The Last Crufts before Brexit!

From the April 2019 Issue of ShowSight. Click to subscribe.

Birmingham, England | March 7-10 | 

Since 2002 Crufts was open for any dog from the continent as far as he had qualified. From the start on the BIS was won by a Nordic Standard Poodle. 17 Years later there was a first decline in overseas entries from 3626 to 3611 this year and from 48 countries to 45 countries. Is it a sign? Will Brexit put a heavy tax on the success of Crufts? As long as it is not clear how Brexit will enroll, the impact on Crufts will be difficult to tell. Caroline Kisko, secretary of the Kennel Club, on asking her opinion, at first did not want to talk about politics, but after insisting slightly, she told me that she was rather confident that the impact would not be too great and that rules would be set when it comes to traveling with dogs and that it would hardly know any difference. She said that it would depend on how the Europe would consider the United Kingdom, that rules would be much tighter or not. With 20395 dogs entered for the show and 3611 of them coming from abroad, things would turn out badly if the number of overseas entries would significantly drop, knowing that 3097 of them are from Europe countries. And looking at the numbers, the dogs entered from the UK have seriously dropped too, from 21259 in 2001 to 16784 this year. We can only wait and see what the future will bring, but one thing is sure, Crufts will not disappear yet in the near future. It will remain the standard, the world’s most popular and famous dog festival. The top country this year was Italy with 413 entries, beating France who used to be the leader so far and that had 389 or 72 less than last year. Ireland had 315 dogs competing here. How the Brexit will have an impact on them, is hard to predict, but Ireland remains in the Europe. Russia had 284 dogs in this edition, Sweden 265 and the USA 25. Dogs came as far as from New Zealand and Chile and Réunion in the hope to win this prestigious title.

And a festival it is! If you want to visit it, buy a Show Guide at the entrance and see the time schedule and plan of the halls and rings and still then you will need to make choices and compromises. You can’t see it all, impossible. It is easy to spend a whole day just for shopping and for some even that would not be enough. You can visit the “discover dogs” area if you are looking after a breed that would fit for you. You can try to attend all the displays offered by famous dog food brands. If you are interested in Obedience, head for hall five and don’t come out every day of the show. The arena offers fun and action every day from 8.45 till the very end, no need to come out. Every other hall has an activity ring where you can sit and watch the most diverse canine activities you can imagine, except for Dog races and lure coursing, rescue on water and a few other sports that need specific accommodation. And of course, you can get in contact with dogs and handlers that are professionally involved and working daily with dogs, like police, customs, army, fire brigade, search and rescue teams, etc. But far out the most popular are the breed judgings. Winning at Crufts is the max! Even ending at the end of the line-up is in most breeds an honor taken into account the large numbers of dogs entered. Crufts if for champions what means that you are competing with top dogs from all over the world and it’s not a disgrace to be placed at the end of the line. The Olympic motto “participating is more important than winning” is nowhere more applicable than here. It is remarkable that you hardly find someone who is complaining about the judging or about the show, even taken into account all the efforts and expenses made to come over.

The popularity of Crufts is proof that people like strong competition. It’s not just the show competition, but there are so many disciplines here where they compete in that it would be a real disaster for Crufts if Brexit would make it again as difficult as before 2002 to come over to participate. But beside the international competitions for pure bred dogs, a lot of crossbreeds and mongrels are welcomed now at Crufts. Many agility, flyball and obedience dogs are crossbreeds, and police dogs are often crossbreeds too or at least not bred according to the standard in the first place. But Crufts has now also Scruffts, a sideshow especially for mongrels and crossbreeds and in four categories. How they are selected I don’t know but the competition is rather popular. It is shocking to read that in the United Kingdom 12% of the people pay a pup in advance and no fewer than 630.000 pups are delivered at home, just a like package ordered online! On the other hand, the Kennel Club saves no effort to inform, guide and help people to find a suitable dog breed, to preserve the diversity of the different breeds and to temper the popularity of certain popular breeds. The Scottish Terrier, for example, a breed well known, entered the list of the vulnerable breeds with only 438 registrations in 2018, while the French Bulldog became the most popular breed in the United Kingdom with 36.785 registrations, dethroning the Labrador Retriever. The British Kennel Club recognizes now 221 breeds. 18 Of them are still in the Any Variety class. New since this year is the Swiss White Shepherd Dog, the Russian Toy and the Black and Tan Coonhound. Of the first breed, 18 were entered, of the second, 34 and of the Coonhound 
12 specimen.

