From 2,649 entries in 2008, over 3,245 in 2009 to 3,988 in 2010, 50% increase in total!
Saturday saw the European Top Terrier Show, a Centenary Show that attracted another 418 entries. This 114th edition is not only a Crufts Qualifier but it had a double CAC and was a qualifier for the Champion of Champions show, to be held on 12 November 2011 in Brussels, where the prestigious Victor Trophy can be won.
The show was one week before Christmas and traditionally there was Christmas shopping and Father Christmas arrived in a long sledge, pulled by no less than nine Huskies. Later on he walked around distributing pens to the visitors and exhibitors. Every exhibitor is offered a breakfast in the morning and I think that is much appreciated. Less positive was the very bad weather in the neighboring countries. Many exhibitors didn’t take the risk. This resulted in absentees, I estimate it between 10 and 15 per cent. On Sunday afternoon it started to snow heavily in Brussels too.
The rest we know as the following weeks it kept on snowing all over Europe. This time the organisers emphasized the relation between man and his best friend, showing the skills of the dogs in order to help disabled people. Scale Dogs and the Friends of the Blind were there to represent the guide dogs, Dyadis is a well known organisation training dogs for disabled people. Heart to Heart and Hachiko are similar organisations which focus on disabled people. Ethologia Plus investigates the behavior and relation between dog an man and develops selection techniques for assistance dogs. Activ Dog unites volunteers to visit hospitals, homes and schools with dogs. All these organisations were in the spotlights, not only with a free booth but also with demonstrations in the main ring.
Besides this, visitors could enjoy Flyball competition and Doggy Dance (heelwork to music). And if they wanted to shop for Christmas gifts for their beloved pets, no problem, there were plenty of commercial stands. The main ring was ornamented in Christmas style with a red carpet and Christmas trees behind the podium. Compared to a few years ago, Brussels now has a very nice main ring, complete with chandeliers and a flashy podium.
Almost 4,000 entries is very good and this meant that it was also a very international show as Belgium had 1,787 entries, leaving 2,201 entries from other countries. Holland had 805 dogs, France 697 and Germany 291. The United Kingdom had 56 entries here, Russia 74, Italy 60 and Spain 33, and I need to mention three entries from Ukraine and one from Kazakhstan.
Father Christmas has done a good promotion in Denmark and Sweden with 36 and 21 entries respectively. The 37 judges represented 13 different nationalities. There were 10 Belgian judges including some new judges who had only a few breeds to start with. Mr Norman Deschuymere, one of the most renowned Belgian All rounders, had six Belgian Mastiffs to examine and judge. As this breed is under reconstruction it is not allowed to compete in the regular show. All judges were pretty busy but some had a lot of dogs. Mr Tammas Jakkel from Hungary was in fact the best scoring judge but he had so many entries that the committee was forced to take some away.
In general it was the Babies and Puppies as for them it is not yet so important as for the other classes that compete for the CAC and CACIB titles. A good and fair solution and much better than take away complete breeds. Exhibitors who need an extra title in order to become a champion must enter their dogs under different judges and if a judge is replaced they risk having the same one again who judged the dog earlier or become disappointed if their dogs are removed to a judge who doesn’t like their type.
Best overall scoring judge was Mrs Marianne Holm who had 100 entries on Saturday and 105 on Sunday, a total of 205 of which there was an exceptional number 53 Beauçerons. Mr Jakkel came close with 203 entries, but, as mentioned before, had much more.
Best single day score was for Mrs Liliane De Ridder from Belgium who had no less than 117 Bulldogs to judge on Sunday, the highest scoring breed. Mr J. Verrees also from Belgium had 103 Labradors. Mr M. Baskaran was invited from Spain to judge the 78 Golden Retrievers. Mr Derek Smith from the UK judged on Saturday only, and had 109 dogs from Group 1 including 57 Border Collies. Mr Des Manton from Ireland had 42 Shelties, a nice number too. Marion ten Cate from Holland judged the Belgian Shepherds, Schipperkes and Bouviers, good for 96 entries. From Poland we had Mr M. Redlick who had 103 entries on Saturday and 79 on Sunday.
