Show Report 2017
The extensive showground at Crix the Georgian mansion at Hatfield Peverel was packed with many thousand dog lovers and a bewildering variety of loyal canines on the now traditional Essex Dog Day on Bank Holiday Sunday. Giant Great Danes, tiny toys, silky Salukis, bellicose bulldogs and aristocratic Dalmatians paraded amicably with crossbreeds and cheeky curs.
Competitions ran all day in the two main Show Rings as hundreds of pooches were judged on their pedigree, looks and cool moves. In the Children’s Arena, prizes went to the scruffiest mutt, dog with the Waggiest tail, and the most loveable puppy and their young owners weren’t forgotten with prizes for the best Junior Handlers.
Finally the new Lord Lieutenant of Essex, Mrs Jennifer Tolhurst joined a panel of judges to award ultimate accolade, the cup for the coveted Best in Show. This year it went to Jet who also won Best Pedigree Bitch. She’s a greyhound, previously called Spotted Cailin in her racing days and spotted she is, with delicate white flecks on her black fur. “It’s the rare Irish Snowflake gene” said her triumphant owner, Pia Van Praagh of Upminster, “She may have retired but she’s as busy as ever as a Therapy Dog, bringing comfort to people of all ages with mental health problems in schools and care homes.
The sixty dogs in the class for the Best Rescue Dog had the most uplifting and heart-warming stories. Abandoned and abused, wandering lonely and uncared for in streets as far apart as Ireland, Spain and East London they’re now healthy and loved and in good homes like Jill Castle’s Boxer Staffordshire cross, Doughnut. “They’re all winners, whoever gets the cup today” she said.
Many owners preferred their hounds to “Have a Go” in more sporting challenges, racing over the jumps in two ‘Scurries’, diving into the lake to recover lures in the Gun Dog Scurry, trying their flying paws against the clock over the ramps and through the hoops in the Agility. 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.
Nonstop action in the Display Ring featured a thrilling display from the Sandon Police Dog Unit with sirens blaring and with comedy too. 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, and the dogs like an audience too !” 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 World Finalists Oblivion All Stars troupe provided yet more thrills their gymnastic and acrobatic display.
Some visitors came to shop for their pampered pets 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.
After the show, Ian Twinley, owner of Crix and Chairman of the organising committee commented “Everyone had fun in the sun; it was a barking good day. And the best thing is that every year we break all records with even more money going to deserving Essex charities through The Essex Community Foundation.”