Yarcombe Terrier Racing celebrates 40th anniversary

John Salter and James the dog. John Salter and James the dog.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014
2:10 PM

The annual event celebrates its 40th year of racing.

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Yarcombe Terrier Racing is celebrating a significant milestone – its 40th year of racing.

The event was started by farmer John Salter and others in the village, and has grown from strength to strength over the years.

It attracts hundreds of visitors as well as locals every year, who come to watch and compete in the races.

John, who is 83, said: “I never expected it to get as big as it is now.”

The racing event was inspired by a similar terrier race held in Yorkshire.

When it was first started organisers had to form a Yarcombe Terrier Racing Club and those attending had to be made members.

Race tickets could not be sold for more than 10p each and the first race cages for the dogs were built from tea chests.

Dogs of all shapes and sizes compete in the event.

“It has got bigger,” adds John. “A lot of people like to see their dogs run.

“We see a nice lot of people come into the village.”

Eight races are held with eight dogs competing in different classes.

Yarcombe Terrier Racing was set up to raise funds for the local parish church, St John the Baptist, which it continues to do so.

The whole village rallies to help with preparations for the event, which takes two days to set up.

John will be taking a step back from the race event and handing over the reins to others in the village to organise. However, he admits he will still get involved and will be entering a dog every year.

He said: “I just hope it carries on as it is.”

This year’s event takes place on Saturday, August 2, and gates open at 5pm with the first race at 6pm.

There will also be a bar, raffle, food, bouncy castle and other stalls.

Otter Brewery will be serving a special commemorative beer called Hot Terrier, to mark the occasion.

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