Crufts is an annual international dog show and this year’s show started earlier this week on Thursday (March 10) and ends on Sunday (March 13) at the NEC in Birmingham.
For a full schedule of the events at Crufts this weekend, click here.
Mr Mapletoft’s dog Raic, who’s Kennel Club name is Roanjora Tanqueray, is a three-year-and-nine-month old Irish red and white setter who will be competing at Crufts for the third time this Sunday. Raic will be on show as part of Gundog Day and has also been invited to be an exhibit at an event called Discover Dogs on Saturday morning - which is where members of the public get to meet a variety of different breeds of dogs and their owners.
Raic is entered into three of the 18 classes for the Irish Red and White Setter breed - the 2752 Post Graduate Dog, 2752 Limit Dog and 2753 Open Dog.
He will be on show at 1:05pm on Sunday.
Mr Maplefort has owned Raic since he was ten weeks old. He is hoping for glory on the biggest stage of them all.
“It is a great honour to compete at Crufts,” he said. “I would like him to win at least one class.
“The chances are not high but even if he got a second or third that would be really good. Of course I go hoping for a first and he has had first in other shows. He came first in the Boston Show in Peterborough last January.”
Mr Maplefort talked us through how Raic will be judged inside the show ring on Sunday.
“The whole show for an individual dog takes about two minutes,” he said. “The dogs are invited to a show ring with other dogs and what we have to do is assemble the dogs in that particular class.
“In no particular order, we will have to stack, which means to stand and pose the dog. You are allowed to hold the dog’s head and tail and position and its feet - if the dog allows you to do that - and that is the classic pose for photographs.
“The dog is then examined, particularly the teeth, the form of the body, and how firm and well shaped he is. They are particularly looking at the top line, which is the line from the nose over the head, spine and tail. They are looking for that to be a beautiful smooth shape.
“After the teeth and eyes are looked at by the judge, he or she will walk round and touch the dog, and at that time I will reassure it by holding his head and saying sweet nothing to him. The judge will ask me to run the dog round the pen, which is quite a big one, and then he might ask me to run the dog up and down before joining the end of the queue.
“In that time he is looking at the form of the dog, how the dog is running, how obedient he is and whether he is looking at me or the floor. He should not look at the floor, but how do you stop a dog from looking at the floor when the scent of all the other dogs are inside the show ring. Setter’s are also scent dogs and they are particularly interested in the scents of other dogs.”
Mr Mapletoft and Raic have been invited to be an exhibit on the Irish Red and White Setter stand at an event called Discover Dogs at Crufts on Saturday morning.
“It is a public show and the dogs are accompanied by their owners,” he said. “Members of the public will come to talk about him, pet him, give him treats and make a fuss of him.
“They will ask whether I think their ambition to own an Irish Red and White Setter is a sensible one or not. So then I have to ask them what their working conditions are, whether they work from home, what their home is like, how much ground they’ve got and how much time they are going to spend with the dog.
“You have to work that out first and although I can’t prescribe, I can offer a recommendation to suggest whether it is the right dog for them or not.”
If you are a Peterborough owner competing at Crufts send your pictures to [email protected]