Crufts 2022 – The ‘Wake-Up’



During the last European show in Hungary, we were discussing when the last Crufts happened. We were all very confused; some said it was in 2020, others were convinced that it was in 2019. Some counted how many were skipped while others counted in years. The last Crufts happened right after the outbreak of Corona and just before the national governments all over the world went into lockdown. We missed 2021, the year it would have been Cruft’s 130th Anniversary. Now, in March 2022, the UK government was one of the first to lift all Corona measurements. It promised to be a strange Crufts again—the “wake-up” of the dog show scene.

Best in Show: Int. Ch. Almanza Backseat Driver, Retriever (Flat Coated)
Best in Show: Int. Ch. Almanza Backseat Driver, Retriever (Flat Coated)
Reserve Best in Show: Ch. Afterglow Agent Orange, Poodle (Toy)
Reserve Best in Show: Ch. Afterglow Agent Orange, Poodle (Toy)

It was for sure that there would be a serious impact because of Brexit. However, less than two weeks before the show, Russia invaded Ukraine, and suddenly shocked the world once more. The Western World sided with democratically chosen and ruled Ukraine and immediately imposed sanctions on Russia. The FCI and the British Kennel Club imposed a ban on the Russian Kennel Federation and all of its activities. Russian judges are no longer allowed to judge abroad, Russian entries are refused, Russian journalists are refused, and more. This was not an easy decision, but like the Olympic Games or other events, it was not against the people of Russia but against the Russian regime. Unfortunately, it created a lot of hate among many Russians who did not understand all this, brainwashed as they were by their totalitarian regime. Bad luck again for Crufts.

For the diehards, it was a welcome reunion; hugging friends was allowed again and happy faces were all over, and soon it looked like it was only yesterday since we saw each other. That’s the strength that radiates from Crufts—world-wide-wiedersehen! On the other hand, it was clear what impact Brexit had on the show; not more than five trade stands were non-British! Many corners were empty and because the stands were not rearranged, the spaces where there used to be big foreign stands were clearly visible now, empty! As after many years, most of the trade stands used to have their own specific locations, I could easily tell who was not present. Due to Brexit, the administration to bring in goods and take back the leftovers was too complex, and here you have the result.

The very same was visible in the number of foreign exhibitors. The 2018 edition had 21,032 entries, the 2020 edition still had 19,909, but now there were only 16,924. The ban of Russian entries was hardly of any influence. In 2018 and 2019, the total number of Russian entries was below 300 dogs. Of course, there were still travel restrictions in many countries. And because there have been hardly any shows due to COVID it probably drastically affected the number of entries too. Most of all, in my opinion, a lot of people were still not sure that COVID could spoil things again. Britain was the first country to lift almost all COVID measurements, and probably a lot of foreigners were afarid that they had to reintroduce some again. In total, 1,843 dogs were entered from abroad compared to 3,171 for the last edition, and also the number of countries decreased from 43 to 38. Too soon to tell what exactly had the most impact and if Crufts will fully recover again. I suppose we will have a much more reliable view on that next year; at least if there will not be another world problem that comes lurking around the corner.

The Hungarian Pumis were able to win CCs this year, the Smooth Faced Pyrenéan Shepherd was accepted as a new breed, and since 1898, the Harriers are back again at Crufts. That’s what is new and brings us to 222 different breeds. Altogether, including the participants for the different sports activities, there were about 20,000 dogs gathered in the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham. The very same halls were occupied, good for 25 acres of Expo Halls, and about 5,000 collaborators and volunteers were there to help all this come to a good end—impressive numbers! One trend continues, Scrufts, which is winning every year in popularity. This competition is meant for mongrels and mixed breeds.

The various competitions are very popular in the UK. Flyball, very popular but extremely loud, was not on display in the arena on Sunday, although this used to be one of the items to bring the public in the right mood. Agility, probably the most popular dog sport, had to take over. I was particularly moved to see how often one could find the Ukrainian flag in different ways. More than one participant was wearing something in the colors blue and yellow; one was even completely dressed like that and another had a T-shirt with a yellow dove of peace over the Ukrainian map on a blue background. Solidarity with Ukraine was all over. Many stands made private collections; the BOB photo team made a collection, Birdbrook Rosettes made a big collection and an auction, and also sold ribbons and rosettes in the Ukrainian colors, all for the good cause. They even charged an official to do the counting of the collections. The British Kennel Club itself proudly donated 50,000 pounds out of the Kennel Club Charity Trust and had placed collection boxes all over the place. Everyone seemed to be involved in one way or another, the solidarity was overwhelming. Right before the finals on Sunday, an interview was displayed in the arena before 7,000 people and in Livestream with one of the volunteers who works in and for the dogs in shelters in Kyiv.

