[Pictures with Santa from the walk]

In December 2012, the Beagle Club of Queensland took on the commitment to have over 100 Beagles attend out Christmas walk in 2013. Target 100 saw an amazing 159 Beagles come along to our Christmas walk and party last year.

he success in 2013 motivated our club to share this joy around the country. Beagles Across Australia was born.

Beagles Across Australia is a day for all Beagle enthusiasts to celebrate the breed and to raise awareness of Beagles around the country. It is a day put aside to recognise the impact Beagles have in the lives of their owners and to be able to share the fun and enjoyment we all get from the breed with hundreds of others around the country. A day of “Beagleation”.

For Queensland, we had official walks occurring in most of the major centres around the state. The main event happening on the Gold Coast at Southport.

Leading up to Sunday the 7th of December, we had a number of things happening that made the numbers expected to turn up at the walk uncertain. Firstly, we had some great publicity from several newspapers, mainly the Gold Coast Bulletin, providing articles about Beagles Across Australia and the event itself. The article they ran and the photo gallery that is located on their web site, provided a lot of publicity for the walk.

Extra incentive for the Queensland Beagles is the challenge thrown down by the Beagle Club of New South Wales to get the most Beagles along to a single event. The challenge was on.

In the days before the walk, however, the weather was very grim, with storms, showers and a bleak outlook for the day making many people uncertain as to whether to come along for the fun.

To prove yet again that God loves a Beagle, the morning of the walk was the first for many days where the sun poked through to give us all hope it was going to be a great day. The displays were set, the morning tea was being organised and the Beagles were turning up in their droves.

Come the official start time of 9:00am, those with Beagles around southeast Queensland proved you can’t hold a Beagle or their owners back from getting together and enjoying the breed. The official tally for the day was for 186 Beagles to attend the walk on the Gold Coast spit. This surpassed the expectation of everyone that helped to organise the day and was a most spectacular sight.

To help with the celebration, Channel 7 news also came to the party, with a great feature at the end of the news that night showing off the day and the event.

As we made our way out to the beach, you could see Beagles from one end of the beach to the other. All sniffing or playing or enjoying their time together as only Beagle know how. A wide angled lens was the order of the day if you wanted to try to get then entire pack in to one shot.

To prove that God not only loves a Beagle but also has a sense of humour, the heavens opened up a short time after the walk had commenced, bringing a premature end to the time on the beach for many of those that came out for the fun. Some ventured all the way to the end of the beach –“we were already soaked, so why not just keep going?”

Although the number of shelters that had been erected was never going to cater for all those that came along, they were a welcome relief form those that were able to get out of the rain. After about 20 minutes, the rain eased and we were able to relax and enjoy the morning a little more.

A fabulous morning tea was served up, thanks to many who brought along home-made goodies for the table to share, both human and Beagle food.

Santa was there for the customary Beagle family photo shoot. Lots of people took up the challenge of trying to get their Beagles to stay still for a brief moment. With the Beagles also being quite wet from the storm, this proved an extra challenge.

At the end of the morning, the Christmas hamper prizes were drawn. Once again, the prizes were outstanding and the donations of prizes to the hampers were amazing. Thanks to everyone who bought tickets and supported the hamper, the Club was able to raise $1696. An amazing effort.

Thanks to everyone who came along to make the morning such a success. This was the first time Beagles Across Australia was held and I am sure this is going to be a regular event. Thanks also to everyone who helped out to set up the event, who contributed to the morning tea and who supported the day in any way.

As to who won the first event Beagles Across Australia State of Origin. All I have to say is “Queenslander!!”