Thousands flock to enjoy Bowood Dog Show in the sunshine

This Is Wiltshire: Magnus and Pippa enjoy their ice-cream at Bowood Dog Show Magnus and Pippa enjoy their ice-cream at Bowood Dog Show

Around 12,000 people enjoyed a sunny day out at Bowood’s annual dog show this weekend, a record number compared to last year’s event.

Thousands of dogs paraded on the lawns of Lord and Lady Lansdowne’s stately home, from miniature Chihuahuas and an Italian greyhound to Great Danes and Irish wolfhounds.

In the main ring visitors enjoyed Bob Hogg’s lamb grand national, Tractor Ted’s digger spectacular, and a demonstration from David Seamark and his sheep dogs.

The day also included sheep shearing, falconry displays, laser clay shooting and archery, as well as various classes for pedigree and non-pedigree dogs to enter.

Laura Holmes, from Swindon, brought her lurcher dogs Stanley and nine-year-old Mabel, who won a prize for the best golden oldie.

She said: “We have had a lovely time, we always come if the weather is good.

“We didn’t expect to win the rosette, we only do it for a bit of fun, and it’s so nice for them to see other dogs. We had a lot of fun from doing it.”

The dogs took part in several challenges, including the splash and fetch challenge.

Clara Stonehouse, from Bath, a volunteer for the day, said: “The aim is to throw the ball and they have to get their paws wet each time otherwise there’s a three second penalty.

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“Some dogs like it and some dogs don’t- they do everything to avoid getting in the water. We have had some really quick times and some slower ones.”

The food tent was run by Peter Vaughan, of Vaughan’s Kitchen, Devizes, whose chefs demonstrated how to make barley corn bread with ale and Wiltshire rarebit on toast with ale.

Mr Vaughan said: “We have joined forces with Box Steam Brewery and we’re using beer in food. We have been blessed with the weather, I have been amazed by the queue for the ice cream, it’s been busy.”

Charities at the event included Marlborough-based charity Greatwood, which rehabilitates former racehorses and works with children with special educational needs.

Emma Carter, from Greatwood, said: “It’s about awareness building. If the kids felt they needed to come to Greatwood, this is a great way of finding out about us.

“We have had a couple of people talking about racing horses who need re-homing as well, the more people who know about us, the more people who can help us.”

Organiser Mike Weston said: “It’s certainly been a very good weekend and the weather helped us of course. We sold out of the tickets, but we used last year’s tickets.

“We have had more this year than the previous year without a doubt. We think it’s probably one of the best years we have had over the last five to six years at least.

“I was on the gate as people were going last night and virtually everyone said ‘thank you, we have really enjoyed it’.”

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