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A Wonderful Wag And Bone Day Out

Sara Ward, Vanessa McAlpine and Phil Buckey were helping ‘man’ the Kennel Club Stand

Ascot Racecourse looked very different on Saturday 16th August from the layout that we, as exhibitors, are used to for Richmond’s Championship Show. The whole area normally covered with benching tens and rings was given over the Wag and Bone show – a celebration of dogs and dog ownership.

And a cracking day out it was. The major canine charities have got together with the Kennel Club, Purina, Dogs Today and the Daily Mail to put on an alternative to Crufts – a Discover Dogs with a difference in that it really focused on activity rather than pedigree. The result was that a terrific time was had by everyone – including the dogs who all seemed to be absolutely loving it. There were numerous Companion Dog Show Classes, displays of search and rescue, heelwork to music, a Pup Idol competition, a world record attempt at a sit/stay (The Big Sit) which was well and truly broken (the previous record was 76 and new one will be 520!) as well as Scurries, Good Citizens and dozens of other jumps, obstacles and tunnels for anyone’s pet to try.

Battersea, Blue Cross, National Canine Defence League, the PDSA, RSPCA, Wood Green Animal Shelters and the Kennel Club Charitable Trust have formed a joint limited company so ‘own’ the show between them - and they certainly went to town, roping in hundreds of volunteers and putting on a range of activities that gave everyone plenty to do throughout the day.

A national tour launched the event at the end of last month and visited various locations across England. It was very successful too. I talked to visitors who had travelled from Norfolk, Cornwall and South Wales – all of whom told me that the journey had been well worthwhile. The list of sponsors and supporters is endless and there is no doubt that the show will be back next year (not at Richmond because of the re-building) but bigger and even better I quite sure.