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Thursday, 01 March 2012

Sabaneev Memorial

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Ever since Russian Kennel Club won the right to host the World Dog Show in Moscow in 2016, the eyes of the dog show community begin to turn towards Russia.  In the past few years the European dog show scene became a pleasant mixture of the show hobby and travel.

Sabaneev Memorial All-Breed National Dog Show

The BIS line up pictured with the international judging panel
2. Welsh Corgi Pembroke ANDVOL PINKERTON

Report by Svetlana Valoueva

Moscow, Russia January 28, 2012 

Ever since Russian Kennel Club won the right to host the World Dog Show in Moscow in 2016, the eyes of the dog show community begin to turn towards Russia.  In the past few years the European dog show scene became a pleasant mixture of the show hobby and travel.

As advancement of the European Union and reach of the world wide web erased borders and distances, more and more dog owners get on the road to travel to the new and remote lands.  However, Russia still remains somewhat a mystery – in part due to the existence of the rather complicated visa procedure, language barrier and rather limited information.  Russian breeders and dog show fans make up vast numbers at the large European shows, but now it is the time for Europe to come to Russia.  

The question remains, can Russian kennel clubs handle the difficult task of running shows to the standard of the more experienced counterparts? In comparison to the last year, the entry to the Sabaneev Memorial Show run by the Russian Hunting Dog Federation increased twofold.  In 2012 the show was moved to the large contemporary halls of the Crocus-Expo Center located on the outskirts of Moscow which offered enough space for 3000 participants and over 30 breed specialties. With this huge number of breed shows held alongside with the National All-Breed show, many owners had a chance to win two or in some cases even three CAC under well known specialists.  

Yes, show organizers brought the crème de la crème of the world’s judging community to Moscow that weekend.  Frank Sabella and Michele Billings arrived to Russia from the US, Guy Jeavons and Mike Macbeth from Canada,  Andrew Brace and Lovaine Coxon from the UK.  Europe was represented by Hassi Assenmacher (Germany), Guido Vandoni (Italy), Rafael Garcia Parrondo (Spain), Paolo Dondina (Italy), Marianne Gyarfas (Hungary), Anatoly Zhuk (Belarus), Horst Kliebenstein (Germany),  Heliane Maissen-Jarisch (Austria),  Lisbeth Mach (Switzerland), Carmen Navarro Guisado (Spain), Karl Reisinger (Austria), Javier Sanchez Fernandez (Spain) and Milivoje Urosevic (Serbia).  

Russian judges also had plenty of work – Valentina Ivanischeva and Andrey Klishas were seen around the show as well judging various breeds and then moving onto the Main Ring.  Ms. Ivanischeva selected the best sighthound from FCI Group 10 while Mr. Klishas picked the Dachshund that represented FCI Group 4 in the Best in Show lineup. Named after the Russian zoology professor who spent his life studying the game animals of Russia, the hunting economy, and sports fishing, this show was dedicated to the centuries-old tradition of hobby hunting.  Avid hunter and patriot of Russian nature and its preservation, Leonid Sabaneev edited and published Priroda (Nature) magazine and Priroda i okhota (Nature and Hunting) magazine in the last two decades of the 19th century.

Sabaneev also was one of the founders of the Hunting Dogs Club in Moscow that later grew into the Russian Hunting Dogs Association which is now is one of the largest members of the Russian Kennel Club.  He spent many years researching how control over dog hunts led to the increase of predators which in turn affected the numbers of the moose and wild boar – traditional game of the Russian nobility and published two books of detailed description of various hunting dog breeds, exchanged letters with Charles Darwin and was a close friend of one of the greatest rulers of Russia, Emperor Alexander the Third. The breed with the highest entries (across all varieties) was the Dachshund.  But what really made this show stand out was the number of the rare Russian hunting breeds that appeared in show rings: Russian Hunting Spaniel, Estonian Hound, wild-type Afghan Hound, South Russian Hound and the pride of the Russia – three breeds of Laika – Eastern-Siberian, Western-Siberian and Russian-European.

