Monique Mastrapasqua and friend on the Boxer bench at Crufts 2024.
Thu, 03/07/2024 - 11:23pm

The Gossip Column: March 8, 2024

Crufts 2024 captured attention worldwide

CRUFTS … If you are here, you are experiencing it; if you aren’t, you are missing it.

A four-day extravaganza that has no equal. It’s just dogs, dogs, dogs and more dogs, and those who love them. 
There is also soft ice cream with chocolate straws, pizza, candy trollies, assorted sandwiches, hot food and beer … lots of beer. Prams for children, scooters for the elderly, and lots of weaving around the crowds to get to where you are going. There are shortcuts to get from Halls 1 and 5 and 3 and 4, but you might have to sweet-talk a guard or two.

So now let’s get down to this year’s numbers. There are 24,000 dogs at the NEC (National Exhibition Centre) in Birmingham. Of those, 19,252 dogs will compete in breed, agility and obedience competitions. More than 200 different breeds will compete. There will be 3,766 dogs from overseas, the largest entry ever. Included are 382 dogs from the Netherlands, 375 dogs from Germany, 371 dogs from France, 330 dogs from Italy, 290 dogs from Ireland, 263 dogs from Poland, 242 dogs from Belgium, 193 dogs from Spain, 188 dogs from the Czech Republic and 179 dogs from Sweden. The breeds with the largest entries in each variety group are: the Gundog Group — Golden Retrievers with 538 (topping Labrador Retrievers, which dropped to second place from last year with an entry of 519); Hound Group — Whippets with 395; Working Group — Newfoundlands with 176; Terrier Group — Staffordshire Bull Terriers with 364; Toy Group — Cavalier King Charles Spaniels with 278; Utility Group — Dalmatians with 223, and Pastoral Group — Border Collies with 288 entries. 

Several breeds will have Challenge Certificates offered for the first time, and they include the Jack Russell Terrier, Kooikerhondje and Lagotto Romagnolo. Several breeds that are also represented, albeit with low entries, are the Belgian Shepherd Dog (Laekenois) with three, the Foxhound with three, and the Turkish Kangal Dog with two. A national celebration of purebred dogs, there will be more than 15 hours of live television courage over the four days.

Unlike our British cousins, now the two things that are on the minds of the Americans are: 1. Can I get back to the delegates annual meeting on time? And 2. Can I get to the Louisville shows on time?

Don't worry — you have an extra five hours of travel time.

 

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