Crufts 2007 Champion Araki Fabulous Willy

Neil with Araki Fabulous Willy


25th April 2001 to 3rd December 2008

You were born to shine
And shine you did
You shall always shine in my heart
Your "Dad" misses you

"Willy" was born at Henley Bank Kennels 25th April 2001, bred by Ken Sinclair. It was agreed that we would allow him to be campaigned by our good friend Mark Cocozza who was showing an interest in Tibetan Terriers as well as being an excellent handler.

"Willy" went to his first Championship show at Midland Counties in 2001 and was recognised as a star in the making by the judge on the day, Sue Whitehead, who gave him best puppy. Not bad for a dog just over 6 months old.

He was a UK champion before the age of 2 years and was top Tibetan Terrier in 2002, 2003, 2004, & 2005, also being top Utility dog in 2004. "Willy" was owned by me and John Shaw a friend who I met whilst judging in Hong Kong.

Crufts 2007 Champion Araki Fabulous Willy - Photo by Carol Ann Johnson

When Mark retired from showing him in 2004 due to judging commitments, it allowed his breeder Ken Sinclair to take over the handling. In 2006 he became the top winning Tibetan Terrier ever in the history of the breed going on to win 45 cc's in total.

At this stage we decided to let "Willy" go to America to be campaigned on our behalf by Larry Cornelius. He went Best in Show at his first show in the US and gained many fans there during his stay.

"Willy" returned home to be shown at Crufts 2007, and the intention was that he would return to America to be shown there for the rest of the year. "Willy" had been Best of Breed at Crufts 2004 2005 and 2006, already and had won the Utility group in 2004 putting him into the final line up of 7 dogs. In 2007, however, he went that one stage further being Best Of Breed, Best Utility, and then being selected by Best in Show judge Zena Thorn-Andrews as Best in Show. It was the most exciting day I have ever had showing dogs and what is more you could tell "Willy" was enjoying it too.

Crufts 2007 Champion Araki Fabulous Willy - Photo by Carol Ann Johnson

"Willy" became a media personality for a week and he seemed to love it. He then retired from the show ring and spent his days lounging in the garden and on the sofa at home with me and his daughter "Dizzy" before he passed away in December 2008.

Araki Fabulous Willy doing some publicity Araki Fabulous Willy helping with the Crufts CD Launch
Neil Smith