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 digital era, facebook, internet… has caused a revolution in the dog world too. But I would call it an evolution rather than a revolution. Revolution is more in the sense of progress, while evolution is more neutral. Ten years back, entering a dog for a show meant filling out an entry form and sending it via regular mail. If you wanted to be sure that it would arrive in time, there was no question of waiting till two days before closure date. Idem ditto for the payment as a bank transfer took a certain number of days. Now it is no problem to enter your dog via your mobile phone within two minutes. Seconds later a confirmation mail arrives in your mailbox and you can even take this as a proof that your dog is entered. Payment is done with credit card instantly. Wow, indeed this sounds like big progress. I agree, for the exhibitor this is big progress. But is it a progress for the organisation too? In a way yes, a lot of paperwork is taken out of hands and often the payment is secured. But it is a nightmare that they only measure the success of a show, the moment the catalogue should go in print. But what about re-arrangements with regard to judges, halls, rings, ring stewards, etc. I can very well imagine what a nightmare the committee has been going through. Most things need to be done months in advance (even years) like the halls, hotel reservations, flights and booking of the judges, etc. That means that expenses must be made a lot in advance. If then you see that not even 50% of the estimated number of entries are registered a few days before closing time? The European Show of Bucharest was even worse and could have meant the bankruptcy of a National Kennel Club. Only after having advanced the deadline for entering, the sky cleared up. How far can this go? What is the final limit?
The weather was far from ideal and on Sunday snow could cause serious problems. If the situation keeps going on like now, we can expect exhibitors entering their dogs only when the weather is promising. Comfort for one person usually means discomfort or more efforts for other people. If this evolution goes on, I predict a lot of problems in the coming years. The financial risk will completely be transferred to the organising club while years ago, all exhibitors were risking their entry fee if they could not make it to a show and had paid.
But it was a relief for the organisers of the Ambiorix Trophy in the end and 1,369 entries for a national title is a very good result. I miss statistics in the catalogue (the only remarks concerning the catalogue), but a quick look in the address list showed me that, as expected, the majority of foreign dogs were from Germany and Holland, seeing the geographical situation of Genk. But I saw also a few exhibitors from the United Kingdom and that surprised me. Thirteen Judges were invited, 7 of them from Belgium which is totally acceptable for a CAC show. Mrs Rita Reyniers and her partner Mr Theo Leenen, both from Belgium, were the most popular judges at this show. Together they had 336 dogs or 25% of all entries! On Saturday, Mr Leenen had 108 dogs including no less than 57 Border Collies. That was the best one day score of the weekend. He finished the weekend with 170 entries on the counter. Mrs Reyniers had 73 on Saturday and 93 on Sunday. Mr Norman Deschuymere was filling gaps on Saturday but on Sunday he was very busy, and finished with 100 dogs. Mr L. Catalan from Portugal finished his weekend in the third place with 135 dogs in total. Saturday was the busiest day when he had 24 Dalmatians and a total number of entries of 96.
Mrs Monique Van Brempt, who was judging on Saturday only, was asked to accept the honour of judging Best In Show. All Group winners were to be placed, but going into detail would bring us too far. So, let me stick to the usual podium places and start with number 3. Mrs Sally Duffin-Penney from the United Kingdom had to take a hard decision, going back home Saturday or stay for the finals on Sunday, notwithstanding the bad weather forecast. Fortunately the snow came only a lot later and she could go home with a nice trophy won by her 5 year old Bobtail Champion Longdorham Follow The Dream, that she had entered in Champion class to be judged by Mr Theo Leenen. Mr Harsanyi from Hungary was the Group judge. The Airedale Terrier, It van ‘t Asbroek won Res BIS. This 2 year old female was also entered in Champion Class to be jduged by Mr Zhuk from Bella Russia. The Terrier Group was assigned to Mr P. Kroll from Poland. It is a product of the Kennel of Mr and Mrs Graulus from Belgium, members of the Club. Best In Show went to the Netherlands and again, like the Bobtail and Airedale, it was a Group winner of Saturday that came back on Sunday for the finals. The American Cocker Spaniel particolour Galaksi Another One Bites The Dust was entered in Intermediate class males to be judged by Mr Deschuymere. He was bred in Denmark by Kristensen and is owned by Jessica Van Den Boom, one of the top breeders in Holland. Galaksi was just 15 months old. Mr Des Manton from Ireland gave him the Group ticket to compete for the finals.
Next edition is planned for the 8th & 9th of February 2014, a few weeks later than this year. Please don’t hesitate and schedule it in your agenda and enter well in time. It will make such a big difference for the organisation, think of that.