The Blue Cross animal charity in Burford welcomed over a thousand supporters to its annual show on Sunday (29 July), raising nearly £6,000 for the animals in its care.
An unexpected spell of dry weather drew in the crowds, with local animals competing for revered titles including Blue Cross Cat and Dog of t
he Year 2007, Best Blue Cross Horse or Pony 2007 and Best In Show for each species.
Tony Samuel, Blue Cross director of marketing and fundraising said: “We were delighted that the weather held out and so many people came along to show their support for The Blue Cross.
Hundreds of people entered their animals into the classes and there were some fantastic winners. All the money raised will go towards our future work caring for animals in need, so a big thank you to everyone who made a donation.”
The lucky winners included Blue Cross Dog of the Year Milly, a three-year-old golden retriever. Milly came to The Blue Cross animal adoption centre in Burford in September 2005 when her previous family separated and could no longer care for her. Staff quickly found her a new home with the Lancaster family in Shepperton near Heathrow and she had moved in by Christmas.
Proud owner Christine Lancaster said: “Milly settled in with us quite quickly.
She doesn’t like being left alone though and can be quite jumpy but she’s getting better as time goes on. I’m so proud of her for winning the Blue Cross Dog of the Year award. She had a lovely day playing with all the other dogs and particularly enjoyed the sausage eating contest!”
Blue Cross Cat of the Year went to three-year-old tortoiseshell cat called Sukey, belonging to Mr Sherman. The competition was judged on photos submitted prior to the event and 11-year-old ginger cat George certainly caught the eye of the judges; fine-looking feline George and his owners Mr and Mrs Howard from Carterton, winning Best in Show.
The Best Blue Cross Horse or Pony was awarded to Lizzy May with 14.1hh Connemara cross, Holly. Holly first came to The Blue Cross equine centre in Burford in 2002 with behavioural problems. She was very nervous and needed a lot of care and attention from the centre’s experienced staff. The following year she was placed on loan with the May family, where she has been for the last four years.
Visiting judge Rosie Mogford from The Blue Cross in Northiam explained her choice: “Both horse and rider were immaculately turned out and obviously worked very well as a team. There was strong competition from the other horses and ponies that entered but Holly and Lizzy really shone.”
Other highlights of the day included temptation alley, where dog owners were challenged to test the obedience of their four-legged friends amongst rows of toys and treats. And the equine fancy dress competition raised some laughs with horses and riders dressed in imaginative costumes, including Shrek with his donkey and a white knight with his trusted steed. First prize went to a delightful mermaid with her sea-themed pony.
The day ended with a special bonus for the animals currently in the care of The Blue Cross in Burford. Several visitors expressed an interest in adopting a pet and 15 of the cats at the centre have already been reserved for new homes.
The Blue Cross small animal and equine centres in Burford rescue and rehome hundreds of animals every year, giving them a second chance in life in loving new homes. Anyone who is interested in rehoming a Blue Cross dog, cat, horse or small pet should contact the centres on 01993 822 483 (small animal) or 01993 822 454 (equine) or visit www.bluecross. org.uk.