‘Crufts of the North’ attracts thousands of entries

From whippets to weimaraners, salukis to spaniels they came in their thousands.

This year’s Leeds Championship Dog Show has attracted 10,500 entries from as far away as Belgium, Italy and Jersey, as well as hundreds of show dog owners from Yorkshire.

Organisers of the three-day event, which opened yesterday and is celebrating its 60th year, have seen a drop in numbers due to the economic slump but the numbers are still high.

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Show secretary Liz Stannard said there had been a drop of 1,000 entries on last year because exhibitors were being choosier about which shows they attended.

Petrol and accommodation costs and general belt-tightening had caused a few people to stay away, she said.

But thousands of owners made the trip to Harewood House, Leeds for a show which has been dubbed the Crufts of the North.

Top international judge Moa Persson, from Sweden, was judging the best in show from all the different groups.

The winners yesterday came from across the country.

The English setter best of breed was won by a dog with the grand name of Show Champion Queen Sha Little Jeanie, all the way from Somerset.

Closer to home, the top weimaraner was Gunalt de Ice at Stridview, owned by Mrs K Whitehead, of Bolton Abbey.

Yesterday was the hound and gun dog show, today is for working/pastoral dogs and tomorrow there are utility, toy and terrier dogs.

Show spokeswoman Olga Denver said: “The exhibitors are always willing to talk to visitors regarding their breed of dog, making the venue a great place for people considering adding a new dog to their household.”