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.
The Green Isle Hotel in Clondalkin on the west outskirts of Dublin once again played host to the Dublin Dog Show Society promotion Champion of Champions final on Saturday January 5th which saw the Champion Stakes class winners from 2012 come together to challenge for the overall title and to find an overall winner
The inimitable Hans Van Ben Berg was invited to travel from the Netherlands to judge the event and as always his quirky approach to his job was very entertaining as are his stories of previous appointments.
My Dog, Dog Show International Event was held in the Gothina Towers Complex, Gothenburg, Sweden over four days from the 3rd to the 6th January. I was judging over all four days.
This was a quite wonderful event I had been invited to judge over the four days. Peggy was invited by the club as a guest. On day one I had Lancashire Heelers Australian Cattle Dogs, Polish Lowland Sheepdogs, Border Collies, Smooth Collies & Rough Collies.
The Brussels Dog Show has changed date a few times, from May to December, back to May and back to December. And next year year it’s on the move again, it’s moving to the autumn. Last year there were two shows, the Champion of Champions and the regular show in December.
Unfortunately the last two years, winter has struck hard at the time of the show, but it did not affect the number of entries at all. New this year was that there were no forms distributed. A simple leaflet, roll-up panels and weblinks took over, and it worked. People have accepted the new media and use it. It is convenient of course. Once registered it is very simple to fill out an online subscription form and do the payment at the same time. Less mistakes, less administration to do, less people involved to compose the catalogue, and very easy to fill out the results afterwards.
It was a great pleasure to be back in Malta, and at the end of the two days I had a line up of six top quality dogs.
From the Working Group, the Alaskan Malamute, Ivramwoodland Continue The Legend, full of breed type with correct topline, sloping slightly from withers. Strongly made and holds up himself when on the move. The runner up was the GSD, Rafaye Hakan, a beautiful example of the breed, without exaggeration and skilfully handled to show his smooth outline and excellent gait. It was unfortunate that the fireworks display in the area took place whilst the group was being judged, and he became a little over excited by the noise and was not as steady as the Malamute.
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