Crufts is named after its founder Charles Cruft. The first Crufts show in that name was booked into the Royal Agricultural Hall, Islington in 1891. 1948 was the first show under the Kennel Club auspices. Held at Olympia, it proved an immediate success with both exhibitors and the public. Since then Crufts has increased in stature year by year.
In 1979 it was decided to change the venue from Olympia to Earls Court as the increasing entries had the show bursting at the seams. In 1982 the show ran for three days and in 1987 for four days to accommodate the increasing numbers of dogs and spectators.
1991 saw the Crufts Centenary Show being held at the Birmingham National Exhibition Centre, this being the first time the show had moved from London.
2003 will be the thirteenth year that the show has been staged at the NEC.
On http://www.the-kennel-club.org.uk you can read more about the history of Crufts Dog Show.
Ridgebacks at Crufts
Before the war ridgebacks were only seen at Crufts in 1937. Among the five entries Mr Smith´s Umbani of the Heightfinden (Lobenguela x Kali) was shown to BOB. Bred by Mrs L Hamilton in 1933. I have not been able to find any photo of him so you have to be satisfied with his littermates Ulaka and Utisha of the Heightfinden.
During the 50's around 50 ridgebacks were registrered yearly and increased during the 60's to around 100.
After the war 9 ridgebacks were shown in 1950 in "any other variety class" and it was not until 1951 that the breed had its own classes. Mrs Patten´s Marsian Viking (Leo of Dimbula x Desia Leona) was BOB in 1951. Viking gained eight first prizes and he was three times best of breed while under 25 months of age
1954 the breed got CC:s for the first time, but the show was cancelled due to an electrical conflict and it was first the year after that GB Ch Maiduba of Manscross got the first Crufts CC (his fourth). Owned and bred by Dr and Mrs Mackenzie. Maidubas sire was Just of Banba, brought to England in 1947 by Queen Elizabeth, while she still was a princess.
Maiduba was born 7 September 1950 and first ever Rhodesian Ridgeback Champion i Britain. Gained his title July 3, 1954. Winner of 8 CC:s
1959 was one of my favourites BOB, GB Ch Mentamery Marandella. Bred by Mrs W Hayes 26 September 1954. Marandella is here pictured with her owner Wyn Hages
One of the most consistent winners during the sixties was GB Ch Hunter of Owlsmoor (GB Ch Machemba of Mascross x GB Ch Melantho of Manscross), who won 16 CC, four at Crufts - two as BOB. Bred and owned by Mrs Cicely Hick. His dam(granddaughter to Just of Banba) was BOS at Crufts 1956. She was also a younger sister to GB Ch Manscross Simbawa Sheba (Murlin of Manscross x GB Ch Merill of Manscross), the first champion bitch in Britain. Sheba was bred by Miss G E Macquisten.
GB Ch Mingo of Manscross, JW, was BOB Crufts 1965. Born May 23, 1962, bred by Dr & Mrs Mackenzie. Owned by Mrs E.R. Baily, Footpath Kennels
GB Ch Bunkeya of Bizweni, JW, (GB Ch Ruanda of Owlsmoor x GB Ch Mentamery Malomba) won the CC in 1966, 1970 and 1971. Bred by Mrs Isobel Field and owned by Mr and Mrs H Jackson, Aldonnels Kennel. Bunkeya won in total 15 CC:s
1974 was the year a Ridgeback was among the last six in the group for the first time. Mr. Dixon´s GB Ch Zuri Kubwa Wazat, "Handsome" (US Ch Rolling's M'Cola Ekundi x Can Ch Sooki of Owlsmoor) won three CC at Crufts, 1974, 1975 and 1976. Bred by Mr J Wilson, owned by Mr Alex Dixon. Mrs W Hayes, the breed judge 1974, wrote this about him: "He came, he saw, he conquered, his colour is clear rich red, the loveliest expression of all, the head is well modelled, the neck strong, clean and reachy, perfectly proportioned body carrying just the right amount of substance, wonderful muscle on hindquarters which he used to advantage when moving."
Handsome won in total 9 CC:s and was the winner of Cicely Hick Memorial Trophy 1974
One of the most consistent winners through the yeas was Handsome´s daughter GB Ch Matabelle M'Kangazi, JW ex Matabelle Maiden. In total she won 17 CC:s. Born 17 May 1973, bred and owned by Mrs Sue Simper
GB Ch Mirengo Mandambo (Simba of Stirlingshire x Mirengo's Mandara) was Reserv in the Group in 1984, when he won his 21st CC. Bred and owned by Mrs Ann Woodrow. The group-judge Leonard Pagliero said about him "Handsome and outstanding, he has a noble head with a strong, flat, broad, skull and kind expression, a beautiful body of great strength, and movement that indicated to me that as a working hound he could cover the ground with tremendous activity and endurance"
GB Ch Ulundi Ushumba of Eilack was imported from South Africa and went BOB at Crufts three times and was Top Ridgeback in 1987 and 1989. Breed by Mrs Janet Murray, owned by Mr Jack Selby. Harry Jordan judged him 1990 and wrote about him:
"So very true to type, stands aloof as he should do, so well constructed all through. I only wish he had a better handler (younger) who would show his paces to better advantage. I tried hard to knock him for this, but type does not come any better"
In 1973 a halfsister to our Int Nord Ch Sari of Dudwell, GB Ch Shambadene´s Dalyngreye of Geden, was BOB. Born 21 August 1969, bred by Mrs Wilkinson, owned by Mrs S Tyler
In 1978 Eilack Saul's (Rafters Moby x Eureka of Eilack) was BOB. Born 12 July 1973, bred and owned by Mr & Mrs J Selby
And in 1982 Sue Simper´s GB Ch Matabelle Nyoni, JW (GB Ch Matabelle Chipembere x Nordostufial Nyota), was BOB. Stomperis our S N Ch Umtali Assegai of Matabelles grandmother.
The Bruet Champagne Trophy for the highest scoring Junior Warrant 1981-82
Winner of the Hacker Cup for most consistent winner 1981 and 1982
Crufts Centenary Show in 1991 was judged by Mrs Sue Simper and her BOB was GB Ch Sansilver Samuru, born 14 March 1989 (GB Ch Umtali Katanga x GB Ch M'sombuluko of Mirengo and Sansilver). Bred and owned by Mr & Mrs D. J. Seaman
2002 the breed was judged by Mrs Petford and a Swedish import went BOB for the first time!
The judge 2006 was Mr B Reynolds-Frost and his BOB was Parke's GB Ch Veldtkammer Lady Done A Bunk
(by Ch Nedege Shaka of Eilack - ex Veldtkammer Blits)
The judge was Capt K R Hogg from South Africa
BOB Veldtkammer Dew to More Duo JW
BOS Veldtkammer Lady Done A Bunk JW
Next year will be judged by Ms Liz Megginson