As every show, it all started small. In 1964 Mr José Misselyn organised the first edition in Menen, a small town near Kortrijk. In 1970 I entered my Great Dane for this show and I remember that it took place in the first Expo Halls of Kortrijk. Twenty-five years ago I started to work as a reporter for the national magazine in Belgium, WOEF, the Eurodogshow was my first show, and since then I have been a yearly visitor and have seen it grow larger, bigger and more professional.
While last year the Brussels Dog Show was surfing on high waves, this year they were forced to replace the regular date that is normally mid-December, to the summer, because the Heizel Palaces were not available.
If we look back in history, there is no show in Belgium that has changed more often than the one organised by the Club of Moldernete. For several years the show was held an the ice rink at Mol, a town close to Holland. But that was not the most convenient place. Most rings had to be placed outside and there was always the risk of rain spoiling the weekend and when it was warm, there was hardly any shade to find shelter.
It HAS taken Brabo a long time to recover from its lows of past years. And who would have expected that this show would now be ranked in the top three? Indeed, there were 18% more dogs entered compared to last year which was already a good year.
Hoogstraten held its 40th show this year. Usually held in January, but because the dog show in Gent that is only held every two years was not taking place this year, Hoogstraten moved to February as the shows did not clash.
However, on the closing date for entries, there was panic in the committee, as only 1,200 dogs were entered. That would have been a complete disaster, as last year the show had 1,764 entries. The organisers were forced to extend the closing date by a few extra days. At the end they had an entry of 1,619 dogs. I wonder seriously where this evolution will end. Which show will have the courage to be the first to say “the closure date is the closure date, and every dog that is entered after the closure date will not be accepted”. That is, in my opinion, the only way to stop this evolution.
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 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 ALL started in 1964, 49 shows ago, in Menen, a small town in the neighbourhood of Kortrijk. Now it is, without any doubt, the number one show in Flanders and the strongest rival of the national show of Belgium in Brussels. It is the most famous and best known in Belgium, but also in Europe.
It was a great day for the Brits at the 49th Kortrijk Show when the Afghan Hound, Afterglow Jumping Rainbows of Sofico bred by Mike Gadsby and co-owned by Claire Millward together with Dudley and Glenys Chadwick from North Wales took top spot out of 3000 dogs at this popular Belgian event.
This club is one of the younger Belgian clubs that organises dog shows in Belgium. For a few years now, this club has awarded CACIB’s and has grown a lot since. The number of shows in Belgium has decreased, especially in Wallonia where only two shows remain, Liège and Mouscron. However, Charleroi again had a one day CAC show and there are plans to restart Namur too, but that is not the case for La louvière.
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