120 Years of dfs Crufts in pictures

AgilityThe Kennel Club has released historical and modern day pictures of dfs Crufts to celebrate the 120th anniversary of the world’s greatest dog event.

Click here to see 120 Years of Crufts in pictures

Taking place on 10 – 13 March 2011 at the NEC, Birmingham, 28,000 pedigree and cross breed dogs from 37 countries will take part in the annual dog lovers’ event, in a range of competitions including showing, agility, heelwork to music, canine cross country and the dog heroes competition, Friends for Life. More than 200 breeds will also be in the Discover Dogs area for visitors to meet and learn more about.  In 1891 there were just 2,437 entries made from just 36 breeds and dog showing was the event’s only concern.

The pictures chart key milestones in the event’s history and are a reference to social trends, fashions and historical events of the day. Pictures include:

*  Charles Cruft, who founded the event in 1891
* A post war picture of a young boy looking at an advert for the first Cruft’s show under Kennel Club auspices at Olympia in 1948 (Cruft’s was cancelled during the war years)
* Royalty at the event - 1969 picture of her Majesty the Queen, 1970, Princess Margaret, 1971 of Princess Anne and 2010 of Prince Michael.
* The first Crufts Agility pictures, introduced to Crufts in 1978
* The first Dog Heroes Competition winners Buster and owner Danny Morgan. Buster sniffed out explosive in war zones including Iraq (the competition is now known as Friends for Life).

Since it was first held in 1891, the event - which attracts more than 140,000 visitors - has become an annual celebration ofhealthy, happy dogs and the unique relationship that they enjoy with the human race. dfs Crufts 2011 will be jam-packed with fun activities, trade stands andevents which showcasethe diverse role that dogs play in society.

New to this year will be a dedicated Kennel Club Accredited Instructor Training Workshop to help people with their doggie dilemmas, a Breeding for the Future Zone, highlighting how to ensure that dogs are bred to be healthy and well adjusted and the launch of a Get Fit With Fido campaign, helping people to find ways to stay fit and active with their dogs. The show will be broadcast by More4 for the second year running, for two hours each night.

Caroline Kisko, Communications Director of the Kennel Club, which organises dfs Crufts, said: “We are very excited about the landmark 120th year of dfs Crufts. The event has evolved over the years and is now an essential part of any dog lover’s calendar. One thing that hasn’t changed, and which this event celebrates, is the central role that dogs continue to play in our lives.

“dfs Crufts 2011 will celebrate the various ways in which dogs enrich our lives, whether as working dogs or as pets, and will also be focused on health, education, training and fun. It will help people to learn more about buying a healthy dog from a responsible breeder or rescue home, and how to train, care for and enjoy life with their dog.

“The event is a unique opportunity for dog lovers to come together and celebrate man’s best friend. We would like to thank everybody who has supported it over the years and welcome newcomers to this annual celebration of dogs.”

The event aims to ensure that people learn more about the different types of dog so that when a dog gets a home it is a home for life. There will be a dedicated section for breed rescue volunteers, who work to ensure that unwanted and abandoned dogs find a good home and information about Kennel Club Accredited Breeders, who put the health and welfare of their puppies first and foremost and have the required health tests for their breed carried out.

Tickets cost £13 for adults - with a 4-day ticket available at £46 - and Best in Show tickets starting at £17.00. Concessions are also available.  All tickets are subject to a booking fee.  Book by calling the dfs Crufts Ticket Hotline at The Ticket Factory on 0844 444 99 44, or online at www.theticketfactory.com.

To find local competitors in your area contact the Kennel Club press office.

Click here to see the dfs Crufts timeline, charting the key dates and changes to the event since the very first show.


