Crufts Committee: the Vice Chairman’s report
Crufts this year could be described as the ‘Best Ever’. The move of the Best in Show ring to the Arena proved to be a great success – compared to previous years when 3000 seats were seldom filled - this year over 6500 people watched Best in Show.
With a breed entry of over 22,000 dogs - second only to the entry at the Crufts Centenary show;
With an attendance of over 150,000 people
With an overall television audience of 14 million (on Sunday the TV audience equalled that of Top Gear) there can be no doubt that Crufts is a world class event
To prove the point, there were over 800 press representatives in attendance, 951 entries from (x) countries and competitors from 34 countries took part in the International Junior Handling competition.
It became clear following Crufts 2006 that as we continued to grow and, to ensure visitor safety and exhibitor comfort, more space would be required. The decision to hire the Pavilions and the Arena was taken after very careful consideration by your Committees.
The move of the special events ring and the Best in Show ring from halls 3 and 5 to the Arena resulted in an evident benefit - there was comparative quiet in those halls compared with years past - to the evident pleasure of exhibitors judges and stewards. And more space to move around the show.
Two new competitions attracted much interest this year. The first Heelwork to Music competition and, in the Young Kennel Club Ring, thirty two winners of the national grooming competition groomed their dogs to the great interest of a large audience.
The Dogs Days Out and Good Citizen rings were continuously busy with large audiences. The Obedience competitions took place in their own pavilion on this occasion but the facilities for Obedience may need further review for the future. As always, the Agility and Flyball competitions and other activities attracted great interest. The Arena seating was filled to capacity on all four days. Discover Dogs continued to prove its worth – most registered breeds being represented there.
None of this would be possible without the wholehearted support and hard work throughout the year of the Crufts staff supported by the Crufts Committee
Equally, to all of our exhibitors, judges, stewards, helpers and trade stands and for the work carried out by the Medical and Veterinary Centres our grateful thanks must go in equal measure. Our thanks too for the unstinting effort from the participating breed clubs and individuals who worked hard in the Discover Dogs booths and to all the teams and ring parties that manage, run displays and training events - without whom this great event could not take place.
Mrs. Zena Thorn-Andrews judged Best in Show this year. Being indisposed, her husband, Terry Thorn, Chairman of Crufts could only watch her immaculate demeanour in the Arena on television at home.
Finally, the Kennel Club and the Crufts Committee wish to thank our Principal Supporter Pedigree Masterfoods together with the other Major and Official Supporters for their continued loyalty.
We all have every reason to be proud of the achievement.’
Eric F Smethurst