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Rutland Showground to host The Kennel Club International Agility Festival

A dog agility festival being hosted in Rutland is set to get tails wagging.

Next month will see The Kennel Club International Agility Festival arrive at Rutland Showground, for a four day event from August 12 to 15.

This year will be the sixteenth iteration of the event, but the first time that it will be held in Rutland.

Rutland Showground
Rutland Showground

Dogs of all ages, sizes and breeds will try their paws at the competitive discipline of agility.

Last year’s International Agility Festival was cancelled in the wake of the Covid-19 lockdown, so many dog owners are eager to reunite with their agility community.

During the festival, 18 rings will be set up to host the competition, which will feature dogs of all agility grades and sizes, with over 200 separate classes taking place.

Vanessa McAlpine, events executive at The Kennel Club said: “The Kennel Club is looking forward to finally welcoming back canine competitors to compete in this year’s International Agility Festival, and we are honoured to be able to host it this year from Rutland Showground.

“This is such a prestigious location to be able to hold such an anticipated event and we know so many dog owners have really missed having their annual opportunity to display the hard work they’ve dedicated to agility so we are so grateful to the wonderful Rutland community for welcoming us to the area so that this can once again take place.”

The International Agility Festival will be held as a closed event, open to those who have pre-booked in advance, and will be manned by 24-hour security to ensure the health and safety of both the attendance, as well as the maintenance of the grounds are the priority.

David Wood, the chairman of the Rutland Agricultural Society which owns the Showground, said: “The arrival of visitors to the county will offer a welcome boost for local businesses in and around Oakham and is another great way to put Rutland on the map for people who don’t already know about our wonderful county.

"We have worked diligently with the Kennel Club and local agencies to ensure that these closed events cause the minimum of disruption to our neighbours around the showground.”

Rutland Agricultural Society and The Kennel Club are working with Rutland County Council to implement detailed event plans and ensure minimum disruption to local residents.

Traffic management is said to be a priority for the hosts and organisers, supported by a team of site marshals and security staff who work specifically to deliver the International Agility Festival and Young Kennel Club Summer Camp each year.

Penny Sharp, director for Places at Rutland County Council, said: “This is a prestigious event and a great chance to showcase Rutland to an international audience.

"The county already has a proud history of hosting world-renowned events, such as the hugely popular Birdfair.

"The International Agility Festival won’t be on quite the same scale, because it is strictly for competitors with no public attendance, and will be much smaller than our own Rutland County Show, held each year.

"Nevertheless, we are working with all parties involved in the planning and running of these events to ensure everything goes smoothly.”

Peak traffic times around the International Agility Festival are expected to be on Wednesday, August 11 as competitors arrive for the event. There are no plans for temporary road closures or traffic diversions around the event.

However, drivers are advised to allow extra time for journeys as roads around the Showground will be busier at these peak times.

More information on The Kennel Club International Agility Festival can be found at thekennelclub.org.uk/events-and-activities/agility/international-agility-festival/ or via The Kennel Club’s Facebook page.

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