The world’s biggest dog show takes place today and, despite persistent controversy, its popularity shows no sign of abating.
Around 27,000 dogs of all shapes and sizes are in Birmingham to take part in Crufts – just under 21,000 of which (from 220 different breeds) will be competing for a chance to win the coveted Best in Show.
A whopping 20,631 of these dogs will have traveled to the NEC from 44 different countries.
From the most successful breeds to the show’s involvement in a murder trial, here is a look back at the history of Crufts.
1. It was originally just for terriers
Founded by dog biscuit salesman Charles Cruft in 1891, the inaugural event was billed as the “First Great Terrier Show”. Five years later it was renamed “Cruft’s Greatest Dog Show” and opened to all breeds.
2. It’s by royal appointment
Queen Victoria’s collie Darnley II and two of her Pomeranians won prizes in 1891. The following year, dogs were entered by more European royals: Alexandra, Princess of Wales’s Pomeranian, Grand Duke Nicholas of Russia’s Borzoi and Prince Henry of Battenburg’s collie.