7 March 2011

For more information, images or interview requests please contact:
Kennel Club Press Office
020 7518 1008

•        Once the show begins, images can be downloaded from the fully managed online Press Office service World Wide Images at http://www.w-w-i.com/dfs_crufts_2011/.
•        To arrange a radio interview please contact Talking Point Broadcasting on 01564 793 888 or email tpb@talkingpintbroadcasting.co.uk
Video Footage
•        For video footage from the event please contact Andrew Preece from Sunset & Vine on 01865 260200 email: Andrew.preece@sunsetvineapp.com

Notes to Editors

•        The Kennel Club, organiser of dfs Crufts, is the UK’s largest organisation dedicated to the health and welfare of dogs. At its heart are programmes and investments in education and health initiatives to help dogs across the UK to live long, healthy, happy lives with responsible owners.
•        dfs Crufts is a unique celebration of happy, healthy dogs and of the loving relationship that they enjoy with their owners. It recognises the varied roles that dogs play in society and highlights the many different disciplines and activities in which dogs are involved.


dfs Crufts today

dfs Crufts is one of the largest dog events in the world. No longer purely a dog show, dfs Crufts celebrates every aspect of the role that dogs play in our lives.

It has changed in ways that couldn’t possibly have been imagined when the show was set up in Victorian times by the late Charles Cruft. Although it was a very different event in 1891 Charles Cruft was a great showman and would surely have enjoyed the size and scope of the event today, which is an essential date in any dog lover’s calendar.

The dog show is still an important part of the event, celebrating the unique relationship that dogs share with their owners. Judges are trained to ensure that only healthy dogs win prizes, which in turn encourages the breeding of healthy dogs. But the event is now about so much more besides.

dfs Crufts is ultimately a celebration of all dogs. It celebrates working dogs, which are fit and healthy enough to perform the jobs for which they were originally bred, such as those in the Gamekeeper classes or which line up for the Police Dog Team Operational and Humanitarian Action of the Year award, and it hails hero dogs through the Friends for Life competition. Rescue dogs are celebrated in the rescue dog agility competition and the speed and agility of dogs is celebrated in the ever popular competitions of Flyball and Heelwork to Music.

For prospective dog owners and dog lovers, dfs Crufts is a prime opportunity to talk to Kennel Club Accredited Breeders, rescue charities and breed experts about how to responsibly buy, train and enjoy life with your dog.

And of course, with hundreds of trade stands selling anything and everything for dogs and dog lovers, it is a shopping extravaganza!

How it all started

Crufts is named after its founder Charles Cruft. The young Charles left college in 1876 with no desire to join the family jewellery business. Instead he took employment with James Spratt who had set up a new venture in Holborn, London selling 'dog cakes'.

Charles Cruft was ambitious and a relatively short apprenticeship as an office boy led to promotion to travelling salesman. This brought him into contact with large estates and sporting kennels. His next career move with Spratts saw him travelling to Europe and here in 1878, French dog breeders, perhaps seeing entrepreneurial talents in Cruft, invited him to organise the promotion of the canine section of the Paris Exhibition. He was still just two years out of college.

Back in England in 1886 he took up the management of the Allied Terrier Club Show at the Royal Aquarium, Westminster. It was in 1891 that the first Cruft's show was booked into the Royal Agricultural Hall in Islington and it has evolved and grown ever since.


1891 – The first Cruft’s show in that name takes place at the Royal Agricultural Hall, Islington with 2,437 entries and 36 breeds.

1918–1920 – Cruft’s is not held due to the First World War.

1932 – First female owner of Best in Show, Lorna Countess Howe with Labrador Retriever, Bramshaw Bob.

1936 – Charles Cruft celebrates his Golden Jubilee five years early, breaking the 10,000 entries mark for the first time.

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

1940-7 –Cruft’s is not held due to the Second World War.

1948 – The first Cruft’s Show under Kennel Club auspices takes placeafter Emma Cruftgives over control. Held at Olympia, it proves an immediate success with both exhibitors and the public, with eighty-four breeds entered, almost double the number of breeds at the first Cruft’s in 1891. Since then Crufts has increased in stature year by year, now attracting around 200 breeds annually.

1950 –Cruft’s first televised by the BBC. .

