They say hard work never hurt anyone and judging by the smiling faces of those working and showing their dogs at dfs Crufts, it certainly seems to ring true.
Friday and day two of dfs Crufts meant it was the turn of the Working and Pastoral groups to take centre stage. Over 5,000 dogs entered the show rings and by the end of the day this cavalcade of canines had been reduced to two dogs who will go through to Sunday’s celebrated Best in Show.
First up for the Best in Group judging were the Working dogs. The hard task of selecting the winner of this group fell to Mrs K Wilberg, who after much deliberation chose Ch/Ir Ch Winuwuk Lust At First Sight, a Boxer, from Gloucestershire, owned by Miss J Brown and Mr T Hutchings.
The Pastoral group was next and Mr E Hulme was responsible for choosing the dog to represent this group in Sunday’s grand finale. After careful consideration, Mr Hulme finally chose a German Shepherd Dog, called CH Elmo Vom Hunhnegrab, from Dorset and owned by Mr J G Cullen.
The evening also saw thefinal of the Kennel Gazette Junior Warrant Winner of the Year competition, which is for some of the most successful young dogs aged from 6 to 18 months. Following a series of countrywide heats last year, just 10 finalists in the country, made it through to the semi-finals, which took place at Discover Dogs in November 2010. Tonight saw Mrs S M Ergis and her Dachshund (Miniature Smooth Haired), called Siouxline April Folly JW winning this title and walking away with the trophy.
The theme of working dogs was continued away from the show ring. The Eukanuba stand played hosted to the amazing canines from Search and Rescue Dog Association Scotland (SARDA). These dogs are trained to locate missing people in the mountains, or low ground areas, including children and people with dementia, and have saved many lives.
Hardworking hounds and humans competed in a 2km Cani-Cross race, which started in the Main Arena. The race featured both pedigree and crossbreeds with runners aged from seven through to the over 50s.
The runners all started individually at timed intervals and ran a circuit of the Arena before exiting the hall to complete a circuit of the lake outside, with the finish line by the lake, in the grounds of the NEC.
After all that work building up an appetite, hungry hounds could treat themselves to a delicious doggy dinner cooked up by celebrity chef, Peter Osborne, on the Samsung stand. The smells wafting through the hall were truly delicious and are sure to have set many tummies rumbling and sent people to the nearest food outlet.
The day also saw the launch of the Kennel Club’s Illustrated Breed Standards book, the first new edition of this publication since 2003. This revised edition contains details of 210 recognised pedigree breeds in the UK and includes the descriptive breed standards for each. The book is available to buy from the Kennel Club Publications stand and is a must-have ‘bible’ for show judges and dog enthusiasts alike.
Those who prefer the virtual approach can still find out about the show online. If you like to tweet you can follow the Kennel Club on Twitter @kclovesdogs and come along to one of the tweetups, or if Facebook is more your thing, then why not become a fan of our Crufts Facebook page, www.facebook.com/Crufts. You can see live action and highlights on our internet stream at: www.dfscrufts.tv and if an evening in front of the TV is more your cup of tea, you can put your feet up with a well-earned cuppa and watch all the action on More4.
Despite the virtual ways of finding out more about the greatest dog show on earth, nothing can beat the real thing. So why not come along to the NEC tomorrow and join us on Hound and Terrier day to see more fabulous dogs in action.