Crufts is also the biggest market in the world for canine articles. Every hall out to the five has its trade stands facing the Piazza and it is impossible to see anything of the judging or the other competitions unless you pass them, smart! The turnover at Crufts must be difficult to translate into figures, but every trader or brand that respects itself has a stand over here and even if we know that it is probably very expensive to be here, it is worth it. Very few regret to be here and year after year you see the same traders coming back, mostly on the very same spot. Some don’t, and their places are taken by newcomers. 84% Of all the visitors are said to visit the trade stands. New this year was the Fitcolar, comparable with a sports watch. The app was developed by Kasper & Kitty, a new dog food producer. Transgroom, a Belgian company, was introducing an electric grooming brush that would save easily 50% of grooming time and prevents developing wrist problems for the groomer. Of course, almost anything can be found here, new training stuff, hand made leaches, decoration, all you need to transport your dog, health items for dogs,…name it and you’ll probably find it here.

The NEC, the famous and biggest expo halls in the United Kingdom, passed into private hands since between this and last edition, where before it was proudly owned by the City of Birmingham. The city was forced to sell after being sentenced to a gigantic fine. The result was clearly visible in small changes here and there, but it was prominent in the toilets that were less cleaned and where an unpleasant odor came out of the hand dryers. Outside, in front of the main entrance, new constructions arise, a shopping mall, 
restaurants, new hotels… For sure there will be more to discover next year.

As every year there are slight changes regarding the show itself, but what makes Crufts such a smooth running show is that it is every year again based on the same screenplay. There is enough activity to fill the programs for the evenings. The Chairman of the Kennel Club, Steve Coxford, is an Agility man and that showed off this year. Every evening there was some competition on display and Agility always means fun and action. Thursday had the Eukanuba World Challenge Finals as the highlight of the evening with 36 dogs of as many different nationalities competing for the huge prize of 7.500 EURO. It was the second time that Crufts was hosting this Championship final. The winner this year was the Bobtail Ch. Bottom Shaker Zephyr Dream, owned by Jozsef Koroknai from Hungary. Thursday had only one group, the largest one, the Gundogs. 4428 Dogs were entered in this group. Some amazing numbers are; 178 Gordon Setters, 253 Irish Setters, 233 Pointers, 338 Flat Coated Retrievers, 531 Labradors, 537 Golden Retrievers, 357 Cocker Spaniels and 192 Welsh Springer Spaniels. The highlight of Friday Breeders Competition, always spectacular to see groups of minimum three dogs of the same breeds, fill up the arena with handlers often dressed up in spectacular outfits, matching the breeds or its history. This group was judged by Mrs. Carole Coode.

The Working Group and Pastoral Group were on term with respectively 2282 dogs and 2643 dogs in competition. Sticking numbers were; 162 Malamutes, 177 Bernese Mountain Dogs, 199 Boxers, 176 Newfoundlanders, 169 Rottweilers and 171 Siberian Huskies in the Working Group and 160 Australian Shepherds, 273 Bearded Collies, 330 Border Collies, 227 Rough Collies and 235 Shetland Sheepdogs in the Pastoral Group. The Working Group judge was Miss. Elena Haapaniemi from Finland, while Mr. Rodney Oldham judged the Pastoral Group.

Saturday is usually a top day. In the Arena, the public was treated with the Finalist performance of Heelwork to Music. It looked to me less original as usual, but I suppose it must have been a difficult one, performed close to perfection. Another highlight here is the International Junior Handling competition. 40 Juniors were defending their national colors. Winner was 18-year-old Destiny Hamilton from Australia. Every year I wonder why it is so difficult to find information about this popular competition. No press release about this item, that in fact was an invention of the United Kingdom Kennel Club! No list of participants unless you ask for it by mail!? It is to me a mystery while so much attention is paid to it; Junior Handling has always been one of the international highlights of Crufts. The young kids have their rehearsal the night before after the finals of that day. This year they ended at 11:30 PM! And still, once over, you can hardly find something about it! Saturday was time for the Terriers to show up and also the Hounds. The Terrier Group counted 2289 dogs and funny enough, the second most popular breed was the Border Terrier with 275 entries, only to be beaten by the Staffordshire Terrier with 350 representatives. The American Staffordshire Terrier is not a recognized breed in the United Kingdom. In the Hound Group, with a total number of 2902 dogs, the Whippet was the big winner with no less than 416 dogs in competition. 692 Dachshunds were shown in three coat varieties and two sized, not three like in the FCI countries. Other high numbers were in the Rhodesian Ridgebacks with 197 dogs entered, the Afgan Hounds with 205 and the Beagles with 260. The Terrier group was judge by Mrs. Renee Sporre-Willes from Sweden and the Hound group by 
Mr. Frank Kane.

