2015 Show Report
The glorious grounds of Crix the Georgian mansion at Hatfield Peverel hosted thousands of dog lovers and their bright eyed and excited canine chums for the fifth Essex Dog Day. And they came in every size, colour and variety. Large hairy hounds and tiny toy pets, snooty pedigrees and cheerful crossbreeds paraded round the showground with their proud owners.
There was a class for every pooch in the main show rings, The puppies under a year old captured all hearts while the pooches battling for the Waggiest Tail prize made everyone smile, ably abetted by Paul Kelly’s irreverent commentary. The Best Male and Female Pedigree classes attracted the doggie aristocrats and the Best Mover was as popular as ever. The Dog That The Judges Would Most Like To Take Home was Tilly, a seven year old wire haired Parsons Jack Russel owned by Jonathan Stock of Rayne who said “She’s an RSPCA rescue dog; she’s so fluffy and cute and full of fun”.
Finally all the day’s class winners competed for the ultimate accolade, The Best in Show prize which was judged by a panel of judges including the Lord Lieutenant of Essex, Lord Petre and was won by Serena, a six year old greyhound owned by Margaret and Tony Glass of Shoeburyness. Serena is another rescue dog acquired from the Retired Greyhound Trust after an illustrious career. She is used to winning, having won a third of every race that she entered. Tony told the show “We love her to bits and I’m glad that you all do too.
Away from the formal show rings were all action competitions including the Gun Dog Scurry in the lake, the Agility over the ramps and through the hoops and many more. There were mixed results in the Obedience competitions; some very impressive but not all the pampered pooches appeared to see the point of it all, as befits a fun dog day.
In addition to more familiar breeds in the Meet the Breeds tents were some exotic breeds with strange sounding names that many will never have heard of including the Podengo and the Adephagi Esrtelas (by coincidence both from Portugal), the Drogue de Bordeaux, the Leonberger and the Japanese and American Akita. A grateful Stephanie Brown, Chairman of the Akita Rescue and Welfare Trust said “In the three year’s that we have been coming to the Essex Dog Day the Essex showgoers have rescued many of our dogs and a lot of them can be seen walking around today.
Some visitors came to shop for their pampered pooches in the many stalls selling doggie treats and beauty products and gourmet dog food. Loads of children took time out from dog watching to play on the fairground attractions, ride donkey rides or scale the climbing wall.
BBC Essex Radio DJ Dave Monk on the microphone introduced a spectacular programme in the main ring. New this year was a thrilling display from the Sandon Police Dog Unit with sirens blaring and with comedy too. Tony Mayo their display co-ordinator commented “We particularly enjoy performing to this show’s audience since they are all dog lovers who love to see dogs with proper jobs in action, especially when there’s some flash bang wallop !” Jemima Parry Jones always attracts huge audiences as her great birds of prey wheeled and swooped over the crowds in a breath taking display of falconry. The Guide dogs gave a display and David Seamark and his sheepdogs gave a master class in control of flocks of sheep and geese. As a contrast the the Smooth Grooves Dance Act thrilled with their gymnastic and acrobatic dancing.
Ian Twinley, owner of Crix and Chairman of the organising committee commented “We had the perfect weather for the show, warm but not too hot for all the dogs. A hundred and fifty volunteers help to stage the event and they all give their time to raise money for charity. All the money raised on the day goes to the prestigious Essex Community Fund for distribution to Essex charities.”