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Under cover changes prove popular at Darlington Dog Show
4:54pm Friday 13th September 2013 in News
A DOG show which can trace its roots back to the year Abraham Lincoln was selected as a United States presidential candidate has given itself a modern makeover at a new site.
For the first time in the Darlington Dog Show’s 153-year history, the country’s finest pedigree canines are being accommodated in four vast marquees at Ripon Racecourse, with half of the judging taking place under canvas.
The show’s chairman Sarah Allsopp, of Washington, said the new layout proved popular with visitors, particularly as the weather turned out overcast and drizzly.
She said the show had been moved to the grounds of Yorkshire’s Garden Racecourse following eight years at in a field at nearby historic home Newby Hall, as it offered better ground conditions.
Miss Allsopp said although it had been a decade since the show moved from its traditional site in South Park, Darlington, it would retain the market town’s name in its title as it signalled the event’s heritage.
She said: “We are quite unique as a championship show in that we classify every breed that’s registered at the Kennel Club.”
Judges from as far as Finland have travelled to judge the 8,500 dogs, while about 20,000 breeders and enthusiasts from across Britain at the three-day show.
Classes for the hounds, terriers and utility dogs were held yesterday (Friday, September 13), before the working and pastural groups today (Saturday), with the gun dog and toy breeds being judged on Sunday.
Two breeds, eurasier – a spitz-type in the utility group - and the livestock guardian Turkish kangal, in the pastoral section, are being introduced at this year’s event.
Christine Graham, of Ravenscar, North Yorkshire, who landed a third place at the show with her four-year-old eurasier bitch Pebbles, said she was pleased eurasiers had received recognition, but relatively little was known about the breed.
Meanwhile, her partner, Jim Wicks was highlighting the declining numbers of grand blue de gascogne scenthounds, while showing his veteran bitch Ezri Dax.
In the terriers section, Environment Agency officer Paul Breeze, of Bowling Green Lane, Manfield, Darlington, said he was looking forward to focusing attention on their seven-month-old Bedlington after spending last weekend clearing trees off bridges in Redcar, following flash flooding.
Mr Breeze, who also enjoys racing pigeons, said the event was his first foray into showing dogs after his family’s pet gave birth to a litter of seven of the small dogs, which were originally bred to hunt vermin in mines.
He said preparing Floss, who he has named Fiery Sharrona Violet for shows, to be judged had been a steep learning curve, and that grooming had included shaving her short tail and ears.
Mr Breeze said: “While it’s been a case of in at the deep end, it’s great to have two first places.”
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