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Buckham Fair 2015 - preview

PUBLISHED: 12:03 29 June 2015 | UPDATED: 12:03 29 June 2015

Martin proudly showing one of his Clydesdales in the display ring at Buckham. Photo: Jennie Hill

Martin proudly showing one of his Clydesdales in the display ring at Buckham. Photo: Jennie Hill


With a novelty dog show and equine fancy dress, Buckham Fair certainly puts the fun into fundraising, as Helen Stiles discovers

Hosted by Martin and Philippa Clunes on their gorgeous farm near Beaminster Buckham Fair is a delightful charity dog and pony show, and it’s a great day out for all the family. The popular local event, which is on Sunday 23 August, raises money for Dorset charities and this year it’s for Julia’s House children’s hospice. This wonderful organisation provides support for families in Dorset and Wiltshire who have children with life limiting conditions.

Started back in 2008, Buckham Fair is now a well established fixture in Dorset’s summer calendar and draws in dog, pony and Clunes fans in from far and wide, even from across the globe! There were well over 12,000 visitors to last year’s event and £70,000 was raised by Buckham for Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance.

Part of the fair’s appeal is the great sense of fun that runs throughout the day such as the Novelty Dog Show. Where else could you just pitch up and enter your dog for classes such as Waggiest Tail, Best Trick, Fancy Dress and Dog Most Like Its Owner and have your class judged by Martin Clunes in person! Buckham also hosts the heart warming final of Best Recue Dog of the Year. There are plenty more canine capers including the TV Stunt Dogs. Watch out for Dodger the wire haired Jack Russell from ITV’s Doc Martin, who will be putting Martin through his paces (or should I say running rings around him) in the display arena!

For budding William Fox-Pitts and Mary Kings the gymkhana offers young riders the chance to show off their skills in the ring, there’s also the adorable Pony Fancy Dress, judged by equine fashion guru Philippa Clunes. The Heavy Horse village, now a regular event at Buckham, features Martin’s own magnificent Clydesdales and stars of TV Ronnie and Bruce. They and Martin will be decked out in all their horsey finery.

In addition to all this thrilling hoof and paw action, there is a delicious local food court, scumptuous teas, wonderful local crafts and a fun fair with a big wheel, helter skelter and dodgems.

The main sponsor for Buckham is local solicitors, Kitson and Trotman who have a strong local presence in the community they have been serving for over 250 years. But you too could be a sponsor of Buckham. Sponsorship starts from £25, or if you go for £150 option can have your photo taken with Martin on the day. Download a sponsorship form at where you will also find details of all the dog and pony events you can enter.

So make a date for Buckham Fair: Sunday 23 August gates open at 9am.



Interview with Buckham Fair founders Martin and Philippa Clunes - Martin Clunes is the Doctor Dolittle of TV comedy. Acting might be his day job but animals are his passion. The Doc Martin stalwart houses a veritable menagerie at his Beaminster estate.


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