Wow Somerset, what an event that was. First of all a MASSIVE thank you to all the campers and day visitors who came along and contributed by taking part, making donations or helping out on the day. You made it a very memorable weekend, thank you.
A special thanks to Lesley for taking the money and assisting in the cooking of Friday nights meal, Claire and Lee for their amazing efforts at cooking Friday nights meal with me. Nicky Randell, Sim Harrington and Anne Gardner for the delicious cakes and biscuits for humans and dogs and Nicky again for providing rosettes and judging the novelty classes. Also thanking David Burgess for being there to take some beautiful pictures of our dogs in not very good weather conditions and donating the wonderful prize of a framed picture of the winning bidders dog. The winner being Claire and Lee Whittaker, still reeling from that one Lee? Claire has the bug I think, best avoid any auction houses for a while! Cant wait to see the picture of your gorgeous boys please do post it here as soon as you have received it. If we have missed anyone out I apologise but thank you!
Also KJ Hill for the donation of a beautiful painting of the winners dog. The winner being Gail Steer,Blangolden for the Hamper and Barkbeats for the hamper. Gentle Dog Food, Kong,everyone else who helped to set up and break down everything.
The weekend started with arrivals on Friday morning. By Friday night we had 14 vans and tents, 27 people and 31 dogs. An attempt to put up the marquee was scuppered when 6 of us were dragged down the field like ants on a plastic bag. We abandoned that to try again when the force 10 gales calmed down. We dined on curry and stew and had a few drinks watched closely by the dogs when they weren’t gallivanting around the field playing like mad fools.
Saturday, the first visitor was Karen Woods, Xanas breeder,bearing the gift of the biggest chocolate cake I have ever seen, thank you Karen. From that point on it was crazy busy. Kathryn and Heather from IRR had flown over especially for the day to represent IRR. I do hope you found it worthwhile ladies and I know you are well aware of how touched I was that you would come all this way. I think the last count was 52 people and 41 dogs.
Some of us had a go at the Rally O and some proved to be naturals, Honey, Jasper, Chester, Harvey to name a few and two young handlers in Sophie and Adam Birt handled Margo and Lizzie brilliantly, well done you two. Some stood back and watched others for a little while before giving it a go and we couldn’t stop them after that,eh Michelle and Bridgette? 😉 everyone seemed to have fun.
After the Rally O came the novelty classes with Nicky judging. The most memorable class was the recall through temptation alley, Josh (Michelle Hinks) Izzie (Bridgette Kossey) and Skye(Bev Bethall) showed the way and led by example before Chester (claire Whittaker)showed the rest of them what they had been missing and inhaled the bonio and liver cake, that’s Chester not Claire….. After that none of us stood a chance as they all watched the previous dog and ran straight to the treats. Tia(Lisa Birt) gave everyone a good giggle too, it took her about a minute to stand up before ambling casually to the treats and eating them slowly. We gave up after 1 minute 30 seconds bless her.
I was told afterwards that Tia can move fast sometimes. There is a field Lisa used to walk in until Tia worked out how close they were to GoOutdoors…..Lisa says if she takes Tia off lead she takes off across the field like her tail is on fire, through the Go Outdoors automatic doors to the bowl of dog biscuits where she consumes the lot!!! Subsequently that branch do not leave biscuits down for the dogs anymore. So maybe if Lisa had waved a livercake under Tia’s nose before leaving her she might have been a bit faster, who knows? Maybe even a winner!
Well done to all participants of the novelty classes. I have to say I was really impressed with the sit and down stays. Very commendable. The results are as follows:
Longest sit stay – 1stAnnie, 2nd Tia and 3rd Harvey
Longest down stay – Joint 1st Chester/Jasper 2nd Annie
Fastest recall through temptationalley – 1st Josh, 2nd Izzie, 3rd Skye
Waggiest tail – 1st BaileyGardner, 2nd Bailey Eason, 3rd Lola
Trick the judge loves the most –1st Jasper, 2nd Jackson, 3rd Jasmyn
Fastest Eater – 1st Chester, 2nd Cara, 3rd Bonnie
The prize for the dog who’s name was shouted out the most was LOLA!! Of course. Lola proved to be the Houdini of the camp,leaping over the temporary fence at 4/5am every morning to do a tour of the rest of the site. Poor Dee was out in her pj’s searching for her wayward hound, who eventually came trotting back after doing a 30 minute reckie of the campsite! The next name we heard themost was JASPER!! Jasper has a zest for life that any sugar crazed child would be hard pressed to come up level with,let alone beat!
After this we all congregated around the BBQ for our lunch. Followed by the raffle with gifts generously donated by everyone taking part and the auction with Chester and Harvey winning a framed portrait taken by David Burgess.
All dogs behaved themselves brilliantly with only a few male egos getting in the way but even these calmed down later on so we were all able to sit and socialise in the shelter of the marquee nice and relaxed without incident. Well done to the handlers.
People were really generous on the day raising an amazing £ 850.00 including money raised from the painting and hamper raffle. Dee and I would like to thank all who took part and contributed on the day and towards the painting raffle.
Over all, we can say it was a big success. I can safely say I have never in all my daysfelt so exhausted. We are sorry to say though that unless we have more help in the future then next year won’t be able to happen. Dee and I were not quite prepared for how popular the day was going to be and have learnt a lot. The most important being we just can’t run an event this size with just the two of us.
Future events we could consider caterers, this is easy in Norfolk as there are on site caterers, or people will just need to just cater for themselves. Maybe with us providingBBQ facilities. There is a lot to go through now.
Norfolk in September is still going ahead. We are arranging the caterers for Friday night, Saturday lunch (BBQ) and breakfast Sat and Sun (optional) so that stress will be removed! Otherwise it will be a more relaxed, laid back affair with camping, walking, chatting around the campfire, a few drinks and food. OK maybe, just maybe temptation alley!
So thank you once again for making it a successful weekend.
We will let you know what date we plan to go again next year and what type of event it will be as well.
If there is anyone who might be interested in assisting at any of the events please contact either myself or Dee by PM.