While to the majority of the UK dog owning public, a dog is your best friend and part of the family, some of the competitors at Crufts see their dogs as their lives – with a win at Crufts opening the door to big money sponsorships and much more. Clare Balding, Ben Fogle and Matt Baker take us through the proceedings at day two of Crufts 2008, from the NEC Arena in Birmingham.
For those who have never been to Crufts, it is more than just a dog show with a whole host of entertainment and chances to learn more about the UK dog population and where they come from. When you also consider the fact that there will be over 25,000 dogs at this years show, all looking to be crowned Best In Show come the end of the event, you might start to get a feel for the size of Crufts 2008.
Crufts is officially the largest dog show in the world, something which is reflected by the ever increasing number of entrants. While it may be a little hard to believe, the event has actually been going since 1891 which saw the first show hosted in Islington. Since the early days the popularity has grown and grown, with the size of the event even surprising the Kennel Club (UK) who own and administer the event.
This year has been a little tricky with some controversy in the media with regards to alleged irregular betting patterns on the overall show winner. While these have been investigated and discounted by the authorities, it just shows how much attention the event is attracting not only throughout the UK, but throughout the world. It will be interesting to see which dog and which breed are crowned winners this year, and see if it sparks a demand for the winning breed of dog.