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Crufts – 127 Years Of Dedication To Man’s Best Friend

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196 – April, 2018

By Roxane Daunt – Photography by Lisa Croft-Elliott

Over the years, Crufts has become one of the largest and most prized dog shows in the world. In fact, more than just a dog show, it now celebrates every aspect of the role that dogs play in our lives. It has changed in ways that couldn’t possibly have been imagined when the show was set up in Victorian times by the late Charles Cruft.

Crufts amazing story started when the young Charles left college in 1876 with no desire to join the family jewelry business. Instead, he took employment with James Spratt who had set up a new venture in London selling ‘dog cakes’. Charles Cruft was very ambitious and after a relatively short apprenticeship as an office boy, he got promoted to traveling salesman. In this new role, he had many contacts with large estates and sporting kennels.

His next career move with Spratts saw him travel to Europe. In 1878, French dog breeders, perhaps seeing entrepreneurial talent in Cruft, invited him to organize the promotion of the canine sec- tion of the Paris Exhibition. He was just two years out of college.

Back in England in 1886, he took up the management of the Allied Terrier Club Show at the Royal Aquarium, Westminster. And five years later, in 1891, the first Cruft’s show was held at the Royal Agricultural Hall in Islington.

Although it was a very different event in 1891, Charles Cruft was a great showman and would surely have enjoyed the size and scope of the show we know today, an event which has become an essential date in any dog lover’s calendar.

So, this year again, from March 8 to 11, dog enthusiasts from all over the world gathered at the Birmingham National Exhibition Centre (NEC) to experience the World’s greatest dog show.

More than 21,000 dogs, representing over 200 breeds competed to be crowned Crufts 2018 Champion. Never before in the show’s 127-year history have so many breeds been represented and had the opportunity to get their paws on the ultimate prize in dogs. And breaking even more records, this year’s edition saw an impressive entry of 3,623 dogs from outside the UK with 48 countries represented. This made the 2018 edition the most international one ever.

Click here to read the complete article
196 – April, 2018

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