If you follow me on Snapchat or Instagram, you’ll have seen that I went to Crufts over the weekend. For those of you that don’t know, Crufts which originated in 1891 is the world’s biggest dog show and is held at the NEC in Birmingham over four days each March. The show attracts people from all over the world and rather than just being a dog show, it is now more of a celebration of all dogs. I went along on Thursday which was the first day of the show and then Sunday which was the final day. I stayed to watch the judging of the Best In Show which was televised live on Channel 4 and is the prize that everyone showing their dog over the four days is ultimately hoping for.
My favourite thing about Crufts is walking around and seeing all of the different breeds being shown. On Sunday I sat and watched the Samoyeds, St Bernards and Finnish Lapphunds in the rings and I saw so many beautiful dogs. All around the rings there were other breeds being prepped for their big moment in the ring and most of the owners were more than happy to talk about their dogs and let you take photos. It’s amazing how well behaved these dogs are and it’s wonderful to see them in the rings.
As you walk around the halls, there are plenty of different stands offering everything you could ever need as a dog owner; there were plenty of stands selling discounted dog food, dog beds and toys as you would expect but there were also a number of charities such as The Dogs Trust and the Birmingham Dogs Home. There’s something for everyone in the Marketplace, there were even artists who specialise in pet portraits and I saw some lovely artwork by Claire Thorogood which I think is really worth checking out if you have a dog of your own.
In the Discover Dogs section, there are over 200 different breeds of dogs with their owners/breeders and you can go around and meet the dogs and ask any questions that you may have. I used this as a chance to learn more about some breeds that I either didn’t know much about or had never heard of before. I was particularly taken with the Shiba Inus which I learnt can live to be 16 or 17 which is a fantastic age for a dog!
At around 4pm on Sunday I headed to the arena to watch the agility finals, the judging of the Working and Pastoral groups and then finally Best In Show. The agility is always so exciting to watch, it’s amazing just how fast and well trained some dogs are and I thoroughly enjoyed every second. I was so pleased that I got to see Pudsey from Britains Got Talent doing his last ever agility competition, unfortunately he didn’t win but he did very well!
The famous Best In Show started at 8pm and I have no idea how the judge managed to pick a winner out of the seven finalists, they were all winners in my eyes! I was especially in love with the Newfoundland and the Old English Sheepdog.
The finalists were:
Lakeland Terrier named Alan
Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen named Frosty
Miniature Poodle named Frankie
Yorkshire Terrier named My Precious JP Kagayaki
American Cocker Spaniel named Afterglow Miami Ink
Newfoundland named Bentley
Old English Sheepdog named Pegasos
The overall winner of Best In Show was the American Cocker Spaniel, Afterglow Miami Ink. I was surprised to see that his owner Jason Lynn was also the same guy that owned the winner of Best In Show in 2014 which is the last time that I attended the show. The reserve winner was the Miniature Poodle, Frankie.
I had such a brilliant time at Crufts 2017 and I highly recommend you go next year if you’re a dog lover. There’s so much to see and if you don’t come away covered in dog hair then you’re not doing Crufts right!