Things are getting more and more expensive to attend the (still) biggest dog show on earth. Hotel prices go up to triple or sometimes even four times the regular price. All for Crufts, the Mecca of the Canine believers.
At least once in a lifetime they all want to visit this show that has not been equaled in experience by any other Dog Show. However the World Dog Show of Paris in 2012 came close. But not only Hotel prices go up, everything is really expensive here, a simple sandwich costs 4 pounds, bigger ones go up to 10 pounds. A Catalog is 8 Pounds and if you come with your partner and 2 children, eat something and have a few drinks during the day, it will easily cost you a few hundred Pounds, and this while you even didn’t buy something for your dog in one of the hundreds of trade stands. More and more visitors and exhibitors come from the continent and travel thousands of kilometers to cross the channel and drive another 4 hours to Birmingham NEC while it is far from sure they will win. For those people it is even a lot more expensive. But they don’t mind as it is more important for them to be able to say that they have been at Crufts, or participated. The radiation that goes out from Crufts is unequaled till now and it seems increasing from year to year. This year 2650 were entered from 48 different overseas countries, a massive number.
Day one of this year’s edition welcomed the Working and the Pastoral group. The Working Group had 2740 dogs, the Pastoral group had 2797 dogs. High scoring breeds were the Boxers, 222 dogs, the Bernese Mountain Dogs, 211, The Beardeds 316 dogs. The Border Collies were with 301, the Rough Collies with 231 and the Shelties with 278.
On Day two the Terriers were on deck. Here we have 2308 dogs entered. They shared the day with the Hound Group. This large group had a total of 3025 dogs. Big numbers are to be found here in the Staffordshire Bull Terriers, 367 dogs, and the Border Terriers, yes, the Border Terriers with an amazing total number of 303 specimens. In the Hound Group the Whippets far outnumbered the other breeds. Dogs and bitches together were good for no less than 417 dogs. The Rhodesians and Beagles followed with 221 and 222 dogs respectively.
Saturday and Sunday are usually the most busy days, but it was already extremely busy this year on Thursday and Friday compared to other years and I wonder if any record will be broken with regard to visitor numbers or if it will only be mere impression?
Text and photos: Karl DONVIL