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Timeline: A Brief History of the World’s Largest Dog Show

1891- The first year the show bearing the name of Charles Cruft was held. The venue was the Royal Agricultural Hall in Islington, a borough of London.

CruftsTimeline1 3/9/2012

A complimentary pass for Day 1 of the Crufts dog show in 1894.

1920 – First Crufts Best in Show award, given to the Greyhound, Primley Sceptre, owned by H. Whitley.

1932 – First female owner to win Best in Show: the Countess Howe, with Labrador Retriever Bramshaw Bob.

1936 – Entries break 10,000 for the first time.

1938 – Charles Cruft dies. His wife, Emma, takes over running of the show.

CruftsTimeline2 - 3/9/2012

Charles Cruft passed away in 1938.

1942 -1947 – Crufts not held due to World War II and its immediate aftermath.

1948 – The first Crufts show held under Kennel Club auspices and Emma Crufts hands over the reins. The show is held at Olympia, an exhibition center in London. Eighty-four breeds are represented, nearly doubling that of the first show.

1950 – Crufts first televised by the British Broadcasting Corporation. Seven new breeds are added, with some being simply split (long and smooth-haired Dachshunds), and others making their first entrance (Norwegian Buhunds).

1955 – Crufts becomes an Obedience Championship show.

1961 – Entries break 15,000 for the first time.

1979 – The show is moved to Earl’s Court, London, having outgrown the former venue at Olympia.

CruftsTimelime3 - 3/9/2012

Crufts was held at Earl’s Court, London, for many years.

1980 – First official agility competition held at Crufts.

1982 – Due to rapidly climbing entries, the show is increased from two days to three.

1985 – The K.C. initiates its Junior Organisation, today called the Young Kennel Club. International junior events are now a highlight of the current Crufts show.

1987 – Another day is added, bringing the total to four.

1988 – More than 110,000 people attend this year’s event, making it the most popular show to be held at Earl’s Court.

1990 – Flyball makes its first appearance as a demonstration sport.

1991 – Crufts Centenary Show is moved outside London for the first time, to Birmingham’s National Exhibition Center, where it is held to this day. A record entry of 22,991 dogs is reached.

1994 – “Discover Dogs” is introduced as part of the Kennel Club’s commitment to representing and educating the public about responsible dog ownership. Visitors learn about different breeds, and how they may or may not fit a particular lifestyle. One day the American Kennel Club will model its “Meet the Breeds” after “Discover Dogs.”

2000 – Rescue dogs of all shapes and sizes get their moment in the spotlight with the addition of Rescue Dog Agility.

2001 – Due to the Foot and Mouth epidemic sweeping Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Crufts moves from March to May. International Agility Competition is held for the first time. Also this year, the new Pet Travel Scheme means foreign dogs compete at Crufts for the first time without having to go through quarantine.

2009 – The BBC does not broadcast Crufts this year. The dog show streams online for the first time, and becomes the most watched channel on YouTube in the U.K.

2012 – Introduction of veterinary checks for Best of Breed winners in 15 “high-profile” breeds.

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