After months in the planning and some trepidation, the first Ludlow Fun Dog Day happened here at Stokesay Court in July… Would people turn up or would too many try to come? Might the weather break or would it hold? Had we forgotten anything obvious and vital? What on earth would all the dogs make of each other? It soon became clear that thanks to the sterling efforts of the Rotary Club of Ludlow’s organising team, nothing (except for the weather) had been left to chance.
It rained all day on the 19th, but at midday on the 20th of July, in glorious sunshine, Jules Hudson delighted the assembled crowds who had been steadily streaming in since the gates opened, by officially declaring the first Ludlow Fun Dog Day open.
And what a day!
The weather held, the people came, the car-parks filled, the stallholders (some 40+ of them) did brisk trade, food and drink were consumed aplenty and most importantly dogs of every shape, size, breed and colour made themselves at home in the gardens here at Stokesay Court.
Classes were held in three rings on the front lawn – some serious and some not so – with rosettes to be won and fun to be had for all ages, and I think I can say that not only were the public in supremely happy mood but so were the dogs, with not a single fight. Gun dog scurries and retrieving took place beside the lake.
It took us back to the Stokesay Garden Parties of old, with teas and games and people thronging the gardens from face painted children to proud owners sporting their prizes, and all helping to raise funds for charity. The local pack of hounds put in an appearance – returning to their original Victorian kennels for the first time in a generation. A Doggy Display team dazzled us with their feats of brilliance, and rescue organisations and vets were on hand to give advice.
We could not have hoped for a better first event and thanks must go to Roy and the team from Ludlow Rotary Club for their professionalism and hard work as well as to Jules Hudson for his endorsement of the event but most of all it has to go to the waggy-tailed attendees and their human helpers who made the whole day a lovely success – get the date for next year in your diary now …