Showsight April 2023


any Charity Trust of their choice. The oth- ers win 1,000£ each. I was personally very impressed by a teenage boy and his dog who wanted to raise 30,000£ for a Roman Charity organization, close to the Ukrai- nian border, by sleeping outside in a tent for more than 650 nights—together with his dog! Remember last year when Crufts was confronted by the invasion of Russia into Ukraine? The Kennel Club Charitable Trust immediately took action and raised over 255,000£ to help dogs and own- ers caught up in the conflict. Crufts also celebrated this year the Northern Ireland Search and Rescue team for their splendid work in the recent Turkish/Syrian earth- quake aftermath. And after an impressive display given by the Midlands Police team, a dog and his handler were publicly deco- rated for a remarkable intervention during the past year. New this year, there was a special 150th Anniversary Stakes Compe- tition on Thursday where 10 BIS dogs of the General Championship Dog Shows from 2022 competed. This is comparable to the Champion of Champions show held from time to time under the FCI flag on the continent; nice intermezzos of the Finals, but we all came in the first place to see who would win the Groups and who would finish Best in Show. On Thursday, we had the Gundogs, the only Group that day and holding the two most popular breeds in the UK; the Labrador with 537 entries and the Golden Retriever with 491. The winner of this Group was the Lagotto Romagnolo, also known as the truffle dog. “Orca” is her name and she is four years old. Her own- ers, Sabina Zdunić Šinković and Ante Lucin from Croatia, and her handler, Javi- er Gonzalez Mendikote, drove 25 hours to get there. The Working and Pastoral Groups were judged on Friday. “Archie,” a Dobermann from Chichester, West

The performances and Group finals in the Arena every evening were very well attended, but there are always things going on during the day too; Agility, Flyball, Heelwork to Music, etc., but also demon- strations of all kinds like demonstrations of Police Work, Medical Detection Dogs, and one of the highlights on Friday morn- ing, the International Junior Handling competition with the Finals during the evening program. Daily catalogs are still available and are essential if you follow certain breeds, but for the regular visitor, there is nothing better than the Official Show Guide. This is well illustrated with useful and informative articles on keep- ing, caring for, and sporting with dogs. It explains how the show system works, gives background information and interviews, has a plan of the area and an “easy to find your shop” overview with all details of every trade stand. In the back is the Daily Planner with ring timetables and a Breeds Overview with details. It is also a kind of encyclopedia of dogs, showing a small illustration of every breed, with groom- ing tips, size, lifespan, and a reference to the booth in the “Discover Dogs Village” where you can meet almost every breed recognized by the Kennel Club. I still think that the Show Guide is the best idea the Kennel Club has ever had. It is useful for children who have to give a presenta- tion in school and it is just something to keep if you are thinking of keeping a dog. Besides the well-known items in the main ring, like the winner of the Heelwork to Music with a stunning performance this year, and the Finals, there are certain items that are usually very much supported. There is Scruffts, for example, a show for crossbreeds and mongrels. People adore it! Another one is Friends for Life, now called “Hero Dog.” Five dogs and their owners are laureates to win the 5,000£ first prize for

to the entrance. And around the NEC there are huge parking areas. All this, plus its location near the intersection of major highways, makes it very convenient for the thousands of people who attend this yearly highlight on the dog show calendar. An impressive number of over 5,000 people volunteer to make this happen. If you weren’t able to attend Crufts, Channel 4 and More 4 covered the show with 16-1/2 hours on television, besides on YouTube, and Crufts is now also on TikTok. Since it first became possible for for- eign exhibitors to participate if their dog or dogs qualified for Crufts, the show has become probably the most international of all dog shows in the world. Indeed, to be able to enter your dog at Crufts, you need to qualify at one of the “qualifying shows” in your country. Since Brexit, it became again more complicated to bring your dog over for the show as you also need to have a travel passport. But this could not stop 3,457 dogs from overseas. France was the frontrunner with 398 entries this year. While Italy was leading last year, it came in second with 387 entries. Ireland fol- lowed with 333 dogs, Germany with 332 dogs, and The Netherlands with 307. There were 49 entries from the United States and three from Australia, besides more remote countries like Brazil, Peru, and Argentina. From Asia, Japan sent nine dogs to com- pete and Thailand sent four. Ukraine did send 10 dogs and one family even trav- eled 3,000 km. each way from as far as Odessa; not an easy trip especially due to the bad weather, which was very coura- geous. Dogs from Russia were not allowed. Coming from abroad, however, seemed not a decision made in vain, as three out of the seven Best of Group dogs were dogs from the continent, including the BIS and RBIS!


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