1952 – The death of King George VI on 6th February threatens the possibility of the cancellation of Cruft’s for that year but the show is allowed to take place two days later.

1954 – Electricians strike action leads to the show being cancelled, as electricians refuse to disconnect the stands from the previous show held at Olympia, and the venue can therefore not be cleared to make way for the Cruft’s.

1955 – Cruft’s becomes an Obedience Championship Show. Working Sheepdogs are entered, becoming the first crossbreeds to compete at Cruft’s. Crossbreed dogs are now a central part of the show, taking part in a wide range of competitions including agility.

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

1972 – During the Winter of Discontent, Cruft’s 1972 takes place under subdued lighting and with an abbreviated catalogue due to the 3 day working week which had been enforced. As one commentator says: “For two days every visitor was able to forget the troubles of the world.”

1974 – Cruft’s changes to Crufts. During a rebrand as it is decided that the apostrophe is no longer needed.

1978 – Agility first demonstrated at Crufts.

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.

1985 – The Kennel Club Junior Organisation is launched. Now the Young Kennel Club (YKC). Its competitions form an important part of the current dfs Crufts show.

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 come through the doors making Crufts not only the biggest Dog Show, but also the most popular show to be held at Earls Court.

1990 – Flyball first demonstrated.

1991 – Crufts Centenary Show is held at its new venue, the Birmingham National Exhibition Centre - the first time the show had moved from London.

1992 – Mary Ray demonstrates her fast moving Heelwork to Music routine. She is now a regular performer at the event.

1994 – Discover Dogs area is introduced to Crufts as part of the Kennel Club’s commitment to encouraging responsible dog ownership, enabling dog loving visitors at the show to find out more about the different breeds and how they may fit into their lifestyle. Good Citizen Dog Scheme Ring introduced to Crufts, enabling dogs to demonstrate their pet obedience credentials, and owners their responsible attitude to dog ownership, through obtaining a range of certificates from bronze to gold.

2000 – Rescue Dog Agility introduced to the show, enabling rescue dogs to shine in the fun and fast paced demonstration.

2001 – Crufts moved from March to May due to Foot and Mouth disease. The International Agility Competition takes place at Crufts for the first time.

2004 – The popular competition Friends for Life Competition first appeared, then called Hero Dogs. The popular annual competition ensures that man's best friend gets the recognition he deserves for bravery, support and companionship. Southern Golden Retriever Display Team appears at Crufts for the first time and this has been part of the event every year since.

2007 – As the event continues to grow, the Arena is used for the first time, for competitions including Agility, Friends for Life and Best in Show.

2008 – Crufts develops its own Facebook page, now with more than 34,000 fans. Cani cross, canine cross country, is introduced to Crufts for the first time as people look for ever more ways to get fit with their dogs.

2009 – Crufts streamed online for the first time and became the most watched channel on You Tube in the UK. The Health Zone is introduced, with breed and scientific experts providing information and advice about breed health and scientific advances. Judges are given the power to remove unhealthy dogs from the show ring and show monitors may report dogs that they fear are unhealthy to the show vet, who can order their exclusion from competition. Breed rescue charities, the unsung heroes of the dog world are given a high profile area, so that the public could find out more about their work. They are supported by the Kennel Club Charitable Trust.

2010 – dfs becomes the principal sponsor and the event is renamed dfs Crufts. More 4 becomes broadcast partner, providing one hour of footage a night and two hours on Sunday.

2011 – The Health Zone is renamed Breeding For the Future which, run in conjunction with the Animal Health Trust, includes information about the latest work that the Kennel Club and the Animal Health Trust are conducting to improve breed health. Get Fit With Fido 2011 launched in partnership with Rosemary Conley Diet and Fitness Clubs - the campaign aims to help dog owners to find new and interesting ways to keep themselves and their dogs fit and healthy. Display of Bull Breeds from Wood Green Animal Shelter in the Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme Ring to highlight the plight of these dogs, often bought as status symbols and then abandoned. More4 named as broadcast partner for 2011.

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.