nieuws - 27/08/2016 BRUSSELS, EUROPEAN DOG SHOW Day 3 - België
door Karl DonvilEUROPEAN DOG SHOW BRUSSELS 2016
It promised to be a hot show, in the literal sense of the word. The 5 palaces on the Heizel, for Belgium the most logical place to hold an event like this, date back to 1958. They are not all equipped with the most sophisticated clima systems from now. Temperatures going over 30° would cause extra worries for the organizers. It turned out to be the hardest point of critique on this show, notwithstanding the fact that there was little to do about it but to undergo. In normal temperatures the halls would be more than good enough. In some halls, the refurbished ones, the temperature proved not too bad, but palace 5 where the main ring was located was a disaster. The ventilators were not cooling, but only blowing the warm air around. Fortunately, there were no incidents with dogs in cars. The security was very focused on dogs locked up in cars and did a very good job.
The first day started with a big cue at the entrance due to troubles with the scanning system. Fortunately it could be solved relatively quick and was not repeated the next two days. All cars had to park on parking C, across the street . In order to come in one had to take the stairs or the elevator and that was another point of annoyance. With all the stuff that people take along to shows, it was only possible to have a few people at a time. Once finally inside, large rings awaited the exhibitors . There was lots of space, grooming and sitting areas well marked on the floor, (good idea Finland!) and it proves that exhibitors become familiar with these restrictions that are not only practical but can be live-saving!. A 500m long corridor, going from the very first to the very last hall, was reserved, left and right for the 88 commercial stands. All traffic was forced to pass by before it was possible to find the first rings and dogs. In general, the standholders were happy with it. Some, however, said that there was not enough traffic, but that had to do with the good weather. Indeed, people become lazy in those temperatures and visitors keep or at home or go to the seaside or another place for recreation, other than spending the last days of the holidays inside a closed building. The number of visitors for each day was estimated around 5000. However it was well covered in the national press, radio and television, but that could not withhold people to chose for something more recreational. A pity for the standholders whose success depends on the visitors, not on the exhibitors. But nobody can foresee this. And maybe the terroristic attacks in Belgium this spring, still have affect these large scale gatherings of people. The security was sharper as usual but it was not immediately visible.
The opening ceremony was nice but low-budget compared to The World Show in Moscow. The Belgian breeds were presented by people in costumes of the late 1800s , referring to the first ever show in the world held in Belgium in 1847 followed by the flag ceremony that was a bit unsuccessful as the flag was tossed up unevenly, a small detail maybe, but it was distracting. The concept of the main ring was one of the most perfect till now. The back of the big palace of the main sponsor Royal Canin had a big VIP terrace with its own bar and only accessible to those with a correct wristband. The terrace was on a higher level boarding a broad space left for the press photographers with seats and storing space for equipment. They were allowed to go around or photograph from the left or right side for a different angle without bothering the view of the VIP's or public. The main ring was not evenly lit but better than often was the case in the past. Opposite to VIP's and Press was a huge led screen with live view, sided by the alternating logo's of the Official partners of the show. The official website offered the same live streaming. During the day there was no animation in the main ring, a deliberate choice of the committee. Another choice was to have no breed specials, except for the European Sighthound Specialty show on Friday. The decoration of the halls was also kept sober but clean, no exaggerations but nice large rings surrounded by boarding panels offered by Royal Canin and with carpet. Besides the main ring , the Royal Canin palace and a few rings, Hall 5 hosted the breed stands, the secretariat and the Press Room. But in that hall was also a typical "Brussels Cafe", an attraction in itself, however, only accessible to the VIP's and judges. The most interesting breed club was without any doubt the one of the Matin Belge, the 14th Belgian breed. This breed was once very common and kept to pull the chariots of milk man, and other door-to-door traders in the old days. They were large and strong, reliable and gentle, but their popularity as ideal dogs to pull the heavy mitraillettes during World War I caused the start of their extinction. Fortunately they appear so frequently on war photos that it was possible to reconstruct the breed and they are coming really close now, close enough to take the breed in observation. It will probably not take very long before it will be officially recognized. I hope it will as I'm convinced it will become a lovely, well balanced and reliable family dog, more slender than a Bull Mastiff but smaller than a Great Dane.
