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news - 09/09/2017
Ciney 2017  -  Belgium

dogs breeders dog pictures by Karl Donvil
The Green Dog Show 2017, back in Ciney after more than 30 years. I still remember the first and only show at Ciney, The Country Dog Show, as it was called by then. It was a kind of festival with over 2000 dogs. Unfortunately it was not repeated. The organization was forced to go back to the old Expo Halls in Namur. When finally these halls were refurbished it became too expensive for what they were. The new club of Namur decided to go to Libramont where they had two nice editions, but there was protest as it was too far away from where the seat of the club was. And so the committee of the Union Canine Namuroise returned to the city of Ciney. In all the years the area, next to the famous cattle market and was renewed and there is now a big hall with lots of parking space around and in the middle of the beautiful nature or the area. Ideal to include the show in a relaxing weekend off. And still the new name of the show since Libramont can be kept on, the "Green Dog Show". The show is very well organized and no effort was saved to promote the show in the neighborhood and even much further away as beside the busy highway Brussels-Luxembourg, where all the international traffic to East and South Europe is passing a large 30 ton trailer was placed in a field, completely printed with publicity for the show, impossible to miss it! Publicity is not cheap but if it is used cleverly it pays back very easily. And that was the case, because it has been so long since we saw so many visitors on a dog show, except for Kortrijk's Eurodogshow and the Brussels Dog Show. The theme "forest and green" was omnipresent. The main ring was a jewel, nicely decorated with wild flower bouquets, branches, wood, etc. The background of the main ring was the one in use since Libramont, but it is a very nice and impressive one. The complete hall was covered with green carpet. Maybe that can be changed into reusable carpet tiles in the future as now it is an eco-unfriendly throw-away carpet and that does not fit into a "green" ideology. During the day there was some entertainment in the main ring. The music was sometimes a bit too loud, especially if you wanted to watch the acts in the ring for a long time. Behind the huge expo hall the club had placed two rented event tents. Unfortunately, due to heavy rains prior to the show, the tents could not be used due to water on the floors. Therefore it was decided to fit all the rings inside the hall. The result was that the rings were smaller then intended, but still within acceptable sizes, and it was pretty crowded inside, especially as there were plenty of visitors all day long. The trade stands did good business and they were overall pretty happy with their nice turnovers. The visitors were allowed to bring along their own pets and they could have them be judged by two experienced judges, Mrs. Van Brempt en Mr. Jos De Cuyper. Later the best were judged in the main ring before the finals started. Some of the visitor's pets were really nice dogs, most of them still young. There were several cross breeds but the majority belonged to one breed or another, although not top specimen or not correctly trimmed. But some were really nice dogs that could easily compete with the pedigree dogs. I even saw a very nice Croatian Shepherd Dog imported from Croatia. This is a very good initiative that goes back to the essence of the very first dog shows; compare different dogs, creating gene pools and distill pure breeds.

With 1605 entries it was a very good show, almost the same number of entries as in Libramont. Alike then, the show was not ideally planned with Mechelen, the EDS and Luxembourg in the previous weeks. If it would not have been that busy, maybe they could easily have reached the 2000 entries. But the committee seemed pleased with the result. Unfortunately there are no statistics in the catalog about the nationalities of the exhibitors nor on the website. Everyone could find all information there and even the catalog itself could be downloaded for free. Nice too is that visitors can read short news items and general info about dogs like "Is chocolat poisonous for dogs?" It looks more like a website of a dog magazine and that gives visitors a reason to come back to this site. The results were fast online too as were the Youtube main ring video. It must be said, this show proves that there is no reason to think that there is a lack of interest in dog shows nowadays, you have to feed that interest and arouse interest via media and good old publicity in local magazines and on the roads. It is so often that friends ask me to let them know when there is a show in the coming weeks or somewhere nearby. With good publicity people would know it. It proves that we don't announce it or bring it to the attention of the man in the street. With social media you reach only those people that are interested or subscribed something.

