Judging in BASC’s gamekeeper rings at Crufts is a dream for many who have dedicated years to breeding and training working gundogs.
BASC at Crufts
The Gamekeepers' Ring at Crufts
BASC has a long history at Crufts and runs the renowned Gamekeepers’ Ring at the show, celebrating the best working gundogs in the country. Historically, this class was the backdrop to the Gamekeepers’ Association AGM and signalled the end of the shooting season.
While the AGM no longer takes place at the show, the focal point in the calendar remains, and Crufts has become an important showcase for the breadth and quality of working gundogs in our sport.
Attracting a huge visitor and international broadcast audience, Crufts provides us with a fantastic opportunity to highlight and celebrate working gundogs to an audience who may not be aware of the great work they do.
As well as breed classes for working dogs and gamekeepers’ dogs, BASC classes include gamekeeper teams and working gundog teams, plus the ever-popular young handler classes where youngsters get their chance to show dogs that have worked throughout the season.
Whether you’re competing or spectating, Crufts is the pinnacle of the dog show world, a fantastic day out and a wonderful opportunity to see our working gundogs in the spotlight.
Competing at Crufts
Entry to BASC’s classes at Crufts is restricted to gundogs that have worked on shoots on a regular basis throughout the season. Dogs entered in gamekeeper classes do not have to qualify for entry into a breed class.
If your dog was docked either in the UK or in a foreign country before 6 April 2007 then it may enter Crufts. But, if your dog was docked either in the UK or in a foreign country on or after 6 April 2007 it will not, under the law, be permitted to be shown at Crufts.
If you are interested in showing your working dog, there are training days and competitions held across the UK suitable for beginners right through to professional level, and it’s another great way of focusing your training with your gundog and meeting like-minded people.
How are the dogs judged?
BASC’s classes are for working gundogs, and therefore they are judged differently from the breed classes you’ll see elsewhere at the show.
Every dog is judged to the breed standard, but the judges also take into account attributes important to their role as a working dog such as conformation. Judging the dogs beyond their breed standard, taking into account these further considerations makes the Gamekeepers’ classes unique in their format.
The winners from each gamekeeper class will be judged again in the main ring to find the winner of the Best in Gamekeeper Classes. The overall winner is presented with the prestigious Northesk Memorial Trophy.
Crufts 2024: meet the judges
Entries for Crufts 2024 are open
Entries for BASC’s working dog classes are now open. All classes take place on Crufts Gundog Day, Friday 8 March, at the NEC in Birmingham.
You’ll find the full schedule for all working dog classes available to enter in BASC’s gamekeepers’ rings here.
How to enter
You can also enter by post, sending a completed entry form before entries close on Monday 8 January 2024 (postmark).
Post your entry to:
Crufts, c/o Fosse Data Systems Ltd.
4 Mitchell Court
Castle Mound Way
As Crufts approaches, we look back on last year’s gundog day at the biggest dog show in the world and what to expect if you plan on going.
Find all the information you need on what to expect from competing in BASC’s working gundog classes at Crufts.
Images by Nigel Kirby