Crufts 2017 is fast approaching, so we at Dog Charmed HQ thought we would snuffle out some facts about the event; some you may know and some you won’t!
1. Crufts was the brainchild of Mr Charles Cruft, a travelling dog biscuit salesman. He had the idea of staging a dog show so he could promote his wares. Cruft’s was born in 1891. The Apostrophe was dropped in 1974 and became plain old Crufts.
2. The Best in Show award was first introduced in 1928 and was won by a Greyhound called Primley Spectre.
3. The first female owner of a Best in Show winner was in 1932 when Labrador, Bradshaw Bob, owned by Countess Howe, took the top award.
4. The event has been cancelled only a handful of times, for the duration of both World Wars and also in 1954 due to an electricians strike.
Crufts was forced to be held 2 months later than normal in 2001 due to the Foot And Mouth outbreak.
5. The most successful breed is the Cocker Spaniel who has won Best in Show an impressive 7 times!
6. The prize for winning Best In Show is £100 and a replica trophy! This may not sound very enticing but it can go up by thousands if you include possible sponsorship deals and stud fees.
7. Over 22,000 dogs are expected to compete this year. More than 3,000 of them are from overseas, travelling to Birmingham from 47 different countries!
8. More than 900 Veterinary Students from all of the UK Veterinary Universities will be attending Crufts as this is the best place to see numerous different dog breeds under the one roof!
9. ‘Junior Crufts’ is also held during the event. It’s official title is the International Junior Handling Competition. The competitors need to demonstrate how well they bond with and handle unfamiliar dogs. The finalists can select a first and second choice breed but they will never have met the individual dog until half an hour before the competition starts.
10. The Discover Dogs area will host over 200 different breeds of dog this year. This is a great opportunity for people to see different breeds and meet their owners.
11. Crufts have introduced new health standards. This has stemmed after last year’s controversy of awarding Best In Breed to a German Shepherd Dog, whose sloping back and unusual gait caused so much upset amongst viewers.
12. The practise of ‘double handling’ has been banned from Crufts as of this year. Double Handling is where there is an additional handler sat in the audience to attract the attention of the dog to keep it looking alert.
13. 2016 saw a Nepotism row hit Crufts amid claims that the Best Gundog catagory prize was awarded to the judge’s sister’s dog! The Kennel Club, however, said that no rules had been broken.