news - 11/05/2019
Luxembourg Spring 2019 -
by Karl Donvil
The impact of a Pitstop!
Everybody was shocked upon hearing of the ban imposed by the Luxembourg Government on the Luxembourg Kennel Club to further organize any dog shows. After a few incidents whereby dogs were found on the parking in locked cars and whereby some with fatal impact, animal rights organizations pushed the government to take measures. But I can tell that the club took all the possible precautions to prevent such things. The very same weekend that I heard about the ban, two Bernese Mountain Dogs were found in a car on the parking of a Hospital in Belgium under a burning sun and were saved at the very last moment. Nobody suggested closing the hospital. But what is the difference? Not only the club was punished, but all the dog show fanciers, as they all loved to attend the show of Luxembourg, a very famous, well-organized show that always attracts between 3000 and 4000 dogs from all over Europe. The FCI did little to nothing the help negotiate and withdrew the license of the club to edit CACIB titles until things were settled with the government. It was a most unfair situation as all the regular exhibitors were punished along with the club for something that is impossible to prevent for 100%. There will always be people (often visitors) who think that leaving a dog in a car with the windows slightly open, would not harm a dog inside. Anyway, after almost a year, the ban was lifted and the show could again be organized. The Autumn edition of last year was skipped and the Spring edition, usually held in March was postponed to Mai. As Mrs. and Mr. Schwab decided to retire as presidents it was double hard for the new committee to set up things again. The last show, the Spring edition, still had over 4000 dogs while now there were "only" 3262 entries. That was still OK of course.
A challenging situation
Not much publicity was made before as it was for a long time unsure when green light was given again start of December. Those involved with the organization of shows know that 3 months to set up a show is not enough and postponing was necessary. Will the halls be available? Will there be enough judges to compose an interesting panel? Will we reach enough exhibitors in time as they use to plan thing long ahead? All these and numerous other questions make it extra difficult while, on the other hand, people need shows in Luxembourg to finish their Championships. Mr. Raymond Jung, who was elected to follow in the footsteps of the Schwabs, was very nervous when I met and talked with him the day prior to the show. Small arrangements were made and certain things were omitted as too expensive, like the live streaming on the internet and even the video wall in the halls. But I don't think that ever was a good idea as it would invite visitors and exhibitors to sit back in their couch at home to watch everything. That is bad not only for the Commercial Stands but for the turnover of the club itself as well. The main ring program was also drastically shortened. While previous years there was a Junior winner in every Group to be chosen, plus an overall Best of day and BIS Junior, there was now only a Winning Junior chosen every day out of a selection of a few dogs from each group, just like on any other show. That was a well-appreciated step in the right direction. Where the show used to end after 7 in the evening, it now was over around 6. And we all know what a difference it can make if you need to drive several hundred kilometers back home. And of course, the organizers saved no effort to risk another ban from the government. At the parking entrance, people were warned individually to not leave dogs in cars and on every corner you found posters to warn about the possibility to find your car window crashed, plus a severe penalty, if a dog was found in your car, plus the risk for exhibitors to be banned from shows organized under FCI flag.. Cars were checked by a large team composed of volunteers, club members, and Firemen. And still, I heard several warnings over the intercom to owners who still left dogs in cars! It will be extremely difficult to prevent this for once and ever.
One of the most International Shows of Europe, even with an entry from Mexico.
Everybody knows that Luxembourg is a real magnet for dog-show-lovers. 29 Countries were represented. France had 899, followed by Germany with 787, then by Belgium with 623 to the Netherlands with 373 entries. Russia had even more entries than the United Kingdom, 58 to 47 respectively. There were even 57 entries from Spain. Italy, that is usually well represented had only 107 dogs in competition. And there was even an entry from Mexico!
The same with the judges, 37 were invited representing 15 nationalities, all from Europe. The dogs/judging day rate was good with a score of 53,5. It has been better in the past but the difficult circumstances taken into account it was still very good. The best scoring judge of Saturday was Mrs.Karin Hedberg from Sweden who had no less than 42 Afgan Hounds and 40 Whippets. Nice numbers were the 58 Great Danes for Margrit Völzer from Luxembourg, the 44 Rottweilers for Mr.Nicolina Davidovska, who ended second best scoring judge of the show. the 52 Staffordshire Bull Terriers for Mrs.Cornelia Bergundthal, the 43 American Staffordshire Terriers for Mr.Tom Hehir from Ireland.and the 30 Bull and 23 Miniature Bull Terriers for Mr. John Young from the UK. As Saturday had only 1416 dogs meant that Sunday the judges would be busier. Several went over 75 dogs and many over 90. Mr.Pedro Sanchez Delerue from Portugal had a nice flock of French Bulldogs, 58. Mr. Norman Deschuymere from Belgium had a total of 90 entries and that included 55 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. Again a good entry of 49 Siberian Huskies for Mr.Sean Delmar from Ireland who had 94 in total on Sunday. His wife Mrs.Cathy Delmar had 44 Flat Coated Retrievers and that is amazing for this breed compared to the much more popular Labradors. Mr.Dirk Spruyt from Belgium could welcome no less than 25 Czechoslovakian Wolfdogs in his ring, a breed that grows in popularity year after year. Mr.Joăo Vasco Pocas from Portugal reached the number of 90 and that had probably to do with the 72 English Cocker Spaniels. Mr.Laurent Heinesche had another nice score, 59 Chihuahuas long and short coats. The best scoring breed of the show were the Golden Retrievers that were judged by Mr. Bórge Espeland from Norway. The best scoring judge was Dodo Sandahl from Sweden with 165 dogs in total and 98 on Sunday, the best single day score.
Golden Retriever first BIS of a new era!
It was Mrs. Melchior from Luxembourg who was invited to judge the BIS of this new era. She took her time to pick out 3. Her 3rd place went to the Beagle "Roeper's Angel in the Morning", a three-year-old female, bred and owned by Tinneke Perfors and Piet Roefs from the Netherlands. She had strong competition as 35 were entered in total for Orit Nevo from Israel. The group judge was Tom Hehir from Ireland. The second dog to re-enter the ring and run the ResBIS place on the podium was the Irish Red Setter "Queenstone Zizitop Tejas", a 5-year-old male entered in Champion Class, a pick from Mrs.Martha Kips from Luxembourg out of 15 entries. It was her husband who judged the group later and send him to the finals. This dog bred by De Wilde V&W from teh Netherlands, and co-owned by B.Goosens, entered under the Belgian flag. The winning dog of this edition, Best In Show, was the Golden Retriever "Maybe Forever the One and Only", a 3 year old dog entered in Working Class by his breeder and owner "Gutierrez Ramirez Ignacio from Spain. Knowing that he had the strongest competition in the most popular breed of the show, chosen later by Mr.Paul Jentgen from Luxembourg to compete for the ultimate place it was an absolute thrill for his master. This is a Golden Retriever, still with a golden coat, undeniably a working type, somewhat more robust in type compared to what we use to see in Dog Shows.
I am relieved along with president Mr. Raymond Jung, that all went fine, with no problems with dogs left in cars, with a new program and a good old team of collaborators. On August 31 and September 1 they will have again an Autumn edition and probably again a good number of entries. The legend must and will go on!
Text & photos by Karl DONVIL