Dog lovers will be able to see working dogs in action at this year’s Crufts competition.
The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) will run a number of gamekeeper and picking up classes at the event’s gundog day on 14th March at the NEC in Birmingham. The classes act as a showcase for working gundogs at the world’s largest dog show. Uniquely all of the dogs in the BASC gamekeeping rings will have just finished a busy shooting season and Crufts gives their handlers an opportunity to show the animals in their prime.
BASC will host three rings, sponsored by Chudleys dog food. The top five dogs in each of the gamekeeper’s classes will demonstrate their ability in a retrieval lane. Overall winners from the gamekeeper’s classes throughout the day will go head to head in a final show in the main arena for the Northesk memorial trophy.
Tom Blades, BASC’s head of game and gamekeeping, said the event provided a good opportunity to promote gamekeeping to the public. He said: “The BASC gamekeeper classes allow people to see the difference between working dogs and show dogs of the same breed and to compare the different requirements from the show ring and the working field.
“Gundog breeds were originally developed for hunting and retrieval work. The BASC rings are the continuation of that traditional origin of the breed.
“That’s what BASC brings to the gundog day, adding an extra element to the show. Crufts allows gamekeepers and their dogs to be seen in a different setting before a global audience."