RESCUE dogs who take the prize ribbons at this year’s Buckham Fair will also take record prize money.

Martin Clunes’ successful fundraising Buckham Fair – which raised £66,00 for Weldmar Hospice last year – includes a rescue dog championship which now has £1,500 in sponsorship.

More than 50 rescue dogs will compete for one of the most valuable competitions in the country for rescue dogs.

And the winners will have the privilege of meeting last year’s winner – also now a Crufts champion – who was rescued from near death in Afghanistan.

Last year’s winner Whylie, owned by Sarah Singleton, from Yeovil, hit the headlines earlier this year when he won the prestigious Scruffts award at Crufts for half-bred dogs.

Whylie was rescued from Afghanistan by the charity Nowzad.

He had been mutilated and his ears and tail were cut off after he was used as a fighting dog by local Afghans in Kandahar. His new owner says she and her brave and extraordinary dog will be in the main ring at Buckham Fair to see who will succeed him as this year’s champ.

The championship prize money will be distributed to rescue dog organisations nominated by the first six placed prize winners.

Sponsors solicitors Kitson & Trotman and veterinary surgeons Girling and Bowditch are joined this year by a third sponsor tt4t, a Devon-based management company.

During the summer months qualifying rounds have been held at dog shows in Somerset, Dorset and Devon.

The qualifiers come under the watchful eye of TV star Martin and three other judges, with the champion receiving £350 to go to their chosen dog charity.

This year’s Buckham Fair, run by Philippa and Martin Clunes at their Beaminster home, is on August 17.

Full details can be found at

This year the chosen charity at Buckham Fair is the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance.