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    February 6th, 2016Laura P (Editor)Crufts, Crufts 2016

    2016 marks the 125th anniversary of Crufts; to mark the occasion we have compiled a series of retrospectives which consider different aspects of the show’s rich history. Today we are looking at sponsors.   

    The idea of product placement at sporting events may seem like a modern concept, but in fact Crufts may never have come into being without the association of one particular brand: Spratts dog biscuits. Before lending his name to the biggest dog show on earth, founder Charles Cruft worked for Spratts and travelled as a salesman to dog shows across the UK and internationally on a regular basis. It was his frequent attendance at such events – and his recognition that these were great opportunities to sell to and network with potential customers –  which eventually lead him to put on the first all-breed “Cruft’s Greatest Dog Show” in Islington in 1891.

    Spatts 1891

    Spratts’ 1891 advert

    So, Spratts was the first ever official Crufts sponsor. Their Cod Liver Oil Dog Cakes are advertised on the back page of the 1891 catalogue; also featured are their Patent Dog Medicines, along with two dedicated canine journals. Though significantly thinner and printed in black and white, the content seems remarkably similar to today’s offerings, with canine products and publications both vying for the attention of Britain’s dog loving consumers.

    Charles Cruft died of a heart attack in 1938. The catalogue from his final show featured more familiar advertising, from charity organisations such as the RSPCA and PDSA, and for various coat conditioners and cleaning products.

    In 1948, the British Kennel Club took over the management of the show from Charles’ widow Emma. Their first catalogue features Spratts’ Dog Medicines alongside more modern dog food brand names such as Winalot and Chappie, as well as an advertisement for dog breeder’s insurance (available from stand 33).

    Photo Gallery


    Pedigree Samoyeds. Credit: AFP

    From 1950 to 2008, Crufts was broadcast on BBC television. The advent of the wider audiences which TV promised meant that big names began to associate themselves with the show. Pedigree joined the pack in 1964 and the English Setter Silbury Soames of Madavale became the first dog ‘fed on Pedigree Chum’ to win Best in Show that year – since then dog food brands have taken ample advantage of celebri-dog endorsements. Pedigree remained a sponsor of Crufts for 44 years. Exhibitors with good memories reminisce fondly about their Best of Breed prize packs, and the distinctive red and yellow bags and towels can still be spotted in use on the breed benches to this day.

    In 1974, Cruft’s was re-branded as Crufts (without the apostrophe); the first Crufts catalogue featured adverts for Rabbifa, an anti-rabies vaccine, and Good Boy Vitaminized Choc Drops. It is around this time that we started seeing corporate logos in the backgrounds of Best In Show photos; the 1983 winner’s picture is framed by a banner for pet gift company Birdbrook, for example. It was an exciting period of growth for the show: agility and flyball were added in 1978 and 1990; it was moved to Earls Court in 1979 due to an increasing number of entries (and visitors); and they extended its duration from 2 to 3 days in 1982 and then 3 to 4 days in 1987.

    1983 Best in Show Winner, Afghan Hound, Montravia Kaskarak Hitari. Credit: KC

    1983 BiS Winner, Ch Montravia Kaskarak Hitari. Credit: Kennel Club

    All these developments provided ample opportunity for companies to reach more customers, and to make more sales. In 1988, more than 110,000 people come through the doors. As a result, that year’s catalogue featured ads for some distinctly non-canine household names, such as Volvo and British Airways. Samsung, the Korean tech company, first sponsored the show in 1993, and remains a principle sponsor to this day; it is now almost impossible to take a photo in the Main Arena without their logo appearing somewhere in it!

    Crufts moved the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham for the centenary show in 1991. (An official history, by Frank Jackson, was commissioned by the Kennel Club and sold at the show; another example of commercialising on the event.) In the 25 years since that move, the sponsorship of Crufts has become big business, with the Kennel Club Marketing department reporting that they reached an audience of 149,500 dog loving customers in 2013.

    2013 Crufts Best in Show Picture shows Gavin Robertson with his Basset Griffon Vendeen (Petit) called Jilly, CH SOLETRADER PEEK A BOO, who won Best in Show, today (Sunday 10.03.13), the final day of Crufts 2013, at the Birmingham NEC. *** Local Caption *** Kennel Club and/or Crufts use including providing images to supplement Crufts 125 press and editorial use – must credit photographer (if known) and the Kennel Club© or the Kennel Club Picture Library© Any Kennel Club and/or Crufts social media use – download using a watermark. Any licensing requests or customer requests for prints, please refer to our image store or contact the picture library.

    2013 BiS Winner, Ch Soletrader Peek a Boo. Credit: Kennel Club

    Of course, the show suffered some PR trouble in 2008/2009, following the airing of the now-infamous documentary. This led to the withdrawal of support from numerous long-associated brands including Pedigree, the RSPCA and the BBC. From 2010 the show rallied, however, with the sofa brand DFS and the TV channel More4 taking over. For the past three years, Eukanuba has been the principal sponsor, as can be seen from the big pink banners in the Main Arena and the bags of dog food which they strategically place to be photographed on the winner’s podium.

    Some may think that the modern show has become too commercialised, but Charles Cruft himself would have wanted it that way; historians say he was an expert at publicity, PR and using stories to encourage the media to promote his show. He even designed the still-used St Bernard logo himself. Thanks in part to the revenue from its sponsors, Crufts dog show was a commercial success, and so it continued. Without it’s advertisers, it may have gone the way of Mr Cruft’s ill-fated cat shows, which were cancelled after two years when they failed to make a profit. Charles recognised that he needed the support of the dog fancy, especially those who had something to sell, to make his show the biggest and best in the calendar; that’s why dog lovers can still visit and buy dog biscuits there 125 years later.

    More history from the Kennel Club:
    The Story of Charles Cruft

    The Royals at Crufts

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    February 2nd, 2016Laura P (Editor)Crufts, Crufts 2016

    Almost 22,000 dogs will be heading to the NEC in Birmingham from 10th – 13th March to compete at Crufts 2016, the Kennel Club has announced. This marks an increase in entries for the 125th anniversary of the show.

    The Kennel Club figures show that 21,919 dogs will be taking part in breed judging, Gamekeepers’ classes and the Obedience and Agility Championships. The 2016 figure exceeds the 2015 figure by 2 per cent and is the highest number of dogs competing at Crufts since 2010.

    As ever, the event has a truly international flavour with 3,396 dogs competing from overseas compared with 2,987 in 2015, an increase of 14 per cent. Dogs from a total of 47 overseas countries will take part in the show, including, for the first time, Venezuela, Peru and the Philippines.

    The number of breeds competing at Crufts continues to grow, adding to the diversity of the event, with the inclusion of two new breeds, the Lagotto Ramagnolo and the Cirneco Dell’Etna, which will have their own breed classes at Crufts for the first time. Both breeds will be judged by Mrs Carla Molinari from Portugal.

    This year has seen an increase of 40 per cent or more in the entries for the following breeds compared with 2015: Pointer, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Samoyed and Basset Hound.

    The highest entry in each group is as follows:

    • Toy: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – 322
    • Utility: Bulldog – 245
    • Gundog: Retriever (Labrador) –  588
    • Working: Boxer – 236
    • Pastoral: Border Collie – 359
    • Terrier: Staffordshire Bull Terrier – 410
    • Hound: Whippet – 397

    Gerald King, Crufts Chairman said: “We are delighted that entries to Crufts’ 125th anniversary show remain strong and steady. We feel honoured to welcome dogs from such a wide variety of breeds, representing all corners of the globe. The fact that people travel far and wide to enter this prestigious event is testament to the place it continues to hold in people’s hearts and we intend to keep going from strength to strength.

    “We thank everybody who has entered the show and look forward to welcoming all the dogs and their owners who make Crufts such a wonderful event, whether it is those who have been loyally returning year after year or those who are experiencing the show for the first time.”

