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NEWS FLASH: ‘Jilly’s Jolly Jaunt’ Ends in Triumph!

A five-day, 140-mile journey along the banks of England’s Grand Union Canal culminated today with the arrival of Gavin Robertson and his Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen Ch. Soletrader Peek a Boo at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital. A crowd of well-wishers was on hand to greet the weary wanderers who this week have so far raised more than £27,000 for charity while providing positive exposure for breeders of happy, healthy purebred dogs.

Gavin and Jilly are greeted by a crowd of well-wishers upon their arrival at the end of their 140-mile journey. All photos courtesy of Dog World Newspaper.

“Jilly’s Jolly Jaunt” is the brainchild of Gavin, the breeder/owner-handler of “Jilly,” this year’s Best in Show winner at Crufts Dog Show.

The walk began on Monday at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham where the pair defeated more than 20,000 dogs earlier this year. They were joined by artist Amelia Siddle and Pointer Sh. Ch. Wilchrimane Ice Maiden, as well as by supporters of Britain’s vulnerable and high profile breeds and previous Crufts’ Best in Show and Group winners. These volunteers walked with their dogs along various legs of the journey in a show of support for Gavin and his team.

Gavin and Jilly take a break in front of the Houses of Parliament with Amelia Siddle and supporters that include Dog World’s Managing Director Stuart Baillie.

In an audio interview at the destination site, Gavin took a moment to speak with Dog World to acknowledge the support and encouragement of his fellow travelers. “I’d like to think that all the walkers were happy, and it went according to plan. It was amazing. I’m really proud of what we achieved in a short period of time,” Gavin said.

This week’s weather was ideal for dog walking. Overcast skies and mild temperatures were the order of the day, although the sun broke through the London fog at the finish line. “We’ve been blessed with bad weather, which should be perfect for dog walking,” Gavin told the reporter. “The sun’s come out in the end, and we see that all our family and friends who’ve helped us behind the scenes through the weeks are here.”

Gavin and Jilly pose for pictures with supporters along the banks of the Grand Union Canal earlier this week.

Gavin told Best In Show Daily prior to the start of the walk that he viewed the endeavor as a way to ensure the future survival of purebred dogs and the dog sport. “All of us dog show people need to start looking at the bigger picture to promote pedigree dogs in a positive manner, or else governments and politicians will be dictating how our sport is governed. We need to prove to people that we all have happy, healthy dogs and that we are responsible owners and breeders. There is more to life and dogs than just winning a pretty ribbon. Our sport is changing fast these days, and we can’t sit back and watch things disappear.”

This week’s walk has exceeded its financial goal of raising funds for the hospital as well as for DogLost and the Kennel Club Charitable Trust. Gavin, Amelia and the legion of walkers and supporters have certainly earned a long rest and the gratitude of the entire dog fancy.

If you haven’t already done so, please be sure to visit the website to show your support for purebred dogs everywhere. Donations may still be made at Jilly’s website and through the team’s Facebook page.

The positive impact that Gavin and his team have made on securing a future for purebred dogs will likely be immeasurable.

Written by

Dan Sayers started “in dogs” through a chance encounter with a Springer Spaniel in 1980. A student of dogs ever since, he’s shown Spaniels and Hounds in the conformation ring and breeds Irish Water Spaniels under the Quiet Storm prefix. A dog lover with a passion for the creative arts, Dan has worked as a freelance writer, photographer and illustrator for many years. His feature articles and columns have appeared in Dogs in Review, Dog World and the AKC Gazette, and his design work has appeared in dozens of publications in North America and abroad. An interest in all things “dog” brought Dan to Best In Show Daily, where he gets to work with the most dynamic group of fanciers every day. He lives in Merchantville, New Jersey, with his partner, Rudy Raya, Irish Water Spaniel, Kurre, and the memory of Oscar, a once-in-a-lifetime Sussex Spaniel.
  • Rod June 16, 2013 at 6:09 PM

    Dan, where have you been this weekend? Have you not heard the word that Jilly did not make all of her “140 mile jaunt”? She had a substitute named Daisy for part of the trip. (edited -Best In Show Daily does not advertise other publications without a standard agreement, terms of use contract, and invoices paid).

    • kayla
      kayla June 17, 2013 at 8:27 AM

      Hi Rod, thank you for being part of our audience & taking the time to write. We appreciate the mention of our content & advertising in the blog posts. We’ve debated internally for some time how to increase our page views & audience in the UK market. Who knew that an anti-purebred blog would resolve that question for us and so inexpensively too! So that we can truly partner, we’ll need to review the proper use of our name, copyrights, trademarks and all that stuff. We wouldn’t want anyone to get in trouble; we’ll suggest scheduling a skype call ASAP. We’ll also start sending all of our content and links to Jemima for inclusion. It is afterall, advertising and impressions that keeps things running. The more links to our content, the higher we go in search engines, which creates more page views; higher page views nets more ad impressions which is of course, more revenue to keep doing what we do best. Am not sure why you or Jemima is interested in our working hours, afterall, neither of your are footing the bills, but we can also send everyone’s availability if that makes sense. As for where Danny is, I believe like the rest of the Best In Show Daily team, he was working on this week’s set of articles. all the best,

  • Christi June 19, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    I want to reiterate that “Jilly’s Jolly Jaunt” was a resounding success, contrary to what the post above intimates. As reported by English Dog World (www.dogworld.co.uk), many dogs and people joined Gavin and Jilly during the trek, including a Pointer named Flo, and as Gavin said in Dog World, “The welfare of the dogs was paramount, and at the KC launch we announced that while Jilly would walk to lion’s share with Flo, we would also be taking kennelmates along to relieve them for sections of the walk.” And indeed other dogs did fill in for Jilly and Flo now and then during the walk, taking nothing away from the positive outcome: that more than 32,000 GBP was raised for Great Ormond St. Children’s Hospital, DogLost and the Kennel Club Charitable Trust.

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