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Monday, 17 August 2015 14:32

Helsinki Summer Show 2015

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Have you ever been to a dog show where more or less everyone seems to be ‘in the pink’ or at the very least wearing something pink about their person? Well that’s an experience many dog people enjoyed in Helsinki recently as the bi annual Eukanuba Summer Show took place over three days just outside the city outskirts.

Best in Show at the Helsinki Summer Show was the Affenpinscher, Tricky Ricky From Harrow-Hi Tech, owned by Jongkie Budiman, handled by Bensri Sittibavornsakul pictured with Kari Järvinen, Group Judge, Rainer Vuorinen the BIS Judge, and making up the Four Finns, Hans Lehtinen and Johan Juslin the show organiser.
Photo by HotDog

Have you ever been to a dog show where more or less everyone seems to be ‘in the pink’ or at the very least wearing something pink about their person? Well that’s an experience many dog people enjoyed in Helsinki recently as the bi annual Eukanuba Summer Show took place over three days just outside the city outskirts.

The Boss

All credit for this fun and well organised show must go the man in pink, he who made it all possible....Johan Juslin, otherwise known as ‘the Boss’. Sounds like something from a James Bond movie! But this year he had the T Shirt to prove it!

This was my third visit to the Summer Show which seems to have gone from strength to strength each time it is staged....and that word should be taken quite literally as it was a show with a theatrical and enjoyable edge. Johan is clearly a colourful character and why not.

Do dog shows have to be boring and conformist? Well not in Johan’s eyes, and of course many people agreed with him...so much so that his requested ‘dress code...pink’ was taken to heart by one and all. Our photographs of the show reveal all!

A sea of pink, with subtle shades mixed in with the downright outrageous making everyone arrive with a smile and an air of having fun at the show...which everyone seemed to do from judges, to exhibitors, organisers and the dogs themselves!

Well organised

This was hardly my first visit to a show in Helsinki... three times at this show, plus OUR DOGS have now attended the massive events of the World Show in 1998 and 2013 and also the European Show of 2006 all held in the famous exhibition halls in the centre of Helsinki. So we have a great affinity with Finland, a true nation of dog people and one respected as a great country for well organised dog shows and top quality exhibits.

This weekend was no exception. Show organiser, Johan, had put together what appeared to be a handpicked top international panel drawing judges from various parts of the world, including some top names from Scandinavia plus judges from Australia, New Zealand the UK and USA. It was certainly a team that gelled together; from the UK we had Mark Cocozza, Jeff Horswell, Bill Browne Cole complete with bow ties, Liz Cartledge and Siggy Wilberg. It was great to see Finnish favourite Hans Lehtinen in good form for the weekend as well.

In fact we had a coming together of the FOUR FINNS in the shape of Johan, Hans, Kari Jarvinen and Rainer Vuorinen....a lot of doggy experience packed in there. We met some lovely judges from Australia and New Zealand who all entered into the spirit of things as well.

Doris Cozart and Peggy Beisel Mcilwaine flew the flag for the USA and great fun they are too. Making a truly international weekend our co media partners were Oleg and Nataly from HOTdog International magazine. They are well known on the circuit and always provide their own individual view of the show.

Not so many Russian exhibitors this time round; economic pressures affect us all in this day and age. However copies of OUR DOGS and HOTdog were both available from the OUR DOGS stand which was there all three days.

Handy showground

Based at an ideal outdoor venue for this size of show (just over 2500 dogs) the Summer Show only takes place every two years which gives The Boss plenty of time to fine tune the operation. The actual venue is run by the Sighthound club who’s members were ever present all weekend setting up and breaking down, running the catering for judges and workers (very tasty it was too!)

Well done to Erik Lindholm and the team for great ground management. Used by various clubs during the year it clearly is perfect for dog shows; everyone seemed to know what went where so that good order prevailed and I heard no complaints about anything all weekend….most unusual for a dog show and where often people have to have a complaint about something!

The location of the showground was also great as we all flew into the nearby airport, stayed at the nearby hotel and travelled for 10 minutes to get to the show venue….perfect. Even the weather did its best to impress as the locals told me it was the best weather they had enjoyed all summer....it hadn’t been great prior to that.

Some minor rain on Sunday but a predicted storm never arrived. The grounds are green and grassy, flat with easy access and from a standing start in early morning a tented village springs up around the well marked rings ready for judging and the very civilised hour of 10am.

The permanent club house serves refreshments all day long and there is a trade stand alley for the doggy shopaholics. Parking is right next to the showground as well, in fact there is not a lot of room for improvement here, it’s an almost perfect set up!

In The Eukanuba Pink

How could this show be supported by anyone else other than Eukanuba? This dog food company is already synonymous with pink and they supported with prizes all weekend and on Saturday hosted a super garden party for the judges, the organisers and the members of the Eukanuba breeders club.

Food, wine, entertainment and a quiz made for a great night...preceded by the now expected award for Miss Eukanuba 2015...and this year the winner was Doris Cozart from the USA! Yes, it was all part of the fun to make this a really enjoyable show all round.

Thanks to Sanna and the team from Eukanuba for their backing...it would not be the same without you! Not sure about allowing Johan to be on the winning team at the quiz though! He knew all the answers about the shows history! Each day the groups took place at 4pm in front of the administration tent in an extended ring with commentary by Ritta Niemela; pre judging started 30 minutes beforehand.

Our photos and list of winners in this show feature will give you all the details. The timing of the groups was excellent; judges were seated under the central tent, drinks were served by Tony Pekkola, easy access for the photographers for group shots....yep, the whole thing flowed, was easy, no pressure and was enjoyed by an appreciative ringside right up until BIS on Sunday night.

A great win for Ricky the Affenpinscher and Ping Ping from Indonesia, also pulling off a great double with the Reserve BIS Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen also co owned by Ping and her husband. Another emotional day in Finland for this well travelled exhibitor.

2017 And On

So Johan, back to planning for another show.... even though at the end of each event you say, ‘Never again!’ We know the judging panel is already booked and you will be planning some more surprises for us all.

This particular weekend in the calendar is a packed one on the international show circuit so to stand out from the crowd you do need to try for something different.

So well done Johan and your committee for daring to be different!

Report By VINCE HOGAN | Pictures By HOTdog & VINCE HOGAN


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Read 1041 times Last modified on Monday, 12 September 2016 10:34

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