In numbers that equates to 1,743 to 2,057. Guido Surinckx, the President of the Club, was extremely proud to announce this number. Since the first Brabo show the magical number of 2,000 was never been reached. 981 dogs were entered on Saturday; 553 were from Belgian, 220 from the Netherlands, 96 from France, 79 from Germany and no less than 28 from the UK plus two from Poland, one from Spain, one from Italy and one from Norway. On Sunday there were more dogs. Group 1, Group 5, Group 6, Group 9 and Group 10 had to be judged, and there were 640 dogs from Belgium, 226 from the Netherlands, 109 from France, 78 from Germany: and this time only 13 from UK. And we also had four dogs coming from Russia, two from Sweden, again two from Poland, a dog from Luxembourg, one from Latvia, and one from Northern Ireland.
Years ago three halls were used for this show, but now only two are in use to house the 14 rings and the main ring. Brabo is one of the show’s where it’s possible to have demonstrations, as the main ring is not in use during the day for the regular judging. For the fair and cheap price of five euros, and free for children under 12 years, the public could enjoy dog dancing, obedience demonstrations, and junior and senior handling. The catalogue was also ok. I was very fond of the diagrams in the catalogue. I always thought that Group 1 was the second largest, but I don’t know if this is a coincidence or a regular phenomenon, but Group 9 came in the second place with 20.5%, while Group 1 was good for only 14?%. One could also see that males outnumbered the bitches with a difference of three per cent. This is rather funny as bitches come in season, while males can be shown all year long. I don’t see the point of splitting here males and females into the different groups they are entered in. No problem, it’s appreciated and original. But notwithstanding all these positive things now it’s time for the organizers to focus on a better solution to display all the different trade stands. They were not very happy, at least some of them, those who were positioned along the outer walls of the halls, in particular. Trade stands should always be positioned before one reaches the rings, so that everyone is forced to pass them. There should be no way to take a shortcut in order to avoid them. I can imagine this will not be an easy exercise, but when all the rest comes close to perfection, the trade stands should have priority now.
The main ring is nice and even a little larger than before. Eukanuba was the main sponsor. On one side, the short side, where the booth of Eukanuba was, a few tables were reserved for Eukanuba’s VIP’s. The long side of the main ring was reserved for the 29 judges. This setup was comparable to the main ring in Luxembourg. The podium, however, still needs to be improved. Of course it is far from the horrible situation of some years ago, when the podium was stuffed with bags, reflective material, and the dark depressing background. All of this is history and changes have been made for the better, but it was a pity that there was only one poster with a dog on it, the famous Eukanuba posters, as on the left side there was a poster filled with text, and that is very distracting. It would have been perfect if there were two posters with a dog on it. But that was not so bad. More important is that the podium itself should be renewed. I keep on repeating it, only with a nice podium, and a nice background, can one take nice pictures.
The policy of the committee of the Brabo dog show is to invite as many national judges as possible, with a minimum of 50%. Let’s have a closer look an the list of the judges. Mr Pocas Joao Vasco from Portugal had 83 entries, including a lot of Bulldogs, Boxers and Bordeaux dogs. Mr Inzoli Massimo from Italy had a total of 81 on Saturday, including 50 Bernese Mountain dogs, and 30 dogs on Sunday, including 24 Akita’s. He had the second best score of the weekend. Mr Van Hummelen Joseph from Belgium had 1,890 dogs in total. Mr Walter Jungblut from Germany was invited to judge on Saturday only to judge no less than 115 dogs. But these 115 dogs were enough to turn him into the best scoring judge of the weekend. He judged all the Dachshunds and some Terrier breeds. Mrs Colette Muldoon from Ireland had a total entry of 91 dogs, 44 of them Labradors. Mrs Diane Degryze is from Belgium and she judged on Sunday only. But 44 Chinese Crested Dogs helped her to reach the nice total number of 96 dogs. Her husband Mr Freddy Declercq had only a few dogs less. He reached a total of 92 dogs thanks to 66 Chihuahua’s that turned up to be judged by him. Some judges were responsible for nice entries in certain breeds only. Mrs Ingrid Hectors attracted 36 Leonberger’s and 31 Newfoundlands. Mr Jean François Vanaken had 39 American Staffordshire Terriers on Saturday and 44 dogs on Sunday, a total of 83 dogs. Mr Victor Van Raamsdonk judged the 49 Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s that were entered for the show. Mr Erwin Manders came from the Netherlands on Sunday to judge the 55 Poodles, all varieties. Mr Mark Wibier came from Germany to judge 68 dogs of which 42 were Border Collies. The 44 Golden Retrievers were for Mr Louis Dehaes, while Mr Dirk Spruyt had a nice number of 41 French Bulldogs and Mr Roger Van Bunder had 24 Shetland Sheepdogs. Maybe these are not top numbers, but it indicates that the breeds at this show were rather evenly represented. From the 27 judges 14 were invited to judge one day only, but as 17 of them were Belgian judges, it probably did not affect the expenses too much.
Mrs Monique Van Brempt was the Best in Show Judge. She had to place all the Group winners. The Dalmatian, Solbo’s Kayo, had strong competition during the day. This male champion, coming from Holland, and owned and presented by Hultink & Hole Chantal, won it’s breed under Judge Mr Dick Baars, also from the Netherlands. There were no less than 13 Dalmatians at the show. In the Group 6 he was Mr Jean-Pierre Achtergael’s (from Belgium) favourite. Kayo finished 3rd BIS. Reserve BIS went to the Belgian Shepherd Groenendael, Ian de Bruine Buck. Ian is also a male and was also entered in champion’s class. Mrs Monique Van Brempt judged this breed herself. The Group was judged by Mrs Myriam Vermeire, a specialist of the breeds and a breeder of Groenendaels herself. This four-year-old dog is owned now by Marcela Stroobants . It is no secret that Mrs Van Brempt is fond of the Weimaraners of Kristina and Edwin Lenaerts, famous breeders and handlers. It was no surprise that she chose the Weimaraner, Grey Classic’s I Kick Azz, again a male champion, little more than 2 years old as Mr Achtergael gave her the opportunity as he made him Best of his Group, Group 7.
I look forward to next year’s show and the possible small adjustments with regard to the podium and the hopefully better positioning of trade stands. It is a big achievement for the current board to bring this show to such a high level and if it keeps on going on like this, Brabo will become a big challenge for Brussels and Kortrijk.