It makes me happy that every year more focus is put on the relationship between man and dog. We cannot deny that dog shows have much to do with man’s vanity and only to a lesser extent with the breed in itself. More than a decade ago, a shocking reportage on the BBC opened our eyes, and since then, we again understand more and more that soundness and health come before beauty. No other show better understood this message and became a real gamechanger since.

Let’s talk about high scores now. The top foreign countries are Italy with 265 entries, the Irish Republic with 244, followed by France with 202 entries, and Germany with 175. The winner of the Hound Group, a Greyhound called “Aya,” was from Germany. Hungary won the Pastoral Group with a Border Collie named “Lenor,” and Spain won the Toy Group with “Conan,” a Yorkshire Terrier.

On Thursday, we had the Working Group with 1,681 entries. Here, the Bernese Mountain Dogs had the highest entry with 140 specimens, followed by the Great Danes with 132. It was also the day for the Pastoral Group, good for 2,104 entries, and here the Border Collies had the top score with 253 entries, before the Bearded Collies with 205, and the Rough Collies with 158 entries.

The Terrier and the Hound Groups were on turn on Friday with 1,926 and 2,438 entries respectively. The Staffordshire Bull Terriers were dominant here with 306 entries, largely more than the 233 Border Terriers. It surprised me how popular this breed suddenly is. In the Hound Group, the Whippets were present with 382, then the Beagles with 188, and the Rhodesian Ridgebacks with 183. But if we take all the Dachshunds as one breed, then they beat everything with 510 entries.

Utility was on Friday with 2,228 individual dogs to judge, and the Toy Group was good for another 2,009 dogs. In the first Group, the Dalmatians were leading with 202 dogs, then the Bulldogs with 189, and the French Bulldogs with 178. The Poodles, all varieties together, had 311 dogs. The Chihuahuas, however, were with 283, Smooth and Long Coat together, the Pugs with 223, and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniels with 194.

Sunday had only one Group, plus the big finals. It was Gundog Day! A total of 3,910 dogs had to be judged and this is not only the largest Group but it holds the two most popular breeds; the Golden Retrievers leading with 458 entries, followed closely by the Labrador Retrievers with 456 dogs in the rings. The Cocker Spaniel was also the fourth highest scoring breed with 321 entries, and the Flat Coated Retriever, delivering the Best in Show, was represented by 224 of them.

Notwithstanding the general drop in numbers for the show, these are still large numbers! I have no idea if the number of visitors dropped significantly, but overall, this Crufts gave a much more relaxed impression. In general, it was easy walking. It is hard to tell if this affected the traders for the better because you could take your time to have a closer look or ask for information. I did not discover any big novelties, at least nothing spectacular, and I missed shops with paintings, antique statues, and prints. Like everywhere, antiques are losing popularity. But maybe I overlooked it because, still, it is immense how many trade stands are here. Crufts is the place to be when it comes to presenting new things in the canine world and it is the biggest market in the world, with a huge turnover.

It is also clear that Crufts suffered from the COVID-pandemia, the Brexit, and now the war in Ukraine. Things have changed, and while at first it looked like nothing changed in those past two years, a lot did change! We lost people in our cynological world. We were hardly able to make new friends for two years, and still, there was a kind of familiarity all around. It was like a remake of a film where we could recognize scenes and decors from the old one but had to get used to new actors, new added scenes, and others left out. But we came to see it, to see how it changed, and to experience if it was still as good as we thought it was in the past. Will Crufts 2022 be the start of a new era, a wake-up?


Crufts 2022 Results


Best In Show

Judge: Mr. Stuart Plane

Int. Ch. Almanza Backseat Driver

Retriever (Flat Coated)

Ms. R. & Mr. P. Ulin & Oware


Reserve Best In Show

Ch. Afterglow Agent Orange

Poodle (Toy)

Mr. T., Mr. J., Mrs. S. & Mr. J. Isherwood, Lynn, Stone & Shaw


Working Group

Judge: Mr. Robin Newhouse

1. Ch. Siberiadrift Keep The Love for Zimavolk

Siberian Husky

Miss J. Allen

2. Int. Ch. Black Star del Biagio

Alaskan Malamute

G. Biagiotti (Italy)

3. Ch. Lanfrese Argento


Mr. M. Griffiths

4. Ch. Cyberus Its All About Bertie for Womlu


Mr. S. & Mrs. T. Coulman-Hole


Pastoral Group

Judge: Mr. Jeff Horswell

1. Etched in Sand by The Lake

Border Collie

Miss Sólyom (Hungary)

