Lillestrom lacked sparkle...say exhibitors
Rodi Hubenthal from Norway judged Best in Show at this years European Dog Show. Rodi selected the Wire Fox Terrier, Ch King Arthur Van Foliny Home, co-owned by Victor Malzoni Jnr from Brazil, and Rony and Dieny De Munter (Breeder) from Belgium. King was piloted to BIS by his handler, Warren Bradley from Wales. Also pictured is Jose Luis Ibanez presenting the prize for the Eukanuba World Challenge, and a representative from Agria.
Vince Hogan reports In our first look back on the European Dog Show which took place near Oslo last weekend, it seems a shame that the comments which we are hearing most are negative; many exhibitors are expressing disappointment on social media that this flag ship event seemed flat and never seemed to ‘take off’ as other top FCI events have done in the past. True it was the biggest dog show Norway has ever held and the organisers appeared to be happy with the results. There was a visit even from the Prime Minister.
They had just under 26,000 visitors and had considerable radio and online coverage according to their press office. Despite this enthusiastic response from the organisers the fact that most of the show programmes appear to have been given away free on Sunday having failed to sell in any numbers on the previous two days…they started life at 100 KR, went down to 50KR and then gratis by Sunday.
In fairness, the NKK had a great floor team…the black and orange show crew, the catalogue was lovely and well put together, the show hotel was very handy and parking and traffic did not seem an issue.
Yet as one pundit put it, “it seemed like they had baked a cake and forgotten to put the icing on the top” (apologies to Karl Donvil from the world dog press!) The show even had it own tailgate episode with the Shih Tzu on Friday (see elsewhere in this paper) As there was a live stream from the show, the event was being observed by experienced exhibitors all over Europe, one said on Friday “I just watched a few videos from the EURO SHOW... there was NO Music, NO atmosphere and quite many empty seats around the main ring….”
This view seemed to be echoed by many at the show on all levels. The trade stands were not exactly rushed off their feet with quiet starts in the morning and early finishes at night. On day one there were less than 7000 visitors to the event, and it showed.
The group judging took place in a low atmosphere on Friday especially, with empty galleries almost echoing the lack of press attending the press conferences that really were no more than seminars or lectures on breed specific legislation or dog welfare that would have been preaching to the converted…if any press had bothered to turn up.
The main interest for the press centred on Saturday around the so called ‘China Crisis’ and a few journalists did in fact arrive and eventually questions were fired at the NKK CEO Mrs. Trine Hage in a live stream lecture on welfare. Many of the journalists told me afterwards that they felt ‘talked down to’ and hence the press meeting on Sunday only had one official publisher attending, guess who.
Many judges as well as exhibitors were disappointed that too much emphasis was being placed on this China issue and welfare…in fact many said although they understood what it was all about, that they were here for the show and they were not getting a good feeling. A clear case of the NKK shooting itself in the foot was the general view. The show ground was adequate but split up across five halls and movement to and from each hall was largely down a 500 metre walkway/ corridor.
This would explain why people in halls E, or D would have a long way to see the trade stands in hall B or the Discover Dogs breed booths in Hall A, somewhat hidden away despite being near We could not even drown our sorrows as due to the very heavy alcohol tax in Norway, even the beer was expensive! (No, make that VERY expensive!) In a bizarre twist at the end of the show, it was announced by commentator Leif Herman Wilberg in the main ring that the best in show trophies had been stolen! Everyone looked around as if it was a joke, but the message was repeated and we carried on to the BIS awards…. And in another twist of fate the BIS went to last years worthy winner, the Wire Fox terrier piloted by Warren Bradley from Wales and co owned by Victor Malzoni Jr from Brazil and Rony de Munter from Belgium…the breeder.
King has had a fabulous run of results and he and his team deserve every credit; this is the first time any dog has done the double at a European Show. I don’t think Warren and the owners of King will worry too much that their prizes disappeared…how and why they were taken remains a mystery; there were many comments about Chinese takeaways, but we wont go down that route! We now look forward to a World Show in Moscow and the next European Show in Belgium 2016.
OUR DOGS international will have an extended report including British winners and judges views in our next International digital page turning Special out in October.
Best in Show & Group Winners Photos
Best in Show critique
As always it is a great honour to be invited to judge BIS, and extra special to judge it in the EDS 2015 Show. Thanks to my colleagues who judged the 10 group finals, I had a lovely "line up". I enjoyed every minute of my time in the ring. One by one, the 10 group winners entered the ring, three of them attached themselves immediately on my retina: The Samoyed, the Wire Fox Terrier and the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen.
And after going over all 10, there were still those three who were my top picks. Identifying no. 4 among the remaining 7 was not an easy task, but I ended up with the Afghan hound.
My choice for Best in Show became the Wire Fox Terrier - a masculine and sound dog with a beautiful head, very nice ears and eyes which accomplished a perfect expression. I loved the long neck, the perfect high withers and the short, straight back. He was well angulated, and his movement parallel and flexible. This, together with a very nice, hard coat, and the perfect trimmed coat made him my winner.
My runner up was a young, beautiful Samoyed, well developed for his age, nicely balanced with beautiful head and expression, nice neck and correct length of body, nice tail, angulations and coat. He showed himself like he wanted to win, and he almost succeeded.
Perfect handled. At third spot I placed The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen, a very sound and correct built male with nice proportions, typical head and correct length of ears and tail. He moved very effectively, and kept his topline absolutely straight all the time. Nice, hard coat. Fourth place went to the Afghan Hound.
A big male, full of type, beautiful head and expression. Typical topline, correct tail set and well developed chest. Very well angulated but he was handled too fast when moving which took away some of his potential.
Following the controversial decision to stage the WDS in Shanghai in 2019, there was heightened interest to se where the European show would be held in the same year. The vote by the FCI took place in Oslo last weekend at the European Section meeting and the show will be held in Wels, Austria.
It is particularly appropriate as the Austrian Kennel Club will celebrate their 110th Anniversary in 2019.
OUR DOGS have yet again been appointed as the International Media Partner for the show. Austria’s challengers for the role were Germany and Hungary who had in fact won the first ballot but lost on the second round of voting once Germany dropped out.
Congratulations to Austria from OUR DOGS. From left to right, Vince Hogan OUR DOGS Media Partner, Elizabeth Manner Secretary of the OKV, and Dr Michael Kreiner President of the Austrian Kennel Club pictured on their stand during the recent EDS in Oslo