The original idea for a relaxing, week-long holiday with agility was born over a glass of wine or two in 1991 by Rosemary and Ian Stowers during an evening with Gerry and Sheila Eckersley. The initial plan was to hold the show for one year only. Thirty plus years later Dogs in Need is still going strong. The show is bigger but the basic format has not changed much. Ian Stowers found some of his old working copies of the first five years’ schedules and wondered if anyone would still be interested...

A Show Committee was recruited the next day to take on the different responsibilities. Ian Stowers shared the show management with Gerry Eckersley, and Rosemary Stowers, whose idea it was originally, became Show Secretary while Sheila Eckersley took on the rosettes and trophies. Ann Roberts took on the job of Treasurer and Gwyn Roberts was Entertainments Manager. Brian Southon looked after the Minis while Leslie Reid was in charge of the Juniors, mainly because her daughter was quite young then. Let's not forget Fran Graham who came on as Hinckley and provided the first KC show licence.

For the first year, some of the paperwork was done at Ian and Rosemary’s home including preparing the ring cards, kindly donated by Dave Ray on behalf of Pedigree Chum, with running orders.

The first show in 1992 had six rings and took place at the Three Counties Showground (Malvern) where it was held there for the next three years. Due to the showground working on a different calendar - and after much searching - a new venue was found. The Dogs in Need Agility Show moved to its current venue in Suffolk.

The Committee worked hard to promote the show as a 'people's show and a holiday with agility.' They used to create all sorts of novelty classes including a mountain bike Jumping class where the handler had to manoeuvre around half the course on a bike followed by a Jumping round. It was then that one handler, Denis Macaulay, a paramedic, broke his collarbone. There was a Knockout class that finished in the dark and so on. There was even a class for people who helped but didn't run a dog! And that was the start of Helping Hands.

Despite the massive increase in size, we still try to retain the holiday atmosphere, with the added buzz of competition and that ‘feel-good’ feeling that our enjoyment is helping many charities. Every year, many thousands are distributed because of YOUR generosity, so enjoy yourself – you deserve it! To get a really warm glow, read the thanks and testimonials on display in the information centre. With your help and support, Dogs in Need has shown these hard-working people that they ARE noticed and appreciated, and hopefully we’ve helped them to carry on when the going’s got tough.

We extend huge thanks to all our sponsors who help us to raise funds by sponsoring individual classes, doggy businesses, local businesses, clubs and individuals, all help to raise funds for those important smaller charities. Fancy a class named after YOUR club next year? Or to record a special occasion? Have a chat with Rosemary and she’ll be only too happy to help.

We need your help to run this show –560 people just to keep the rings running smoothly. Camping is limited to 800 units and preference will be given to helpers. Please complete the Helpers Form if you are willing to help. YOU DON'T HAVE TO CAMP, OR EVEN RUN A DOG, TO HELP - THE MORE THE MERRIER (AND EASIER!). It's a great way to meet new people and make new friends. The more helpers, the less for each one to do and the more we can all have a holiday. And please help the helpers - the boot may be on your foot the next day! Don’t worry if you’ve never helped on a ring before – now is the perfect time to have a go. Start gently with putting up poles, and you’ll soon be running the tablets like a pro.

Below is the first DINAS Schedule

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