Crufts 2012 is over for another year.
This year in spite of economic uncertainty and the gloom of financial troubles in the Euro zone didn’t effect the entries at Crufts.The entry was 25,000 dogs from all over the world.Crufts is heralded as the biggest dog show in the world and that no one can deny, but in most people’s eyes is still the greatest dog show on earth.
Since the pet passport system came in and qualification rules changed, has seen a massive overseas entry with many top dogs from all over the world , who come to compete against the best of British. This year was no different with a number of top honours and the best of breed winners being owned and shown by exhibitors from overseas. The Reserve best in show and working group winner was won by an outstanding Newfoundland that had traveled from Slovakia.
He was shown in pristine coat condition and moved with such power and length of stride for a giant dog. The toy group winner was a lovely,stylish Pomeranian with a real showy attitude. He was bred in Northern Ireland by a very successful kennel and exported to Sweden where he has done very well in Scandanavia. I felt the quality of the seven group winners was outstanding being superb examples of their breed. The Best in show winner was a 7 year old Lhasa apso.
She was captivating on the move with the long coat flowing as she glided across the green carpet. Crufts has a truelly international flair about it and if you ask any exhibitor from any part of the world, it doesn’t matter how much winning they have done in their own country or other neighbouring ones that matters most, it is the chance to compete and win at Crufts, that is the pinnacle. One of the reasons is that the U.k has always had a pool of very talented breeders with quality dogs that can compete with the best anywhere and to have a dog become a British Champion is still quite hard with the quality and quantity of entries at U.K Shows.
The National exhibition centre in Birmingham is ideally situated in the Midlands and being next to an airport is especially convenient for overseas visitors and exhibitors. Many dogs and owners have spent a great deal of time in getting here, not to mention the financial costs. There were exhibitors from South Africa who were allowed to travel without quarantine as long as they fulfilled the requirements for the pet passport scheme which changed in January, being more relaxed.
Crufts for me always has a magical feel about it.It is the shop window for the best of the British dogs.There are some who complain about the commercialism with the amount of stands every year. I do not know the amount of visitors who passed through the gate as yet but there is everything for the dog owner to enjoy and meet with like minded persons who are fortunate enough to share their lives with dogs that give so much unconditional love and ask for little in return.
There is the obedience, flyball competitions with teams from other countries.The DISCOVER DOGS was a brilliant idea and format launched a few years ago. For people thinking about purchasing a certain breed to meet experts and the dogs themselves to as attain as to the suitability of that breed for them. They are listed in alphabetical order with each breed having a stand/enclosure so you can see them first hand. All dogs were bred for a reason to perform certain tasks and it is important to learn as much as you can before purchasing one. Some were bred to hunt, herd sheep, guard livestock and others just as pleasant companions. They have individual breed characteristics and not just the way they look, but how they behave.
You hope that a dog will live on average for 12 years so it is important you make an educated choice in finding the right breed and a reputable breeder. The discover dogs gives you a chance to do just that and see some other breeds you would normally not think of or realise existed. We have a number of British an Irish breeds who are on the Kennel clubs endangered list,breeds which enjoyed popularity but for one reason or another have seen a worrying decline in numbers. Films, TV programmes in particular,soaps and dogs used in high profile advertising campaigns can all determine a breeds popularity which can be both positive and negative in the longterm.
Personally, this year saw an anniversary for me. The first Crufts I exhibited at was in 1982.This was at Earls court in London. I won my class with German shepherd dog and felt elated at a win at Crufts. I have won in the years that followed with other German shepherds and Afghan hounds and breeds I have shown for other people. You cannot enter Crufts without qualifying first at a championship show in the previous 12 months. This year I was showing my German shepherds thirty years later, and won a first with a young junior bitch, PETERWELL KAMILLA. There is a Royvon connection here also. Kamilla goes back 8 generations to a top dog that the late Roy and Yvonne James(founders of Royvon) imported from Germany. His name was CHAMPION FANTO VOM BARISCHENWALD.
So another year over. Is it worth the expense, sleep deprivation,the stress and preparation? I didn’t finish preparing my dogs until 1:00 am on Saturday morning after grooming, bathing and drying. Then load the car up and prepare refreshments to take with you for yourself and the dogs. I was up at 4:00 am to do the dogs that were staying at home and get up to the N.E.C early on the Saturday morning and not get back till late in the evening. It is stressful and can remember many years ago when Crufts was held in London that Yvonne James had left early to drive up to London, and had that horrible feeling that you get when you think you have left something important behind. She had money, dog leads and collars, show bag, picnic and the passes to get in an out. Then a few miles down the road realised what it was that she was missing. It was one of the dogs she was showing!!!! A bitch called CHAMPION ROYVON’S DANIELLE !!!!They had to go back and get her. So in answer to the question is it all worth it ?
YES it is. It is a guilty pleasure,see you next year !!!!
Written by Jim Adamson (Reservations Manager)