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Show Dogs Complement Travel & Tourism for Scarlett

They say you shouldn’t mix business with pleasure but that’s not the case for Scarlett Burnside who finds that her passion for showing dogs mixes perfectly with her studies at SERC’s Downpatrick Campus.  

Scarlett (18) from Saintfield, a Level 3 Travel and Tourism student at SERCs Downpatrick Campus has recently returned from Crufts where she has been showing several dogs and has been awarded 2nd in Open Dog with Hansel and Fudge got 3rd in Puppy Dogs and 4th in Junior Dog. Her Hungarian Vizsla, Logan also came 2nd in Open Dog and her Bernese Mountain dog, Dylan was shortlisted from 20 dogs to the final 7 in Open Dog category. Tibetan Mastiff, Nero, came 3rd in Open Dog. Chelsea, her English Pointer came 6th in Young Kennel Club Junior Handling.  

Scarlett said, “I got involved in show dogs through my mother. She took her first dog to show when she was only 7 years old. I showed my first dog when I was 14, taking part in competitions across Ireland and the UK.  From the age of 16, I have been showing dogs abroad and have been to Croatia, Canada, Luxembourg and France. The travel to shows sits very nicely with my Travel & Tourism course as I get to see and experience different countries and cultures and see how the whole tourism sector works for shows like Crufts.  It is a huge market out there, with people travelling from across the world to take part.   There is a bit of jugging with studies, as there is grooming, well-being and exercise of the dogs every day but mostly it is every weekend that I am involved the shows.  

She added, “I love dogs and all animals. It was brilliant to be at Crufts where your dogs are competing with 22,000 other dogs, so any result is tremendous. I hope to show in Austria at the European Dog Show, one of the biggest shows this year.  

When asked what advice she would give anyone wishing to get involved in show dogs she said, “You need a lot of time and commitment, but it is very rewarding. You also need to be prepared to take criticism for your beloved show dog.”

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