The Crufts Best in Show award ceremony was disrupted by a ‘pitch invasion’ on Sunday evening, when a protester ran into the arena just as the winner was declared.
The man, who was holding a sign reading “Crufts: Canine Eugenics”, was swiftly tackled to the ground by security staff. The sign bore the name of animal rights group Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).
The security scare took place just as the winner was being announced on live television.
Owner Yvette Short, of Edinburgh, clutched the winning two-and-a-half-year-old whippet bitch, Whippet Ch Collooney Tartan Tease JW, as the commotion unfolded. Security guards quickly took the intruder down at the NEC Birmingham.
Presenter Clare Balding later closed the programme on Channel 4 by saying the dog show had come to a “very eventful conclusion”.
Viewers described the incident on Twitter as “high drama”, describing it as a “pitch invasion”.
Others joked that the security was better than at Saturday’s West Ham football match, where security was called into question after a series of pitch invasions and widespread supporter unrest.
Crufts organisers, the Kennel Club, said in a statement: “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.”
Article Source : https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/03/11/crufts-best-show-interrupted-protester-stages-pitch-invasion/