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Top dogs at Spring Festival
5:36pm Monday 30th April 2012 in News
More than 1000 dogs are expected to compete for the prizes at the premier open dog show run in conjunction with the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society’s Spring Festival next month. The event is the only premier open dog show in Wales, a status granted by the Kennel Club three years ago, thus making it a qualifer for Crufts, the world’s largest dog show.
Over 200 pedigree dog breeds are recognised by the Kennel Club and dogs of all shapes, colours and sizes can be seen on parade at the Festival some of which, as prize winners, will go on to join the other 22,000 or more dogs which appear at Crufts, that famous four-day event, every year.
Retrievers and gundogs will be among the most popular dogs at the Spring Festival although other breeds can come to the fore. Last year, for example, whippets were high on the list with 78 entries reflecting their growing popularity among dog lovers everywhere.
Spaniels are also a favourite breed and they have close connections with Wales. The Cocker Spaniel Club, the parent club of the breed, was founded at Conwy Castle in 1902 with a membership of 35. Today there are more than 1500 members.
The origin of the Welsh Springer Spaniel cannot be traced. At one time it was called the Welsh Starter and was used to spring game for hunting.
2 Show dogs can command prices of around £700 to £800 while some of the fancy so-called ‘Handbag Dogs’ may cost around £2000 to buy.
Dogs competing at the Festival show, which takes place over two days on May 19 and 20 on the showground at Llanelwedd, Builth Wells, will come from across Wales and many other parts of the UK. Because the event clashes with the Scottish Kennel Club Show, the Festival dog show organisers believe that many competitors from the south will opt for the Llanelwedd venue this year because the high cost of fuel has greatly increased transport costs.
Non sporting dogs will be judged on the first day of the show and the sporting breeds on the second. The Best of Breed winners which will qualify for Crufts next year will be declared in the following breeds: Staffordshire Bull and Border Terriers, Cocker, Welsh Springer and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Golden and Labrador Retrievers, Irish Setters, Pugs, German Shepherds, Shetland Sheepdogs, Welsh Corgis (Pembroke), Whippets, Chinese Crested and Lhasa Apsos.
Detailed information about the dog show may be obtained from the Hon Secretary, Mrs Julie Howells, on 01269 841356.
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