First ever tennis tournament for dogs to be held in Calderdale

First ever tennis tournament for dogs 'Woofbledon' is taking place in Calderdale
First ever tennis tournament for dogs 'Woofbledon' is taking place in Calderdale

As top players are currently taking part in one of the top tennis tournaments in the world, the first Wimbledon for dogs is set to be held in Sowerby Bridge.

Pet food specialists are set to host the first Woofbledon Chompionships, with the competition to be top dog and scoop up the tasty treats and trophy taking place next week on social media.

Eight adorable pooches will compete in their own doggy version of the annual major tennis championships at Wimbledon over the coming days, and excited tails are already wagging.

Woofbledon matches begin on July 9 at canine venue The Barkyard in Sowerby Bridge.

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Any available tickets have been snapped up but each match can be watched on Pure Pet Food's social channels.

They’ll be played on an artificial grass surface, similar to the human tennis major, and two tennis balls will be released with a swing of the umpire’s racquet for two competing dogs to fetch – whoever returns their ball first is declared the winner and advances to the next round.

Competition rules state that if neither dog returns with a ball, the first to reach theirs and then come back to the umpire wins by default.

The winning dog will receive the coveted Woofbledon trophy, as well as a selection of meaty treats.

English Cocker Spaniel Tori heads into the tournament as the bookies’ favourite and will be hoping for a favourable run to the final.

Outsider Dot, a French Bulldog, will be hoping to use her determination to overcome her size and spring a surprise victory on centre court.

Pundits are also tipping Labrador Ebonne to put in a strong performance at this year’s Chompionships, if she can utilise his pace and power.

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But experts have suggested that Lhasa Apso Bodi is unlikely to emerge victorious, despite the edible motivation to fetch and return the tennis ball being offered at the tournament.

Co-founder of and chief Woofbledon umpire Mat Cockroft said: “Fetching a tennis ball is usually just great fun for dogs, but now pride and prizes are at stake.

“To celebrate the Wimbledon tennis championships this year, we will be launching the Woofbledon Chompionships exclusively for dogs.

“Some of the most competitive pooches around will be battling it out to get their paws on meaty goodies and an impressive trophy, if they can collect and return their tennis ball before all opponents.

“Woofbledon will be taking place on our social media channels to coincide with the second week of Wimbledon. Excitement is already building to see who will come out on top.

“Federer, Williams and company might have mastered the grass at SW19, but I’m sure our four-legged friends would give them a run for their money at The Barkyard.

“Local Cocker Spaniel Tori probably deserves her title of Woofbledon favourite, but I wouldn’t be surprised if big Bernard exploits his physicality to progress through the rounds.

“Unlike the real thing, there’ll be no strawberries and cream in sight at Woofbledon – just healthy, meaty dog treats.

“Check in to our social media channels throughout the week to track the progress of your favourite player.’’

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