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'European Dog Show PARIS 2022'
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news - 24/04/2022
European Dog Show PARIS 2022  -  France

dogs breeders dog pictures by Karl Donvil
Paris, European Dog Show and Championnat de France 2022. For some, the World Dog Show of Paris in 2011 is still clearly in mind. It was the biggest show ever organized with 38.000 dogs all sideshows taken into account. This time was different, right after the Corona situation, it would not be easy and the first rumors talked about only a few thousand entries, but it proved to be gossip only. About 17500 dogs were entered, 7500 for the Championnat, 10.000 for the European Dog Show. Both shows happened in the same halls at the event halls of Villepinte very close to the airport Charles de Gaule. It is impressive how big these event halls are and there is a lot of parking around. Unfortunately there was only one entrance and people who were located in the city and came by train had to walk a very long way around to get by the entrance of the showground. Luckily, the weather was fantastic, no rain, and not too warm. As usual the first day the veterinary control caused long rows of waiting exhibitors, some calm, others exited. I have seen this so often before. Usually the organizations ask veterinary schools for this job and these students take their job a little too serious and examine the dogs as if looking for a disease. I had the impression that the amount of visitors was fair, not overwhelming, but probably the good weather plus the presidential elections on the very same day might have had a serious impact.

It was very unusual to find a catalog for every Breed Group and this for the "Championnat de France", as well as for the European Dog Show. If you needed them all, like for the press, you ended up with 22 catalogs as there was even a separate one for Group 11, the group of the non-FCI-recognized breeds. On the other hand, exhibitors only need the catalog of their own breed and in that case you only need just two tiny ones if you entered for both shows, unless you have more than one breed of course. That saves a lot on paper, with less environmental impact. The content of the catalogs on the other hand, was a minor point. If, for example, you were looking for a breed that you wanted to follow, you had to look up what number this breed had, then you had to look inside the catalog to find out who was judging it and then you needed to look in the front of the catalog to see in what ring it was and look on the map where that ring could be found. And that was not all, because you had to go to that ring to find out what time your breed was sheduled. That is very complicated and I can imagine that most handlers with several different breeds to show, were getting crazy to plan their day this way. However, with the many available functionalities of database programs, it should be easy to elaborate a much easier overview. Another point of critique is that the name of the breeds were only in French and not everyone is a crack in translating French, like " Chien De Cour Italien", which I found out that this was the French translation of the Italian official name for "Cane Corso".

Contrary to the WDS of 2011, it was very clean all over the showground and inside the halls there was a lot of space. Most of the trade stands were located strategically near the entrance of the halls and that makes a significant difference for their turnover. If you want the people to buy something, you need to take care that they find you easily, seeing is buying. Royal Canin was the main sponsor and had a few strategic spots with a stand. Agria was the second sponsor. All over the place there were at least 5 stands where photos could be taken. The "Championnat" rings were in another hall, but there was only one main ring for the "European Show" as well as for the "Championnat de France" and that was located in the main and biggest hall. This hall was huge, containing not only all the rings for the European Show, but also the trade stands , plus the main ring with podium and VIP corner. Around the main ring were no stairs, only a few rows of chairs on one side of the ring, but that proved enough. The opposite side was reserved for the Press and the Live stream Crew. Alike in Budapest and Brno, the same team, called P1, was hired for the organization of the main ring. Instead of 4 placements there were only 3 this time, something that I applaud, because you only find 4 or more placements on Dog Shows and there is no reason for this. You don't see this in sports or any other contests. The Live streaming Crew is a guarantee that most things went smoothly and well organized, far from chaos that we often saw in the past. It was only a pity that the side of the main ring where the dogs entered the ring was much darker than the other sides and on the podium the background was overlit compared to the foreground and the background was led light while the foreground was clearly tungsten yellowish light. But this is only annoying for the press photographers. The main ring looked very nice and large with stylish decoration via digital panels and with real plants. The podium front announced every time the part of the program that was on in digits plus the name and nationality of the judge. Convenient as there was no program to be found about what was going on and who judged what.

