It is with deep regret that The Kennel Club has decided to cancel Crufts 2021, which was due to take place from 15 – 18 July. This is owing to ongoing uncertainty due to the Covid-19 pandemic and in consideration for the health and safety of all its volunteers, judges, exhibitors, sponsors, trade stand holders, visitors and staff.
For many months, ongoing discussions have been taking place with the NEC and other parties in trying to find a way forward in making it possible to run this year’s show in a Covid-secure way.
The opening up of events in general, especially those that take place inside is still unclear and The Kennel Club’s priority must be the health and safety of all those mentioned above. The Kennel Club also recognised that clarity was required now to mitigate any commitments that all our potential participants may undertake.
Over the past few weeks, The Kennel Club commissioned a survey asking for opinions from those in the canine world on returning to events and although it has been very reassuring to see that 60% would like to get back to their dog activities as soon as it is safe to do so, it was noted that 63% did not feel comfortable or were unsure about attending an inside event in the near future.
Tom Mather, Crufts Chairman, said: “We are very disappointed that we have had to cancel Crufts for the first time since 1954, in what would have been its 130th anniversary year, and it is a decision we have not taken lightly.
“We have tried desperately hard to make this year’s show happen, including the decision we took last November to postpone the event to July. However, of course this was before we were hit by the devastating second wave of the pandemic.
“When this decision was taken, we were optimistic that the situation would be such that the show could be held. However we appreciated that there was a possibility that holding the show in the summer under certain restrictions could also, in some respects, do the show a disservice. We were disappointed that, even though we carried over the qualification from 2020, we would still be limited on our entry numbers and wouldn’t be able to welcome as many dogs back as we would have liked.
“It would also be regrettable that there was a strong possibility that many of the popular events and features of the show, such as obedience, the Good Citizen Dog Scheme, Young Kennel Club ring and Discover Dogs, would not have been able to be included under the restrictions which could be imposed.
“Finally, in light of recent announcements and the emergence of a third wave of coronavirus in Europe, it was looking extremely unlikely that both our overseas judges and exhibitors would be able to attend.”
Further discussions will be taking place regarding the impact of the cancellation of Crufts over the next couple of months, such as the qualification criteria for Crufts 2022 for all disciplines, including the Young Kennel Club.
The Kennel Club appreciates that judges from this year’s show will be very disappointed and the committee will be looking at the options to invite them to judge at a future Crufts and will be making further announcements in due course.
The Kennel Club would like to take this opportunity to thank the shows who were willing to partner with Crufts due to the clash of dates when Crufts was moved to July and also all the other shows and canine events that had been affected by the date change. We would also like to thank the NEC, its sponsors and Channel 4, for the understanding that everyone has shown. It is very much appreciated.
Meanwhile, The Kennel Club will continue to provide any assistance it can with shows and events this year and to try and ensure canine activities get up and running in the safest possible way. We look forward to welcoming everyone back to Crufts next year in its full glory from 10 – 13 March 2022.
Further Crufts updates will be posted at www.crufts.org.uk.