Rare Breeds Among Thousands of Canines Heading to Ripon for One of Britain’s Largest Dog Shows

  • Over 7,000 dogs will compete during the three days of the show
  • More than 200 breeds on show
  • Come and meet a number of the UK’s most popular terrier breeds
  • The opportunity to see rare British breeds including the Otterhound
  • Dogs competing for a spot at the world famous Crufts dog show, to be held next March in Birmingham
  • Many trade stands selling all things ‘doggy’
  • All dogs welcome!

British and Irish native dog breeds, including some very rare ones, will be among the 7,000 plus dogs which will descend on Ripon Racecourse in North Yorkshire from 16th -18th September for the popular Darlington Championship Dog Show – one of the largest events of its kind in the UK.

The show will see more than 200 breeds and their owners from all over the British Isles and beyond compete in a bid to qualify for the world’s biggest dog show, Crufts, which will be held at the NEC in Birmingham next March. 

The pedigree dogs taking part will be judged on a number of factors in the ring, including temperament and that they are fit, healthy and happy dogs that are good examples of their breed, as they compete for the ultimate ‘Best in Show’ prize.

The show is one of the largest gatherings of dogs in the UK and will see rare native British and Irish breeds competing, such as the Otterhound, Smooth Collie, Field Spaniel and English Toy Terrier (Black & Tan).

These breeds are bred in such small numbers today that they are considered by the Kennel Club to be at risk of disappearing from Britain’s streets and parks. Alongside these breeds will be some of the more well-known breeds such as the Boxer, Labrador Retriever, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Pug, Irish Setter and Whippet.

The show is perfect for families researching the right breed of dog for them, and visitors will be able to meet the dogs themselves as well as talk to experts in each breed about finding a good breeder, what to expect from the breed, and training and care requirements.

David Guy, secretary of the show, said: “Ours is one of the biggest dog shows in the UK, so naturally we are very proud of that fact. Being held in the picturesque Ripon Racecourse, known as the garden racecourse, the show is very popular with visitors and brings thousands of dog lovers to the area each year. We are expecting this year’s show to be bigger and better than ever.

“The show is a huge celebration of man’s best friend and visitors will get to meet lots of wonderful dogs throughout the weekend, find out more about dog showing and the various activities they can get involved in with their own dog, and browse the many dog products on the trade stands.

“Anyone thinking about getting a pedigree dog can come along and research their favourite breeds, as well as some of the lesser known breeds they may not even have heard of, and take the opportunity to meet the dogs themselves, which is definitely a favourite with families.

“And for anyone who is new to dog showing, or who brings a ‘spectator dog’ along with them, the society will be conducting tours of the show to give a flavour of what goes into running such a large event. Committee members will be on hand to offer advice on how to become involved in this popular hobby.

“A special highlight will be a lap of honour for the Best in Show winner from Crufts this year, the West Highland White Terrier, Devon, just prior to the judging of our own Best in Show award on the Sunday evening.”

Competition classes are held across the seven pedigree dog groups.  Friday 16th September will see the Hound, Terrier and Utility breeds competing, followed by the Working and Pastoral breeds on Saturday 17th and the Toy and Gundog breeds on Sunday 18th. Sunday also sees the climax of the competition – Best in Show – followed by Best Puppy in Show and Best Veteran in Show. 

The show is one of 37 Group and General Championship Dog Shows licensed by the Kennel Club throughout the year, which enable dogs to qualify for next year’s Crufts.

Admission to the show is free and car parking costs £10. The public can bring ‘spectator dogs’ with them to the show, for a fee of £12, but will have to sign a declaration that their dog is free from any illness and ensure their dog is under control at all times. Spectator dogs may not compete at the show and must be at least four months of age.

More information on the show can be found here.

To find out more about dog showing, or any other activity dog owners can get involved in with their dogs, visit the Kennel Club website.