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A perfect partnership

Once again the APAA Scruffts dog show will be sponsored by the British pet food company Skinner’s, a partnership that continues to flourish as the company supports this important charity event in the Algarve.

Skinner’s were approached by MyFriend, their distributor in Portugal, last year asking if they would be interested in sponsoring the APAA’s Annual Scruffts Dog of the Year Show. Skinner’s agreed as they felt this fundraising charity event was a very worthy cause to support and they were already aware of the large ex-pat community, many of whom buy Skinner’s themselves.

Last September they sent one of their Sales Managers, Martin Knock, to Portugal to support the event with a trade stand and dog food samples and they sponsored the show by providing prizes for the class winners.

Following the success of last year’s show, they offered sponsorship for Scruffts again in 2011 and Martin is looking forward to returning to Portugal later this year.

Based in the small village of Stradbroke in Suffolk, the Skinner family have been making animal foods for seven generations. Records show that the Mill in Stradbroke was in existence as far back as 1688.

However, their long history does not mean that they are trapped in the past; their own Suffolk Mill is amongst the most sophisticated manufacturing plants in the UK. They manufacture all their products at their site, enabling them to monitor the quality of ingredients and finished product very carefully.

They know exactly what goes into their products and only select the finest natural ingredients. They proudly state their foods are formulated to a specification – never a price.

Through years of experience producing high quality dog foods, Skinner’s understand dogs and know the importance of feeding the correct foods to maintain all round good health including coat condition, stamina and energy levels, temperament, stool quality and most importantly maintaining the correct weight.

As well as Scruffts, Skinner’s sponsor many field trials, working tests, dog shows and events throughout the UK and Europe. Skinner’s host “The World Cup Retriever Event” each year attracting some of the world’s top dogs and handlers to compete for the prestigious title. They are also proud sponsors of the England Gundog Team and have been for the last 27 years.

Meanwhile, new features to the Scruffts show have been announced by the APAA.

Alan Camplin-Smith, the President of the APAA, said: “One of the innovations this year will be a Catwalk for Dogs. At 1.15pm and again at 1.45pm we will run an “ah, look!” parade of dogs looking for a home. Our compere will introduce each dog, talk a little about its background and which charity is caring for it. We hope this initiative will encourage people to offer homes to some, if not all, of the dogs strutting their stuff on the catwalk.”  

This year, also, there will be two special classes just before the lunch break when the audience will choose the winners! These are the ‘People’s Favourite Dog (Mixed Breed)’ and ‘People’s Favourite Dog (Pedigree)’ classes.

Members of the audience will be given voting slips and these will be counted during the lunch hour.

After lunch the contestants and their handlers will again be invited into the ring and the winner of each class announced.

Dr Bruno Silva from Vilamoura will be Scruffts Vet of the Day this year and he has applied to the Ministry of Agriculture for the relevant licence for us to hold the Show.

Under the terms of the licence all dogs attending the Show must have a current rabies vaccination. Where this is the first rabies vaccination for the dog it must be given by not later than August 27 (three weeks before Scruffts).

Owners/handlers will be required to show the certificate of vaccination before entry to the Show.

The Scruffts Committee is still looking for face-painters to paint the faces of children entering the ‘Dog and Young Handler Lookalike’ class.

Children entering that class will be given a voucher to pay for their face-painting and face-painters will be given a free stand at Scruffts.

Another first this year will be a Craft Fair in the pavilion which should solve the problem of previous years when greetings cards, small paintings, etc., were whisked away by the wind. The crafts on offer will be many and varied from original paintings through jams, chutneys and marmalades to soft toys, make-up and jewellery. APAA will also run its own ‘shop’ selling good quality bric-a-brac, toys, games and books in Portuguese, English, German and Dutch.