What happened at Crufts 2018? Incident after whippet won Best in Show at Birmingham NEC dog show explained

With the Birmingham event making it’s grand return this year, people are still talking about what happened in 2018 - but what actually happened?

The Crufts event is one of the most prestigious, and popular dog show events in the world.

The event is a household name, and is broadcast on Channel 4 every year.

However, the event made big headlines in 2018 after an chaotic crowning ceremony left viewers shocked when animal rights protestors invaded the competition ring.

Just as Tease the Whippet had been crowned Best in Show three protestors holding signs from PETA stormed the barriers. Security could be seen chasing the protestors in front of the 9,000 person strong crowd.

The thousands of people tuned in to watch Clare Balding host the prestigious event also saw the chaos ensue. The winner’s owner immediately picked up her dog and ran off in the opposite direction.

A spokesperson from Crufts said: “It appears that protesters from PETA gained unauthorised access to the ring in the main arena at Crufts, and in doing so scared the dogs and put the safety of both dogs and people at risk in a hugely irresponsible way.

“Our main priority at the moment is the wellbeing of the dogs that were in the ring, who are being looked after by their owners and show officials.

“The NEC Group have extensive security procedures in place at Crufts and we, along with the NEC Group, will be reviewing what happened as a matter of urgency.”

Crufts will return to Birmingham once again this year, and will be celebrating it’s 130th anniversary after missing out on the chance to celebrate it last year due to COVID-19 concerns.

More information about the 2022 event can be found here.

Who won best in show in 2018?

Tease the Whippet was crowned Best In Show in 2018.

The animal from travelled from Edinburgh alongside owner Yvette Short and went on to win the Hound Group title before triumphing in the main event.

How are Crufts winners chosen?

Best in Show

Each breed goes through various stages at Crufts before having the chance to step into the ring for Best in Show. First of all, they will compete within their breed to win Best of Breed – these competitions will be taking place in rings all around the show. Judges are in the vast majority of cases specialists who have owned the breed.  They will judge the dog from nose to tail on how well it meets the breed standard, including everything from its movement and general temperament and size, to the condition of a dog’s teeth and coat.

At the end of each judging day, those awarded Best of Breed will then go on to compete within their group, of which there are seven:

Working (judged on Thursday 10th March)

Pastoral (judged on Thursday 10th March)

Terrier (judged on Friday 11th March)

Hound (judged on Friday 11th March)

Utility (judged on Saturday 12th March)

Toy (judged on Saturday 12th March)

Gundog (judged on Sunday 13th March)

Once all groups have been judged, all seven group winners compete in the Best in Show ring, where the judge will choose a Best in Show winner, as well as a Reserve Best in Show winner.


Agility is an exciting and action-packed discipline, which will be taking place in the main arena at Crufts. There are a number of different competitions taking place, aimed at different sizes of dog and levels of ability: The Kennel Club agility championships, Kennel Club ‘British Open’, novice agility, team agility and many more.

It’s made up of various obstacles for dogs to run through, jump over and weave in and out of, whilst also running against the clock. The winner will be the dog that completes the course in the fastest time with the fewest faults, as determined by the judge.


Flyball is an energetic and fast-paced relay race that consists of two teams, a Flyball box and a ball.

The aim is for each dog to clear the hurdles, trigger the flyball box to release and catch a ball, before returning with the ball.

Each team is trying to complete the sequence in the fastest time possible, with the fewest faults.

The Flyball team final will take place in the main arena on Sunday 13th March.

Heelwork to Music

Heelwork to Music is a fun and musical twist on obedience training. Working with a choreographed routine, devised by the owner, the dog incorporates its obedience skills alongside a chosen piece of music.

Judges mark performances based on a number of different criteria including:

Content and flow

Accuracy and team performance

Musical interpretation


Obedience publicly showcases the training dogs and their owners have achieved through a series of obedience tests. These can include tests such as recall, heelwork, retrieve, sendaway among others.

The Obedience Championships will be taking place on Saturday and Sunday in the Obedience ring.


Similar to obedience, obreedience is a team event that showcases the obedience skills of each breed team through a series of fun exercises.


Rally involves teamwork with your dog to navigate through a course, set by a trainer, to complete each different exercises along the way.

Competitors start each round with a score of 200 and deductions are made by the judges for inaccuracies and mistakes.

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