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Crufts 2023 & 150 Years of the Kennel Club

Updated: Mar 10

It's the most paw-some time of the year... Yes Crufts 2023 has arrived! Any dog lover will know all about Crufts, and most will visit the show. However some will have struggled to get to the show this year, as the snow (yes snow in March!), has caused chaos over the last two days!

Being a dog owner, lover and running a dog related business, Crufts is always an event that I make sure I attend. This year I booked tickets for the Gundog and Working & Pastoral days; sadly I only made it to Crufts on Gundog day. However I had a fabulous time visiting my favourite event of the year and I thought I'd do a little blog about what I got up too and what I purchased!

So after just over an hours journey to the NEC and a 10-15 minute walk from the car park, I made it into the NEC and headed towards Halls 1 - 5 to go and explore the show for 2023. I had two wonderful ladies for company this year; Tracy and Louise. A big thank you to Tracy for driving us to the NEC in such snowy conditions! After arriving in Hall 3, I soon spotted two chocolate Labradors that are quite well known on social media platforms... Any guesses? No? It was only Ollie & Hector!

Ollie (left) and Hector (right) are to very good boys! And their mums such lovely ladies, happily allowing me to have a photo with these gorgeous chocolate boys. I'd seen Ollie arriving at the show, as I was walking in from the car park, and when I saw Ollie & Hector in Hall 3, I carefully ran up to their mums and asked if it was definitely them, then asked for a photo! If you don't know who Ollie & Hector are, you need to go and check them out; Ollie - @good.boy.ollie on Instagram.

Hector - @hectorthechocolabo on Instagram. Both boys now have baby brothers too.

After seeing Ollie & Hector, myself, Tracy & Louise headed towards Halls 4 & 5, where we browsed the stalls that were located in those halls, and then we watched some of the Kennel Club Obedience competitors, and also paid a visit to a good friend who was competing with her English Springer Spaniel in the BASC Working Gundog Class... Jasper only went and placed 3rd in his class! Way to go Jasper!

Images in order of Collie & Handler competing in Kennel Club Obedience and then my friends dog Jasper on the famous Crufts Dog Benches with his 3rd place rosette and card!

After catching up with my friend and Jasper, we carried on browsing through the halls and the stalls that were there. Lots of well-known brands including Paws Trading, Ruff & Tumble, Dorwest Herbs, Toughango K9 Toys, Skinners, Original Hi-K9 Beds to name a handful, we headed towards Hall 1 as myself and Tracy were on a mission to meet someone very im-paw-tant to us...

Our clients and regular followers will know, that we are continuously developing our skill sets and always looking at what courses we can do next to expand our training skills and knowledge. So when we knew AbsoluteDOGS were going to be at Crufts, myself and Tracy knew we had to pay the AD Team a visit. We were extremely lucky to meet Tom and Ketone! Sadly Lauren had been held up in traffic, Birmingham is a long way from Devon in good weather conditions, let alone in snowy ones!

Tracy and myself had a go on the AbsoluteDOGS Wheel, to see what we could win. I was lucky enough to win the Naughty But Nice Book, written by Lauren & Tom. I'm looking forward to reading the book soon. Once we'd calmed down after meeting Tom & Ketone; we were extremely excited to meet Tom & Ketone, we headed into the Main Arena to watch some of the Agility and Flyball Competitions. In previous years I've never made it into the Main Arena, so it was a really good experience to go and see the Agility & Flyball. If you don't get chance to make it into the Main Arena there is always the Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme (GCDTS) Ring and the Young Kennel Club (YKC) Ring in Hall 3 where various demos and competitions are held.

Sadly I didn't get chance to see any demos in the Rings in Hall 3, but Megan Williams of Megan Williams Photography did get to see some of the demos and competitions including the Medical Detection Dogs and the YKC Agility. The photos below have been taken by Megan, and she's kindly let me use them in this blog post - Thanks Megan!

After we'd finished in the Main Arena it was pretty late - after 3pm - so we headed to the Discover Dogs area. Due to the time of the day and the weather conditions sadly a lot of the dogs and their owners had headed home for the day, but understandably as the dog's welfare is paramount and nobody wanted to get stuck in any bad weather on the way home.

So we had a browse around the halls, and did some shopping. In previous years I've gone to Crufts with a shopping list, which can be dangerous. This year I didn't go with a shopping list, and I was very reserved with my spending which was good for my bank balance!

This year I made purchases with JR Pet Products; stocking up on pate and training treats, and grabbing some NEW Premium Moon Bones. I managed to visit Dog Only Nose to grab some Pooch's treats. I stocked up on poo bags, of course they were from Adios Plastics and of course I purchased some of their Limited Edition Spring Rolls! I stumbled across Victoria Stilwell's book 'The Secret Language of Dogs' and grabbed a copy; another book I'm looking forward to getting stuck into. I also popped to the Tug-E-Nuff stand and got a free keyring. As mentioned earlier in the post, I won the Naughty But Nice Revolution Book from the AbsoluteDOGS stand.

After a long day we decided to head home, and thankfully the snow had started to melt by the time we got on the roads, we just got caught in rain instead! So weather wise Gundog day of Crufts 2023 was a cold and wet one, but inside the 5 halls at the NEC were paw-some!

I'll be watching the remaining coverage of Crufts 2023 on TV from the comfort of my sofa along with my two Best In Show dogs, who enjoyed their snow day today.

The snow might have stopped me getting there today on Working & Pastoral day, but I can sure as heck say I'll be there next year! I might even get chance to do two days like I'd planned this year or even three or all four days; god help the bank balance if that happens!

If you've been to Crufts this year or are going over the next couple of days, I hope you have a great time, and enjoy seeing all the happy hounds.

Thanks for reading, Em x

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