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18th January 2010

Petplan Junior Stakes 2010 shows announced

Petplan, the UK’s largest pet insurance provider, has announced the General Championship Shows that will host this year’s Petplan Junior Stakes Qualifiers. In an exciting new facelift for the competition the four chosen shows are: Scottish Kennel Club (May), Southern Counties, Blackpool and the City of Birmingham while Manchester’s 2011 show has been added to host the final.

Late last year Petplan decided to revamp the competition, which they have sponsored for over 10 years, to raise its profile and attract more dog lovers to the shows. General Championship Shows were invited to submit proposals to Petplan with a view to being one of four shows that would be chosen to host the 2010 heats, each receiving considerable financial and marketing assistance from Petplan.

Petplan Marketing Manager Alison Andrew commented, “We were delighted with the response from the General Championship Shows who wanted to be part of this exciting new competition and I’d like to thank the 13 shows that took the time to make a submission.

“It was a very tough decision and I think that is reflected by us selecting a fifth show to host the final. We’re looking forward to working each show and I have no doubt this year’s Petplan Junior Stakes will be bigger and better than ever.”

The spread of the four shows means that dogs born between 21st November 2008 and 3rd March 2010 will be eligible to compete in this year’s competition.

The major difference this year will be that, at each of the four shows, one representative will be chosen from each of the seven groups, giving the slower maturing breeds a better chance of attending the Petplan Junior Stakes Final at Manchester. Consequently a total of 28 dogs will qualify for the final, regardless of sex.

Prize money will be awarded in each of the seven classes at the four shows of £30, £20, £15, £10 and £5, with a special rosette and commemorative prize for the winners.

In anticipation of increased attendance by general public Petplan is also preparing a booklet which will explain the basics of dog showing. It is also intended to have expert “guides” available at the host shows who can take newcomers and members of the public around the show, explaining the judging system. As well as this Petplan will have a hospitality area at each show.

The Scottish Kennel Club is one of the few representative shows at which Kennel Club Challenge Certificates are available for all eligible breeds. Held at the permanent Ingliston showground on the outskirts of Edinburgh it has the advantage of a large population base nearby and in addition to the conformation show encompasses Championship Obedience and Agility shows, KC Good Citizen tests, YKC and JHA handling classes as well as offering eye testing and microchipping facilities.

Myra Orr, the Scottish Kennel Club secretary said, “The Scottish Kennel Club is delighted that its May Championship Show has been chosen to host one of the new Petplan Junior Stakes 2010.

“We look forward to working with Petplan and with their support we're confident that our show will attract a good entry, generate a positive message to the public on the benefits of dog ownership and demonstrate all that can be enjoyed from attending dog shows.”

Southern Counties, now settled into its Newbury venue which is situated just off the M4 motorway, has long prided itself on being an “exhibitors’ show” with many attractions including special Charity stakes classes.

On behalf of its committee and its exhibitors Southern Counties Chairman, David Cavill, said that he was absolutely delighted with the news that the Association had been selected to run one of the four heats of the Petplan Junior Stakes competition.

“To be held in such high regard by one of the most respected companies within the world of dogs is, in itself, an accolade and is a reflection of the support the Association has had over the years from exhibitors and the hard work put in by its committee and its many friends from stewards and judges to contractors and trade stand holders.”

Blackpool owns its own showground and has become known as one of the most progressive shows in the country. Being held in the summer in a popular holiday area, it always has a large public attendance and is well known as a local attraction, enjoying great support from the local council.

Secretary Steve Hall said, “The Officers and Committee of Blackpool Championship Show were delighted to be one of the four selected General Championship Shows to host the fully revamped Petplan Junior Stakes. Particularly we like the forward thinking of this Petplan team, with a more even spread of competitors competing in the final as never before. The Petplan presence and promotion hopefully will be second to none for a UK general championship show.”

The City of Birmingham show is held in the centre of the country at the National Agricultural Centre at Stoneleigh, home to the Kennel Club’s new building which has already hosted countless shows and seminars. Furthermore, for the first time last year, Rare Breed Club shows were held in the KC building during the City show, thus enabling exhibitors of these breeds to enjoy “back to back” shows. Amongst its innovations is a programme for training ring stewards over a period of time.

Chairman Bill King said, “The City is delighted to have been selected to hold a heat for the Petplan Junior Stakes in 2010. We look forward to continuing our very long association with Petplan and to being part of their new exciting new Junior Stakes format".

The Final of the Petplan Junior Stakes will be held at the popular New Bingley Hall venue in Stafford on Wednesday, January 19th 2011, the day before Manchester Dog Show Society will be celebrating its 150th anniversary.

Manchester’s Secretary Paul Harding commented “Manchester is delighted to be chosen to host the final of the Petplan Junior Stakes at Stafford, the day before our Championship show, when we will be celebrating a landmark in the society’s history. We look forward to welcoming both exhibitors and judges to this prestigious event at a venue so easily reached by all.”

Notes to editors

Petplan is the largest pet insurance provider in the world, offering comprehensive lifetime pet insurance cover for dogs, cats and rabbits.

Established more than 30 years ago, it is part of Allianz Insurance, one of the largest general insurers in the UK.

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