    Full entry figures for all the groups can be found on the pages below: 
    Toy Group
    Utility Group
    Gundog Group
    Working Group
    Pastoral Group
    Terrier Group
    Hound Group
    British Vulnerable Native Breeds
    Obedience entry was 19 bitches and 24 dogs

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    February 2nd, 2016Laura P (Editor)Crufts, Crufts 2016
    Alaskan Malamute157
    Bernese Mountain Dog 221
    Bouvier des Flandres 42
    Boxer 236
    Bullmastiff 133
    Canadian Eskimo Dog 24
    Dogue de Bordeaux 153
    German Pinscher 29
    Giant Schnauzer 79
    Great Dane 160
    Greenland Dog 6
    Hovawart 51
    Leonberger 162
    Neapolitan Mastiff 31
    Newfoundland 198
    Portuguese Water Dog 47
    Rottweiler 193
    Russian Black Terrier 52
    Siberian Husky 166
    St Bernard 80
    Tibetan Mastiff 61
    AV Imported Register40
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    February 2nd, 2016Laura P (Editor)Crufts, Crufts 2016
    Akita 118
    Boston Terrier 115
    Bulldog 245
    Canaan Dog 13
    Chow Chow109
    Dalmatian 228
    Eurasier 46
    French Bulldog 219
    German Spitz (Klein)71
    German Spitz (Mittel) 83
    Japanese Akita Inu 30
    Japanese Shiba Inu 120
    Japanese Spitz 68
    Keeshond 87
    Kooikerhondje 27
    Lhasa Apso 131
    Miniature Schnauzer 151
    Poodle (Miniature) 116
    Poodle (Standard)151
    Poodle (Toy) 97
    Schipperke 56
    Schnauzer 68
    Shar Pei 72
    Shih Tzu 189
    Tibetan Spaniel 147
    Tibetan Terrier 235
    AV Imported Register20
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    February 2nd, 2016Laura P (Editor)Crufts, Crufts 2016
    Australian Silky Terrier 13
    Bichon Frise 134
    Cavalier King Charles Spaniel 322
    Chihuahua (Long Coat) 251
    Chihuahua (Smooth Coat) 178
    Chinese Crested 204
    Coton de Tulear48
    English Toy Terrier58
    Griffon Bruxellois 86
    Havanese 77
    Italian Greyhound 104
    Japanese Chin 132
    King Charles Spaniel125
    Lowchen 35
    Maltese 59
    Miniature Pinscher 100
    Papillon 232
    Pekingese 78
    Pomeranian 154
    Pug 269
    Yorkshire Terrier 107
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    February 2nd, 2016Laura P (Editor)Crufts, Crufts 2016
    Airedale Terrier 81
    Australian Terrier 17
    Bedlington Terrier 89
    Border Terrier 239
    Bull Terrier 67
    Bull Terrier (Miniature) 85
    Cairn Terrier 143
    Cesky Terrier 35
    Dandie Dinmont Terrier59
    Fox Terrier (Smooth) 66
    Fox Terrier (Wire) 72
    Glen of Imaal Terrier 42
    Irish Terrier 56
    Kerry Blue Terrier 51
    Lakeland Terrier 45
    Manchester Terrier 66
    Norfolk Terrier 43
    Norwich Terrier 51
    Parson Russell Terrier 122
    Scottish Terrier 94
    Sealyham Terrier 33
    Skye Terrier 56
    Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier 100
    Staffordshire Bull Terrier 410
    Welsh Terrier38
    West Highland White Terrier147
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    February 2nd, 2016Laura P (Editor)Crufts, Crufts 2016
    Anatolian Shepherd Dog 7
    Australian Cattle Dog 51
    Australian Shepherd 139
    Bearded Collie 299
    Beauceron 24
    Belgian Shepherd Dog (Groenendael) 61
    Belgian Shepherd Dog (Laekenois) 9
    Belgian Shepherd Dog (Malinois) 37
