SET in the sprawling grounds of the Fitzgerald’s Woodlands House Hotel, the All Breed Championship International Dog Show drew thousands to Adare last week.
On a day of beaming sunshine – a rare occasion this summer – over 1600 dogs were on show. A staggering 200 different breeds – many of which have never set foot in Ireland – entertained the crowds.
Organised and hosted by Limerick and District Canine Club, the show, in its 82nd annual year, exhibited some of the finest and most unusual pedigrees of dogs, which wowed the watching crowds. Just some of the canines on show were the Irish Wolf Hound, the energetic Spinone Italiano, and the more loved and adored family breeds, such as Labradors and Basset Hounds.
Organiser Anthony Kelly feels the unusual breeds on show are what attract the vast numbers year after year.
“We have dogs from France, Russia, Norway and Sweden and the UK. It’s an international show and it’s great to have such a cross section of people coming from different parts of Europe. There are certain breeds here today that have never been in the country.”
According to Mr Kelly, the appeal of seeing such dogs up close also contributes to the thousands that descend on Adare for this magnificent spectacle.
“It’s an ideal opportunity for anybody who is looking for a particular breed. They can come out here and basically talk to the breeder and find out the pros and cons of the dog.
“You can go on the internet or read a book but there’s nothing better than actual hands on experience from a person who has the breed.
Another attraction was the appearance of the current dog of the ‘Dulux Paints’ advertisements. An English Sheepdog, its owner lives in West Limerick.
Dooradoyle native George Corneill, who now lives in Kerry, attends the show every year.
This year, he was showcasing a Tibetan Terrier, whose family has a history steeped in success. “His father is the world champion and his mother is the top winning bitch in Europe. This dog itself is one of the most successful Tibetan terriers on the circuit.”
An enthusiastic Mr Corneill had some interesting facts about this Terrier, that he was more than willing to provide.
“He has the biggest feet of any dog, because he comes from the Himalayas. These are like snow shoes, so he can grip the snow up in the heights in Tibet. As well as that, they have a double coat to keep them warm. They also have the longest eyelashes of any breed of dog. He has to have these or else he’ll suffer from snow blindness.”
Owners from all corners of Europe visit Adare annually, in the hope their dog will be awarded with a prestigious prize.
One such owner, Andrew Gold, was present with his English Sheepdog, ‘Magic’, who he playfully described as being “too nosey for her own good” and who he spends hours grooming weekly.