Alike the show guide of Crufts, it was decided to have one for the visitors in Brussels too, instead of selling them a catalog that is useless to people not familiar with dog shows. But it was clear that the concept was new to the dog people. While all trade stand holders were supposed to find a place for publicity inside, only very few grabbed this opportunity. Breed clubs and the Royal Society Saint Hubert were also supposed to give information about the breeds, addresses, information about showing and sports with dogs, but nothing about that, a missed opportunity! And where could we find the National breeds or something about the Matin Belge? Norway had a similar publication last year and in here we find all a newcomer should know in a nutshell, including sportsacitivities, how to take care of our dogs, etc. On the cover was a Russian breeder draped with the Belgian tricolor and a Swiss White Shepherd??? That should have been the Chien de St. Hubert, logo of the Belgian Kennel Club or a collage of the Belgian breeds. The only good thing, worth its money (from visitors perspective) is the encyclopedia-like information of every breed, illustrated with a photo. Thanks to this it is a magazine to keep. Another publication was the new brochure about the Belgian Breeds. To be honest, this was a disaster. All breeds were presented by photos in free. Nice maybe, but a breed guide must have "ALWAYS" at least one static photo of a topspecimen from toe to ear and from nose to tail. Not one breed had such a photo. This is not giving a good impression of a breed or how to recognize it. This is another missed opportunity and needs to be done over again.
The stares in the main ring were empty for about 1/3rd. The main ring itself was large enough to hold all the groups. Most judges kept perfectly on the imposed way to let the dogs run and on the number of dogs to select, 6 of which only 3 were placed, not four as we recently often see. In order to reach the pre-judging ring, the winners had to make a large tour around, starting via another hall. It was rushing for some owners whose judging ended close to the start of the main ring. Many of them could not find their way to the backstage and almost panicked. There were not enough signs to help them out . In fact, in general people complained about not having enough signs or indications. However, at the entrances of every hall people could find a big overview map, but people are used to look for signs, not maps on walls.
On Sunday Prince Laurent and Princess Claire and their children paid an informal visit to the show and followed the finals in the main ring with much interest. The Prince is known to be very dog-minded but has no dogs for the moment. Maybe his children will help him change his mind again. They were guided around the breed stands and brought to the VIP zone where they stayed until the very end. The Prince was asked to hand over the BIS Rosette which he accepted with pleasure.
With 12.035 entries, this European Dog Show will be remembered as the 3th largest European since it started. That start was also in Brussels, back in 1982. Belgium is famous for its cynological milestones. The first ever dogshow in history was hosted in Tervueren in 1847? The Royal Society Saint Hubert was founded in 1880, one of the oldest Kennel Clubs. Later, in 1911, the FCI was founded and has its seat in Thuin, Belgium. And, although not so generally known, the World Dog Press Association, has also its roots in Belgium. The KMSH/SRSH (Royal Society St.Hubert) was happy with the number of entries. They would refuse to accepts much more dogs as that would involve renting more palaces and reviewing lots of infrastructural items, 12,000 to 12,500 dogs was the goal. France was the country with the highest number of entries, 1780, more than Belgium that had 1422 entries. With 1289 entries Italy was surpassing the Netherlands that only entered 876 dogs and Germany with 635. Russia is always ranking high in numbers. They entered no less than 1181 dogs. It was also expected that the United Kingdom would delegate a lot of participants, and indeed, no less than 423 took a chance to end up high or winning such a prestigious title as the one of European Champion. Ukraine, that took over the flag as the organizers of the next European dog show, had 252 entries here. The USA had 17 entries. The dogs came from 54 different countries, most of them European Countries but there were also entries from as far as Australia, Argentina, China, Iceland, Kazakhstan, the Philippines, South Korea and Tunisia. A small army of judges was invited to look for the best dogs in Show. The KMSH/SRSH decided to deviate from the usual invitees and give chances to new faces. The result was that a lot of judges ended up with over 100 dogs/day. On Friday, the Swedish Judge Bo Skalin had 132 entries, on Saturday Norman Deschuymere had 134 entries and on Sunday Dimitry van Raamsdonk was the record holder with 125 dogs. The catalogs were complete and informative. The show results were online immediately as were the results of the main ring. Unfortunately these were and still are incomplete until now!
On Friday 3400 from 4 groups were on term. In group 1 we found 1310 dogs.Popular were the Swiss White Shepherds with 92 entries, the Border Collies with 93 entries and the Australian Shepherds with 112 specimen. But I was surprized by the big number of 100 Ceskoslovensky Vlciaks who all came for Mr.Skalin. Rare breeds in this group were the Ca de Bestiar and the Romania breeds, Ciobanesc Romanesc Carpatin and Mioritic. It was surprizing that there were not many entries in some Belgian breeds like there were only two Bouviers des Ardennes. Group 6 had 637 entries. Most popular here were the Rhodesian Ridgebacks with 157 entries, followed byt the 116 Dalmatians, 76 Beagles and 74 Basset Hounds. There was a Dunker and a Briquet Griffon Vendéen, two rare breeds over here in Belgium. Group 7 was good for 572 entries all together. High numbers were to be found in the Irish Setters with 83 entries, Weimaraners Short haired with 86, Magyar Viszla with 68 and surprisingly the Gordon Setters with 64 specimen. A Gammel Dansk Honsehund , a Braque Français type Pyrenées and a Braque de l'Ariège are the rare ones in this group. In Group 8 it is the Deutsche Wachtelhund. Here we have some very popular breeds like the Golden Retrievers who had 175 specimen, the Labradors with 111, the Flat Coated Retrievers with 94, the American Cockers with 71 and the English Cocker Spaniels (all colors) with 134 entries.
