by Karl DonvilWIEZE 2017
Since the first time that I covered the show of Aalst many things have changed. From an old hall in the city of Aalst, the committee decided to move the show to the famous Octoberhallen in Wieze. This hall was used mainly for the famous beer-festivities and that was visible and smellable as the wooden floor of the halls was penetrated by beer. It was also a very old-fashioned hall. But this has changed bit by bit , year after year , and now the halls look bright, modern and practical. In front of the halls is a huge parking. The latest changing was the entry hall and the removal of the old podium that took so much space and was not used during the show. Now there is enough space to make a huge main ring that unfortunately is not used during the day. A little smaller would also allow to make the judging rings somewhat larger, especially a few rings for the larger breeds. Maybe that could be a point of improvement for next year. The catalog was very well and complete, including fill-in spaces next to the dogs.
There seem to have been few visitors but that's normal as the weather was exceptional. And notwithstanding the fact that the very same weekend there was the big show of Dortmund, there were only very few dogs less than the previous year, 1154 to 1293 last year. The organizers was not displeased anyway. From the statistics in the catalog we learn that dogs from 14 different countries were entered. I presume that some combined this show with the show in Dortmund as we found dogs from as far as Spain, Sweden and even Japan and Belize. There were good entries from the Netherlands , 156 and France, 78 and 19 from the United Kingdom. 12 Judges were invited and all of them were Belgians and that is totally acceptable for a CAC show. And it did not affect the dogs/judging days score, 57,7 is very good while there are no special travel expenses. 4 Judges were invited to judge one day only. On Saturday the best scoring judge was Mr.Piet Roosenboom who judged 96 dogs including 32 Bernese Mountain dogs. His weekend score was 154, the very same as Mr.Roger Vanhoenacker who was more busy on Sunday when he had 101 dogs, companion breeds. Mr.Rudy Feyaerts had 92 dogs on Saturday when he did Retriever and Spaniel breeds, Goldens and Labradors included. He had 151 dogs all together. Mrs.Ingrid Hectors had 135 dogs in total and Sunday was her busiest day when she did not only Aussies and Beardies but several Spitz breeds, 89 in total. The most successful couple where Mrs.Rita Reyniers and Mr.Theo Leenen. Mrs.Reyniers was judging 70 Terriers on Saturday and finished the weekend with 167 dogs, the second best score of the weekend and of Sunday. Mr.Theo Leenen, her partner, judged 175 dogs, and is therefore the weekend winner. I also need to mention Mr.Dimitry Van Raamsdonck who had a good score on Sunday when he judged 25 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, 40 Chihuahuas, 17 Pugs and 3 Boston Terriers.
Best In Show judge was Mr. Roger Vanhoenacker. While for all the groups and items only 3 dogs were placed, all dogs were placed for Best In Show. The first I like but placing all group winners, I don't. Nobody likes to be placed 10th, 9th, 8th....4th. They are all winners of a group and a number 10 gives a very confusing impression as if being a loser in the end. His number 3 was a UK entry, American Akita "Travistock War Lord For Shyllar" . Ten were entered, Travistock in Intermediate Class males and the judge was Mr.Roosenboom. Mrs.Reyniers was the Group judge. He is owned by Carl Nicholls from the UK. Second place went to the chocolate colored Saluki "Thalentino van 't ZSwartshof, 3 years old and bred and owned by Mr.Nederlof from the Netherlands. Eleven were entered, judge was mr.Jan Jacob. Thalentino was entered in Champion Class. The group judge was again mrs.Reyniers. The Best In Show title went to the Irish Setter "Harko Dekellefleur" a male owned by Mrs.Ilse Vermeiren. She initially had no plans to participate, but after some encouragement from a club mate, she entered her dog in veteran Class. She won ,went BOB. Easy she thought, there were only 3. But Mr. Leenen who judged the group thought the dog deserved a win and send him to the finals. And surprise...he won. Harko is 9 years old and still in very good shape, only somewhat grey around the muzzle. This is a proof that there is never a good reason not to try a show if you have a pretty dog that is close to the standard.