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Greyhound Charity Auction success

A SUCCESSFUL charity auction of Canine Collectables was held on April 17th at Buscot Park in Oxfordshire, raising over £6,000 for Greyhound Rescue West of England.

Pictured here are PAT Dogs Toby and Cass, just two of the many former racing greyhounds which have found loving new homes after being abandoned by uncaring owners.

Hundreds of collectors of canine memorabilia visited Buscot Park in Oxfordshire on April 17th to attend the Charity Auction of Canine Collectables held in aid of Greyhound Rescue West of England. Lord Faringdon (an Honorary Friend of GRWE), kindly hosted the event, and ensured that both people and dogs received a warm welcome.

Auctioneer for the day, David Paton, confidently conducted the proceedings, adding his special touch of humour and persuasion to coax everyone to make that extra bid for their ‘objects of desire’. The response was magnificent, and over £6,000 was raised from the sale of the 150 donated ‘Lots’.

Cartoonist Andy Hammond was delighted to learn that his original signed picture, depicting two Greyhounds reading the Racing Post, achieved the highest bid of the day, selling for £420. Andy had painted this cartoon last year especially for the Auction, and wrote saying “I hope it’s the sort of thing you had in mind, and that you manage to auction it for loads and loads of money”. Andy’s wishes (and those of the Charity), certainly came true! Examples of Andy’s work can be viewed on

The second highest price was achieved for an original wooden sculpture of a Greyhound head, carved in walnut by Laurence Tindall. Laurence is a sculptor and stone mason, who has worked on prestigious projects for Bath Abbey. He happened to meet several rescued Greyhounds at GRWE’s Charity Flag Day in Bath in 2003, and was so touched by their beauty and gentle temperament that he decided to carve his tribute to them out of a piece of walnut wood which he had been saving for ‘something special’. His exquisite and sensitive carving will be a constant source of joy and inspiration to all who see and touch it. If you live with a rescued Greyhound you will know that feeling.

Photo by David Paton
‘Izzie’ needed eye surgery after being rescued,
and later became ‘Rescued Greyhound of the Year 2002’

Support for the Auction came from a wide variety of dog breed enthusiasts. Sight Hounds were particularly well represented, thanks to Greyhound, Afghan Hound, Whippet and Deerhound owners.

John and Audrey Steel (Seistan Hounds) have supported GRWE for many years, and had donated memorabilia of Judy de Casembroot for the Auction. Judy was the only woman to have been awarded both accolades - that of Judging, and also Winning, Best In Show at Crufts (with her Greyhound ‘Treetops Golden Falcon’ in 1956).

Two families travelled from the Isle of Wight to support the Auction. Sally and Ron Willbie were accompanied by their two rescued Greyhounds and Norfolk Terrier. Sally, (better known to many show exhibitors as animal photographer Sally Anne Thompson), produced the eye-catching GRWE publicity and display material at Crufts each year, and is the Island’s volunteer re-homing officer. Liz Prior also came over on the ferry to successfully bid for the concrete statue of a Deerhound.

Afghan Hound breeder, Lynda Race (Kaskarak), travelled from Yorkshire to attend with her Greyhound, ‘Ty’. Lynda bred the first Afghan Hound to win BIS at Crufts in 1983 (‘Montravia Kaskarak Hitari’), and judged Afghan Dogs at this year’s Crufts. Author of the comprehensive ‘Afghan Hound Breed Book’, Lynda had signed and donated a copy for the Auction.

Tremendous help

Many dog owners were keen to acquire ‘Lots’ which offered commissioned portraits of their dogs, donated by well known artists such as Melanie Shepherd, Cat Sutherland, Terri Sorensen, Vivien Walters and Sue Todd.

Whippet Rescue was represented by Mary Blakeman, whose assistance and local knowledge were of tremendous help in organising the event. The Staff at Buscot Park kindly made thorough preparations, and everything was in place for April 17th . The marquee in which the Auction was held looked magnificent, lined with orange and lemon trees growing in pots. Such attractive surroundings added to the relaxed feeling of a special day out, and no doubt encouraged more people to spend their money!

The Kennel Club featured the Auction on their website and in the February 2005 edition of their Kennel Gazette. Dog Papers, Magazines and local ‘What’s On’ circulars all publicised the event free of charge. Consequently the Charity’s expenses were kept to a minimum, with just the costs of printing of the Catalogues and framing some pictures.

The illustrated Catalogue attracted considerable interest and several pre-Auction bids from people who couldn’t attend the Auction. Email bids were also made beforehand on the Charity’s website and a couple of ‘absent’ bidders telephoned their bids through via the Charity’s 07000 785092 helpline.

One hour before the Auction started, Lord and Lady Faringdon presented commemorative Rosettes and Certificates to one hundred Greyhounds, all of which had been successfully rehomed by Rescue Charities. It was a memorable sight, and also a reminder that there are still many more Greyhounds waiting for their chance of a new home.

The ‘Canine Extras’ Stall was overflowing with donated items brought along to swell the funds, and together with the income from refreshments and generous additional financial contributions, the grand total raised was over £7000.

Greyhound Rescue West of England would like to thank everyone who contributed to the success of the Auction. Many abandoned Greyhounds will benefit, and possibly even owe their lives to the generosity and kindness of all who supported the Auction.

Auctioneer David Paton successfully sold 150 Lots of ‘Canine Collectables’
to raise over £6000 for Greyhound Rescue West of England