Pearl at Cruft's dog show 2006
Life’s a Bichon at number one HANOVER TWP. - In the United States, the Westminster Dog Show is the big show, but the largest dog show in the world is Crufts Dog show with 22,000 dogs from all over the world competing in Birmingham, England.
Up until two years ago there was a quarantine rule that no dog could enter the show from the United States. Now, with some red tape and blood tests done in advance, dogs from the United States have taken on the big show.
Some have taken it on very well.
An American Bichon Frisé from Whippany, owned by Dr. John and Karen Graeber, went to Crufts and competed. It was the first time a female Bichon Frisé was entered from the United States in the history of Crufts dog show. The dog did more than quite well, which means it is now the first female Bichon from the U.S. to win first place at the competition.
The dog’s name is “Pearl” to all who know and love her, but to the dog show world she is known as Brazilian/ South American/ Argentinean/Costa Rica/ American and now International Champion “Whitebred's Kissed By A Rose.
Pearl won Best of Breed and a World Dog Show title in Brazil two years ago and now has been awarded the Best Female Bichon Frisé out of 132 at the Crufts Dog Show March 8.
The English judging system is different than that of the American Kennel Club (AKC), so Pearl was the first female Bichon Frisé to be awarded the point award called a CC. Pearl was shown by her professional handler, Anibal Faria.
Pearl was ranked as Number One female Bichon Frisé in the U.S. for 2003 and 2004 and qualified for Crufts by winning Awards of Merit at Westminster Dog Show and Eukanuba Dog Shows, according to John Graeber. She was exclusively owner-handled as a puppy and then exclusively by Anibal Faria. Faria and Pearl have become so close he speaks to her in Portuguese and English.
She has traveled to more countries than any bitch, winning Reserve Best in Show in Costa Rica at the Las Americas Shows, then to her first world show in Rio de Janeiro to win a Best of Breed and Group 3. The following year she went back to the World Dog Show so that she could complete her International title and received her Argentinean title. This also allowed her to receive a South American title. There was so much red tape to go through to get into Crufts, according to the Graebers. First, one applies for a certificate to compete in the United Kingdom. Then there are many blood tests and air cargo arrangements. But through it all Pearl remained unfazed, the Graebers said, stepping with ease off the plane and ready to hit the ring.