    Belgian Shepherd Dog (Tervueren) 77
    Border Collie 359
    Briard 94
    Catalan Sheepdog 27
    Collie (Rough) 271
    Collie (Smooth) 58
    Estrela Mountain Dog 35
    Finnish Lapphund 100
    German Shepherd Dog 121
    Hungarian Puli 75
    Lancashire Heeler 86
    Maremma Sheepdog 20
    Norwegian Buhund 36
    Old English Sheepdog133
    Polish Lowland Sheepdog 60
    Pyrenean Mountain Dog 89
    Pyrenean Sheepdog 30
    Samoyed 168
    Shetland Sheepdog 282
    Swedish Vallhund 44
    Turkish Kangal Dog 10
    Welsh Corgi (Cardigan)91
    Welsh Corgi (Pembroke)120
    AV Imported Register32
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    February 2nd, 2016Laura P (Editor)Crufts, Crufts 2016
    Afghan Hound 232
    Basenji 54
    Basset Fauve de Bretagne 59
    Basset Griffon Vendeen (Grand) 41
    Basset Griffon Vendeen (Petit) 90
    Basset Hound 137
    Beagle 253
    Bloodhound 25
    Borzoi 123
    Cirneco Dell'Etna 27
    Dachshund (Min Long-Haired)149
    Dachshund (Min Smooth-Haired) 131
    Dachshund (Min Wire-Haired) 123
    Dachshund (Long-Haired) 86
    Dachshund (Smooth-Haired) 92
    Dachshund (Wire-Haired) 92
    Deerhound 101
    Finnish Spitz 18
    Foxhound 9
    Greyhound 78
    Hamiltonstovare 18
    Ibizan Hound 34
    Irish Wolfhound162
    Norwegian Elkhound 57
    Otterhound 32
    Pharaoh Hound 33
    Portuguese Podengo46
    Rhodesian Ridgeback201
    Saluki 105
    Sloughi 7
    Whippet 397
    AV Imported Register 26
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    February 2nd, 2016Laura P (Editor)Crufts, Crufts 2016
    Bracco Italiano50
    Brittany 28
    English Setter 200
    German Longhaired Pointer 22
    German Shorthaired Pointer 85
    German Wirehaired Pointer 31
    Gordon Setter 192
    Hungarian Vizsla 141
    Hungarian Wirehaired Vizsla 83
    Irish Red And White Setter 78
    Irish Setter 314
    Italian Spinone 155
    Lagotto Romagnolo 59
    Large Munsterlander 88
    Pointer 236
    Retriever (Chesapeake Bay) 34
    Retriever (Curly Coated) 76
    Retriever (Flat Coated) 334
    Retriever (Golden) 569
    Retriever (Labrador)588
    Retriever (Nova Scotia Duck Tolling) 169
    Spaniel (American Cocker) 114
    Spaniel (Clumber) 70
    Spaniel (Cocker) 403
    Spaniel (English Springer) 166
    Spaniel (Field) 54
    Spaniel (Irish Water) 30
    Spaniel (Sussex) 52
    Spaniel (Welsh Springer) 203
    Spanish Water Dog 67
    Weimaraner 133
    AV Imported Register9
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    February 2nd, 2016Laura P (Editor)Crufts, Crufts 2015, Crufts 2016
    Totals: 20302034
    Bull Terrier (Miniature)8577
    Collie (Smooth)5856
    Dandie Dinmont Terrier5956
    English Toy Terrier 5864
    Fox Terrier (Smooth)6673
    Glen of Imaal Terrier4230
    Gordon Setter192208
    Irish Red & White Setter7886
    Irish Wolfhound162149
    Kerry Blue Terrier5164
    King Charles Spaniel125108
    Lakeland Terrier4541
    Lancashire Heeler8689
    Manchester Terrier6657
    Norwich Terrier5140
    Retriever (Curly Coated)7673
    Sealyham Terrier3338
    Skye Terrier5657
    Spaniel (Clumber)7087
    Spaniel (Field)5453
    Spaniel (Irish Water)3036
    Spaniel (Sussex)5257
    Welsh Corgi (Cardigan)9183
    Welsh Corgi (Pembroke)120144
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