The timing of the show was of great importance for the committee and it worked out fine. The main ring started and ended according to the schedule and it was a long time since I saw so many people around the main ring to find out who would become the Green Dog Show Best In Show. The podium was comparable to those we see on the big shows like the European and World, a slightly elevated platform. There was no sponsor, but maybe that will be for the next editions, as sponsors are interested in new possible clients and lots of public attention. Only 3 dogs were placed except for the BIS, when all dogs were placed, something all but the 3 winning exhibitors hate (who wants to have a number 9 or 10 in front of you if you were best of your group?). The winners received a wooden plaque, cut from a tree roll, with an inscription and logo burned in. This was rather big and heavy, about 30cm diameter and 5cm thick, and although it was nice and original, I doubt if it was appreciated in general. Maybe it could be smaller and varnished. Some judges had problems holding it up. For the Best in Show there were some small stylized wooden figures of a Fox. Those were very nice and would show nice in any room. They only missed a title block under them.

17 Judges were invited, 10 nations! While the number of dogs/judging day rate of Libramont was only 38, this time it was a much higher score, up to 55,34. Jochen Eberhardt from Germany had a high score on Saturday when he had 98 dogs to judge. With another 51 on Sunday he was the 3rd most successful judge of the show. Mrs. Carine Roobrouck, new Belgian judge, had 3 popular breeds, 36 Bernese Mountain dogs, 16 Newfoundlanders and 24 Leonbergers, her breed. She only judged on Saturday. Mr. Andras Korosz from Hungary had to focus on companion breeds and a few breeds of group VI, all together 104 entries. As on Sunday he also had 63 dogs, he finished 2nd best scoring judge of the show. Mr.Philippe Behan from Ireland had the Border Collies and Australian Shepherds, 22 and 25, and along with a couple of other breeds he had 93 dogs in his ring. It was long time ago since so many Golden Retrievers were entered. That was thanks to Mrs. Viviane Boesmans who had 47 all together. A very high number of Tervuerens showed up for Mrs. Suncica Lazic from Serbia, 26. In total she had 73 entries. Mrs.Liliane Stojkovicz was without doubt the star of the show. She proved the most popular judge with 206 dogs in total entered for her, 80 on Saturday and 126 on Sunday and if that was not enough, she was also the Best In Show judge.

As said, she had to place every group winner, and that's not easy. They all won their group and now she had to place a 10, a 9, an 8 etc in front of them. We will keep it with the 3rd place and that was for winning veteran of Saturday, the Newfoundlander "Cape Lewisporte Highway Patrol". This 9 year old male champion was bred and owned by Counotte - De Vree from Belgium. Mrs Roobrouck was the judge. Mr. Van den Bosch Gustaaf from Belgium judged the group. Remarkable how well this big dog was running and showing, 9 years is already a very respectable age for this breed. Second place and first place must have been splitting hairs as I saw the judge hesitating who to place first and who second. The Alaskan Malamute, from the United Kingdom got the Reserve BIS at last. It was "Libertia Reggae Master", entered in Champion Class males, 7 years already and bred by Perdita Burnside and owned by Scarlett and Marl Burnside, judged earlier that day by Mr. Van den Bosch. He got the ticket for the finals from Mr. Philip Behan. The Best in Show was for the Tervueren "Nordic Fairytales Giant" owned by Cindy Donkers from Belgium and bred by Unni Lilleskjaeret from Norway. He was entered in Junior Class to be judged by Mrs. Suncica Lazic from Serbia and had to beat 25 concurrents. He is 15 months now. He won 3rd place for the Junior Class finals, judged by Mrs. Viviane Boesmans. Mr. Jochen Eberhardt who judged the group must have appreciate him higher and gave him the ticket of group I for the finals. Of course judges can have their own opinions and that was why Mrs. Stojkovicz made him Best In Show, notwithstanding his young age and notwithstanding the fact that two juniors had beaten him earlier that day.

Next year there will be no Green Dog Show, at least not in Ciney. The club could not book it in time, but from then on they will organize it every year in this nice hall and this nice area. They know how to do it here, contrary to the time the show was held in Namur Expo, and when it was not a show to be proud of. This has changed now completely and the Green Dog Show proved to be one of the top shows in Belgium not to be missed!

Text and photos: Karl DONVIL

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