Worth mentioning are the 35 Swiss White Shepherds who are becoming more and more popular. Mr Guido Schäfer from Germany judged Group 5 dogs on Saturday, a nice number of 97. From Italy we had two judges. The first was Mr G. Bezzecchi who had 105 companion dogs on Saturday and 77 Great Danes on Sunday. His compatriot, Francesco Cochetti had 96 Chihuahua’s (all varieties) on Saturday and 102 entries on Sunday, 71 Staffordshire Bull Terriers and 31 Standard Bull Terriers. Mrs Ann Ingram from Ireland had only 77 dogs on Saturday, but 42 Pugs amongst them is worth mentioning. On Sunday she judged Mastiffs, Bull Mastiffs and Tibetan Mastiffs and scored much higher with 99 entries in total. Mr Steven Seymour from the UK had 80 dogs to judge on Saturday.
The 60 Chinese Cresteds proved the increasing popularity of this breed. He judged 93 Terriers on Sunday and ended with a nice total score of 173. Mr Van Raamsdonk from Holland shared companion dogs with him. He had 86, 53 of them Shih Tzu’s. Mr John Williams, also from Holland, judged French Bulldogs only on Saturday, but this was enough for 79 specimens. On Sunday he had 73 entries and again a popular breed, the Newfoundland, represented by 60 specimens. Mr W. Peschges from Germany judged 91 companion dogs on Saturday, but didn’t judge on Sunday.
On Sunday, however, we could find several judges who judged only that day and did very well. Mrs A. M. Class had only 59 dogs, but her 46 Bordeaux Dogs were remarkable. Mr Torsten Himmrich from Germany judged the 67 American Staffordshires while Mr Jurek Malgozata from Poland shared 99 Terriers with him from other breeds. All the Dachshunds (all varieties) were entrusted to Mrs Gertrude Hagström from Sweden. She was busy enough with 73. Mr Per Iversen, invited from Norway, judged Group Seven dogs and there were exactly 100 entries for him. It also proves the skilful choices made by the committee members. Judges who attract many entries are a good investment, and compensate for their expenses and increase the popularity and good name of a show. Drawing the list of judges is a very complex matter that needs a lot of experience.
Mrs Liliane De Ridder was granted the honour of judging Best In Show and she had some unusual breeds to chose from. There was the Gonzcy Polski Raban Z Hubulskiej from Pyra – Czernik A (Poland). She judged the breed and made him 10th BIS, after this dog was made BOG by Mr Jakkel. Also unusual in the line-up of the 10 Best in Show was the Cao da Serra de Aires Chava des Gardiens de la Houlette, owned by N. Stevens from Belgium. He was made Best of Group by Mr Redlicki from Poland and finished 9th BIS.
The 3rd Place went to the Italian Gordon Setter, Ludstar Resolute from M. Ivaldi. The dog is six years old and was judged by Mr Per Iversen who had 30 in his ring. In the main ring he won the group under the very same judge. The Italian handler was busy with two group winning dogs and needed some help with the Dachshund Longhair Notorius from A. Rostagno, also from Italy. This dog is only one and a half years old and won BOB under judge Hagström from Sweden. It was Mr Tammas Jakkel who sent him to the BIS judging later on.
As mentioned earlier in this article, 117 Bulldogs were entered for Mrs Liliane De Ridder-Onghena. Mr Petru Muntean from Romania judged Group 2 in the main ring and made See See Rider Bulls of Mabena from Mr Versluis Best of Group. I suppose Mrs De Ridder must have been charmed to see her BOB again amongst the 10 group winners and made him the final winner and Best In Show of this 114th show. See See Rider is homebred by Mr Versluys and only two years old. He was entered in Open Class, beating the 11 entered breed champions.
Next year there is not only the 115th version of this show on 17 & 18 December, qualifying for Crufts, but also the FCI Centenary World Champion of Champions on 12 November. It will be a very busy year.
You will find more info on www.fci.be and for the Brussels Dogshow on www.brusselsdogshow.be