Kelso’s Springwood Park has been transformed into dog city this week, as almost 5,700 canines are readied for the annual championship show.
And organisers of this weekend’s Border Union Agricultural Society (BUAS) Championship Dog Show are delighted with this year’s entry, which sees an increase of almost 500 entries on 2014.
And, as introduced last year, members of the public visiting the show will be able to bring along their own dogs to attend the show.
“This was a very popular innovation last year with the many local visitors who come to the show,” Brian Stevenson, secretary of the BUAS dog section, told us. “Dogs need to be over six months, and all the owner needs to do is to confirm the pet has been vaccinated. There is no charge for spectator dogs attending.”
Exhibitors from all over the UK and Ireland, and even Europe, are spending the next few days getting ready for the class events over the weekend.
A record entry of almost 1,400 gundogs, 600 terriers, and almost every other breed you can think of, will be competing for the chance to win the top award of Best in Show.
‘Border’ breeds are well represented too – 116 Border Collies will be competing on Sunday, while 141 Border Terriers will be judged on Saturday.
The Kelso show is one of only three general championship dog shows in Scotland, and a win in certain classes awards the proud owner and dog with a chance to compete at the world-famous Crufts event the following year.
More than 100 different breeds of dog will be competing, starting at 9am on Saturday with dogs representing the hound, terrier and gundog groups, with the toy, pastoral, utility and working groups being judged on Sunday, from 9am.
The grand finale of Best in Show will be staged around 5.30pm on Sunday afternoon.
The show is tremendously popular with all exhibitors, many of whom make the trip to Kelso with their caravans, to enjoy a holiday week in the town.
In addition to watching the competitions, visitors will have the chance to browse round more than 50 trade stands with a wide range of dog foods, books, coats, grooming products, as well as special dog baths and even herbal remedies for their canines.
And as well as household name breeds, such as Labradors, pugs, and Irish setters, there is also a chance to see some of the rarest breeds in the country.
BUAS show manager Marjory Macgregor says organisers are delighted with the number of entries: “With 5,658 dogs entered, Kelso is bucking the trend compared to other championship shows in the UK.
“The Border Union event is one of the farthest championship shows for exhibitors from the likes of London, Dorset, Kent and Ireland to travel to, so we are really gratified so many people are making the effort to come all this way.”
Car parking is free and admission is only £5 for adults, £3 for children and OAPs.