For the love of dogs: Goodwoof festival celebrates our four-legged friends

Goodwoof will celebrate our four-legged friends (Credit: Mike Caldwell)
Goodwoof will celebrate our four-legged friends (Credit: Mike Caldwell)

The grounds of Goodwood House will be taken over by dogs this May, with the launch of Goodwoof, a new event celebrating our canine chums.

The 2020 event, on May 24 and 25, is described as ‘not just a dog show’ but ‘a canine extravaganza in the rolling fields of one of Britain’s most beautiful country estates’.

Goodwoof will feature a line-up of activities to entertain dogs and their human companions. From competitions and demonstrations to play and pampering, from trails and treats to wellness and nutrition, it will be a feast of family-friendly fun.

Dogs have always been at the heart of life at Goodwood; the 3rd Duke commissioned the architect James Wyatt to create what we now know as The Kennels – a technically advanced building described as ‘the most luxurious dog house in the world’, which featured central heating long before Goodwood House was so-equipped. That dog-first mindset will be evident at Goodwoof, with a wealth of canine content.

There will be competitive disciplines and world-class demonstrations to watch, and opportunities for owners and their dogs to have a go themselves. The skills and requirements of working and rescue dogs will be on show, alongside a full centre dedicated to canine and human health and performance, a dog friendly open-air cinema, and a bespoke selection of high-end retailers, all accompanied by a range of food and drink to keep everyone in the pack well-fed and watered.

In the spirit of Wyatt’s building, Goodwoof will present a collection of 21st century kennels, designed by the great and the good of modern architecture. The display of dog architecture – ‘barkitecture’ – will be the subject of a grand charity auction after the event, at which guests can bid to own a barkitectural masterpiece, in aid of the charity Canine Partners.

With 2020 being the 75th anniversary of VE Day, Goodwoof will also remember the largely unsung role that dogs played in World War II with a moving and engaging tribute to the brave four-legged soldiers who were very much at the heart of the British Army.

The Duke of Richmond and Gordon said: “Many people I know share the 3rd Duke’s philosophy; they would far rather spend time and money on their dogs than they would on their human guests! 

“To this day, Goodwood is an entirely dog-friendly estate – dogs can stay at the Hotel, accompany their owners in the restaurants, and even join our Members’ clubhouse, The Kennels. We thought that it was only fitting to dedicate an entire event to them, just as we do with cars and horses at our other flagship meetings.”

Tickets have gone on sale, with adult prices starting at £19.50, 12 years of age and under go free. Please call 01243 216610 or visit Goodwood.com/goodwoof for tickets and further information.