Suffolk Dog Day shows its pedigree

GALLERY Suffolk's first ever Dog Day proved to be a pedigree event, with hundreds of pampered pooches taking leading roles.

John Howard

SUFFOLK's first ever Dog Day proved to be a pedigree event, with hundreds of pampered pooches taking leading roles.

The new event, celebrating dogs of all shapes and sizes, was held in the grounds of Helmingham Hall on Saturday and raised £20,000 for the charitable Suffolk Foundation.

It saw dogs dressed as their owners, competing for who had the waggiest tail or jumping and scampering through agility courses.

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People from across the county queued to register their dogs in 11 different fun classes, and continued to arrive throughout the sun-soaked day.

Stallholders sold pet accessories and treats, while a flying demonstration from the Hollesley Bay Raptor Centre entertained the visitors.

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The day raised funds for the foundation, which strives to improve the quality of life for the people living in the county

Audrey and John Hoe, of Wickham Market, were at the show with Scruffy, an 18-month-old Westie/Scottie cross.

Mr Hoe said: “He was in the mutts section and did not come anywhere, he is obviously too much of a mutt.

“He is a lovely character, he has a nice nature, although a little rough with other dogs.

“It's been a really good day, it's been so nice to see so many people out here in such glorious weather and in such a superb setting.”

Audrey Rymill, 60, from Cockfield, was at the event with her French bulldog Tiger.

She said: “It's been a lovely show, it's something that has long been needed in Suffolk.

“There has been a fantastic atmosphere and I have seen people I know. It was terrible trying to get in though, the traffic was enormous and could have been better organised, but it was still a really nice day.”

Hearing Dogs for Deaf People volunteers Kathy Skinner and Jean Larke, from Bury St Edmunds, were at the show during the weekend with Terrier cross Megan and said they had thoroughly enjoyed the first Suffolk Dog Day.

Crowds at the grand ring were welcomed by the Suffolk Foundation's chairman David Sheepshanks, television presenter Shauna Lowry and commentator Chris Clarke, of Clarke and Simpson chartered surveyors.

Pre-registration entries had already topped 300 and by the end of the day more than 700 dogs had passed by the eyes of the judges.

But it was bloodhound Charlie, owned by Craig Ferguson, who caught the judges' eye overall and was named Dog of the Day and awarded an engraved silver trophy by Lady Tollemache.

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