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Monday, 05 August 2013 13:41

Lommel International Show Featured

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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. 

But then, some 10 years ago, the show moved to Lommel, a town not too far away. There was a new sports arena, huge and big enough to have a one day show. But this show became bigger too and some rings had to be in the open air, again, with the risk of summer showers. Fortunately, rain has never caused too many problems in the past. In Belgium we are not used to open air shows at all and that can affect the entry number for shows like this. But for Moldernete it was not such a big problem as it was an open show for a long time, a low level show without a Championship title but therefore a lot cheaper, ideal to test young dogs. 

Last year had a record entry of 1,353 dogs and that was a little too much for one day. The halls were too small to hold that many dogs, causing stress. Suppose it would rain the whole weekend, that would be a disaster. The committee was well aware of that and did not want to risk a drop in entries, and so it was decided to have the show over two days in the future. This year was the first time, and it was very much appreciated. The committee’s ambition was to match this record again and they succeeded, almost, with another top entry of 1,342 dogs. Next year we can expect probably more entries as I presume many exhibitors hesitated and preferred to wait for the comments on this drastic change. And I can assure them that it was positively welcomed by the large majority of the exhibitors. Not one ring was outside, but the gate was open so people could walk around outside and I can say that the area is cosy, compared to the rather dark interior of the halls, although, when the sun turned to the east in the afternoon, there was enough soft daylight inside to photograph without flash in the main ring, a real luxury! For next year the organisers plan to revise the layout of the rings to make them somewhat larger, especially for the large breeds. 

Notwithstanding this show is only a CAC show it has a lot of international visitors. Close to the borders of Holland, the 862 Belgian exhibitors could welcome no less than 307 entries from across the border. Germany had 75 entries and France 69. Surprisingly there were 18 entries from the United Kingdom, 7 from Luxembourg, 3 from Denmark and even one entry from Australia!

The panel of judges was even more diverse. They were 17 all together, representing 9 European nationalities. Eight judges were from Belgium and this has a reason. This show is a strong promoter of new judges offering them the possibilities to make a start in their career. It is not easy to be invited to judge a CAC the first time, as there are not many any longer. This year there were two of them. Mrs Carine Swysen judged all the Dachshunds on Saturday and had a very nice entry of 54 dogs, which is really very good for a show of this size in Belgium. The second was Mr Vandaele Bart who judged on Sunday and also had a good entry. He judged the Border Collies on Sunday and had 28 specimens to compare. On Saturday two judges were pretty busy. Mrs Tina Peixoto from Portugal judged Retrievers, 74 in total. The Golden Retrievers were the best scoring breed of that day. She had 41. Top scoring judge of Saturday was Mr Des Manton from Ireland. He had a total of 99 dogs. He put this down to the popularity of the English Bulldogs that turned up with 40 specimens. On Sunday he had 59 dogs to judge. Mr Augustin Ionescu from Romania had a very relaxing day on Saturday when he had only 28 dogs, but on Sunday he accepted to judge 148 dogs, all of Group 5. He didn’t want to give some breeds to another judge as he found this not fair towards the exhibitors who entered their dogs to be judged by him in particular. With the help of extra ring stewards he managed to finish his job within the scheduled time. 

On both days the main ring started well in time and ended comfortably early before 6pm and that was very much appreciated, and proof that everything went smoothly. If the main ring program takes too long, the public loses its interest, especially if children come along. Mrs Liliane De Ridder-Onghena, one of our all-rounders, was granted the honour to line-up the 10 Group winners. The three podium places were all for dogs that were on term on Sunday. Her third place went to the Bouvier des Flandres, Belordeal Louwik, a one year old dog that was entered in Junior Class, bred by Buysse-Costermans and owned by Mr Aerts, all from Belgium. He was the favourite of judge D. Carsten from Denmark who judged the breed. Mr Wieldaaijer from Holland approved this and gave him his Group ticket for the finals. The second place was taken by a Dutch Lhasa Apso, Deelane Zaar Too Busy. It is an American bred dog by Lewis Madeleine, the only dog of the breed at this show and entered in Champion Class at the age of 6. Deelane was judged by Mr J-F Vanaken from Belgium for the breed judging, as well as for the Group judging later on in the main ring.

Mr De Vadder from Belgium, was suddenly awake when Mrs De Ridder sent him to the first place. The day before he went to a marriage party and only got two hours sleep in order to be in time for the show. His 5 year old male Bloodhound, (called Chien de Saint Hubert in Belgium, named after the monastery in the Ardennes where this breed was created since the 9th century) Hector Of Lufon Royal Pride, won the breed under Mr Peixoto from Portugal. He is proudly bred and owned by Mr De Vadder himself. It was only a few weeks ago that he managed to win BIS too at the show of Wieze, that was on the very same date as the World Show in Budapest. 

Next year you will probably be able to see Hector here in Lommel again. I am confident that there will be more entries then, now that this first two-day edition was very much appreciated. Take note of the date in your agenda, June 7 & 8 2014. See you there!

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