National treasure and dog lover Clare Balding visits Westholme

On Wednesday evening, TV host and dog lover Clare Balding made a special appearance at Westholme School where she introduced her new book Isle of Dogs which explores the many roles our ‘best friends’ fulfil in our lives.

Although Clare was brought up in a world of horses due to her father Toby being one of the country’s top racehorse trainers, she was also surrounded by dogs from a young age. She said: “I have always been fascinated by the impact dogs have on our lives and the way they have shaped Britain across the centuries. In my book, I explore the characteristics of our favourite breeds and why we are drawn to them and what they bring out in us.”

The events was organised by our friends at Silverwood Events, who have organised fantastic author visits for us in the past such as Buzz Aldrin, Michael McIntyre, Matt Lucas and Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill. Speaking to an audience set up in the intimate setting of the LRC, Clare was introduced to the crowd who had gathered by INSPIRED Sixth Form students Charlotte and Labib. Shen then went on to talk about her journey across Britain where she witnessed dogs performing all kinds of functions sometimes lifesaving, occasionally crime solving and often simply providing companionship to those most in need. While Clare’s travels were able to confirm that we are a nation of dog lovers, she also sadly discovered that we should be aware of the huge numbers of dogs in rescue centres.

As a student, Clare was head girl at the private school she attended but admits she ‘wasn’t very academic, apart from enjoying English’. After school, she studied English at Cambridge, and then went on to become one of the BBC’s most successful presenters. Her radio and TV career took off and since the late 1990s she has worked at seven Olympic and six Paralympic Games and well as multiple Commonwealth Games and Winter Olympics.

After the conclusion of her talk which was enjoyed by all, Clare answered questions from the audience and signed copies of her book for them to take away. She also received a gift of Westholme’s very own Centenary Gin to take away on her travels! We would like to thank Clare for coming in to visit Westholme, and speaking of her experiences in such a personable and warm way.

Isle Of Dogs, My Canine Adventure Through Britain, by Clare Balding, is published by Ebury Press, and available to buy here.