2. Ch. Penliath Bill Me Later (ai)

Welsh Corgi (Pembroke)

Mrs. C. B. & Miss N. L. Blance

3. Ch. Ukkonen Av Vintervidda

Finnish Lapphund

Mr. C. L. Lauluten

4. Ch. Moonshadow Mud Bug (Imp Usa)

Hungarian Puli

Miss H. Watts


Terrier Group

Judge: Mr. Paul Eardley

1. Turith Adonis

Irish Terrier

Mr. J. & Mr. A. Averis & Barker

2. Northcote´s Isn´t That The Way

Lakeland Terrier

Mr. F. W. Schoeneberg

3. Ch. Rocabec Riding Shotgun

Bedlington Terrier

Mr. & Mrs. P. Cumming

4. Flanagan Limited Edition

Skye Terrier

Miss B. Bláhová


Hound Group

Judge: Mr. Gavin Robertson

1. Ch. Ina’s Fashion Desirable


Mrs. I. Koulermou

2. Creme Anglaise’s Irish Cream


Mr. J. W. & Mr. K. Akerboom &
Van Der Schaaf (Netherlands)

3. Ch. Vaskurs Moni Maker Qiwidotter,

Pharaoh Hound

Mr. T. & Mrs. S. Torres

4. Ch. Forget-Me-Not V Tum-Tum’s Vriendjes,

Basset Griffon Vendeen (Grand)

Mrs A.n. Huikeshoven (Netherlands)


Utility Group

Judge: Mr. Rodney Oldham

1. Ch. Afterglow Agent Orange

Poodle (Toy)

Mr T., Mr J., Mrs. S. & Mr. J. Isherwood, Lynn, Stone & Shaw

2. Elvis The Amazing Boy del Tassino to Loyjean (Imp Che)

Chow Chow

Mr. W. Mcnaught

3. Ch. Ellemstra Against All Odds


Mrs. E. J. & Mr. C. N. Emmett & Simons

4. Ch. Minarets Best Kept Secret

Poodle (Miniature)

Miss M. Harwood


Toy Group

Judge: Mr. Bert Easdon

Ch. Royal Precious Jp’s F4 Conan

Yorkshire Terrier

Mrs. Obana

2. Ch. Tiny Fellow`s U Got The Look


Miss C. & Mr. T. Kristoffersen & Losen

3. Leogem Winter Melody

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Mr. D. & Mrs. T. Homes

4. Ch. Limartine Mr Blue

Bichon Frise

Mrs. A. Mault


Gundog Group

Judge: Mr Sigurd Wilberg

1. Int. Ch. Almanza Backseat Driver

Retriever (Flat Coated)

Ms. R. & Mr. P. Ulin & Oware

2. Gwendariff Come Fly with Me

Irish Setter

Mrs. D. Stewart- Ritchie

3. Ch. Layways Van Winkle

Hungarian Vizsla

Miss E. J. Miles

4. Ch. Coedcernyw Calendar Girl

Spaniel (Cocker)

Mr. I. & Mrs. S. Hillier


Crufts 2022 – The ‘Wake-Up’
Article, photos, and results: Karl DONVIL


  • I have always been extremely fond of dogs, starting with a mongrel at 4 years of age, later 2 Great Danes and then, my most favorite breed, 5 racing Salukis, bred from an import Saluki from Kurdistan. Unfortunately, I no longer have dogs. My passion for photography started at 12 when I developed my first films. I started my career in the canine press working for one small Belgian Magazine. It was when "Pedigree" discovered my skills that my career got a big boost, bringing me all over Europe and South America as their principal photographer. In 2001 I started the World Dog Press Association, uniting worldwide all the professional photographers, reporters and editors and turned it into an International non-profit organization with members in every continent of the world. An achievement that I am very proud of. I also worked for the FCI for several years. Whether my reports are on small shows or on big events, I try to be sharp but constructive in order to make changes in the favor of dogs, dog shows and canine sports in general. I live in the Flemmish part of Belgium, not far from Brussels, and together with my wife I support a big animal loving family; 4 married children and 11 grandchildren, all vegetarians. I recently joined the Showsight Team and I am so proud of that. I love reading and always read English books on my Kindle in order to train myself constantly, but it will never be my mother tongue. And that's where a good team like the Showsight Team comes to help, making corrections to my work while remaining loyal to my original text.

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