Every day, the finals started very early and there was a very serious reason for. On day one and two the Championnat was together with the European Show and that guaranteed a very long main ring program as everything happened in one main ring as told before. On Friday the Finals of the "European Dog Show" started at 13h and took till 16h30 for group 1, 4 and 5 followed by a pause. At 17h, the show continued with the finals of the "Championnat de France" for groups 7, 8, 9 and 10. All this included, minor puppies, puppies, groups, progeny, veterans, junior class for every breed group plus adult breed groups, good for 30 different judging's of averagely 15minutes. On Saturday the same scenario plus the BIS finals of the "Championnat de France". This time there were 36 different judgings, plus the European Junior Handling competition! The show ended past 9PM. On Sunday things were back to normal because there was no "Championnat de France" part this time as that took only two days. Instead we had the flag ceremony. Everything went very smoothly and the timing was very strict, but still both first days were absolutely exhausting. I understand of course that it would make a difference in budget. Hiring the P1 team (life streaming) for 3 days instead of 5, same for the halls and the judges, makes probably a very big difference. But why not have the "Championnat" finals take place in the other hall and only have the Junior and the Breed Group Finals be held in the Big hall with life streaming. That could have made a significant difference of maybe 1u30 hours every day. On Sunday the show ended at a very reasonable time and that was a relief, with all respect, as for the rest everything went smoothly and within a strict timing. Due to the overloaded program there was probably no time space in the program for some kind of entertainment like we use to see on big shows like these. Of course it's not a must, but it is always appreciated on condition that it is not overdone. On the other hand, coming to a show of this size in France is a treat on itself because France has 55 FCI-recognized breeds plus 5 more not-yet recognized breeds that you can see here for the first, and maybe only time in your life. Especially for judges this is a very unique experience. France is one of the most important cynological countries in the FCI, with over 130 employees. Every weekend there numerous different activities all over the country. Many of its breeds are hardly known outside France itself, because they are working dogs, mostly hunting pack dogs, differing in size, color or hair type and linked to "Chateaux". They often have names that would sound nice of expensive bottles of wine, names like: "Grand Gascon Saintongeois ", or "Briquet Griffon Vendéen". I have seen larger "meutes" (packs) of over 30 dogs several years ago, but still, even seeing 6 Poitevins or Porcelaines being presented by two handlers in Hunting outfit attached on a long stick or chain, is impressive. Most of these dogs are branded with the seal of the Chateau on the back or on one of the flanks, and just like in the old times, only those who work fine are kept. In general they are very gentle and social in the pack, if not it would never be possible to hunt with them in large packs of 30 to 50 dogs.

Some of the other rare breeds here were the Cao da Serra de Aires, the Romanian Carpathian and Mioritic, the Kai, Korean Jindo Dog and the Norsk Lundehund. In group 7 there we could find breeds like the Ariègeois, the Braque d'Auvergne, the Bourbonnais, the Epagneul de Pont d'Audemer and 3 varieties of Braques Français: the Gascognois, the Pyrenées and the Saint Germain. In Group 2 we found the Fila de Sao Miguel, the Tosa Inu and the Cao De Gado Transmontano. And in Group 6 we had, besides the pack hounds mentioned before, the Français Tricolore, the Grand Anglo-Français Tricolore. And finally, in group 11, the Barbado De Terceira, the Cusinu, the Epagneul de Saint Usuge, the Ratonero-Bordeguero Andaluz, the Pödenco Andaluz, the Ratonero Valenciano, a Cane Di Mannara and the Spino Degli Iblei.

The most popular breeds of the show were the Teckels all varieties in size and hair type together, good for 362 specimen, followed by the Poodles all varieties in size and colors with 227 specimen, the Chihuahuas long and short coated with 194 entries, the Golden Retrievers and Labradors with 190, and 158 respectively, the Australian Shepherds with 186 entries, and the 155 Huskies. But the most popular was the French Bulldog with 234 entries and from this breed there is one variety only. Along with the 127 Pugs, the 102 Boston Terriers and the 101 Bulldogs, it is clear that the brachycephalic breeds are still extremely popular and that worries me in times they are the main topic of discussion in veterinarians circles. It is the duty of the judges, to promote and favor the healthy types, not the most caricatured ones and help to prevent breeding bans in the future. There seems to be moving a lot in Europe with regard to these breeds and if we keep going on, turning a blind eye to this problem, we could be facing a complete European ban. While all exhibitors went home, an FCI- European-section meeting was planned on Monday. I can only hope that wise decisions are taken with regard to this problem and that we can organize many more marvelous European Dog Shows.

France can look back on this show with pride. It is not only here that the number of entries decreased since the start of the Covid Pandemic. After the release of the Covid restrictions, there were suddenly so many postponed European and World Shows, like the upcoming and several times postponed Madrid World Show in Spain, that it could all turn out a little bit expensive for many exhibitors. And let us not forget the impact of the war in Ukraine! No Russian or Ukrainian dogs has a very huge impact on the number of entries. I am confident that it all will come up again bit by bit, especially once the war will be over, and who knows if we will ever get to the astronomical entries of several years ago. The least we can say is, that the big international events did not die with Covid. Another nice European Show is over, up to the next one.

Article and photos by Karl DONVIL

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