Four days of dogs

Marlborough Express - - FRONT PAGE -

A na­tional dog show will be held in Marl­bor­ough next year, the first time or­gan­is­ers have held the com­pe­ti­tion out­side one of the main cen­tres.

The 65th Black Hawk Na­tional Dog Show will fea­ture close to 1400 dogs from more than 120 breeds com­pet­ing across three dis­ci­plines; con­for­ma­tion (pure­bred dog show­ing), agility and obe­di­ence.

The four-day com­pe­ti­tion set down for Oc­to­ber 2019 at the Marl­bor­ough Lines Sta­dium 2000 is ex­pected to be a mas­sive boost for Blen­heim busi­nesses.

Dogs New Zealand pres­i­dent Nigel Trainor said the na­tional dog show was the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s premier event each year.

This would be the first time it had been held out­side the wider Welling­ton, Auck­land or Christchurch ar­eas.

‘‘We cer­tainly share the en­thu­si­asm of Marl­bor­ough District Coun­cil with­out whose sup­port we would not have been able to sched­ule the show in a smaller cen­tre,’’ Trainor said.

‘‘We are well aware of the ben­e­fits of the greater ex­po­sure able to be at­tained in a re­gion such as Marl­bor­ough and truly be­lieve its res­i­dents will em­brace our pro­grammes and ac­tiv­i­ties ... Given New Zealan­ders’ love of man’s best friend we rel­ish the op­por­tu­nity to pro­mote our ac­tive, healthy and well­man­nered dogs in Blen­heim in 2019.’’

The Dogs NZ team in Welling­ton had al­ready worked with Marl­bor­ough mem­bers to view the sta­dium lay­out and thought it was ideal for ex­hibitors to show­case their dogs.

Marl­bor­ough Mayor John Leggett said it was great to know the na­tional dog show was com­ing to Blen­heim next year be­cause it would bring an in­flux of vis­i­tors to the re­gion.

‘‘An event of this scale will be a real high­light for Marl­bor­ough’s spring events cal­en­dar,’’ he said.

‘‘With all the com­peti­tors, spon­sors and spec­ta­tors who travel to this na­tional com­pe­ti­tion, we can ex­pect a busy few days for our hos­pi­tal­ity sec­tor and re­tail­ers. It will be a boost for the town’s busi­nesses – but it will also be great fun for lo­cal dog lovers like me to en­joy.’’

Mon­tana Lodge Mo­tel owner Bryan Cress­well said they were one of the few ac­com­mo­da­tion providers in Blen­heim that wel­comed pets.

‘‘We have a wee dog our­selves ... Our mo­tel cov­ers a huge area. The river is close-by and we have a good patch of grass.’’

Own­ers of­ten had cages on the back of utes or even spe­cially de­signed trail­ers for their dogs to stay in.

‘‘There’s an ex­tra charge if the dog stays in the room,’’ Cress­well said.

After a pair of Great Danes came to stay re­cently, Cress­well had tight­ened the cri­te­ria for which dogs could stay though.

Dogs NZ di­rec­tor sec­re­tary

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