Best in Show at Liège
Best in Show at Liège was the West Highland White Terrier, Royal Gigolo v. Deipen Brook, owned by B. L. T. Deipenbrock.
BIS Judge was I. Beradze (Czech Republic).
I wondered if the increase in entries for the Belgian dog shows had something to do with the Baby Class that is always so lovely to see. All those little soldiers lining up in the main ring and presenting themselves to the world. The catalogue of the show of Liège has several statistics, and one of them shows the number of dogs per class.
And I see that the Babies represent less than 6 per cent. That means that the Belgian dog show got more entries than previous years, while I hear that in other countries there has been a decrease. Liège also had a decrease and certainly when we compare to the big success of last year when they reached a fabulous number of 2,035.
This year it was only 1,879, but is still very good. Mr Boclinville attributes this to the Milano World Show and the Championnat de France, but both were more than two weeks before this show. Lokeren, a popular specialty show for Group 1 and 2, was held only a week before and that had, in my opinion, a bigger influence. But the holidays and the composition of the judges panel play their part too. Usually this show attracts a lot of foreigners; people, I suppose, that combine several shows while on a holiday, and much depends on when their holidays start. I'm probably not going to find out to prove my theory.
I think that 1,879 entries is far from bad and also a serious increase compared to only a few years ago. This year 16 nationalities were present. 1,041 of them Belgians. The British were not so plenty, with 27 entries, there were also 9 Italians, 14 Swiss dogs, 2 from Spain, 2 from Lithuania, 1 from Sweden, 10 from Denmark, 5 Finns and even one dog from Greece. The rest of the dogs were all from the neighboring countries. Like every year it was splendid weather and it can become pretty hot inside the halls. There are several halls and in some the ceiling is not that high and warmth can accumulate there.
But since the new big hall has been opened there is much more air and it is much more comfortable. As every year Liège has a lot to offer to the public. There is the Golden Lead, the handling competition, there is the Golden Groomer, the grooming championship, there are animations in the ring like Dog Dancing and there is the art exhibition and a clown around the rings to amuse the kids.
Very often this translates into a loaded main ring program, but this year, on both days, it all went smoothly and the timing was strict and well scheduled, contrary to some previous years. On Saturday it started pretty early as Liège has the tradition to celebrate and give, as the only show in Belgium and probably of the neighboring countries too, prizes for "Beauté & Performance", meant for the Sighthounds who also perform on the race tracks.
Eighteen Judges, 12 nationalities, the “only” 3 Belgian judges judging just one day, that leaves us with a very international panel, 15 foreign judges coming from 11 different countries. Although Saturday had exactly half of the entries, there were only four judges with over 70 entries. Mr Rade Dacic from Serbia had 81 dogs. He had the popular French Bulldogs, 36 plus 19 Boston Terriers and 26 Pugs. On Sunday he had 73 entries and this was thanks to the popular Terrier breeds like American Staffies, etc. Mr Veli Pekka Kumpumaki from Finland had 95 entries, here we found 69 Chihuahuas and 20 Cavalier King Charles in her ring.
Mr Sergei Volinet from Moldova had 72 entries, all companion breeds. And 46 Chinese Cresteds helped Czech judge Mr Iuza Beradze reaching 91 entries. On Sunday he had only 50 entries but included were 26 Yorkies and that's amazing. Mr Enrico Drudi from San Marino had 86 dogs on Sunday, included 38 Great Danes, a breed that is again gaining in popularity. Mr Antoan Hlebarov from Bulgaria had 60 dogs on Saturday.
He had 36 Rhodesian Ridgebacks. On Sunday he had 88 entries. His 25 Bull Mastiffs were his most popular breed then. Mr Cesare Calcinati from Italy had only 48 entries on Sunday but broke the record with 106 entries on Sunday when he did all the Dachshunds. As Mrs Myriam Vermeire was absent, all her dogs went to Mrs Saija Juutilainen from Finland. That way she had 78 dogs on Saturday and 75 on Sunday and with 163 entries, she ended with the best weekend score. Mr Beradze was asked to judge Best of Day and Best In Show.
Liege is one of the shows that produces a separate catalogue for every show day, which is very correct, but on the other hand it's one of the rare shows that still elects a Best of Day. On Saturday he chose the Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen, Palomino Du Greffier du Roi, owned by Jolanda Huisman.
There were two entered, both by Mrs Huisman from Holland. Here 3 year old male champion was judged by Mr Miodrag Vretenicic from Montenegro and Mr Dacic made him BOG. Unfortunately he did not come back on Sunday to compete for BIS, thus, automatically BIS went to the Best of Sunday dog which was a German West Highland White Terrier, Royal Gigolo van Deipen. Brook is also 3 years old and owned by Deipenbrock.
Gigolo won it from a strong competition. The Westies were judged by Mr Veli-Pekka Kumpumaki from Finland. There were 21 all together. The Terrier Group was judged by his compatriot Mrs Juutilaninen.
If you plan to come next year on 23rd July and end as Best of Day, try your luck and come back on the 24th.
- Group 1 Winner
- Best in Show
- Group 2 Winner
- Group 3 Winner
- Group 4 Winner
- Group 5 Winner
- Group 6 Winner
- Group 7 Winner
- Group 8 Winner
- Group 9 Winner
- Group 10 Winner