Crufts: What keeps dog lovers returning year after year
Grimsby Telegraph reporter and The Journal editor, Laura Stuart-Cook, has been judging at Crufts dog show over the last four days. As the show comes to a close, she reflects on what keeps dog lovers returning year on year ...
Four days, 25,000 dogs and one best in show winner - Crufts is all over for another 12 months. As I write this, thousands of canine enthusiasts are beginning their journeys home, whether that's a few minutes down the road from Birmingham's NEC or on the other side of the world. The Kennel Club is rolling up the famous green carpet and the owners of the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen which took the top spot are quite probably cracking open the huge bottle of champagne they won!
And everybody who has visited the show over the last four days will undoubtedly already thinking about one thing - next year's Crufts. The qualification process starts all over again tomorrow, with all but the very highest-winning dogs having to gain top prizes at championship shows throughout the year to secure their places at Crufts 2014.
MAYFAIR ESTATE AGENTS
IF WE CANNOT FIND YOU A TENANT WITHIN ONE MONTH WE WILL FIND YOU ONE FOR FREE, YES FREE, YOU WILL PAY NO FEES.
Terms: TERMS & CONDITIONS APPLY.
Contact: 01472 355 553
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
The same applies to the 170-plus handlers I have judged, who will all be eager to qualify for next year, providing they aren't turning 25 and graduating from the world of Young Kennel Club competitions, that is. My overall winner, who took the coveted Young Kennel Club Show Handler of the Year title, will now represent the UK at the World Dog Show in Budapest later this year - a hugely exciting, and daunting, prospect for her.
And once that is over, she too will be back in the ring among like-minded dog lovers, eager to do it all again. This year's Crufts has been an incredible experience for me and I feel honoured to have been invited to judge at the world's biggest dog show.
Next year will be something on an anti-climax after the excitement and responsibility of my judging appointment, but 2014's show is also sure to be far more relaxing! After four hours of judging a day and miles of hiking between the exhibition halls, I'm looking forward to having more time to stock up on goodies from the trade stands next year! For those of you who have been watching the TV coverage on More 4 and Channel 4 but haven't ever journeyed to Crufts, I urge you to pencil the dates for next year's show in your diaries. If you love dogs, then you'll love Crufts! I'll see you there!
Got something to say about Grimsby? Want to share the latest news or just give us your views... we'd love to hear from you.
We'll publish it on http://www.thisisgrimsby.co.uk... and you can help start the local debate on the issues that matter to you