The Kennel Club has announced that the London Discover Dogs event will not be taking place in 2023. It will take a break for a year, with the aim of bringing it back with a refreshed and reinvigorated new look in 2024.
Discover Dogs has been a feature at Crufts since 1991 and will continue to be so. In 1996 it was brought to London as an additional event in its own right. The event grew in numbers and popularity over the years and moved location from Earls Court to London ExCel in 2015. In more recent times however, numbers attending the London event have declined and regrettably it sustained a significant financial shortfall in 2022.
Both at Crufts and in its stand-alone format Discover Dogs is very much seen as an important information tool for The Kennel Club – helping to educate prospective dog owners to find the right breed for them and also promoting responsible dog ownership and dog health, as well as showcasing pedigree dogs.
Mark Beazley, Chief Executive at The Kennel Club, commented: “It has been a tough decision to rest Discover Dogs in London for 2023, however, the pandemic and cost of living crisis has meant the event has suffered significant financial loss in recent years and it is therefore important for The Kennel Club to take the opportunity to look at the event and its objectives to see if there is a better way to meet these in the current financial climate.
“As always, we are indebted to the breed clubs that have supported the event with their enthusiasm and very much look forward to ensuring that Discover Dogs at Crufts continues as a showcase for the many benefits owning a pedigree dog brings. Visitor feedback consistently demonstrates that meeting the many different breeds of dogs and talking to experts is the main reason to visit the show. It goes without saying that we will be talking to the breed clubs and volunteers, who are central to the event, very soon regarding plans for the event going forward to gauge their views.”
The Kennel Club is delighted that all agility competitions – including the Crufts Medium ABC semi final, Crufts Large Novice ABC semi final, Crufts Intermediate Novice ABC semi final, as well as The Kennel Club Starters Cup and Discover Dogs Small/Mixi Pairs final – which have been previously held at Discover Dogs, will be held at The London International Horse Show in December 2023. This event already hosts The Kennel Club Agility Stakes finals.
Simon Brooks-Ward, Show Director of The London International Horse Show said: “The Kennel Club Dog Agility has been a part of London International Horse Show for many years and we are delighted to be able to welcome the additional agility classes to our programme. In 2023 the London International Horse Show is expanding its activity and the agility classes will be taking place in the new London Arena. Dog Agility is a firm favourite for our 70,000 plus audience and I know that this will only add to their enjoyment of visiting the pre-Christmas show.”
Further announcements on The Kennel Club Junior Warrant semi final, National Junior Handler final and Scruffts heat that normally take place at Discover Dogs will be made in due course and news about Discover Dogs 2024 will be released later this year.