Saturday had 4002 entries in only 3 groups. Group 5 had 1364 dogs to welcome. Here the Akitas and American Akitas were popular with 127 and 119 respectively. Most popular however were the Siberian Huskies with 147 dogs. There were also 94 Samoyeds and 84 Alaskan Malamutes. Rare breeds were the Shikoku, Kishu and Hokkaido and the Taiwan Dog. Group 9 was also on term on Saturday. 2150 Dogs in this group and high numbers in several breeds like the Boston Terries, 109 entries, French Bulldogs, 202, Cavalie King Charles Spaniels, 83, Maltese, 82, Shih Tzus, 96, Chinese Cresteds, 137. Most popular here were the Chihuahuas with 243 entries (long and short hair together). The Belgian Breeds were well represented here with 55 Griffon Bruxellois, 42 Griffon Belges, 46 Petit Brabançons, 22 Papillon Phalène, 77 Papillons and 64 Bichon Frisées. The 10th group, the Sighthounds, had their European Sighthound show on Friday and now the European FCI show. 488 Were entered. High numbers were in the Piccolo Levriero Italiano, with 110 specimen, largely surpassing the 89 Whippets that are usually the most popular in this group.
Sunday attracted 4633 dogs for the 3 remaining groups. The biggest group, Group 2, had 2613 entries. High numbers here were in many breeds but 238 Bulldogs, 165 Great Danes, 150 Bernese Mountain Dogs, 142 Cane Corsos, 134 Bull mastiffs and 192 Miniature Schnauzers indicate clearly on what breeds the emphasis lays. Rare breeds here were the Rafaiero Do Alentejo and the Aidi. Another popular group is teh one of the Terriers with 1527 entries. The 203 American Staffordshires span the crown while also the Jack Russell Terriers prove very popular with 161 entries. Good entries too in the Yorkshire Terriers with 103, Scottish with 91 and West Highland White Terriers with 83 specimen. The Staffordshire Bull Terriers had another good score with 91. Last Group on term were the Dachshunds with 493 entries. If we take them as one breed, only differing in size and coats, they are the most popular breed in fact of this and most other shows.
Mr Tammas Jakkel from Hungary was the judge for Best Junior in Show. His 3rd place went to the Old English Sheepdog "Shaggy Blue Bob's Undercover Girl" , a Finnish entry, owned by Erno Lindahl. The breed was judged by Mrs.Barbara Muller from Switzerland, the group was judged byr Mr.Doedijns from ,Holland. His 2nd place went to the Samojed "Cabaka's U Are My Sunshine", bred and owned by Gitte Morel from Denmark. The Breed was judged by Mrs.Vija Klucniece from Latvia, the Group by Mr.Lovenkjaer from Denmark. Best Junior In Show was for the American Cocker Spaniel "Very Vigie Look At Me" , bred by Laurent Pichard and owned by Sanna Vartainen from Finland. It was the choice of Mr.Axel Komorowski who made him BOB and Mrs.Siil from Estland who judged the group.
Mr.Hans Van den Bergh was the Best In Show judge. To some a little strange that the KMSH/SRSH granted this honor to a Dutch judge and not to a Belgian judge. But Hans is very popular over here and maybe by choosing a Dutch judge would prevent a lot of political speculations inside the society. His 3rd BIS place went to the Piccolo Levriero Italiano "Queen Catherine The Great Del Barone Rampante", a Russian entry. This bitch is 4 years old, bred by Dorella Goldoni and owned by Petr Rodichev. Mrs.Tatjana Urek from Slovenia was the breed judge, Mrs.Urek from Slovenia the Group judge. Res BIS went to the Chow Chow "King of Egypt De Los Perros De Bigo". This trophy goes to Spain, to Vigo Navajon Nuria, who is owner and breeder of this 3 year old dog. King's breed judge was Mr.Grunheid nfrom France and his Group judge was Mr.Ionescu from Romania. Best In Show was for the Lakeland Terrier "Aiola Von Den Schonen Bergen". This bitch was almost 6 years old, bred and owned by Friedrich Wilhelm Schoneberg from Germany. Breed judge was Viva Maria Soleckyj Szpunar from Poland while Mr.Kanas from Slovakia was the group judge.