For many years hunters and hunting dogs breeders ignored FCI shows and participated only in the breed shows held by the Society of Hunters and Fishermen, so the fact that there were so many hunting breeds present at the Sabaneev show means that the work that the Russian Hunting Dogs Association is doing warms people up to the idea of joining the FCI-regulated breeding program. Every judge had a huge number of dogs in their rings, exhibitors, so the judging went on for a very long time.  But judges were happy to give their attention to the exhibitors who showed genuine interest and enthusiasm.  Frank Sabella judged three breed specialties before he went on selecting the BIS winner.  

This show was very special for one exhibitor – Marina Ostrovskaya’s borzois (kennel Solovyev) took home trophies for the Best Brace, Breeding Group, Veteran BIS, competition “Pride of Russia” and finally the BIS!  The BIS winner, SOLOVYEV GVARDIA BELAYA, is almost 3 years old. Last year she became the World Winner in Paris.  Her sire, SOLOVYEV ULAN UDALOY, Veteran BIS at the same show, is the International Champion, Working Champion of Russia and European Coursing Vice-Champion. GVARDIA’s dam, ATAMANKA VAN WISINSKAYA, was the Best of Breed winner at Crufts a few years back.

BIS & Group Photos by Svetlana

This was my third time in Moscow and I am looking forward to more visits here.  I love Russian culture and connect with it very well.  Since my first time here, Sabaneev Memorial had grown three times over.  

The show committee invites the best judges from all over the world and I am very pleased to work alongside world class specialists.  I think the number of entries directly depends on the judging panel and if we look at entries we all had in Moscow – exhibitors just paid us all a great compliment.  
When I was a young man and did not know anything about the sport, people around me were very kind to me and shared their experience and knowledge with me.  Now I feel that my responsibility as a judge is not only to place dogs and give out ribbons, but also to help those around me.  In my heart, I always remain a handler, so if I see a gorgeous dog in my ring that is not presented well because her owner lacks experience, I always pause and give him advice. 
This time I judged three specialties.  I liked Keeshonds – they were correct in shape, size and color.  However, I think that owners and handlers do not pay much attention to grooming – it is never enough just to brush the dog before going into the ring with breeds like Pomeranian or Keeshond, it is the whole ritual.  
I also chose the Best in Show winner this time.  All ten finalists were very beautiful.  Third place went to the beautiful Boston Terrier bitch, second to the Welsh Corgi Pembroke – this dog has absolutely correct proportions and very nice expression.  My winner was a gorgeous Borzoi bitch, a true Russian jewel.

Andrey Klishas, President of the Russian Hunting Dog Federation told OUR DOGS
Our shows are known best for the most interesting judging panels.  I think this year we have outdone ourselves again.  Unlike most of Russian clubs, Russian Hunting Dog Federation does not make any profit organizing shows.  We set the goal to see the same faces who judge at the most prestigious shows of the world including Crufts and Westminster, in our rings and we are doing it.  It seems to me that we are very good in putting together exceptional judging panels – this year the number of entries at the Sabaneev Memorial exceeded our wildest expectations.  We also prefer to bring out breed specialists while many show organizers mostly invite all-rounders, so they can give them more various breeds to judge.  Our approach is completely different.  We also try not to replace judges right before the show. 
Next year we will be prepared to welcome even more participants.  We will invite more judges and will continue to set example in this area.  We also will need more stewards and will have to solve many logistical problems, will offer online registration to our public – which will be a huge novelty here in Russia.  Many Russian show dog owners have been making online entries to shows around the world for a while now, I think now it is the time to bring Sabaneev Memorial online as well.
Next year we will turn towards Asia and invite judges from Japan, Thailand, Korea and Malasia to judge at our shows.      
Our goal for the future will be, just as it is now, to give our exhibitors to experience a new level of judging, to learn a different view of the breed.  We understand that FCI, AKC and UK use somewhat different standards for the same breeds, but our show judges see a beautiful dog no matter whether it was born in Russia or in America.  We also create new traditions by inviting some breed specialists to Moscow not to judge, but to see and analyze the tendencies of development of some breeds in our country.  

Most of them judged at our show in the past, so we decided to offer them the possibility to compare what they saw then to what breeders bring into rings now.  Russian dogs win more and more at the largest shows all over the world and it is not unheard now for the breeders to export dogs from Russia.

Extra Photos
Read 3475 times Last modified on Monday, 12 September 2016
More in this category: « Eurasia 2012 Russian Hunting Club »

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