Celebrating the 125th edition of Crufts

Celebrating the 125th edition of Crufts


Posted 10th Mar 2016


As the 125th Crufts show starts today, we've decided to give you a little rundown on the history of the show

Fighting off all manner of events - from war, disputes and even an apostrophe - the show is bigger and better than ever and continues to grow in popularity each year.

Yet the Crufts we all know and love may never have been around if it was not for Charles Cruft. Born in 1852, he was set to follow his father into jewellery manufacturing but deciding it wasn't for him, he found himself working for a dog biscuit company.

With a unique mind, he rose up quickly to find himself brand leader by 26, a position which led to him visiting the dog show at the 1878 Paris World Fair.

As he learnt more about the process he decided to utilise his experience and knowledge to create his own show, which was showcased as Cruft's Greatest Dog Show at the Royal Agricultural Hall in Islington, London in 1891.

As news of the show began to spread, so to did the number of distinguished guests. Queen Victoria took her collies and Pomeranians to the show, while Edward VII showed his rough bassets and a Samoyed. This royal tradition has lasted down the years, with the Queen spectating and Prince Michael of Kent making an appearance most years.

The Best in Show award, the most popular event currently taking place, was introduced in 1928 - and as a fact for you general knowledge fans out there, the first winner was a greyhound by the name of Primley Sceptre. Both 1948 and 1950 proved to be big years for the show, with the former the first year that Cruft's - note the apostrophe! - was held under Kennel Club control, and in 1950 it was televised for the first time.

It was 1974 when Cruft's dropped the apostrophe and became Crufts, as part of a rebrand decision. With popularity on the rise, the show had to move to Earls Court in 1979, and it was the following year that the first agility competition was officially launched.

As the demand for the show continued to rise, Crufts was extended to three days in 1982, and again in 1987, to four days.

The centenary of the show led to a new location for it, arriving at Birmingham National Exhibition Centre in 1991, and the changes didn't stop there. In 1994, the Discover Dogs area was introduced, followed by Rescue Dog Agility in 2000. In 2007 more categories were added, including Agility, Eukanuba Friends for Life and the popular Best in Show.

Here's to another 125 years!

Image courtesy of Getty / Getty Images News / Carl Court





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