Dog Olympix: Canines to compete in annual Archway games to fundraise for new water fountain
PUBLISHED: 09:22 28 August 2019 | UPDATED: 10:13 28 August 2019
Move over Crufts, Islington canines will compete in the annual Dog Olympix games in Archway on September 8.
Droves of dog owners will descend on Whittington Park for a day of games, with the aim of raising £5,000 for a new water fountain that both people and mutts can drink from. Organisers say the current fountain "dribbles tepid water" and the drinking bowl provided for dogs increases the risk of them catching infections like kennel cough.
Games cost £3 a pop and events, which will run from 11.45am to 3.30pm, include agility helter skelter, catch the ball, relay, gundog hunt and best pup.
Sunnie De Pass, a trainer with Archway Dogs who founded the contest four years ago, told the Gazette: "It's an event that calls for ordinary people to work with their dogs. It's not about elitist agility crowd with certain special breeds - any old mutt can come along.
"What's great about it is there is no pretension - as long as your dog is 18-months old they can take part." But puppies can get stuck in to the best pup event.
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The event is supported by local businesses such as the Toy Project and Junction Pets, and it will be judged by a panel headlined by Anna Webb, a BBC Radio London presenter on The Barking Hour.
Many of the contestants will have been training with Sunnie on Sundays ahead of the games, but she stressed the contests are open to all dogs regardless of training or ability.
Last year's stand out champ was a colly called Gonzo, said Sunnie, but he has since moved back to Italy meaning the floor is clear for the next bright thing to break through the ranks.
Dog Olympix secretary David Roberts, of Crouch Hill, whose rescue mutt Della will also be competing, added: "This year there's a dog called Bobby who has come along to five sessions. He is really enthusiastic and barks and it's great fun to watch him train. The dogs are getting something out of it. It's great stimulation and builds that bond between dog and owner. It's a great family day out that's all about the community.
"I think we had 35 dogs last year and we're probably looking at similar numbers, it depends on the weather."
Medals and rosettes will be given out after each event and refreshments will be available.
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