Crufts is the highlight of the Agria year. We have a special connection with world’s greatest dog show as Agria insured our first animal just one year before the very first Crufts took place in 1891.
Back then, the event was very different to how it is now – and one of the winners at the very first show was Queen Victoria! Now, as well as the showing element of the Crufts, the four-day event places a real focus on dogs that make a difference in society – whether that’s in an assistance or service role, or in their life-changing roles as companions.
As ever, we were thrilled to be major sponsors again in 2018 and had a brilliant time at the world’s greatest dog show!
To kick off the event, we were thrilled to attend the glittering ‘Pawscars’ the night before the show began. Celebrating all that is good in the world of dog showing, Pawscars recognises many very deserving individuals. Agria is proud to be a principal sponsor of this event, and this year, our MD, Simon Wheeler, had the honour of presenting the highly respected Hall of Fame Award to Geoff Corish.
Q & As with some of the industry’s greatest specialists
The fabulous night at the Pawscars set the tone for what was to be a wonderful four days at the NEC. One of the highlights for us were the fabulous Q & A sessions we held on the stand.
First up was our resident vet, Robin Hargreaves, Agria’s vet panel lead and former British Veterinary Association (BVA) President, taking questions on Skin Conditions, Infectious diseases and Vaccinations.
Our other sessions were with: Julie Gray, specialist in fertility and artificial insemination and member of the European Veterinary Society for Small Animal reproduction and runs BreedMyDog.com;
Dr Tom Lewis, a quantitative geneticist for the Kennel Club who is involved in genetic analysis of complex inherited disease and population structure in pedigree dog breeds, and;
Dr John Houlton, past President of many highly influential veterinary organisations, a director of European School of Veterinary Postgraduate Studies and a panellist for the British Veterinary Association/ Kennel Club canine health schemes. He also has a great interest in gundogs, particularly working Labradors.
We live-streamed our sessions to view these and more join the Agria Breeder Club today – https://www.agriapet.co.uk/breeders/enrol/
Supporting the Kennel Club Charitable Trust
We were delighted to present a cheque from Agria for £75,000 to Professor Steve Dean, Chairman of the Trustees of the Kennel Club Charitable Trust (KCCT). Agria is a long-term supporter of the KCCT, a dog charity dedicated to looking after the health and welfare of all dogs, including supporting research into canine diseases, dog welfare organisations and the promotion of support dogs.
Recognising responsible breeders
Another big moment during Crufts was the presentation to the winner of the Kennel Club Breeders’ Competition, Margaret Anderson. This competition made a comeback at last year’s Crufts as a stand-alone event, and Agria was honoured to sponsor it in 2018.
The purpose of the hotly contested award is to find the breeder with dogs of the best overall quality, with sound breeding practices with a focus on producing healthy and happy dogs. Finalists were judged on a team of four dogs bred by the breeder. In Margaret’s case, her team of Lhasa Apsos were all descended from her dog, Champion Zentarr Elizabeth, who was crowned Crufts Best in Show winner in 2012.
Winners on the Agria stand
Over the course of the four days, it was great to chat to so many visitors at the Agria stand. We had some famous faces join us, in the shape of the winners of our photography campaign to see their dog’s picture taking pride of place on our stand.
All visitors to the Agria stand were invited to enter our prize draw to win tickets to the ultimate dog show moment – the presentation of Best in Show on the Sunday evening. We gave 20 tickets away and were really pleased we could open this otherwise sold-out event up to a few more people as passionate about dogs as we are.
On to 2019…!
We’d like to say a huge congratulations to all the competitors and winners at Crufts 2018. You, and the thousands of dog lovers that visit the event to watch everything from Best in Breed, Junior Handling, Agility and awards for so many dogs that enrich the lives of humans, make the show the fantastic event that it is. We can’t wait for next year!