2016 Show Report
It was doggie heaven in the beautiful parkland at Crix the Georgian mansion at Hatfield Peverel for thousands of dog lovers at the sixth Essex Dog Day on Bank Holiday Sunday. Huge hounds and tiny toy pets led their owners around the competitions and demonstrations. And they came in every size, colour and variety; pedigree aristocrats mixed with colourful crossbreeds, all there for a great day out.
At the heart of the show were all the competitions. The top prize, ‘Best in Show’ judged by a panel of judges including the Lord Lieutenant of Essex, Lord Petre was chosen from the winners of all the dog show classes during the day. It was won for the second year running by Serena, a six year old greyhound; she is used to winning, having in her racing days won a third of all her races. Owners Margaret and Tony Glass of Shoeburyness got her as a rescue dog from the Retired Greyhound Trust. Tony said “We love this show so thought why not give it another go; it was certainly worth it !”
The Dog That The Judges Would Most Like To Take Home was Oscar a dachshund yorkie cross who was also runner up in the Best of Show. He was led into the ring by 13 year old Marnie Guerrier who said “It’s his tenth birthday today; we’re so proud of him.”
Other classes included the Best Six Legs and The Dog Most Like it’s Owner which resulted in some hilarious costumes. The Dog with the Waggiest Tail caused frenzied canine action, while nothing could be cuter than the show ring full of mini pooches vying for The Puppies Under a Year Old accolade. Posh dogs competed for The Best Male and Female Pedigree prizes and style was to the fore in The Best Mover class.
Away from the formal show rings were all action competitions including the Agility over the ramps and jumps and through the hoops and tunnels, the Gun Dog Scurry where dogs dive into the lake to recover a ‘bird’ against the stopwatch and flat out racing over a straw bale course in the two Scurries. 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.
The demonstrations took place in the Main Arena. With sirens blaring on their speeding chase cars, a team from the Sandon Police Dog Unit led by Tony Mayo gave a thrilling display of how they catch crooks; their dogs including the two most experienced ‘Caesar’ and Gizmo’, easily outpacing and downing their quarries.
Working dogs were featured in many ways. Georgina Butcher and her colleagues from the Redbridge Guide Dog Training School put their young dogs ‘Rosa’ ‘Bramble and’ ‘Poppy’ to work, leading blindfolded visitors impressively through a series of obstacles without touching any of them. She said that “It’s excellent training to experience doing the job calmly without being distracted by crowds, other dogs and the public address. And they love the cuddles they get from the children.”
Sheepdogs were in action too, faultlessly controlling flocks of sheep and geese, directed by expert David Seamark. Continuing the theme, Frank Walker’s gun dogs showed professionalism and discipline that unruly pets can only dream of.
As a contrast to canine stars but just as skilled, in a riveting exhibition Jemima Parry Jones’ great birds of prey fiercely wheeled and swooped to catch their lures, then gently alighted on children’s outstretched arms.
The Meet the Breeds tents showcase familiar breeds like the German Shepherd Dandy Dinmont and Clumber Spaniels and exotics breeds such as the Japanese and American Akita. The fearsome and magnificent looking American Wolfhounds attracted a lot of attention; the breed can contain up to three quarters pure wolf and are definitely not for the inexperienced. Tracey Fowler is showing them to raise awareness that they are not fully domesticated, being part wild animal and to discourage people from importing them as pets.
Traders in the shopping areas sold everything a pet and its paying pamperer might want from glittery collars to top dog nosh and there were several photographic studios to capture the perfect canine image for owners. And when the children had seen enough dogs they packed the kids fairground offering climbing walls, face painting, zorbs, kartz, inflatable wipe-out and all manner of other rides.
Ian Twinley, owner of Crix and Chairman of the organising committee commented “It’s great to see so many people here enjoying themselves. But there is a serious purpose too; Essex Dog Day has made over a third of a million pounds for charity since we started it six years ago. All the money raised today goes to The Essex Community Fund; we chose them because they are so skilled in distributing it to Essex charities. ”
For further information please contact :
Crix, London Road, Hatfield Peverel, CM3 2EU
or up to (but not after) 4 September
Lanhams, Lodge Lane, Peldon, Colchester, CO5 7PL
01206735521 and 07774938712