Sunday has the most to offer. Contrary to the previous days, the main program is always reserved for ticket holders only, but like every year the arena was as good as completely sold out. The doors opened at 15:30 and it was queuing from the start on to get in and not miss the Agility Championship Final. Friends for Life, once so extremely popular and heartwarming, has lost much of its glamour in my opinion. In this item, out of five teams, the public can, via televoting, pick out a favorite story of one of the teams that shows the close bond between man and dog. I have no idea how the selection is made, but they no longer seem outstanding anymore as if there is not much left to chose from and I was not the only one to think like that. Many of my colleagues agreed. The Greyhound, however, caught my special attention. This dog was rescued from Ireland after a racing career and saved many dogs at even a cat life donating blood. The winning team receives £5.000 from the Kennel Club Charity Trust for the dog charity of their choice, the others receive 
£1.000 each.

Before the ultimate finals two more groups had to be judged, the Utility group, judged by Mrs. Jackie Kitchener and the Toy Group where Mrs. Julie Sparrow could make her choice. The Utility Group had 2891 dogs competing. 364 Poodles (all varieties and colors), 173 Tibetan Spaniels, 174 Shih Tzu’s, 153 Lasa Apso’s, 204 French Bulldogs, 206 Dalmatians, 207 Tibetan Terriers, and 233 Bulldogs were the breeds with over 150 entries in this group. In the Toy Group, it were the 305 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, the 251 Chihuahua’s with long coats, the 163 with smooth coats, the 160 Chinese Cresteds, the 249 Pugs, the 156 Pomeranians and the 218 Papillions who were standing out. Although I also want to mention the 94 Affenpinshers that seem to be very popular here. The group counted 2775 dogs. It has always been difficult to exactly count the number of dogs in show. If I make the total I end up with 20210 dogs. The Press papers mention 20631, if we count the entries we end up with 22.719 including 231 dogs in AV (all varieties) and what about 217 dogs entered as Game Keepers?

No more Heelwork to Musik by Mary Ray and no more trumpets by the Royal Academy, but instead a choir singing, announcing the start of the finals of the 2019 edition, not bad but it misses the glamour of before. Mr. Dan Ericsson from Sweden was granted the honor to judge this year’s finals. He bred no less than 175 champions in his life that spans 50 years of showing. It was not the first time he judged at Crufts. In 2016 he judged the Terrier group while he himself is known for breeding Scottish Terriers. It was a thrilling moment when he picked out the winning dog of the Toy Group, the Papillon from Belgium, Dylan the Villain, real name: Planet Waves Forever Young Daydream Believers. This dog won the 3rd place in the Eukanuba World Challenge on Thursday, and now this, BIS Crufts 2019, imagine! This little boy came over from Belgium along with breeder/co-owner Kathleen Roosens. The Reserve Best in Show award was won by Mike, the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen, owned and bred by Sara Robertson from the UK. Dylan already won Best Junior Dog in Show at the World Dog Show in Leipzig. It is an amazing dog always showing, ears up, looking up at Kathleen and apparently never tired. Kathleen hopes she still can continue his career as she is aiming for another big victory at the European Dog Show this summer.

If Brexit turns out bad for traveling with dogs to and from the United Kingdom, chances for British dogs will increase again, but I don’t think that is what the dog lovers in the UK want, let stand the Kennel Club. Next year from the 5th till the 8th of March we will see how well Crufts will have 
survived Brexit. 


Crufts 2019 Results

Birmingham, England | March 7-10 | Text and photos by Karl Donvil


Best In Show

Judge: Mr. Dan Ericsson [Sweden]

1. AKC/SE/HR/PL/FR CH Planet Waves Forever Young Daydream Believers EUW18, JWW17


Owner: Miss K. Roosens

Reserve Best in Show

Judge: Mr. Dan Ericsson [Sweden]

1. CH Soletrader Magic Mike

Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen

Owners: Mrs. S. & Mrs. W. 
Robertson & Doherty

Group Results

Gundog Group

Judge: Mrs. Carole Coode

Best of Group

SH CH Gloi Donn All Or Nothing At Stanegate

Spaniel (Irish Water)

Owner: Mrs. J. L. Carruthers


1. SH CH/Dutch CH Esmee Dragon From Rhona’s Home At Bareve WW18 (IMP NLD)

German Wirehaired Pointer

Owner: Miss S. Pinkerton


1. IT CH/INT CH Primavera In Anticipo Della Val D’aveto

Retriever (Golden)

Owner: Mr. G. Monteverde

Fourth of Group

1. Valentisimo’s Yogi

Spanish Water Dog

Owners: Messrs N B, B J R & 
Mrs. J. C. Egginton

Hound Group

Judge: Mr. Frank Kane

Best of Group

1. CH Soletrader Magic Mike

Basset Griffon Vendeen (Petit)

