On This Day: First Crufts show held 120 years ago

dfs Crufts gets set to return to the NEC in March

On 11th February 1891 the very first Crufts event was held at the Royal Agricultural Hall in Islington.

Crufts 120 Years120 years later and the world’s greatest dog event, dfs Crufts is looking forward to celebrating its anniversary at the NEC Birmingham on 10th – 13th March 2011.

Since it was first held in 1891, the event has become an annual celebration of healthy, 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 and events which showcase the diverse role that dogs play in society.

There will be 21,500 dogs attending this year’s event, from pedigrees to cross breeds, which if stood nose to tail would stretch from the Greenwich Observatory in London down to Hampton Court palace. This stands in contrast to the 2,437 entries made in 1891, which included just 36 breeds.

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.

The event, which is one of the most popular shows at the NEC, covers five halls as well as the Pavilion and Arena. The Arena has a full programme of events that run throughout the four days of the show and which have become permanent fixtures as the event has evolved and grown. This includes Rescue Dog Agility, award of the Police Dog Team Operational and Humanitarian Action of the Year, Flyball, Cani-cross and the heart warming Friends for Life competition, which is full of amazing stories of friendships in adversity, where dogs have truly earned the title ‘man’s best friend’.

As ever, the grand finale will be the Best in Show competition, with more than 20,000 dogs from 37 different countries competing during the four days for one of seven places in the final and the chance to take the prestigious title.

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.”

Visitors to the show will be able to meet and greet around 200 different breeds in the Discover Dogs area and find out more about buying the right dog for them. There will be a dedicated section for breed rescue volunteers, who work to ensure that unwanted and abandoned dogs find a good home. Visitors will also be able to learn 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.


History of dfs Crufts

Your favourite memories of dfs Crufts

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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.
•    For the latest updates you can join the dfs Crufts Facebook page at www.facebook.com/crufts or follow the Kennel Club on Twitter.com/KCLovesDogs.
•    Watch official Crufts videos at http://www.youtube.com/user/OfficialCrufts.