Thousands of dogs enjoyed the inaugural 'Dogstival' in the New Forest
There were wagging tails and strutting paws aplenty at Pylewell Park for Lymington's first Dogstival
Thousands of dogs of all shapes and sizes enjoyed a great day out last weekend (18th and 19th May) at the very first Dogstival, with more than 10,000 dog owners and dog lovers giving the family-friendly festival at Pylewell a huge paws up too!
We were there, and we "got" it! A Festival for and about dogs is a fabulously positive environment and the dogs seemed to sense it, there was very little doggy disagreement to be seen or heard anywhere, and the enormous space offered at Pylewell Park Estate with its own beach and views across the Solent made it absolutely the perfect venue.
Headline-sponsored by Go Get it, a dedicated pet insurance comparison website, this inaugural New Forest Dogstival was a really lovely celebration of, for and featuring our four-legged friends.
Some of the highlights
Thousands of paws and shoulders rubbed harmoniously alongside one another over the course of the two days to enjoy dazzling high energy displays in the Main Arena from the Aces High Flyball Team and the Little Nippers Terrier and Lurcher Show. The Rockwood Display Team also left crowds gasping as their courageous dogs scaled an 80ft ramp to leap through fire squares.
Owners of problematic pets headed for helpful advice and tips at the Dog House Behavioural Stage, where top experts explored typical issues that happen within the home such as separation anxiety. Further expert advice on dog health was also provided from TV’s Vet on the Hill Dr Scott Miller.
Absolute beginners to seasoned pro’s also enjoyed Dogstival’s impressive array of Get Your Paws Involved activities such as agility and flyball, along with one of the show’s biggest (and wettest) draws - the K9 Aqua Sports Pool, which saw hundreds of dogs flinging themselves into water just for the fun of it.
The love of water continued down at Pylewell Park’s beach. While owners soaked up the nice weather, dogs had the time of their life frolicking with their friends in the sea. A very special interlude!
Fuelling the day was a host of artisan food and drink stalls. Doggies enjoyed a lip-smacking smorgasbord of treats such as specialist pet ice-cream, biltong and personalised biscuits. While The Pupcake Princess served dog doughnuts and other baked delights from her vintage caravan, which also doubled up as a cute photo backdrop for the click-happy #dogsofinstagram. The humans, meanwhile, ate and drank their way through gourmet pizza, fishcakes, squid (excellent), craft gin and more from local and carefully-curated suppliers.
Four-legged guests didn’t leave home empty-pawed either, with their devoted owners spoiling them to gorgeous gifts such as stylish dog collars, luxury beds and chic canine drying coats (perfect for post-beach dips), from independent pet brands, who had stalls at the event over the two days.
Adding to the unique doggy festival vibes, musicians played acoustic versions of canine classics including ‘Who let the dogs out’, while younger guests looped endlessly around the Vintage Fun Fair’s Ferris Wheel and Carousel. (Tasteful, and not intrusive.)
Dogstival Founders, Domine and Richard Nowell commented: “We are absolutely delighted with our first ever Dogstival event. It was a fantastic turnout of lovely, well-behaved dogs and the event itself exceeded all our expectations. We set out to create a dog’s best day ever and judging by all the waggy-tailed departures at the end of each day, we definitely achieved our goal.”
They add: “As locals to the area and dog owners ourselves, it's been an absolute honour to showcase how dog-friendly the New Forest is and we could not have asked for a more perfect location than the picturesque Pylewell Park. With the help of leading experts in their fields, a host of impressive display dogs and brilliant independent suppliers, Dogstival has been a true celebration of the joy dogs bring to our lives and we looked forward to planning Dogstival 2020.”
Commenting on Dogstival David Roper-Curzon of Pylewell Park says: “We were thrilled to host Dogstival at Pylewell. It truly was a celebration of all things dogs with a wide array of stall holders, food and interactive experiences for those of all ages to enjoy. A memorable and enjoyable weekend, which we hope will return to Pylewell in the future.”
Yvonne Gosney, Brand Manager at Go Get it, headline sponsors of Dogstival also says: “We had a fantastic weekend at Dogstival and it was lovely to meet so many new furry friends, and of course their owners! As headline sponsor, this event for us was also about showcasing our dedicated pet insurance comparison website, which helps owners in sourcing the right level of cover for them, and we were thrilled with the reaction we received. The pet community is such a passionate and friendly one – we’re delighted to be a part of it!”
Dogstival will be back on 16th and 17th May 2020. To keep up to date with all the news, visit Dogstival.co.uk and keep @Dogstival on social media.
Photos: A Billion Clicks and Bartley Marketing