Dandie Dinmont Festival in Selkirk

By: Simon Parsons


My thanks to those who have let me use some more photographs from the Dandie Dinmont Festival in Selkirk and the surrounding areas. It sounds like an amazing occasion – congratulations must go to organisers Paul Keevil and Mike Macbeth and all their helpers – and I’m sure that everyone interested in the breed must be thrilled at the quality of the statue of breed founding father Old Ginger, by Sandy Stoddart, now on display at The Haining in the town.

Here is a close-up. You can probably see a horseshoe sculpted under the dog. Photographer and compiler of the Dandie pedigree database Simon Rishton explains the significance: “I asked Sandy about the horseshoe. He always has a reason for subtle details. He explained that the signature ‘Stoddart fecit’ (fecit is Latin for ‘he made it’) is just below the shoe. John Stoddart was the Selkirk blacksmith in the 1830s who lived and worked just outside the gates of The Haining. It is thought that he made the ironwork of the kennels there.

“He was also one of the top Dandie breeders of the time, and Old Ginger’s grandmother was bred by him. So Stoddart, he made it - the horseshoe, the kennel, and in many ways the dog. And Stoddart, he made it – the sculpture – in Paisley 2017.” photo Rishton


Simon Rishton has made available to visitors of the centre his extensive database of Dandie pedigrees. He and ‘Ziggy’ (Inzievar Gold Dust) are seen with her entry in the listings. photo Hudson/Kennel Club


Another attraction at The Haining is the Discovery Centre containing information for the visitor not only about Dandies but about the other ‘vulnerable’ British and Irish native breeds and the other Scottish breeds, vulnerable or otherwise. The official opening was done by Wilson Young, Board member of the Kennel Club whose Educational Trust contributed to the cost. With him are Scottish KC president Anne Macdonald and Paul Keevil, along with the pipers who accompanied the Dandies and their owners through the town. photo Hudson/Kennel Club


The Duke of Buccleuch, holding Dryfevalley Bowhill Lucy, welcomed Dandie enthusiasts to one of his homes, Bowhill, which plays a part in the breed’s early history.


A more lighthearted part of the festival was Dandie racing at The Haining, which takes place here every year.


Paul Eardley, chairman of the Dandie Dinmont Terrier Club, unveiled a plaque to mark the club’s foundation in November 1875 at the Fleece Hotel in Selkirk. photo Rishton


‘Sir Walter Scott’ (alias John Nichol), with Dandies outside a Selkirk landmark.


The make-up of the new Board

IT HAS been a few weeks now since the new Kennel Club Board was elected with a number of changes owing to the retirement of several directors and the end to the role of trustee.

There are now 24 members of whom just four are women, a proportion quite out of sync with the participants in the world of dogs.

All but five of them are principally from the show world – of the others one is from working trials and has also been involved with working gundogs, two others from working gundogs, one from agility and one from working trials.

Of the ‘show people’, Simon Luxmoore has also been successful in sled dog racing, Pat Sutton has been a Master of Draghounds and Gill Simpson has made several of her Weimaraners into ‘full’ champions.

Bearing in mind that several of them have shown dogs from more than one group, I think that hounds are best represented with seven members among the show people, followed by gundogs and terriers. Pastoral breeds have just a single representative.

Three of the Board are veterinary surgeons, two of them with a special interest in the reproductive field. Six of them are secretaries of general or group championship shows; others have been chairman or show manager.