Paw Power goes Platinum as Suffolk Dog Day returns to Helmingham Hall

Suffolk’s favourite date in the canine calendar returns to the stunning surrounding of Helmingham Hall on July 31st and organisers at Suffolk Community Foundation are planning a doggy day out for all the family with a distinctly royal flavour.

With anticipated crowds of over 6,000 people and their pooches, Suffolk dog lovers affectionately known as ‘The Woofers’ will take to the stunning Suffolk countryside for furry frolics on two legs and four.

Suffolk Dog Day press photo of a crowd of people and their dogs with Helmingham Hall in the background

The Royal Seven

In celebration of HM Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, hundreds of Suffolk dog lovers have already cast their votes online as the search continues to discover which breeds will make up ‘The Royal Seven’. The winning breeds will be invited to take to the show rings in special purple carpet parades.

Classes will include a Royal Red, White & Blue fancy dress competition and the return of many of Suffolk Dog Day favourites including Next Top Model, Bad Hair Day, For Your Eyes Only, Best Movement and Two of a Kind.

Doggy demonstrations will include Canine Massage, Dog Grooming, Skinners Nutrition, Behavioural Dog Training and Headway’s Brain Dogs Projects with the ‘Have A Go Zone’ including flyball, beat the clock agility and ‘Dog Bale’ and ‘Water’ Scurries.

Suffolk Dog Day press photo of woman squatting down and cuddling large furry dog
Suffolk Dog Day press photo of red setter dog jumping up at two people standing

Sprinkling the Stardust

Tim Holder, Head of Public Affairs at Suffolk Community Foundations says ‘We are really honoured that Suffolk Dog Day has been invited to make its return to Helmingham as part of The Festival of Suffolk and HM Queen’s celebrations. We are going to sprinkle some stardust, spread some happiness, raise vital funds for Suffolk’s charities and make the whole day a right royal affair.’

Adding the stardust will be Blue Peter and Crufts broadcasting legend Peter Purves, former About Anglia presenter and novelist Christine Webber, BBC Radio Suffolk’s Mark Murphy and Luke Deal and Suffolk’s very own Royal Ballet star Gary Avis MBE appearing as presenters and special guest judges in the Helmingham and Suffolk Rings.

Suffolk Dog Day, sponsored by Skinner’s Pet Foods and Poundgates, has always donated every penny raised to support Suffolk charities, over £600,000 over the past 12 years.

Suffolk Dog Day ‘Top Dog’ volunteer leader is Richard Cooper ‘We are so pleased that our sponsors and volunteers are returning to help us deliver the day.  We wouldn’t exist without their support and it’s really humbling to see what an amazing event and special atmosphere they all create for us. Suffolk has waited three long years for Suffolk Dog Day’s return and we look forward to seeing the great big smiles and wagging takes back at Helmingham.’

Suffolk Dog Day press photo of small dog in a wicker basket wearing a red & white check neckerchief
Suffolk Dog Day press photo of family group and their large dog walking onon pathway

Happy Hub

All dog owners know what happiness a hound can bring, but particularly during the pandemic, our four-legged friends have provided an important life-line for many people of all ages. This year ‘The Poundgates Happy Hub’ will be providing a chill out area and showcasing the great work of three Suffolk charities who bring happiness to all corners of the county, including ‘Our Special Friends’ who put the power of animal companionship at the heart of all the wonderful work they do.

The Rural Coffee Caravan is delighted to be another one of those charities, so do come and say ‘hello’ to us in the Happy Hub whilst you’re at the show!

Suffolk Dog Day photo of a man and a woman walking their two large dogs into front of a background of a crowd of people and their dogs and trade stands at the Suffolk Dog Day event in 2019
Suffolk Dog Day press photo of dog jumping hurdles on a dog agility course

Event Producer, Laura Ripman says: ‘Everyone has pulled together to make sure that this is our best Suffolk Dog Day ever! We see families returning year after year, but with so many people owning a dog for the first-time during lockdown, we look forward to seeing lots of new faces. Owning a dog seems to remove all barriers and our day at Helmingham is always a wonderful community celebration. This isn’t Crufts, it’s not about doggy excellence in that way – it’s an event by the people of Suffolk for the people of Suffolk. It’s ‘pawfectly’ timed to get people out and about.

Tickets and Entry

Tickets are available on the day priced at £13 for adults and £5 for children with a family ticket (2 adults and up to three children under 16) for a very reasonable £30. Parking is FREE as is the full colour event programme and entry to Helmingham Hall’s award-winning gardens.

Gates open at 10.00am with classes commencing at 10.45. For more information about the day and to cast your vote for The Suffolk Dog Day’s ‘Royal Seven’ please visit

For further information about Suffolk Dog Day please contact Tim Holder, Head of Public Affairs at Suffolk Community Foundation. Email: or call 01473 602602

Article by Suffolk Community Foundation. Photos by Ian Lipman.

Suffolk Community Foundation is an independent grant-maker, connecting causes that matter with people who care. They support Suffolk’s High Sheriff with their annual awards and manage the High Sheriff’s Fund. Their website can be found at: