Crufts: Man’s best friend in art

Crufts was held at the NEC, Birmingham, last week. We all watched,with bated breath, the dogs parading around the ring and running around the agility courses. We fell in love with all the different breeds and we wanted, for ourselves, one as perfectly groomed and well behaved as the one sitting on Clare Balding’s settee. Most of all we loved the rescue dogs who had found loving owners and the dogs who had been pivotal in helping people to turn their lives around.

Once at Crufts, dogs compete against others of the same breed and then the seven group winners compete for Best in Show. In the Gundog section this year, the Best of Breed was Labrador Retriever Rocheby Sensational. The Labrador is one of the most popular breeds in the UK. Besides being wonderful family pets, they are brilliant as assistance and sniffer dogs and are also used for retrieving game.

  • John Trickett b 1952
  • Study of a black Labrador
  • Oil on board. Signed
  • 12″ x 10″
  • SOLD
John Trickett was described by the Shooting Times as the finest painter of black Labradors in England if not the World. Fulsome praise indeed. He also won a Silver medal in the International Animal Painters Competition in France,with a Labrador painting.
  • Mid 19th century
  • Study of a Pointer
  • Oil on panel
  • Period frame
  • 11″ x 16″
  • SOLD
This clip of the Best of Breed 2016 shows the wonderful lines of these athletic dogs, as captured in the painting above.
Frederick J Haycock is another talented modern day artist who specializes in paintings of dogs and horses. He has indeed painted Crufts winners sponsored by Spillers. He won 2nd prize in the Horse and Hound Centenary Art Competition 1984. He also won 2nd prize for his painting in The Society of Equestrian Artist Exhibition in 2010.
Frederick J. Haycock Red Setter
  • Frederick J Haycock b.1948
  • Study of an Irish Setter
  • Oil on board. Signed
  • Gilt frame
  • 6.5″ x 6.5″
But not all dog owners want to see their breed included at Crufts.It was reported at the end of last year that some owners are fighting to keep their Jack Russells out of Crufts. 
  • M Jackson
  • Study of a Jack Russell
  • Victorian oil on canvas
  • Signed
  • 39cm x 39 cm
  • SOLD
Each winner of Crufts Best in Show has a  commissioned painting that is displayed at the Kennel Club Offices. Artist Paul Doyle presented the painting of Best in Show winner, Ch McVan’s to Russia with Love (Knopa) to the Chairman of the Kennel Club Arts Foundation. It is the third time that Paul Doyle from N, Lincs has been commissioned.

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