since that time, breeders have more confidently ventured into the overseas bloodlines, which has considerably opened up the Lagotto gene pool.
An increase in the number of dogs being exhibited led to the need for structured breed education and the Lagotto was invited onto the KC Judge Education pilot scheme. The first Breed Appreciation Day (BAD) was held by the LRA in 2018. Regular BADs have been held since that time, with the first joint online event for the LRA and LRCGB being held early in 2023. This commitment to education led naturally to an application for amendments to the Kennel Club Breed Standard during this period, in order to clarify important breed features and to align it more closely with the FCI Standard of the country of origin. A revised KC Standard was approved and published in 2020.
The final stage to the Lagotto reaching championship status progressed fairly smoothly, with the positive steps of a growing LRA list of educated judges and the increase in breed presence at shows, it was confirmed in 2023 that the Lagotto Romagnolo would have CC allocation (3 sets – Crufts, Lagotto Romagnolo Association Ch Show and National Gundog Association Ch Show) from Crufts 2024 for a two-year period. In light of the record Crufts entry approaching 100 dogs, we can only anticipate that further sets will be approved for 2026 onwards.
Understandably, there was huge ringside excitement as the first CC was handed out by the highly-esteemed all-rounder FCI judge, Espen Engh. Mrs Van Lenthe-Steur’s Rozebottel’s Love at First Sight from the Open Dog class was the recipient, ably handled by daughter Jorisa and she was barely able to contain her excitement in this historic moment. His sibling, Mrs K H J G Van Gemert’s homebred and multi-titled Rozebottel’s Love of My Life was later awarded the CC in the bitch ring. A wonderful achievement for the successful long-term breeder/exhibitors from the Netherlands. Best of Breed was awarded to the bitch and ably handled in the breed and Gundog Group ring by Katrien Van Gemert.
The first Reserve CCs in the breed went to Backes, Tagliaferri & Breitenbach’s German Champion Amazing Mr Grey and Haringman’s Solipse Viva La Musica. Best Puppy was awarded to owner/handled Mrs A Stephenson’s import from Italy, Made Chianti for Timtaurn and Best Veteran to Multi Ch Paolo Della Taparina, owned by Mrs A Venturini and handled by Daniele Tabarrini.
There have been a number of show achievements en route to this memorable day, with the highest accolade of Best In Show at Crufts 2023 being achieved by the Kan Trace kennel of Croatia, with their amazing global star, Multi BIS BISS JEW19 Am GChG Mult Ch Kan Trace Very Cheeky Chic (Orca). In 2020 at her first Crufts’ appearance, Orca won Best of Breed and went on to win Group 2.
In 2019, Gilder and Van Gemert’s Rozebottels Porthos gained a BPIS at Gundog Breeds, a Gundog Group 1 at Boston 2020 and a Gundog Group 4 at Boston 2022. In 2021, I awarded Mikette Winter Solstice Best Puppy at Gundog Society of Wales, where she went on to take RBPIS under Nigel Worth.  More recently in 2023 Kirsten Bond’s imported male, Kan Trace Emit Remmus gained Gundog Group 4 at East of England’s last show from his BOB/BP win.
Other notable Group places have been gained by Mangham’s imported Foogel Roberto at Onyxro with PG2 and PG1 during 2022, and also Gilder/Blunden’s homebred Mikette Maledictus, who gained a PG2 at East of England and PG4 at the National that same year. Their veteran Fullforge Free Horizons Con Mikette ShCM, the first Lagotto to gain a ShCM title, has been awarded five creditable Ch Show veteran group placements in 2023. All the above owners and breeders, along with many more Lagotto supporters, have contributed to the Lagotto receiving CC status and as we step into a new era, the Lagotto Romagnolo will undoubtedly continue to make its mark. The strong band of followers enjoy this rustic breed in many activities outside the recognised breed skills of truffle-hunting and retrieving - from Agility to Rally, from picking-up and beating on shoots to a variety of Scenting disciplines. The Lagotto is multi-talented! As a show dog and as an intelligent, rustic working companion, the recently-esteemed Lagotto Romagnolo is surely set for a long and successful future.
Carolyn Adkins-Fry (Bedeslea)

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