Just had this from Paul Keevil of British Heritage Dog Breeds:
The Worlds largest ever Sussex Spaniel Gathering - and its in Sussex!
Over the weekend of 19th and 20th June The Sussex Spaniel Association, in association with Countryman Fairs Ltd, will be holding, what they hope will be the worlds largest ever gathering of the breed in one place at The Sussex Game and Country Fair, Parham Park, Storrington, Sussex. The Sussex Spaniel is one of the UK's rarest dog breeds and is now officially recognised as an endangered British Heritage Dog Breed, because of the breeds very low numbers.
The breed will have a presence both days, but a "mass gathering" on the Sunday should see at least 75 examples of the breed present to meet and greet visitors as owners, breeders and enthusiasts, attend the event. As a guide, last year the Kennel Club registered just 60 new Sussex Spaniel puppies, whilst during the same period over 22,200 Cocker Spaniel Puppies and over 45,000 Labradors were registered!
Club representatives will be on hand throughout the weekend to promote the breed, answer questions and educate visitors on the history of this remarkable dog’s survival from the threat of extinction. Originating from the Country of Sussex and present in the UK since the 1800s, the Sussex Spaniel was founded by a Mr Augustus Elliott Fuller who bred the dogs and worked them on his land. At the end of World War II only 7 dogs were thought to have survived and Mrs Joy Freer devoted her life to the breeds survival and to this day Sussex’s can be traced down this line and to this point in history. Thus the Sussex Spaniel gathering at this years Sussex Game and Country Fair will be a momentous occasion indeed. The breed will be paraded in the main ring on Saturday at 12 noon and on Sunday at 11am and 2pm.
The Sussex Spaniel Associations is also keen to promote the working capabilities of the breed, encouraging their uses out amongst the shooting community. Whether it be out on a shoot, in field trials or working the open field the Sussex Spaniel remains a loyal and versatile breed, working tirelessly out on the field as well as a faithful and beautiful family companion. the Association welcomes all those interested in the breed and particularly those who own Sussex’s to join up.