JILLY’S Jolly Jaunt was an outstanding success, raising just short of £50,000 for good causes and bringing the world of dogs together in a remarkable way.
The story could have ended there, but two weeks after the funds from the Jolly Jaunt were distributed to Great Ormond Street Hospital, DogLost and the Kennel Club Charitable Trust it’s time to announce the next chapter.
On March 5 next year – the night before Crufts 2014 opens its doors – the first ever ‘Pawscars’ award ceremony will be held in the Metropole Hotel on the NEC campus. The awards will recognise success, hard work and effort in all areas of the pedigree dog show scene, and are about celebrating all that is good on the UK dog show scene. What’s even better is they will raise more money for good causes; some of the biggest businesses that serve the world of dogs are already lined up to offer their support.
Half the story
But the Pawscars is just half the story because March 2014 will mark the launch of the ‘Peek A Boo’ trust, which is being set up to encourage fundraising throughout the world of pedigree dogs and will be charged with disbursing that cash to children’s and canine charities. Not every fund raising effort needs to be as big as Jilly’s Jolly’s Jaunt; organisers hope to encourage donations from events of all kinds, some which might raise just a few pounds and others that will raise several thousands.
The ideas for the trust and for the Pawscars were devised by Gavin Robertson, handler of last year’s Crufts best in show winner Ch Soletrader Peek a Boo, or Jilly, and Dog World managing director Stuart Baillie, and in the last few weeks they have been busily encouraging businesses to come on board to support the event.
Gavin said: “I was just blown away by the support we received for Jilly’s Jolly Jaunt and it’s not just about the amount of money we’ve raised – it’s about the support we received from all over the UK and abroad. It was heart-warming to see the way the world of dogs got behind the idea and demonstrated their support in so many ways. And of course at the end of the day we raised almost £50,000!
“When we came up with the idea of the walk in my wildest dreams I thought we might manage to raise £25,000, so to end up with almost twice that amount is a tribute to everyone who offered their help, support and encouragement along the way.”
Stuart said: “Dog World was keen to get behind the Jolly Jaunt from the outset and we were amazed to watch the total raised rise and rise. I took part in the final day of the walk and felt truly honoured to be part of it. It was then that I started to have the kernel of an idea about setting up a trust to keep the good work going.
“I sent Gavin some ideas and when we met up at Windsor championship show we discovered we had both been thinking along similar lines. Shortly afterwards at a meeting in a service station off the M25 the concept for the Pawscars and the Peek a Boo Trust was born.”
There will be a total of 14 awards presented on the night. These will be Championship Show of the Year, sponsored by Eukanuba; Training class of the Year and Breeder of the Year sponsored by Royal Canin; Journalist of the Year sponsored by Premier Animal Housing; Exhibitor of the Year sponsored by Dorwest; Junior Handler of the Year sponsored by Dog World; Steward of the Year sponsored by the Kennel Club; Trade Stand of the Year sponsored by Fosse Data; Open Show of the Year sponsored by Lintbells; Breed Note Writer of the Year sponsored by Arden Grange; Judge of the Year, sponsor to be confirmed; Photographer of the Year, sponsor to be confirmed; Unsung Hero, sponsor to be confirmed; and an award for outstanding achievement which will be sponsored by the Trust.
The winners of the Arden Grange/Dog World Top Dog, Royal Canin/Dog World Top Stud and Lintbells/Dog World Top Brood Bitch as well as the winner of the Purina ProPlan/Dog World Pup of the Year will also be honoured on the night.
You can buy your tickets for the big night – which will include a three-course dinner and wine – now at www.dogworldshop.com.
Photo below: Marina Scott, representing DOG WORLD, with Di Johnson who announced the plans for the Pawscars just before best in show judging at Midland Counties. on Sunday.