Great Greyhound Gathering 2014

Great Greyhound GatheringAs I write this, the house is knee-deep in boxes and bags of greyhound coats. We are gearing up for the biggest event of our year – the RGT Great Greyhound Gathering at Nottingham Racecourse on 20th September. 

If you’ve never been, it’s an amazing experience. There is a wonderful greyhound (and all breed) dog show, activities for children and the most mind boggling array of stands/stalls with everything you can imagine for a pointy nosed friend. It’s attended by literally hundreds of hounds and there’s something absolutely magical about seeing so many greyhounds together in one place, lying regally on the grass, strolling among the stalls or entering the dog show. It’s also an intensely social event – we see so many people we know and it’s lovely to catch up.

We’ll be bringing Callie and Sara, so do come along and say hello to them. We’ll have dog treats for customers (always from the wonderful Doggy Bags Bakery) and it’s a real pleasure when we can finally get to meet hounds we’ve only “seen” in pictures or on Facebook.

On the stall, we can accept payment via cash or card, and this year we can also accept PayPal, so if you have an account, make sure you have the app on your phone for easy, secure shopping.

As it’s the biggest event of the year, we always like to make sure we have something new to showcase. This year, we are certainly going to be! We’ll have our usual range of gorgeous greyhound fleece coats including some of our recent sample colour combinations that you won’t see on the website.  If you are on Facebook, you’ll have seen pics of some of these. There will be a full range of bandanas, in both greyhound and whippet sizes, including our new designs, Pink Starburst, Pink Owls, Red Owls and Orange Butterflies. My personal prediction is that the Orange Butterflies are going to fly off to new homes very rapidly.

We’ll also have two entirely new products – the first will be our Hi Viz Greyhound Coats. These are made from the same fabric used for human safety wear and using safety reflective tape. With dark winter evenings coming up, I think these will be popular.

Secondly, we’ll also have our new Dog Training Beds. This is a nifty little portable dog bed which I’ve created to fill a need. Taking greyhounds to classes inevitably means that they will be asked to do a Down or lie on a cold, hard floor, and as we all know, that’s something pointies simply don’t do. At home we have duvets folded into quarters, but a standard duvet cover isn’t very robust and can easily unfold. So we’ve created a dog bed which is filled by a folded single duvet, with a soft, cosy fleece topside. Underneath, it’s made from hardwearing cotton drill and has strips of “slipper grip” fabric sewn on to stop it sliding about.  It’s fastened by a zip and is easily washable. Just fill with a single duvet, and you’ve got a comfy, non slip nest for your hound whenever they are at training class. I’ll be doing another email about these in the future when we have them on the website, and a few more pictures. 

Here are our top tips for getting the best out of the day:

  • In previous years, the cash machine on the racecourse has run out of money. We are always happy to take card or PayPal payments on our stall, and increasingly, more stalls do, but top up with cash before you enter the site.      
  • Pre-register for classes. It saves a lot of time and effort on the day, (and saves your precious cash!) and all competitors get a beautiful commemorative rosette - pre-registration entry
  • You won’t find a finer place for greyhound related Christmas shopping. There will be many stalls selling beautiful Christmas cards, and every imaginable sort of greyhound related gift – jewellery, ornaments, china, artwork and clothing plus of course items for your hound – greyhound coats and collars especially, but also tassels, leads, beds, treats, muzzles, food, supplements, etc. 
  • There’s usually a professional photographer on site, who takes pictures when you are in the ring. You can then order prints from them afterwards. If you wait to the end of the afternoon for collecting the prints, the queue is a mile long, so pick them up earlier!
  • It’s not just for greyhounds. Other sighthounds are out in force – it’s great to see galgos, lurchers, whippets and Borzois strolling about, and there are quite a few non pointies who you see too. 
  • If you are thinking of buying something from us, take advantage of our free Reserve and Collect service.  Just This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to tell us what item you’re interested in, and we’ll put this aside for you. When you’re ready, just come over, pay and collect. If you wish, we can even hang on to it, if you don’t want to lug it round the show. 
  • At the show, we have samples of every size of coat, and swatches of all our fabric. You can discuss things like bespoke orders with us, and we encourage your hound to try on any item, whether it’s a bandana or a coat. If you’re particularly interested in a specific coat, I really do recommend using the reservation service – it’s such a big show, we regularly sell out of popular sizes and colours. However, if your particular size has sold out, don’t worry – we post out any item ordered on the day free of charge.
  • It gets very crowded around the show rings and near the trade stands. It’s not the best place to bring a reactive dog.         

There’s lots more information about the Great Greyhound Gathering on the RGT website.

Published: 11th September 2015