Video & Gallery: Every dog DID have its day in Suffolk!
THOUSANDS of dog-lovers headed to Helmingham Hall yesterday to show off their pets and raise huge amounts of money for the county’s own charity.
The third Suffolk Dog Day gave pooches and their owners the chance to show off and have a wonderful time doing that.
Dogs of all shapes and sizes were on parade – from pedigree pooches to much-loved mongrels who all had something to contribute.
There were competition classes for agility, intelligence, even for dogs with the waggiest tail!
But it was not the competitive element that was most important – this was an opportunity for owners to show off their pets and simply delight in a day of canine capers.
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The event is organised by, and raises money for, the Suffolk Foundation – the charity which raises money across the county and distributes it to small groups serving individual communities.
It has become one of the Foundation’s most important fund-raising events and last year brought in more than �32,000.
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Stephanie Renouf, one of the organising committee, said that this year the numbers were up on last year’s event.
She said: “We have well over 1,000 dogs here and there seem to be more people than we had last year when 8,000 came along.
“This has certainly become a fixture on the Suffolk calendar over the last three years.”
Among the more interesting sideshows were an opportunity to beat two dogs who were defending a goal and a scurry-driving course for pooches who all seemed to be having a wonderful time.
Visitors came from across the region – and from as far as the midlands – to take part in the events in the main ring which were compered by Blue Peter legend Peter Purves.
Suffolk Foundation chairman David Sheepshanks was delighted by all aspects of the show.
He said: “This is a fantastic Suffolk day – it is an event that can bring everyone together for a great time. You just have to look at all the happy faces around here.”
The weather was perfect – it was not too hot that people decided to drive on to the coast but despite the occasional grey cloud there was little more than the odd spot of rain.
Mr Sheepshanks said: “Organising committee chairman Jacqui Mayne has put together a team of 100 helpers who have really managed to put together a wonderful day out that families can enjoy with their pets.
“It is very important for the Foundation, which really does belong to the people of Suffolk. It is thanks to events like this that we are able to help individual communities and small groups with grants of perhaps just �500 to �1,000 which really can make all the difference in the world to the people they serve.”