Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials – it’s a Dog’s life

Gypsy the Greyhound has gone up in the world..
 Blenheim International Horse Trials isn’t just about horses, oh no, it’s also about people watching and most noticably dog watching! Where there are horses there are inevitably canine companions, but for the thousands of spectators who don’t have an expensive four legged athlete in the game they can still bring something a little more affordable to the party. As well as the eventing itself, Blenheim was geared up for the thousands of visitors who descend upon the ancient woodland landscape and want a bit of extra entertainment and of course, shopping opportunities, The Festival of Food provided for everyones eating and drinking requirements from gourmet sausages to chocolate vodka. There was a Pimms tent too – that goes without saying. There were naturally lots and lots of horse product stands with boots, tweeds and tack of every hue imaginable. ‘Do you think Hector would like a bright pink halter mummy?’ ‘Of course he would Darling,’ Overheard at a tack stand. There was even a full size horse sand sculpture which was incredibly realistic.
Sandy Steed


These boots were made for riding..

But everywhere there were dogs. Mostly well behaved too it has to be said and they seemed to be enjoying the socialising every bit as much as their owners. It really is a bit of a doggy display opportunity and there was every kind of canine under the sun to be admired. Gypsy is a rescue greyhound with a lovely rags to riches story. She was picked up from the RSPCA at Preston where she was left after not making the grade at the race track and now models bespoke pet furniture at country shows. The company Pink Whiskers make hand upholstered leather chesterfield-style dog beds to keep your pampered pooch off the floor and out of that pesky draft in style. She’s even modelled in Vogue with Cameron Diaz and graces the facebook page Blenhiem aswell.


Tilly loves the Tartan line

In fact dogs were proving very useful altogether as sales aids at the showground as Tilly the wire haired Terrier was also employed modelling on the Thistles tartan furniture stand.

Splash looks smart

There were whippets and of course the obligatory collies, terriers, Dalmations, Mastiffs and probably top dog choice of the country set – the black labrador. Even Pixie the Chihuahua seemed to be enjoying herself although it must be a bit like living in the Land of the Giants for such a diminuative pooch.


Pixie had a grandstand view

In the arena as well as side saddle and dressage displays and the day being saved by the light cavalry, dogs were making their presence felt. Dog agility displays are always tremendous fun especially when they are jumping mini versionsof the fences the horses tackle, just a bit lower.. In fact South Oxfordshire Riding Club hosted its inaugural dog one-day event this year. Each canine and owner combination had to take on a ‘doggage’ test, a round of showjunping and a 16 fence cross-country course-complete with ditches, banks and awater complex. Entrants ranged from a miniature daschund to a Doberman. Organisers are hoping for four-star status soon.

Have dog will travel


Splash gets up close to camera..