NEWS AND COMMENT: in light of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and his unspeakable atrocities perpetrated against the Ukraine people, Crufts 2022 have banned the 52 entrants from Russia that were due to take part. In contrast, Ukraine’s flag was “omnipresent as the four-day event got underway” as reported by The Times today Friday 11th 2022. Crufts is the world’s biggest and most celebrated dog show. It is taking place at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre between March 10 and March 13.
And a donation of £50,000 is being made available to help owners, breeders and their dogs in Ukraine, Poland and Hungary. This year more than 20,000 dogs are attending the four-day event. There is excitement among dog lovers because due to Covid there was no event last year.
The overall number of official entrants has dropped from the last event in 2020 and includes 1,843 overseas entrants which is down from 3,171 in 2020.
Sadly, all eight Ukrainian dogs that were due to compete have had to pull out because of the invasion. One participant from Ukraine, Alexandra Silantyeva, 33, said that her “dream had been ruined”. She had to abandon her plans to travel to the UK with her to toy poodles. She was forced to flee her house in the suburbs of Kyiv last week with her husband, her three daughters and 15 dogs.
Competitors are hugely relieved to return to Crufts after a couple of years of intermittent lockdowns. A lot of this year’s canine participants were born during the pandemic which has made their socialisation difficult. One British entrant, Louise Grover, a community nurse said: “It is just a relief to be back, having a nice time with friends.”
She has returned to Crufts with Theo, a Hungarian puli.