Day 2 of the dazzling dog show that is Crufts belonged to the Toy and Utility groups and the show was as magnificent as ever, with a great visitor turn out and doggies galore.
Over 5,000 dogs have been battling it out for just two places in Sunday's prestigious Best in Show final, as the Toy and Utility groups carried on the proceedings at this year's show. Following a day of great competition all around the show, the two group finals took place this evening in the Main Arena.
First up was the Utility group, and last year’s Best in Show judge Frank Kane had the responsibility of choosing one dog to progress to this year’s final. Frank chose Gabby (Ch Kybo Pandarama), the Tibetan Terrier owned by David Roberts, in partnership with Mrs J Price and Miss F Whitehead, from Mold, Flintshire to represent the Utility group on Sunday evening.
Next in the ring were the Toy group Best of Breed winners from the day, to be judged by Liz Cartledge. The group winners include a lot of small dogs with very big personalities and after casting a studious eye over the competitors, Liz selected Theo (Ch Maibee Theo), the King Charles Spaniel owned by William Moffat and Joyce Robin from Chopwell, Tyne and Wear to be the fourth dog to make it through to the last seven on Sunday.
Also appearing in the main Arena today was agility in all its fast and furious glory. A whole morning of agility culminated with the heart-meltingly sweet Rescue Dog Agility display which saw lots of dogs which have overcome a difficult start in life to cherish their moment in the spotlight at the world’s biggest dog show.
There were more heart-warming tales in the Arena on Friday evening when four very special crossbreed dogs shared the limelight with their pedigree pals in the first ever final of the Scruffts Family Crossbreed Dog of the Year competition to be held at the show. A packed audience heard their great tales and famous animal lover, Pam St Clement, best known as Pat Butcher from EastEnders had the tricky task of picking her winner.
The four finalists - Alfie, Barley, Becky and Rascal - did their crossbreed companions proud but it was the Prettiest Bitch, Becky owned by Margaret McKnight from Bangor, Northern Ireland who took the prestigious title. Becky was rescued along with her litter mates from the River Lagan near Belfast seven years ago but has gone on to live a happy life with Margaret, who was visibly delighted with her Crufts triumph.
Pam St Clement has had a particularly busy day as she also appeared on the Canine Partners, Pets as Therapy and Hearing Dogs stands. We salute your dog and charity loving ways Pam!
Talking of charity, two members of Kennel Club staff have been hitting the treadmill on the Kennel Club Charitable Trust stand in Hall 3 as they prepare to run the London Marathon next month in aid of the KCCT. Richard Fairlamb and Aaron Smith have clocked up an impressive number of miles already over the first two days of the show so please go along and support them if you’re visiting over the weekend.
And on the subject of super-fit athletes, we were honoured today to receive a special visit from Olympic cycling champion Victoria Pendleton. As well as helping to promote Crufts’ principle sponsor Eukanuba, Victoria met her fans and also took the time to present the Young Kennel Club’s Artist of the Year competition today. Thanks Victoria!
And with that, it’s time for me to get on my proverbial bike as we gear up for the final two days of Crufts 2013. It’s sure to be wheely good so why not pay us a visit?