Ambiorix Trophy - British BIS
The Ambiorix Best in Show was the Group 1 winner, the Australian Shepherd Dog, Allmark Fifth Avenue, owned by Allan Neil from the UK. Best in Show judge was Des Manton (Ireland).
Don't mistake the LKV Show in Genk for the Ambiorix Trophy that is also in Genk, both in the very same halls. The Haspengouwse Kynological Society is the youngest and had the ambition to have its own CACIB. As that caused a problem for the Belgian Kennel Club (same area, same halls, etc) it was decided that the CACIB was given alternatively to each club.
Next year LKV is on term again, unfortunately the very same weekend as Crufts. They cross their fingers hoping that it will not affect the success of their show too much. It took some time before the entries came in, but when the organisation decided to invite Des Manton in the end to relieve a few other judges who were overloaded, suddenly there were a lot of extra entries so that in the end no less than 1,962 dogs were on the list. The dogs were entered from 16 different countries, including one from as far as Australia.
The catalogue had a special page with statistics in the form of graphs. We can clearly see how Belgium had 734 participants (handlers, not dogs), followed by the Netherlands with 234 and Germany with 158. France had 98 and then comes the United Kingdom with 30! We also learnt that significantly more bitches were entered than dogs, 1,041 to 921 and that the Shepherds are not the second but the third largest Group.
The halls were well filled, but the 14 rings proved large enough. Two rings were made in the central entrance hall and that helps to make it comfortable for all. BRIT dog food was the main sponsor. The weather was pretty warm and although there were constant warnings, one person found it necessary to leave his dog in the car. The police and fire brigade finally released the dog.
This incident cast a shadow over the show, notwithstanding the constant warnings not to leave dogs in cars and the calls for the owner of the car and dog, but it did not affect the show itself. Sixteen judges were invited and only four of them were Belgians. And from these four, two were judging on Sunday only. Saturday was not too busy as only 842 dogs had to be judged. On Sunday, on the other hand, it took was quite a while before the main ring could start.
Mr Deutscher judged in one of the rings that were used to form the main ring and therefore the finals could only start when he was finished. He was the most successful judge of the show and he is almost every year invited by this club. On Saturday he had 81 dogs including 31 Golden Retrievers. On Sunday he had all the Dachshunds, 79 all together, plus several other breeds, 136 in total, which made him win also the Best Day score. Mr P. Kroll from Poland is perhaps an even more frequent visitor. As long as I have known him, he has judged at every show of this club, year after year, but he was also invited almost every time by LKV. Both judges are like family to the club. Mr Kroll had a good entry too, 77 dogs on Saturday and 119 on Sunday. He had a remarkable entry of 28 Pomeranians which is relatively high. Are Poms becoming the next popular breed? Mr and Mrs Korozs from Hungary are regularly invited too, and always attract high numbers of dogs. Mr Korozs had 85 Terriers on Saturday.
On Sunday he had only two popular breeds Bulldogs and Great Danes, 42 and 57 entries respectively. Mrs Papp (Mrs Kroll) judged on Saturday only. Also from Hungary came Mr P. Harsanyi and he proved successful too. He had a total of 155 entries, 96 on Sunday when he judged 54 French Bulldogs. Other good numbers on Saturday were 37 Rhodesian Ridgebacks for Mrs De Ridder-Onghena. Mrs O. Carty from Ireland had 28 Labradors. Her weekend finished after 150 dogs who came for her opinion. Mr Kinsey from the United Kingdom had 112 dogs.
He had the 28 Border Collies on Saturday but it was on Sunday when he was very busy judging 36 Leonbergers, 22 Dobermanns and other breeds. Mrs Van Brempt judged on Sunday only. She had 63 dogs, not that many maybe, but 25 Dogues de Bordeaux and 27 Newfoundlands is worth mentioning. BIS Junior was an Australian Shepherd, Apple Grumpy Cat Meadowville. This bitch is owned and handled by Mrs Ine Vanseer, daughter of the club secretary, thus keeping the first BIS Junior trophy in the club. Mr Deutscher was the judge. She won it from the French Bulldog, Melvin van de Mestreechteneerkes, a male, bred and owned by Mr Meerten from The Netherlands. This dog was judged by Mr Harsanyi from Hungary. Mr Des Manton from Ireland judged the Best In Show. He had a busy day on Sunday judging 34 Chihuahuas and most of all 46 Chinese Cresteds. All group winners from Saturday had to come back for the finals and all were present. His third place went to the Leonberger, Hakuna C Bora E Miloticek.
It was Mr Kinsey who chose this Polish import dog, owned by Bauwens-Roobrouck from Belgium, that was entered in Champion Class. Mr Deutscher made him BOG. The tension rose in the main ring when the winner was to be announced. First was the British bred and owned Australian Shepherd, Allmark Fifth Avenue. Owner Allan Neil entered this 5 year old bitch in Champions Class that was judged by Mr F. Cochetti from Italy. 21 were entered in total. Mr Cochetti also judged the Group. Her competitor for BIS was the famous Fox Terrier, Kingarthur von Foliny Home, multi BIS and group winner and Crufts and WDS BOB and BOG, etc, etc. The 10 Wire Fox Terriers were judged on Saturday by Mr Korozs. Kingarthur is co-owned by De Munter-Malzoni-Uitterwijk from Belgium and British handled.
But finally it was the Australian who won BIS of this first CACIB Ambiorix Trophy Show, a British win. Let us hope that next year many more British will cross the channel to compete here. It's clear, a lot of them found their way here and return regularly with trophies and even BIS trophies. Next time is again a CAC, to happen on April 2 and 3, but that is no reason to not take your chances and enter your dog. See you then!
Report & Pictures By KARL DONVIL