Chichester and District Canine Society started in 1969 and the first Committee included the following people:-
Patron – The late Lavinia Duchess of Norfolk
(later followed by her daughter Lady Sarah Clutton).
Dr. P. Crawford-Wallace and later, Miss N Leibert and Brian Hall
Jane Blythe who had Dalmatians
Pat Challis with Papillons
Edith Laughlin with Miniature Poodles
Mrs A Scott with Cocker Spaniels
Patsy Cherney with Miniature Poodles
Jean Cox with C.K.C.S.
Brian Hines and Ivan Parsons with Chihuahuas
Since the establishment of the club in 1969 many venues have hosted the clubs Open Shows. Among those were Bosham Recreation Ground, the now demolished Rex on Bognor Regis sea front, Fontwell Race Course and Goodwood Equestrian Centre. A favourite venue, Stocklands Equestrian Centre, in Liphook, Hampshire, was used for ten years until the venue was sold and no longer available for dog shows. Although further from the clubs' area, it was a popular venue, with a covered arena and lots of car parking. The last recorded Open Show at Stocklands was in October 1989, a two day showwoth 200 classes and an entry of 774.
The club moved the twice yearly Open Shows to the current show venue, Arun Leisure Centre, in 1990, although the club had been using this venue for it's Limited Shows from 1981. Although The Arun Leisure Centre was within the clubs area, the catchment area for exhibitors was greatly reduced and entry numbers slowly declined.
The followed a period of adjustment, shows became one day, classes ranged from 150 for the 21st Anniversary show in 1990 with an entry of 738 to only 75 classes in January 1991 with an entry of 383.
By 2000 the situation had reversed with the October show had become the least attended show and the January Show had become more popular. When the Kennel Club started reducing numbers of Open Shows in 2004, the desicion was made to drop the October Show.
Entry numbers fluctuated for a while, however the 2015 Open Show recently had an entry of over 700 dogs.
Ringcraft has always been very important to Chichester and District Canine Society, our trainers love to see puppies develop and evolve into confident showdogs. Some of our puppies have become champions and gone on to win groups and Best in Show, one or two have even been top dog in their breed. But even those that do not aspire to such glory share many years of fun and interest, know that most dogs love to show and socialise, they revel in the attention and working with the person they love (and of course the treats help!!).
Halls are not always easy to find and initially we moved around. Starting in the Chichester Market when the Committee served free tea, coffee, sandwiches and cakes then Hunston Village Hall, the Regnum Guide Hall and the Scout Hut behind the Police Station all played a part before we settled at Lavant Memorial Hall towards the end of 1984. This hall has seen many different activities, Exemption (Companion) shows, a very overcrowded
Limited show judged by Mr & Mrs Les Crawley with one ring inside and the second out in the rain and cars parked far up the road. Challenge matches too numerous to mention but including our Ruby Anniversary, and our regular social events the summer BBQ and the Christmas party. Many will remember the year the hall flooded just as the food was served, water poured in through the back door and several fireman poured in through the front door and ordered us to evacuate the building, within minutes the hall was flooded to nearly a foot deep. I hope the firemen enjoyed their unexpected supper!!
Education is always important and our committee have always been keen to run seminars, some on general subjects like first aid, homeopathy and grooming, but others are more intense and include stewarding and the Kennel Club judging seminars.