Last year, however, the number of entries dramatically dropped to a little over 1,600 dogs. Something had to be done, something needed to change. This year 27 judges were invited, of which there were only six from Belgium, the rest coming from 15 other countries. It looks like it worked, the number of entries rose again to 2,152 dogs.
Most of them depend on the visitors in the first place, not so much on the exhibitors. Publicity is very important in order to get people to the show, but as that is expensive too, it is an art to get everything in balance. If a show is known to attract many visitors, automatically you see more trade stands coming. It’s pure marketing and the results are not immediately visible as it is a result of a reputation. Diversity is another important factor.
Too much of the same is chasing trade stand holders away, for example, there were three photo stands, one of them set up by the committee itself! The cake to be divided is the very same, only the portions are getting smaller. This year there was no live view on internet. In my opinion it is better to share teasers on the internet, because live views takes away the visitors and that in turn affects the success of the trade stands. Unless the live view is seriously sponsored or when it is meticulously studied to attract more visitors, then it can have a positive effect, but if it’s only for the fun, it’s better to leave it. It is taking away the desire to visit the show and experience it live. Brabo is one of the few shows with entertainment during the day, thanks to a separate main ring that is available during the day.
Dog Dancing and Obedience is always something that can entertain the audience and children. Especially for Brabo, it is important in order to attract the visitors to the main hall where most of the trade stands are. It is not a central hall and people tend not to wander around there unless there is something going on. Next to the main ring is the buffet for drinks and there is also a trailer where you can buy real Belgian frites! All this is exploited by Brabo and that helps, because the halls of the Bouwcentrum are one of the most expensive in the country.
The catalogue is one of the most complete in Belgium, extended statistics, a good map with the rings, in fact, all you need to know is there. The main ring has again slight changes. The tables for the judges are separated from the main ring by a ceremonial rope and it makes it easier to walk around for people of the organisation and the catering. The podium is ok now, although I still wonder why there should be more than three dogs placed. I think that dog shows are the only events where more than three winners are placed. It also affects the time for each group to be judged. While the end of the show was scheduled for 5pm, it ended at 6pm and that was not only because of this, but some judges seem not to be aware of the time they take and turn it into a private show.
The exhibitors made up of a collection of 15 nationalities. 58% were from Belgium, 21% from the Netherlands and I had expected this to be more, seen the proximity to Antwerp. 53 UK dogs came over, hoping to take away a title or trophy to the UK.
On Sunday there were more dogs registered than on Saturday, 886 to 1,266. Mr Kazmiersky from Poland had 69 entries due to the 40 Border Collies that were subject to his opinion, along with his 62 entries for Sunday he had the third best score of the show.
Mrs Agafonova from Russia had 71 entries on Saturday, the only judge on Saturday with over 70 entries, she had a nice entry on Sunday for the Bernese Mountain dogs, 44 all together. On Sunday we get a totally but logical other picture. 81 dogs were entered for Mrs Van Brempt, but she was absent, and her entries re-divided. Mrs Philippou from Cyprus had 97 dogs, mainly Poodles. As she had a good score on Saturday, she ended up with 164 which was the best score of the weekend. Mr Belkis from Turkey had 86 dogs, he had a nice number of 40 Great Danes.
Mr Kuplyauskas from Russia judged the 42 French Bulldogs and finished the weekend as second best scoring judge with 138 dogs. Mrs Periskova from Russia was invited for Sunday only, but she was a hit with 128 dogs. She had all the Teckels (101) and the Pugs. Mr Carroll from Ireland was another single day hit with 81 entries, all breeds from Group 5. Mr Scanlan from the United Kingdom was on term on Saturday for the 58 Staffordshire Bull Terriers. Mr Veiga from Portugal had 45 Rhodesian Ridgebacks.
Mrs Monique Van Brempt from Belgium, one of our all-rounders and with a strong worldwide reputation, was supposed to judge Best In Show but due to her absence it was Mrs Diane Degryze who took over from her, she is also from Belgium and judges already a nice number of breeds. Only five dogs were placed, the others were all ex-aequo placed sixth. That is a good idea, but I only wonder why five and not three and have all the others ex-aequo fourth place. Again, in what other disciplines do we find more than three places on a podium?
Mrs Degryze placed the Group 6 winner in 3rd place, the Rhodesian Ridgeback, Likozi Sheik Jagluiperd, owned by Mr Edwin Van Doorn from the Netherlands. After Mr Veiga chose him as Best of Breed, Mr Agabeyli from Azerbeijan made him Best of Group.
The winner of the Terrier Group, the Yorkie, Hunderwood Heaven-Sent is owned by Mr Eric Bernard from France. Mr Agabeyli who judged the breed, found him in Champion Class Males and made him winner of the 19 entries. The Group was judged by MrsPhilippou.
As Mrs Degryze is a Poodle person, it adds to the honour to win BIS, as the winning dog was a black Medium Sized Poodle, Curlfinch Jakira is his name, owned by Kroes-Vink Corrie. Mrs Philippou was the breed judge of this breed too and Mrs Degryze herself was the Group judge. Jakira will probably be entered from now on in Champion Class and no longer in Open Class.
Brabo’s next show is 21 and 22 of April 2018.