(Written By Georgia Hatton)
Day 4 - Gundog day!
The fourth and final day at Crufts belongs to the Gundogs this year - featuring some of the most popular breeds including the Labradors (the top registered breed of 2021), and every variety of spaniels and pointers.
Just one group is shown today - the Golden and Labrador Retrievers are the two breeds with the highest number of entries!
Your general entry ticket gets you into the main arena before lunchtime, with some agility to watch, plus a variety of displays, including the lowland search and rescue team, the southern golden retriever display team and one from HM The Queens Gundogs.
Elsewhere, there is an action packed day in each ring. The obedience ring has the second of the championship competitions - with the girls getting their turn today. In the young kennel club ring, there will be a variety of competitions, including the grooming competition, the crossbreed of the year competition and the very inspiring young person of the year award.
My favourite competition takes place in this ring - the Young Kennel Club Pairs class! In 2020 I competed in this competition with my (then) 10 year old whippet x, Hoddy. We had a really great day and finished in third place!
For our last handler interview, we’ve spoken to the 2020 winner of this class, Issy, and her dog Henry!
“Hi! I’m Issy and this is my 9 year old patterdale terrier Henry! We’re competing in YKC pairs this year at crufts. We also competed in 2020 where we won with our partners! We adopted Henry from a rescue centre and he started agility when he was 4! He’s now just a few wins away from grade 7 and still absolutely loved barking his way around an agility course!”
If you are inspired to take part in activities with your pet dogs, the activities ring has a number of fun displays throughout the day. Featuring a real mix of handlers and dogs, it is a chance to see a bitesize display, and ask any questions you may have.
The main event in the arena requires a special ticket, purchased separately from the event entry and kicks off at 4:45pm - although it’s best to get seated earlier! It is a hugely varied programme, including a variety of displays and competitions, including the agility championship, the presentation of the police dog team of the year award and the ever popular crowning of the Kennel Clubs hero Dog award (previously known as Friends For Life)
The stage is then set for best in show - where we find out who is taking the crown from the 2020 winner!
With 24 wins, the gundog group is the most successful - but you’d have to go back to 2011 to find the most recent winner - with the largest number of entries, maybe this year will be their turn again?
Sh. Ch. Vbos the Kentuckian - Jet - as well as being the last winner from the Gundog group this flat coated retriever was the oldest dog to take home the crown, being 9 years and 7 months old!