Despite the increasing threat of coronavirus, Crufts 2020 managed to go ahead, get finished and crown its champion Maisie only days before the first nationwide lockdown was announced – but what about Crufts 2021?
The Kennel Club has been liaising with the NEC – where a Nightingale Hospital has been created to take Covid patients and which could also become a site for mass vaccinations of the new jab – to see how the dog show could happen next year.
The club reassured competitors, exhibitors and everyone involved in the dog world it was actively committed to holding the show next year and has been looking at different options..
It said the most important aspect was “the safety of all those who attend and any possible negative impact that holding the event may have.”
Vanessa McAlpine, Crufts Show Manager, said: “The Crufts Committee and events team have been liaising with the NEC and others to discuss how to make it possible to hold Crufts safely next year, ensuring that there is minimal risk of the transmission of Covid-19 and assuming indoor events will be able to take place.
““It is inevitable that Crufts won’t be quite the same as usual due to the pandemic and that the requirement to follow current government guidelines will have an impact on hall capacities and other logistical issues. As such it will be necessary to make some alterations to the show to enable it to take place, as with any large event in this current climate.”
When is Crufts 2021?
Crufts 2021 had originally been scheduled to take place from March 11 to 14 at the NEC Birmingham.. But that has changed.
The Kennel Club announced that the new dates for Crufts 2021 are July 15 to 18 , at the NEC.
It will be the 130th anniversary of the event.
Organisers said that following “lengthy discussions over the last few months” it was agreed to move the event four months further ahead “when hopefully it is more viable that the show can take place and that the situation with Covid-19 allows for it to happen.”
Changes will be implemented to ensure more space is available for exhibitors and visitors.
Vanessa McAlpine, Crufts Show Manager said; “We are absolutely delighted to be able to look forward to a special summer Crufts Dog Show taking place next year and are thankful to the NEC for being flexible in finding us an alternative date and of course all our sponsors, judges, exhibitors and trade stands for their continued support. The Kennel Club will be working with the dog clubs and societies who already have shows planned for these dates to offer them assistance and other options for their events.”
She added: “There is optimism in the events industry as to the likelihood of summer events taking place with the new Crufts dates falling in a fortnight when hopefully some of our great British summer sporting events will also be returning.
“We know there are going to be many challenges and will need to remain adaptable to how the show will look as our priority is to not only the dogs, but our exhibitors and visitors whose welfare will always be at the forefront.
“We will continue to review the situation over the coming months and will adapt our plans as appropriate, however we are very excited to be able to plan for ‘Crufts in the summer’ to celebrate our wonderful dogs and to give our dog loving community something to look forward to next year.”
What’s the Crufts 2021 schedule?
Day 1 – Thursday July 15, 2021
Terrier and hound judging – take a look back at the Terrier and Hound winners list for 2020 here
Day 2 – Friday July 16, 2021
Toy and Utility judging – take a look back at the Toy and Utility winners list for 2020 here
Day 3 – Saturday, July 17, 2021
Gundog judging – take a look back at the Gundog winners list for 2020 here
Day 4 – Sunday, July 18, 2021
Working and pastoral judging – take a look back at the Working and Pastoral winners list for 2020 here
Best in Show judging will also take place on Day 4, as the grand finale of the event.
How to enter Crufts 2021 – when do entries open and what’s the closing date?
Entries are due to open at the end of March 2021 and will be online only.
Entries for Crufts 2021 will close on May 31 – or when numbers have been reached.
Further to a review of the floor space and the number of exhibitors and attendees, organisers have made a decision to cap entries for all breeds. Entry will be on a first come, first served basis.
A dog is eligible for entry in breed classes if it has qualified in any of the following ways under Kennel Club rules:
How to get tickets
No information on tickets has yet been released, so please check back and we will update this when we know more.
How Crufts 2021 will be different – what has been cancelled
Crufts 2021 is going to be very different from previous years.
As well as entries being capped for all breeds, other changes are being made.
The Kennel Club says it will be reviewing many aspects of the show in line with Government advice and the “evolving health situation” but that some decisions have had to be made in advance to ensure it would be able to go ahead in a Covid secure way.
Qualification for Crufts 2021 is open to those who qualified for Crufts 2020 apart from the third placing in class. No puppy classes will be scheduled at the 2021 show due to lack of opportunity to qualify.
The Kennel Club confirmed that the Inter Regional Rally Competition is expected to go ahead on Thursday July 15 and the Inter Regional Obedience Competition is expected to go ahead on Friday July 16.
But there have been no qualifiers the Obedience Championship or the Good Citizen Dog Scheme Special Pre-Beginner Obedience Stakes final, neither of those will take place at Crufts 2021.
Similarly, as there has only been one qualifier the Obreedience finals will also not take place at Crufts 2021. Those teams who competed at an obreedience heat in 2020 and gained points will have their points carried over for Crufts 2022.
The Kennel Club also announced that, due to the lack of opportunity to qualify, the following competitions will not be taking place at Crufts 2021: Breeders’ competition, International Junior Handling competition, Junior Warrant competition, Vulnerable Breeds competition and Pets as Therapy Stakes. Further information on other competitions and canine disciplines will be announced later, the club said.
What about Crufts 2022 – any dates yet?
Crufts organisers have already said they hope to return to a more normal event for 2022.
It is hoped that Crufts 2022 will take place on March 10-13, said the Kennel Club.
Any shows that take place between January 25 and May 31, 2021 will qualify for Crufts 2022.
Shows held after the closing date of entries for the 2021 show will also qualify for Crufts 2022, with further details to be released later.