Lovanium makes history
Best in Show at Lovanium 2015 was the Bearded Collie, Beardie Connections Kenji, owned by Otto Rinus from The Netherlands.
He won Group 1 under Mr V. Al-Daghistani (Serbia) and BIS under Mrs T. Ahlman-Stockmari (Finland).
While last year the show was granted only a CAC title and the number of entries was rather low with 1,245, this year can be called an explosion. A CACIB title was on offer this year and along with the fine reputation of the Leuvense Dog Club, Lovanium made history, breaking its own record with 1,884 entries, an increase of over 50%!!!
I always wonder why Germany, such a big country with so many dogs, is always so relatively poorly represented. Belgium is so nearby for them, not further as for the Dutch and French, but still, never high numbers of German entries.
There were a few entries from more remote countries, like two from Russia and two from Ukraine and the United Kingdom was well represented as 32 dogs came over for this show. The success of a show like Leuven is probably due to its good position, hardly 1km from the big highway E40.
There is good parking, a large camping area, nearby important shopping malls and close to the beautiful and old university town of Leuven, really worth a visit. But a reputation is most important of all and that takes efforts to build this up, year after year. And the Lovaniumtrofee is the only show that offers natural prizes for the winners. This year it was a selection of IKEA goods, things one can always use.
And this comes along with the regular cups and flowers. The trade stand holders are kept happy too. There is not that much space and the committee takes care that there is hardly any overlapping of goods for sale and that is appreciated. There was interest from the local TV and even the Mayor of Leuven paid a visit.
He likes dogs and owns a Boxer himself. There was no complaining about space, at least not that I heard of, notwithstanding the high number of dogs and the many visitors. The biggest surprise of this show was that "only" 11 judges managed to finish this show in time, and that is a real achievement.
Two were invited from Serbia, one from Ireland, one from the UK, one each from Czech Republic, Finland, Austria and Luxemburg and three from Belgium, and each of them was pretty busy. Mr Al-Daghistani from Serbia had 102 dogs on Saturday. He had the Rottweilers and the Newfoundlands amongst others of Group 2. He shared this group with Mrs Lazic Suncica, a compatriot who had 123 dogs on Saturday.
On Sunday she had 112, all out of Group 1 and that made her the best scoring judge of Saturday and of Sunday and consequently also of the show. Mrs Lenka Frncova came over from the Czech Republic to judge Group 5 dogs on Saturday, including a nice entry of 25 Miniature Spitzs, and 105 dogs on Sunday, when she had more nice numbers like 30 Beagles, 22 Dalmatians and 47 Rhodesian Ridgebacks.
Mrs Alhman-Stockmani from Sweden judged English Bulldogs and Leonbergers and other breeds on Saturday and Poodles and Chinese Crested on Sunday and that resulted in 83 and 82 entries respectively. Mr Filip Behan from Ireland judged Group 5 breeds on Saturday with 89 dogs, including the Siberian Huskies.
On Sunday he could be more relaxed when he had 61 entries. Mr Berchtold, who came from Austria, was at ease on Saturday with 38 dogs. On Sunday, however, he had 90 dogs to judge and that number was partly due to 41 Border Collies and 35 Labradors. Mr Chris Laverty from the United Kingdom judged 79 Terriers on Saturday and 103 dogs on Sunday, and this nice number was due to 57 Golden Retrievers.
Mrs Diane Degryze is a Belgian judge who officiated both days. On Sunday she had 43 French Bulldogs and finished the weekend with 153 dogs; Mr Norman Deschuymere had 88 dogs on Saturday, the Pinschers and Schnauzers and some Terriers and judged the Dachshunds and a few companion breeds. In total he had 166 dogs. In fact all judges had no less than 122 dogs over the weekend and that is unusual and a real achievement. Mrs Alhman Stockmari was the Best In Show judge and had to place all dogs.
Only the Chow Chow didn't show up on Sunday. Her 3rd place went to the Mastino Napoletano, Isacco Del Gheno, proudly owned by Aesseloos-Vander Motten. Issacco, was entered in Champion Class males under judge Al-Daghistani and won the Group under Mrs Lazic. He is two years old now. One And Only From Service Paradise was entered by Kujit-Van De Kerkhof from the Netherlands.
This 4 year old bitch had strong competition from 34 other Labradors but made it and won the Group too under Mr Berchtold from Austria who judged the breed and the Group. But there was Kenji, the famous Bearded Collie owned by Mr Otto Rinus from the Netherlands, who won his breed from 18 breed mates when Mr Al-Daghistani judged. Here too Mr Al-Daghistani judged the Group. Beardie Connections Kenji added another BIS title to his palmares and probably not his last one. What will be the goal for the Lovaniumtrofee now?
Over 2,000 entries? Help them and enter your dog. You will not regret it, and not forgetting the fine atmosphere, friendly welcome, good judges and maybe the useful trophies and traditional Dry-Bed for every dog. It will be a little later next year, on 29-30 October 2016.
Report & Pictures By KARL DONVIL