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2018 Show Report

Sun 26 August 2018

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 now traditional Essex Dog Day. 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. Many came early to beat the forecast rain later.

There was a class for every pooch in the main show rings, The puppies under a year old raised a big ‘Ahhh !’ as they captured everyone’s affection. The Best Male and Female Pedigree classes attracted the doggie aristocrats and while the rescue dogs warmed all hearts as usual, ably abetted by Master of Ceremonies Paul Kelly’s witty commentary.  Over in the Children’s Arena the entries for the Waggiest Tail prize made everyone smile.

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 and presented by The Lord Lieutenant of Essex. Jennifer Tolhurst. It was won by Wookiee, a Pekinese owned by Melanie Pettit of Maldon. Wookiee has a wonderful story, having been rescued from a pub in rural Ireland where nobody wanted him. Melanie thinks the lucky fellow is about three or four years old. “He was originally called Diesel but he’s much too laid back and adorable for that” said Melanie” so I named him after the Star War’s character because he looks like a Wookiee”.

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, straw bale racing and the best tricks competition. The rain in the afternoon couldn’t damp the ardour of these dogs or their enthusiastic owners who stayed competing to the end.

The main arena was all action. New this year was a thrilling display from Galloping Acrobats with their beautiful riders jumping off and on galloping horses and performing acrobatic tricks on them at speed while the audience held its collective breath. The Watermill Wolves Acting Team composed of the incredible Lupine Dog breed demonstrated their tricks and stunts as stars of Hollywood and the big screen, blockbuster TV serials and Rock videos.

Everyone’s favourite is the Sandon Police Dog Unit tearing around the ring with sirens blaring catching ‘criminal’ 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 !”   

The Meet the Breeds tents showcased more familiar breeds from close to home such as the Norfolk Terrier and also more exotic breeds with strange sounding names from further afield that many may never have heard of such as the Podengo which hails from toasty Portugal and the Northern Inuit from more icy terrain.

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.

Ian Twinley, owner of Crix and Chairman of the organising committee commented “Behind our aim of giving all these dog lovers and families some great bank holiday memories we are doing it all for charity having so far raised over £450,000. All the money raised on the day goes to the prestigious Essex Community Foundation for distribution to Essex charities.”

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