More than 3,000 dogs heading to castle near Corby for international festival

The event at Rockingham Castle in 2013
The event at Rockingham Castle in 2013

The Kennel Club International Agility Festival will see a record-breaking 3,170 dogs from all over the world head to Rockingham Castle for the world’s largest agility festival.

Dogs and their handlers will descend onto the village of Rockingham for the festival, which will be celebrating its thirteenth year.

The festival is running until Sunday (August 13)

The festival is running until Sunday (August 13)

With the additional dogs competing this year, two extra rings will be added to the previous 16 in order to hold more than 200 separate classes, which will feature dogs of all agility grades and sizes.

70 judges from all over the world will be attending over the four days, marking everyone from top agility competitors to novice handlers and their dogs.

The Kennel Club International Agility Festival is supported by CSJ Specialist Canine Feeds and welcomes dogs of all types and sizes.

A total of 20 countries from around the world are expected to be represented, with competitors travelling from countries including China, all fighting to win their individual competitions and take home the Nations Cup.

The Nations Cup will be reverting to a team event this year, where three dogs representing their country will complete a jumping round with a final agility round to decide the overall winners.

The four-day event started yesterday (Thursday) and runs until Sunday (August 13).

Kennel Club secretary Caroline Kisko said: “Every year we look forward to the International Agility Festival and it’s great to see so many people from all over the world attending with their dogs to compete and spectate.

“The festival has such a wide range of competitions for everyone, from the Nations Cup to International Young Handler.

“There’s also a ‘have a go’ ring for spectators new to the canine activity to experience it first hand with their dog.

“Agility is the most popular dog sport in the UK and is a brilliant way to keep fit and healthy with your dog.

“It’s one of the highlights of the agility calendar and a fantastic weekend or day out for all the family.”

A heat of the nation’s favourite crossbreed competition, Scruffts, sponsored by James Wellbeloved, will also take place at the festival tomorrow (Saturday), with categories such as most handsome crossbreed dog, prettiest crossbreed bitch, child’s best friend, golden oldie crossbreed, best crossbreed rescue and the good citizen dog scheme class.

Registration for the competition starts from 11am and the competition begins at 12.30pm.

Entering a dog into Scruffts costs just £2 per class and all entry money will be split between the Kennel Club Charitable Trust and the festival’s chosen charity, which is yet to be confirmed.

There is no need to enter in advance, just simply turn up on the day.

Entry to the festival is free for spectators, with parking charged at £5, and people are able to come along with their own dogs to enjoy the fun festival atmosphere and even take part in the ‘have-a-go’ agility ring (for dogs over 18 months), which gives everyone the opportunity to experience the discipline for themselves.

However, competitor entries for the festival are closed.

For more information on the Kennel Club International Agility Festival, visit www.thekennelclub.org.uk/agilityfestival or www.facebook.com/Dogagility.