Gilbertson & Page at Crufts 2015
After a year in which scandal hit the world’s biggest dog show, there were still plenty of positive vibes about at Crufts 2015 and Gilbertson & Page had one of the busiest years ever at the show. An astonishing 21,000 dogs competed in agility, obedience, flyball, breed showing and gamekeeper classes to name just a few. As well as heelwork to music, police dog displays and rally, the all-important Best in Show certainly gave spectators value for money.
- The inspiring KCAI Career Zone returned for 2015. For anyone interested in working with dogs, this was the place to come for advice and information on careers that involve working with dogs and a chance to attend seminars in the lecture theatre. The keynote speaker for 2015 was Professor Daniel Mills, who spoke about an ‘Insight into the Role of Pain in Problem Behaviour’.
- A new merchandise range proved popular this year and introduced ‘Charlie’, the canine face of Crufts, named after the founder of the dog show Charles Cruft. He can be found adorning everything from t-shirts to mugs, keyrings to ‘cruftslinks’ and even on umbrellas and the quirky ‘human treats’ biscuit tin.
- Discover Dogs, located in Hall 3, gave dog lovers the chance to meet over 200 breeds of dogs and chat to their knowledgeable and experienced owners and breeders. Discover Dogs is designed to help those wishing to own a dog choose the right breed to suit them and their lifestyle. They can give a realistic insight into the work involved in looking after different breeds and the commitment that needs to be given to any dog. They can also point potential dog owners in the direction of the Kennel Club Assured Breeders. If you missed Crufts, but Discover Dogs appeals to you, there will be an independent Discover Dogs show at the Excel in London on the 17th and 18th of October.
- The marketplace at Crufts is a great chance for dog lovers to come face-to-face with a huge range of businesses. Leather goods and pet accessories, pet insurers, pet health clinics, dog charities, massage therapy centres, kennel and cage manufacturers, pet bed retailers – you name it, it was there! Of course, Gilbertson & Page had a stand, and were delighted to see so many friendly faces. The free samples went down an absolute treat and the new Dr John Puppy was extremely well received.
Day 1 – Thursday 5th March – Gundog. Dublin, a Flat Coated Retriever from Sweden, won Best in Group in the Gundog category on the first day of Crufts 2015.
Day 2 – Friday 6th March – Working and Pastoral. An Alaskan Malmute named Bart won Best in Group for Working dogs, whilst Fayme, a Bearded Collie, won Best in Group for Pastoral dogs. Both dogs and their owners are from the UK. The winner of the Grand Finale was Gracie, a crossbreed who was found on the streets and now enjoys a loving home with her owner Alison. She takes part in agility, heelwork to music and is a Pets as Therapy dog.
Day 3 Saturday 7th March – Terrier and Hound. Knopa, a Scottish Terrier from Russia, won Best in Group in the Terrier category, having won Best in Breed in 2013. Rios, a Saluki from Sweden, won Best in Group for the Hound category.
Day 4 Sunday 8th March – Toy and Utility. Winner of Best in Group for the Toy category was Sasha, a Maltese from Rome and winner of Best in Group for the Utility category was Miss Rose, a Miniature Poodle from Norway. Miracle, a rescue dog who is changing the life of a six year old boy with cerebral palsy, was pronounced the winner of the Friends for Life competition. Out of the 21,000 dogs who competed at Crufts this year, just seven went through to be judged for Best in Show. And finally, after much deliberating by judge Ronnie Irving, the prestigious Best in Show award went to Knopa, a Scottish Terrier, with Dublin, a Flat Coated Retriever taking Reserve Best in Show.
Additionally, on each of the four days of Crufts, in the Good Citizen Dog Scheme Ring, classes and displays focussed on the role dogs play as citizens in our society. Displays included the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, Dogs for the Disabled, Pets as Therapy and Star Citizens heelwork to music amongst many others. As expected in the Dog Activities Ring showing and ringcraft took centre stage as well as agility, rally, obedience and working trials. In the Young Kennel Club programme, younger dog owners had a chance to compete against each other in starter, elementary and advanced obedience, handling, jumping, agility, grooming and heelwork to music classes that stand them in good stead as they progress through the ranks. Competition for prestigious awards such as the John MacDougall award or the Cinnamon Trust Volunteer award is no less serious in the Young Kennel Club than in the adult groups.
Crufts 2015 turned into a fantastic event and was probably busier and more exciting than ever, despite the well-publicised problems. We’re looking forward already to Crufts 2016!