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Crufts entry just short of record!

Crufts has done it again! So says a Kennel Club press release issued earlier this week.
With even more entries than in 2007, Crufts has secured its place, yet again, as the world’s largest dog show but it still has not broken the record held by the centenary show of 1991.
With less then six weeks to go until the show takes place, Crufts will welcome 22,964 dogs competing for the prestigious title of Best in Show; over 600 more than last year. Crufts 2008 has narrowly missed breaking the show’s all-time record by just 27 dogs! The entry for March’s show is 25546.

Crufts achieved its best ever entry figure during its centenary year in 1991 when the event moved to the NEC in Birmingham for the first time. Overseas entries have also increased dramatically; Crufts 2008 will see 1,177 dogs from overseas take to the ring to compete, an increase of more than 200 on 2007. Crufts has always attracted a huge number of competitors and visitors alike, and the event just keeps on growing.

Recent puppy registration figures released by the Kennel Club highlighted the worryingly low numbers of certain British and Irish breeds. Crufts entry figures show that only 6% of the dogs attending the event are from those 23 breeds listed as being vulnerable. The worry for the Kennel Club is that the breeds have lost popularity to the point that they are being forgotten by puppy buyers and can therefore sometimes be overlooked when someone is thinking of getting a new dog, even though so many of them would make great pets.

Crufts provides an ideal opportunity to get to know breeds such as the Dandie Dinmont Terrier, the Smooth Collie and the Irish Red and White Setter and many others.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said “Crufts has yet again surpassed all expectations. This event just keeps getting bigger and bigger and with over 150,000 visitors attending last year, we are preparing for another record breaking show! The low numbers of vulnerable breeds is, sadly, expected. In the registration figures released earlier this month we saw a huge decline in some native British and Irish breeds. We hope that an occasion as big as Crufts will help highlight just how important it is to ensure we don’t lose these beautiful breeds.”

Crufts has changed significantly over the years. Back in 1991 it was moved to the NEC in Birmingham due to its overwhelming popularity. Last year’s show saw the Arena programme introduced, allowing the Kennel Club to showcase many different aspects of dog ownership and provide an even bigger platform for dogs, demonstrating all they have to offer.

The Kennel Club had not yet released the individual breed entry details but OUR DOGS hopes to have these in time for next week.

Opinion - page 8