It was a p-awesome night as an auction of The Kirkwood’s Snowdogs raised just short of £80,000.
The atmosphere was electric at the Rybrook Jaguar Land Rover showroom in Huddersfield as bidders raised the stakes, all in aid of a brilliant cause.
A little brother and sister got the best Christmas present ever; the Huddersfield Town-themed Terry the Terrier sold for an incredible £10,000; and another Snowdog could become a TV star as he was snapped up by Almondbury-based Donaldson’s Vets, who feature on Channel 5’s The Yorkshire Vet.
Bargain Hunt’s Charles Hanson wielded the gavel and teased bids from an eager audience, many of whom have personal reasons to thank The Kirkwood for their love and special care.
Thirty-two artist-designed Snowdogs went under the hammer and raised £78,950 to mark the end of the Snowdogs Support Life, Kirklees art trail which could have raised hundreds of thousands of pounds overall for The Kirkwood.
Event organiser Kathryn Box thanked everyone for their incredible generosity and said: “The reaction has been fantastic. Words can’t describe the joy that the Snowdogs have brought to the local community.”
The large Snowdog sculptures went on display in Huddersfield, Holmfirth, Slaithwaite, Dewsbury, Batley, Birstall and Cleckheaton and it was in Slaithwaite where four-year-old Phoenix Broadhurst and his six-year-old sister Aurora fell in love with the Sun Dog.
Dad Craig and mum Angela dug deep and generously paid £2,600 to give the Sun Dog a forever home with the family in Marsden.
Craig, who runs CKR Utilities, said: “We used to see the Sun Dog all the time and Phoenix just loves him.”
Auctioneer Charles described the Snowdogs as “iconic collectibles” and said: “Who knows, these iconic items could be sold for twice the price in five years’ time?”
The ‘cheapest’ Snowdog sold for £1,400 but £1,400 wasn’t enough for winning bidder Chris Murphy, a director of Donaldson’s Vets, who upped the company’s bid to £2,000 AFTER the hammer had come down.
Donaldson’s had sponsored Spotter, an animal-themed Snowdog, and the company was determined to keep him and he’ll go on display outside the Almondbury Animal Hospital.
“We had a budget and it’s a great cause and we are proud to support The Kirkwood,” said Chris. “Hopefully people will enjoy seeing Spotter outside the hospital – and he might even appear on TV too!”
Almondbury could also have another Snowdog as mum-of-two Caroline Courtney, snapped up Look Out for Each Other, in memory of her mum who was cared for at The Kirkwood for the last eight weeks of her life.
Caroline takes part in many of The Kirkwood’s fundraising events and it was fourth time lucky as the hammer went down on her £1,900 bid for Look Out for Each Other.
“I had lost out on three others but the bidding helps keep the price up,” said Caroline. “I’m really pleased it was fourth time lucky!”
Caroline’s husband Matthew missed the auction because of football coaching commitments but was texting encouragement.
Now there’s a decision to make whether the Snowdog lives in the family’s Almondbury garden or goes to Matthew’s company Crest Medical in Warrington.
As expected the bids came thick and fast for Terry the Terrier, who proudly stood outside Huddersfield Library and Art Gallery during the trail.
Charles cranked up the excitement and the audience was at fever pitch at the appearance of a very special guest – none other than the REAL Terry the Terrier, Huddersfield Town’s official mascot.
Terry (the real one) high-fived the audience and then posed for a selfie with Charles. He then gave Charles a bearhug – and accidentally headbutted the hapless auctioneer.
The bidding quickly reached the magical £10,000 mark, Terry did a jig and the hammer came down to a mystery absentee bidder. Speculation is rife as to who it could be – and where Terry (the Snowdog) might appear next.
Event hosts Rybrook Jaguar Land Rover were locked in a tense bidding war for their sponsored dog Doorstep Wonders.
As the bidding rose above £3,000 Tracey Lee had to text head of business James Eccles to see how high they could go. They were up against a determined online bidder who eventually came out on top with a £4,200 bid.
Charles told James: “You are a fun man for playing the game.”
But Rybrook weren’t to be denied and snapped up the appropriately-named penultimate lot Rainbow Rover for £1,600.
So (Rainbow) Rover’s heading for (Land) Rover and Tracey said: “It’ll make a great entrance piece.”
Gallery of images by: MARK FYLNN PHOTOGRAPHY