The Russians are coming!
OUR DOGS’ Vince Hogan looks at the rise and influence of the Russian dog scene following his recent trip to Moscow in the snow!
Perestroika and Glasnost changed Europe and the World forever in the late eighties and early nineties. The demise of the old Soviet Union created a new set of rules and changed countries around Europe. Now, coming out of the old Soviet block, undoubtedly the new force in European dog showing terms and perhaps even on the world stage, is the rise and rise of the Russian dog showing fraternity; this is a phenomenon that has caught the eye of many observers in the world of dogs.
The weekend of the 12-13 January saw more evidence of the growing numbers and success of British exhibitors abroad, when a small group of British exhibitors travelled to Slovenia to take part in three FCI championship shows including the two CACIB international shows in Ljubljana. As featured in the Our Dogs Annual 2013 (p.309).
British exhibitors have come to relish the different challenges and fun accompanying showing in Europe, and that weekend saw a whole lot of fresh challenges as they braved the winter snowy weather across Europe!
It is interesting to find out what makes a success of something and what doesn’t. Belgium has several shows, most of them in Flanders. Kortrijk is probably the most famous, and Brussels is its biggest challenger. Shows in Wallonia have struggled and some disappeared, such as La Louvière and Namur. Charleroi is back but still recovering. The two remaining shows, however, are doing very well, Liège on one side, and Mouscron on the other side of the linguistic border that divides Belgium. The success of Mouscron has lasted now for 40 years, so it’s time to celebrate!
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 first International Show of 2013 in Slovakia was held on the 26th & 27th January in the small city of Trencin, which is 130 kilometres to the north of Bratislava in the Valley of the Vag River. Trencin has a small exhibition centre with 4 or 5 small halls.
Entry numbers were good with nearly 2,000 dogs. Groups 1, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 were judged on Saturday; and Groups 2, 3, 4 and 10 on Sunday.
Having had to decline previous invitations to judge in Russia we were pleased that on this occasion we were able to accept. Little did we realise that within a matter of days we would receive a call from Hong Kong inviting us to judge for them a week later.
As I waited to check in at Manchester Airport I noticed a chap with a heavy case, a couple of check in desks further down. He was struggling to put the luggage on the belt, and then withdrew his wallet. Ah, he is going to bribe the girl on the desk, I thought. Looking closer I realised it was none other than Vince Hogan, with a suitcase full of annuals, for Moscow! Not one to miss a chance, as we exchanged pleasantries and parted, he threw the line ‘Patsy, do me a bit on Porto, would love to be there but can’t be in two places at once’!
Having just attended Manchester Show in snow and ice the weekend before, I think I was reasonably prepared for a trip to Moscow and temperatures of minus 15 degrees, possibly the coldest place I have been for a dog show anywhere!
A great panel of top international judges had been gathered by the organisers, headed up by Andrey Klishas (President of the Russian Hunting Federation) together with the support of Nicolas Pineiro, Katya and the hard working team.
‘ROLY’ IS THE FESTIVE SAINT
It was back to the show ring for many after the Christmas festivities at the National Show Centre in Dublin on December 27th where there was an entry of 1,238 in competition classes for the panel of Irish judges to choose from.
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