Crufts 2020 prize money, why it started and coronavirus fears at dog event

The world’s biggest dog show, Crufts , kicks off today at Birmingham NEC Centre and will be broadcast to thousands live on Channel 4.

Thursday March 5's event marks the 129th edition of Crufts which will take place over four days – leading up to the grand finale when theBest in Show will be crowned.

Despite thousands of dog lovers tuning in to the show every year, not many fans know the ins and outs about the event.

From rifts with the BBC, Guinness World Records, 2020 coronavirus fears and prize money, here’s all you need to know about Crufts 2020.

  • Crufts sponsors ditch dog show over coronavirus as ‘event faces calls to cancel’

No Money In Winning

Best in Show winners receive a replica of the solid silver Keddall Memorial Trophy and a modest cash prize of £100.

But that’s it, there’s no real money in winning, not directly anyway.

Winners do often get more in sponsorship deals and stud fees, with puppies from former winners fetching into the thousands.

  • Crufts 2020: Is Crufts on TV? What channel, how to watch and stream online

Guinness World Record Holder

Crufts is the highest profile dog show in Britain and one of the largest in the world.

In fact, it’s so big, Crufts holds the Guinness World Records for the biggest dog exhibition.

Guinness officially recognised Crufts during the shows Centenary celebrations in 1991.

An estimated 28,000 dogs take part in Crufts every year, with around 160,000 humans visiting too.

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Originally Just for Terriers

Crufts was named after its founder, Charles Cruft, who worked as the general manager of a biscuit manufacturer.

It was originally billed as the “First Great Terrier Show” but was renamed “Cruft’s Greatest Dog Show” five years later and opened to all breeds.

Out of 129 years, the event has only been missed 10 times, with 2020 speculated to be its 11th over coronavirus fears.

  • Crufts dog show returns for its 129th year with one-of-a-kind celebrations

Rift with BBC

Crufts coverage will be aired on Channel 4 in 2020 but it had previously been aired on the BBC, but ended after the 2008 event when organiser The Kennel Club was criticised on a BBC programme called Pedigree Dogs Exposed.

It criticised their allowance of breeding standards, judging standards and breeding practices which have been said to compromise the health of purebred dogs.

Sponsors of Crufts then withdrew and the BBC eventually dropped the iconic dog show from its coverage after being unable to agree to terms with The Kennel Club.

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Coronavirus fears

Crufts sponsors James Wellbeloved and Royal Canin will not be attending the annual dog show in 2020 over coronavirus fears.

The Kennel Club told Daily Star Online the pet food company's will not be present at the event following a "global decision" on attendance at large events.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said he believes Crufts 2020 should go ahead despite the rise in confirmed cases in the UK.

Rumours the sponsors pulled out first surfaced on social media as dog lovers questioned whether the event will go ahead amid the coronavirus outbreak.

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