Crufts 2020 - the show that almost didn't go ahead!
Due to the Coronavirus outbreak there was a lot of speculation whether the show would go ahead.
The Kennel Club released a press statement on the 4th March stating that following the advice from Defra and their Chief Veterinary Officer's advisors, as well as the Department of Health and Social Care, the show would go ahead.
Two major sponsors of Crufts, Royal Canin UK and James Wellbeloved pulled out at the last minute and advised their representatives not to attend the show.
Despite this Crufts 2020 played host to over 20,000 dogs and exhibitors and over 150,000 visitors to the NEC over the four days of the show.
Crufts 2020 - As it happened
The successful winners of each group lined up tonight in the Best In Show ring, I'm sure they all had butterflies in their stomach - even the most experienced handlers and dog owners get nervous at this point of the show. As a former exhibitor of Irish Setters at Crufts, I remember that nervous, yet excited feeling!
We at Mon Petit Chien have very fond memories of Crufts ourselves as we launched three years ago at the show - what a fantastic place it is - chatting to fellow dog lovers for four days was our highlight for sure.
First up is the winner of the Utility Group - the Minature Poodle named Frankie,
CH Minarets Best Kept Secret - an already successful dog, having come Reserve Best in Show in 2017.
The winner of the Toy Group is the Bichon Frise called Pablo aka Ch Regina Bichon You Rock My World at Pamploma, he looks like a snowy white powderpuff parading around the ring - my tip for a top spot tonight.
The Gundog Group winner is always a popular choice and for me tonight the Irish Setter, Elsie
(Ch Gwendariff Coco Nut Cream) is a definite favourite of mine. Irish Setters have won Best in Show at Crufts four times in the past, maybe tonight could be another win for the Irish?
Next up is the winner of the Working Group, Drago the three year old Bull Mastiff, Ch Phoenix Never Dies Du Monde d'Elias - what a powerful dog. His owner says he has a wonderful way about him, which is clear to see.
The Pastoral Group winner, the Old English Sheepdog called Ch Bottom Shaker The Greatest Picture or Zottni at home, has a Crufts winning Grandad.
Then there was the winner of the Terrier Group, what a beauty, the Kerry Blue Terrier - my top tip to win. Ch Indian Princess at Perrisblu, described as having the jaws of a ratter! Our mascot, the Terrier X, Fraser has often been called a 'ratter' by us, always in a loving way of course.
Last but not least into the ring is the winner of the Hound Group, the Wirehaired Dachshund, Ch Silvae Trademark or Maisie as she's known by her owner.
The tension mounts as the judge makes her way along the line for her final look at these gorgeous dogs. The judge nods her head, she has made up her mind.
The winner is.... Maisie, the Wirehaired Dachshund!! She has the most expressive eyebrows and an impressive moustache - well deserved Maisie!! Her owner promises Maisie a night on the bed tonight for her efforts, then as Maisie disgraces herself on her lap of honour we wonder whether that offer will still stand later on :-)
Crufts has provided us with an evenings entertainment, but we must remember the show does also have important messages to share as always. Responsible dog ownership and promoting the health and wellbeing of our four legged friends has always been at the forefront for the Kennel Club.
Personally, we have given our hearts to a Crossbreed from Cardiff Dogs Home for the last twelve years, but I do think whatever your favourite breed of dog, as long as you give back the love they give you, you won't go far wrong.