A big happy birthday to Crufts this year; celebrating a huge 125 years! So how did it start? Well a guy called Charles Cruft rebelled against his family’s jewelry business and went into the Spratts Dog Biscuit business. Spratts were the forerunners of all our modern dry dog food. He quickly climbed ranks due to his contacts and networking abilities. In the shop in Wolborn of James Spratt his book-keeping and marketing skills are what made him stand out. He attended many dogs’ shows with the business, even the famous dog exhibition at Crystal Palace.He could see the huge financial gain of the shows and with the encouragement from the Duchess of Newcastle, who’d approached him to organize and run a show for terriers in 1886, came up with the idea of his own dog show which he staged in 1891 at the Royal Agricultural Hall Islington, London. His logo was his own design; the head of a Saint Bernard surrounded by a collar with a crown on top. Introduction of a paying system was a success, even Queen Victoria the monarch of the time entered her dogs and of course they were placed. Crufts was well and truly born!Our Queenie Woof woof owns an original Spratts biscuits badge; it’s on her doggy buggy that we take to shows if you see us around.
Charles was a very successful showman alas on his 45th Cruft show in 1938 he became ill and he later died of a heart attack at around 5.30am on Saturday 10th September 1938. His tomb can be found in Highgate (Western) Cemetery, Camden. The show was sold by his wife Emma to the Kennel Club in 1939 and it still in their hands today. We will be there this year walking around so do keep an eye out for us….or you can tweet us to meet up for a doggy chat and meet the famous Queenie Woof Woof.