MORE than 5,000 dogs and their owners are expected in Kelso later this month, writes Sally Gillespie.
Competitors from all over Britain, Ireland and Europe will descend on Springwood Park for the annual Border Union Agricultural Society Championship Dog Show on June 16 and 17.
This year sees a record entry of more than 800 toy dogs, along with about 400 retrievers, plus assorted hounds and almost every other breed you can think of – all competing for the coveted best in show award.
One of the event’s organisers, Marjory Macgregor, said: “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 Border town. It promises to be an interesting and entertaining weekend for all.”
Breeds originating from this region are well represented with more than 100 Border collies expected for classes on the Saturday and nearly 140 Border terriers forward for judging the following day.
In excess of 100 different breeds of canine will compete, starting with the working, toy, utility and pastoral groups on the first day. Judging of the hounds, terriers and gundogs takes place on the Sunday. Classes begin at 9am both days, with best in show staged at about 5pm on the Sunday.
The 37th event is one of only three general championship shows in Scotland, with a win in certain classes meaning dog and owner qualify to compete at Crufts next year.
More than 50 trade stands are expected and Ms Macgregor said: “This year, the Kennel Club will have a stand at the show, with staff on hand to answer any dog-related enquiries, and to help newcomers find out how they can get involved in dog showing.”
Spectators will also have the chance to see some of the rarest breeds in the country, with long-haired Pyrenean, Great Swiss Mountain and Anatolian Shepherd dogs expected to compete on the Saturday, while Spanish Water Dogs, Slovakian Rough Haired Pointers and Cesky Terriers take centre stage on the final day.