The Gilford Terrier & Lurcher Club was formed in 1996 in the County Down village of Gilford in Northern Ireland. The village is a former mill town with its roots going back to the halcyon days of the linen industry in Ireland. Straddling the River Bann, the countryside around Gilford is rich, farming land, set in gently rolling hills that are characteristic of this part of Ireland.
Terriers and lurchers have traditionally been the working man's dogs and the history of Gilford, with its linen mill, mill cottages and Castle, lends to the traditional idea that these are still the artisan's dogs of choice.
"A lurcher is not a breed of dog, it is a type of dog"
Words that have more than a modicum of truth contained within. Lurchers are running dogs with a long and proud history and a dedicated following
Whereas in the rest of Britain the main bloodlines for lurchers were traditionally a greyhound/saluki cross, in Ireland the preferred cross was that of a greyhound and a collie for hares and rabbits or a whippet and a Bedlington terrier for rabbiting. Other combinations for foxing came to the fore with the greyhound and Irish terrier or wheaten terrier preferred in Northern Ireland.
The National Countrysports Fair
Gilford Terrier & Lurcher Club are the organisers of all the lurcher and terrier events at the National Countrysports Fair, which is traditionally held at Gilford Castle Estate each year. The dates for the 2002 Fair are Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 May
With over 30 different classes for terriers and lurchers, in addition to to both terrier and racing events, this is one of the largest gatherings of long dog and terrier enthusiasts in the whole of Ireland. This year's National Countrysports Fair will include classes for heavy dogs.