The Kennel Club Annual Report 2006/07
Crufts 2007 can reasonably be described as the ‘Best Ever’. There are several figures to back up this assertion. The breed entry of over 22,300 dogs was second only to that achieved at the Crufts Centenary show in 1991. A record total of 153,000 people attended the show this year, with record numbers watching the events in the Arena during the day and in the evening for the Group judging.
Best in Show was watched by 6,500 people in the Arena and over 5 million at home on BBC television. The total television audience increased to 14 million, and the BBC expressed real pleasure at this growth – the final programme being the equal in audience size to ‘Top Gear’- another flag ship programme on BBC2. Overseas entries increased to a total of 951 from 32 countries and there were 816 press representatives in attendance. Competitors from 34 countries took part in the International Junior Handling Competition.
Once again, the Kennel Club internet website was a very effective communication medium for pre-show information – the number of successful page requests received was 2.5 million.
The decision to hire the Pavilions and the Arena was taken after very careful consideration and the Special Events and Best in Show rings were combined, with their programmes staged in the Arena, thus ensuring that there was comparative quiet in other halls compared with years past - to the evident pleasure of exhibitors, judges and stewards.
The Kennel Club President, HRH Prince Michael of Kent KCVO made a private visit to the show on the Thursday and visited several rings in the company of the Kennel Club Chairman, Ronnie Irving.
It is nothing short of remarkable that the successful day to day management of Crufts is the work of no more than four staff members; their management of contractors and relationships with the trade is exemplary. Working with other staff from the Kennel Club, and backed up by a small committee and assisted by members, stewards, breed club members and hundreds of other willing volunteers, this show has become a world class exposition of dogs that is unequalled anywhere. All those participating in the success of Crufts are to be congratulated – the success of the show is the real result of teamwork at its best.
Mrs Zena Thorn-Andrews was awarded the honour of Judging Best in Show this year. Zena’s Best in Show winner was Ch/Am Ch Araki Fabulous Willy, a Tibetan Terrier owned by Messrs Smith and Shaw from Brockworth in Gloucestershire and handled by Larry Cornelius from California. Her Reserve Best in Show was the Wire Fox Terrier, Ch Travella Show Stopper, owned by Mesdames Allen and Brown-Cole from Bristol and handled by Richard Allen.
Another first was a poll conducted on the Kennel Club website after the show, which gave the public the opportunity to vote for their choice of Best in Show at Crufts. The winner was the Bearded Collie, Ch Pattishawl Preview.
The ‘Friends for Life’ competition, sponsored by our insurance partners PetPartners plc, was won by rescue dog Molly, who has transformed the life of her deaf 81-year old owner, Tony Higbed, following the loss of his wife and previous dog.
Two new competitions attracted much interest this year. The first Heelwork to Music competition was won with an entertaining routine to the song ‘The Farmer and the Cowman’ from Oklahoma! 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 Dog Days Out and Good Citizen rings were continuously busy with large audiences watching the activities there. The Obedience competitions took place in their own pavilion on this occasion but the facilities for Obedience will need further review for the future. As always, the Agility and Flyball competitions attracted great interest and the Arena seating was filled to capacity on all four days of Crufts. Discover Dogs continued to prove its worth in enabling visitors to see and enquire about breeds of interest to them, with most registered breeds being represented there.
All these and the other activities effectively illustrate the Kennel Club mission statement of ‘promoting in every way the general improvement of dogs’.
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. To all of our exhibitors, judges, stewards, helpers and trade stands and for the work carried out by the Medical and Veterinary Centres must go our grateful thanks. Our thanks too for the unstinting effort from the participating breed clubs and individuals who work hard in the Discover Dogs booths, together with all the teams and ring parties that manage and run displays and training events - without whom this great event could not take place.
The KC Annual Report 2006/7 can be viewed in its entirety at www.thekennelclub.org.uk