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Hoogstraten held its 40th show this year. Usually held in January, but because the dog show in Gent that is only held every two years was not taking place this year, Hoogstraten moved to February as the shows did not clash.

However, on the closing date for entries, there was panic in the committee, as only 1,200 dogs were entered. That would have been a complete disaster, as last year the show had 1,764 entries. The organisers were forced to extend the closing date by a few extra days. At the end they had an entry  of 1,619 dogs. I wonder seriously where this evolution will end. Which show will have the courage to be the first to say “the closure date is the closure date, and every dog that is entered after the closure date will not be accepted”. That is, in my opinion, the only way to stop this evolution. 

It is interesting to find out what makes a success of something and what doesn’t. Belgium has several shows, most of them in Flanders. Kortrijk is probably the most famous, and Brussels is its biggest challenger. Shows in Wallonia have struggled and some disappeared, such as La Louvière and Namur. Charleroi is back but still recovering. The two remaining shows, however, are doing very well, Liège on one side, and Mouscron on the other side of the linguistic border that divides Belgium. The success of Mouscron has lasted now for 40 years, so it’s time to celebrate!

The first show of the year in Belgium was almost a nightmare for the committee. Two weeks before the show was due to take place, only a little more than 600 entries were registered. That would mean a big financial fiasco for the club, but fortunately the weekend of the closing date ended in euphoria with 1,369, two entries more than last year’s show. 

The Brussels Dog Show has changed date a few times, from May to December, back to May and back to December. And next year year it’s on the move again, it’s moving to the autumn. Last year there were two shows, the Champion of Champions and the regular show in December.

Unfortunately the last two years, winter has struck hard at the time of the show, but it did not affect the number of entries at all. New this year was that there were no forms distributed. A simple leaflet, roll-up panels and weblinks took over, and it worked. People have accepted the new media and use it. It is convenient of course. Once registered it is very simple to fill out an online subscription form and do the payment at the same time. Less mistakes, less administration to do, less people involved to compose the catalogue, and very easy to fill out the results afterwards.

Best in Show at the Brussels International Show was the Pekingese Billi Boy Iz Sanrais Dragon, owner Romanyul Natalia from Russia. In second place was Clumber Spaniels Bears Bay Full Speed To Cape Lewisporte, owner Counotte-De Vree from Belgium and in third place Tchiorny Terrier Moskvorechie Yason, owner Irina Klimova from Russia. More on this show in a forthcoming issue of OUR DOGS.  

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