Greyhound Extravaganza 2016

It’s only a few days now to one of our favourite dates in the calendar. We’ll be making the long trek eastward to the Retired Greyhound Trust's Greyhound Extravaganza, held as usual at the Animal Health Trust just outside Newmarket on Sunday 29th May.

If you’ve never been before, what can you expect? The venue is lovely with plenty of parking, and a lovely big green field with lots of space for picnics. There will be lots of trade stands (including us, of course!), with a really nice mix of specialist traders and plenty of charity stalls, all selling a wide range of gorgeous goodies for you and your hounds. There’s always catering, and I especially like the fact that there is always a specialist veggie/vegan caterer as well as the usual food offerings.

There’s a fabulous dog show with four rings of classes, mostly for greyhounds as you’d expect but plenty for non-greyhounds too. I’m taking Dixie into the class for lurchers and galgos, and Callie has been entered into a couple of the greyhound classes including the wonderfully named “Stolen Body Parts” class! In case you’re wondering (I didn’t have a clue when I first saw it) this class is for greyhounds who’ve had something removed e.g. a toe, a leg, part of a tail etc. Callie qualifies as she no longer has any of her teeth and she has lost part of her nose (an accident in her racing days).

My top tip is to pre-enter. The link above takes you to the online form which is quick and simple to use. This saves lots of time, and also ensures you are not using up precious cash on the day.

It’s also a really lovely day to meet up with friends. It’s hugely sociable and one of the nicest parts of it is simply gazing out over the field, seeing so many beautiful happy hounds and lots of equally happy owners enjoying the sunshine, a picnic and a chat with their friends.

Worth noting there’s no cash machine on site and although we are always happy to take card payments or you can use PayPal via your smartphone, many of the smaller stalls will be cash only.

What will you see on the Milgi Coats stall? We’ll be bringing along Dixie our little lurcher and Callie, one of our greyhounds, so please do come along and say hi to the girls (Sara will be at home with her grandhounds being fed sausages and generally spoilt). You will probably have seen their pictures many times on our website and Facebook page, and if you have ever been tempted by the thought of a snog from a supermodel, now’s your chance. We will have our usual assortment of dog bandanas (always very popular on summer occasions) including a brand new fabric print that we are introducing this year for the first time. There will also be our gorgeous fleeces and we are working on bringing plenty of our new quilted greyhound raincoats. They are gorgeous, and the cerise and royal blue are especially eye-catching plus if time permits we’ll be showcasing a new colour as well. If you’ve been tempted by some of the pictures of our new blanket range, you’ll be able to have a look at some samples and we are always happy to discuss how they can be personalised in all sorts of interesting ways.

I’m especially pleased that Nina will be joining us from our workshop. It’s always a treat for all the Milgi Coats team to meet the dogs in the flesh that we may only have seen in pictures previously and we also know that many of our customers love the chance to say hi to the person who’s made their coat. We are absolutely rock solid in our commitment to manufacturing in the UK - we may not be the cheapest as a result, but you can be proud to know you are helping to create and sustain employment and training in a safe workplace.

One of the things people like about the stall is that you are always welcome to try a coat on your dog and discuss with us doing a bespoke item if it’s between sizes or a slightly unusual figure (often the case with lurchers, who will have a very wide variety of shapes depending on their cross). We also aim to carry samples of all our current fabric range including fleece, cotton, waterproof, twill etc so you can have a look at colours if you are wondering about matching to a particular item such as a collar, lead etc.

We can’t possibly bring every size in every colour to our show days (not without hiring a very large truck!) so we offer free postage to any coat ordered on the day and also a free Reserve and Collect service. Drop us an email to let us know what size and colour you want, we’ll bring it with us and then you just need to turn up, pay and collect your goodies. We’ll even hang on to it for you while you are browsing the other stalls if you ask nicely.

All we need now is guaranteed sunshine!

Published: May 21st 2016