By Hugo Gye
Rivals: Icky, left, is vying with Mugly, right, for the much-coveted title of World's Ugliest Dog
Britain and the U.S. have been close allies for nearly two centuries, but the two nations' friendship has always had a competitive edge.
And 200 years after the War of 1812, Anglo-American rivalry looks set to manifest itself once again.
Only this time, the battle won't be decided by guns and cannons - the only weaponry involved comes in canine form.
For the UK and the U.S. will square off against one another this week for the right to boast of being home to the World's Ugliest Dog.
Flying the flag: Eight-year-old Nugly is the first ever British contestant in the annual competition
Representing the homeland: Icky, from Davis, California, does not have far to travel to Friday's event
The World's Ugliest Dog Contest has been held at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, California for the last 24 years, but this year is the first time a British contender will be involved.
The appropriately named Mugly, who hails from Peterborough in Cambridgeshire, has repeatedly received the title of Britain's ugliest dog.
And now the Chinese Crested dog is hoping to take the global crown in Friday's contest.
Stiff competition: Mugly is well known in Britain for being the country's least attractive canine
Focussed: National pride is at stake for Mugly, the upstart challenger from Peterborough in Cambridgeshire
But he will face some stiff competition from native Californian Icky, as these pictures show.
Both contenders will have received a boost from the death of the reigning champion Yoda, who passed away in March at the age of 15.
There is more than trans-Atlantic honour at stake in this fight - the winner (or his owner) will walk away with a prize of $1,000.
Ritual: Icky and Mugly are taking part in the 24th World's Ugliest Dog Contest at the Sonoma-Marin Fair
Proud: Icky and the other contestants are brave enough not to shy away from their unusual looks
RIP, champion: Yoda, who died in March aged 15, was named the World's Ugliest Dog last summer
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
By Hugo Gye