Top dogs at Royal Welsh Spring Festival

18 March 2013

More than 1000 dogs and their owners will converge on the Royal Welsh showground at Llanelwedd, Builth Wells, in May to compete for the prizes at the only premier open dog show held in Wales.

The ‘Premier Open Show’ status has been granted to the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society’s canine section by the Kennel Club for the fifth successive year, once again making it a qualifier for Crufts, the world’s largest dog show.

The premier open show is one of the big attractions for visitors to the two-day Royal Welsh Spring Festival on May 18 and 19 when many prize winning dogs will go on to join over 20,000 other top dogs which will appear at the famous four-day Crufts show in March 2014.

There are more than 200 breeds in Britain and dogs of all shapes, sizes and colours will be appearing at the Spring Festival.

“Their owners bring them from across the country from Scotland to Cornwall to compete at the show,” said the honorary secretary, Mrs Julie Howells. “We are looking forward to a big turnout this year despite the increasing costs of travel due to rising petrol prices. However, many competitors make a holiday of the trip to Mid Wales and we look forward to welcoming them.”

More than 75 breeds are listed in the schedule this year identified mainly as terries, gundogs, hounds, toy dogs, working, utility and pastoral breeds.

On the world stage 14 ancient breeds of dogs have been identified through advances in DNA analysis. They are geographically diverse including dogs from Siberia, far eastern countries, Africa and Alaska. According to some research the Australian Dingo may be the world’s oldest dog.

Many of the popular breeds will be on view to visitors to the Spring Festival as well as some which are perhaps lesser known including the Alaskan Malamute. These were bred as sled dogs for work in the Arctic and although they may not yet be quite so well-known to the uninitiated the breed is rising rapidly up the ratings and increasing in popularity as a pet for British families faster than any other dog.

The judging of the breeds at the Spring Festival will take place over the two