The History of the Crufts Dog Show
This year marks the 125th anniversary of Crufts, the biggest dog show in the UK. Since the first Crufts dog show in 1891, Crufts has awarded 78 Best in Show winners, with 43 different breeds taking home the trophy!
We have had a round up of the key events in Crufts dog show history, taking you from the very first show up until the present show we all know and love!
1891 – Charles Cruft held the first Cruft’s show at the Royal Agricultural Hall, Islington with 2,437 entries and 36 breeds.
1918–1920 – Cruft’s was suspended due to the First World War.
1928 – ‘Best in Show’ award was introduced to Crufts. The first winner is a Greyhound called Primley Sceptre.
1932 – First female owner of Best in Show, Lorna Countess Howe with Labrador retriever, Bramshaw Bob.
1938 – Charles Cruft died. His wife, Emma Cruft took over the running of the show until it was handed over to Kennel Club in 1948.
1942-1947 –Cruft’s was not held for 5 years due to the Second World War.
1948 – The first Cruft’s Show under Kennel Club takes place The show changed locations to Olympia.
1950 – Crufts first televised on television by the BBC.
1952 – Crufts is nearly cancelled due to the death of King George VI on 6th February, but is held two days later.
1955 – Cruft’s becomes an Obedience Championship Show. Working Sheepdogs are entered, becoming the first crossbreeds to compete at Cruft’s.
1961 – Entries break the 15,000 mark for the first time
1974 – Cruft’s changes to Crufts, during a re brand as it is decided that the apostrophe is no longer needed (despite being grammatically incorrect!)
1979 – The show moves to Earls Court as the increasing number of entries had the show outgrowing its former venue at Olympia.
1980 – First official Agility competition at Crufts – with the move comes a new atmosphere at the event.
1982 –The show is extended to three days to accommodate the increasing numbers of dogs and spectators.
1987 – The show is extended to four days to accommodate further increases in the number of dogs and spectators.
1988 – More than 110,000 people visited Crufts this year, making Crufts not only the biggest dog show, but also the most popular show to be held at Earls Court.
1990 – Flyball competition was first demonstrated.
1991 – Crufts Show moved from London to Birmingham National Exhibition Centre (NEC)
1994 – Kennel Club introduced the Discover Dogs area to Crufts to encouraging responsible dog ownership. This area allows visitors to find out more about certain breeds and how they would fit into their lifestyle.
2000 – Rescue Dog Agility was introduced to Crufts, allowing rescue dogs to be celebrated in demonstrations.
2001 – The break out of Foot & Mouth disease meant Crufts was moved from March to May.
2004 – ‘Friends for Life’ competition first appeared, then called Hero Dogs. The competition ensures dogs gets the recognition they deserve for bravery, support and companionship.
2008 – Crufts joins Facebook, and now has more than 179,000 fans.
2009 – Crufts dog show became available to stream online and became the most watched channel on YouTube in the UK!
2012 – As an additional safety net to complement the 2009 vet checks, it is announced that Best of Breed winners and champions in the 15 high profile breeds, which may have a tendency to suffer from health problems due to exaggerated features, will need to be vet checked before their awards are confirmed from Crufts 2012 onwards.
Are you going to be a Crufts this year? If so, come join us at the Dog Rocks stand (Hall 2, Stand 114) for drinks and nibbles March 11th at 4 pm.