Owners: Mrs. S. & Mrs. W. 
Robertson & Doherty

Reserve Best of Group

1. West Chelan Quick Look At Me [ATC AU02518BEL]


Owner: Mrs. S. Mowbray

Third of Group

1. Pendragon Della Bassa Pavese [ATC AV02955ITA]

Irish Wolfhound

Owner: Dr. L. Salamon

Fourth of Group

1. T/SWE/NL CH Sobers Xtravaganza WW’17’18 [ATC AS02390ITA]


Owners: Mr. P. & Mrs. B. Primavera & Ahrens Primavera

Pastoral Group

Judge: Mr. Rodney Oldham

Best of Group

1. Multi Ch Dorian Spring Charleen Lumiere De La Vie EW16, EW17


Owner: Mr. P. M. Silva Brito

Reserve Best of Group

1. CH Domburg Because I Can Lebeau

Belgian Shepherd Dog (Tervueren)

Owners: Miss S. & Mrs. L. Smith

& Lester

Third of Group

1. SH CH/IR/IT/SLO/HR/INT CH Tonkory Gold Digger At Huntly

Border Collie

Owners: Mr. D. & Mrs. M. & 
Mrs. J. Connolly & Gregory

Fourth of Group

1. Wyndstar Magic Marker 
[ATC AU00468USA]

Australian Shepherd

Owner: Mrs. Erdesz

Terrier Group

Judge: Mrs. Renee Sporre-Willes 

Best of Group

1. Multi CH Filisite Brash Beauty Never Lies WW/17,EW/17 JWW/16 JEW/16

Scottish Terrier

Owner: Mrs. V I Popova

Reserve Best of Group

1. AM CH D B F Santa Barbara Surfer Girl WW18, [ATC AW00266USA]

Jack Russell Terrier

Owner: K. L. & Dr. C. Thomas & Lundin

Third of Group

1. Mechta Nataly Egoist [ATC AV03491RUS]

West Highland White Terrier

Owner: V. Kurbatova

Fourth of Group

1. CH/IT/RUS/LAT/CZ CH L’end Show Metti Surprise At Glare WW/15 WW/16 WW/17 WW/18 EUW/15 [ATC AR02535RUS]

Bedlington Terrier

Owner: Mrs. E. Pykhtar

Toy Group

Judge: Mrs. Julie Sparrow

Best of Group

1. AKC/SE/HR/PL/FR CH Planet Waves Forever Young Daydream Believers EUW18, JWW17 [ATC AU03187BEL]


Owner: Miss K. Roosens

Reserve Best of Group

1. Royal Precious Jp’s F4 Conan [ATC AV01319JPN]

Yorkshire Terrier

Owner: Mrs. Obana

Third of Group

1. CH Florita Tallento

Italian Greyhound

Owner: Miss H. M. Lister

Fourth of Group

1. Multi/GR CH Mystic Legion Drago [ATC AT02377GRC]

Chihuahua (Long Coat)

Owner: Mr. Apostolos Raptakis

Utility Group

Judge: Miss Jackie Kitchener

Best of Group

1. Hearty Love Him If You Dare [ATC AW00874THA]

Shih Tzu

Owner: P. & V Sukkonnoi 
& Duraisamy

Reserve Best of Group

1. CH Stecal’s Love At First Sight JW


Owner: Ms. C & F Mrs. R Bevis 
& Corr

Third of Group

1. Kaga No Shouji Go Sapporo Kagasou Vormund

Japanese Shiba Inu

Owner: Miss M. S. Dunhill-Hall

Fourth of Group

1. CH Iron Man Del Monte Dragnone [ATC AV00330ITA]


Owner: Mrs. S. Aguirre

Working Group

Judge: Miss Elina Haapaniemi [Finland]

Best of Group

1. CH Lanfrese Ocolardo


Owner: Mr. M. J. Griffiths

Reserve Best of Group

1. CH Meadowpark High Class

Bernese Mountain Dog

Owner: Mrs. C. & Mr. G. Hartley-Mair & Dybdall

Third of Group

1. Stablemaster’s Faiz JWW 14, EJW14 [ATC AR02086FIN]

Giant Schnauzer

Owner: J. Frycze

Fourth of Group

1. CIB CH Aquafortis Kamikaze 
[ATC AV02074NOR]

Portuguese Water Dog

Owner: Mrs. R. Christensen


Eukanuba World 

Judges: Mr. S. Bessho [Japan]

Mrs. D. Witkowska [Poland]

Mrs. J. Peak [UK]

1st place: Hungary

Bottom Shaker Zephyr Dream

Old English Sheepdog

2nd place: FCI World Dog Show

Frosty Snowman

Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen

3rd place: Belgium

Plant Waves Forever Young Daydream Believers



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