The world’s greatest dog show is Crufts, and our infographic looks at the history of this famous spectacle.
Charles Cruft was a manager for a firm manufacturing dog biscuits, and he travelled to dog shows both in the UK and internationally to promote his products. Disappointed by the standards he found at these shows in 1886 he came up with the idea of the First Great Terrier Show. In 1891 he held Cruft’s Greatest Dog Show at the Royal Agricultural Hall in Islington, which attracted 2,437 entries with 36 different breeds competing for titles.
1928 saw the introduction of the prestigious Best In Show award, which was won by a greyhound called Primley Sceptre. The first female dog owner to win the coveted title was Countess Howe in 1932, with her labrador retriever Bramshaw Bob. Charles Cruft celebrated his Golden Jubilee 5 years early in 1936, when over 10,000 entries were received for that year’s competition. When he died in 1938 his widow took over the running of the competition, which she then sold to the Kennel Club in 1939.
After the Second World War the show was restarted in 1948 with the Kennel Club, and was held in Olympia with 84 breeds taking part. The televising of the event by the BBC in 1950 saw it gain a huge following, and even the death of King George Vl in 1952 didn’t stop the show. Renamed as an Obedience Championship Show in 1955, working sheepdogs became the first crossbreeds to be allowed to compete at Cruft’s. By 1961 the entry numbers had risen to over 15,000, taking part in a wide range of competitions.
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Cruft’s was rebranded again in 1974, becoming the name we now recognise – Crufts. This amazing show has gone from humble beginnings as a terrier show to the prestigious event we know today.