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Essex Dogs off to a flying start!


The team in action at Grosvenor House

After 25 years at the very top you would think the Essex Dog Display Team would begin to slow down, but that’s certainly not the case. In the first few weeks of the New Year the team has been extremely busy in its quest to promote responsible dog ownership.

As well as the mammoth task of organising the hugely popular canine event ‘All About Dogs’ which takes place in Brentwood in May each year, the team has taken on some other activities.

On Wednesday 24 January, it hosted a cabaret evening with Cruft’s favourite and international canine celebrity, Mary Ray, who paid a visit to the team’s base in Brentwood. Mary’s cabaret evening was hugely successful and enjoyed by a packed audience of members and guests. Her manager, Dave Ray, said: ‘There was a wonderful atmosphere at the training centre and the whole event was presented extremely professionally. It really was a great evening.’

A working party followed, where the display team prepared and dusted off the equipment, polished its coach and support vehicle in readiness for its first display of the year in London on Sunday 28 January.

The team was invited to attend an event being staged by the London Taxi Drivers Association for underprivileged children, in the Great Room, Grosvenor House, in Park Lane. Nearly 1,000 children cheered and clapped as the team put the dogs through their paces. Roy Dyer, team director, said:

‘This was a perfect opportunity to talk to children about responsible dog ownership, as well as explaining how to be safe with dogs.’

Also appearing at the event was former World Heavyweight Boxing Champion - Frank Bruno, The Cheeky Girls, cast members from EastEnders and several other celebrities.

The following Wednesday the training centre opened its doors to TV celebrity and presenter, Victoria Stillwell. Victoria, star of Channel 4’s hugely successful ‘It’s Me or the Dog’ programme, gave a talk about her life as a dog trainer and her involvement in the TV programme to an invited audience. The training centre and display team has been involved with the TV programme on previous occasions.

As well as themed evenings and displays, the training centre holds dog training classes on a regular basis for the public and their dogs.

Roy Dyer added: ‘Our sponsorship agreement with Drontal, the leading dog wormer, permits us to maintain our commitment to the canine world to a very high standard. In the forthcoming season we will be travelling all over the country carrying out displays, including three days at the Devon County Show and three days at the Kent County Show, two of Britain’s largest and most prestigious county events.’

Meike Tobschall Drontal product manager from Bayer Animal Health commented: ‘Our primary intention as sponsors is to promote responsible pet ownership, and you couldn’t find a better example of this than the rescue and rehabilitation work undertaken by the Essex Dog Display Team.’