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Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Helsinki Winners Show 2011

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For over 30 years thousands of dog show fans have been marking arrival of the winter show season by travelling to the top dog show event of the year in Finland...
 


Helsinki International BIS winner was the Pomeranian, Fon’s Flying To Dan-Star-Kom, bred by Sujittra Peeyachaiprapha from Bangkok, Thailand and owned by Liudmila Komyakova from St Petersburg, Russia. BIS Judge was Carla Molinari. The BIS award was presented by Mrs Angela Cavill from the UK.
 

Report & Pictures By SVETLANA VALOUEVA


For over 30 years thousands of dog show fans have been marking arrival of the winter show season by travelling to the top dog show event of the year in Finland - two back to back International All-Breed Shows in the land of Santa Claus (well, they call him Joulupukki here)held during the first weekend of December.

With the entry of around 7,000 dogs each day and 35,000 visitors, this show weekend is a truly international affair spiced by the northern hospitality and impeccable professional approach to every detail. 106 judges, hand picked by the show committee, who represented 28 countries worked around the clock in 93 rings set in four spacious pavilions of the Helsingin Messukeskus, Helsinki Exhibition Centre, while hundreds of volunteers ensured that the show was running like clockwork, wound up by the Chairman of the Show Committee, Kari Jarvinen, and two of his top men Markku Mahonen and Sampo Mietinen. This year the Finnish Kennel Club decided to bring this already very popular show among Finnish and international exhibitors, closer to the public.

  The sport of dog showing, popular as it may seem to those involved in it, still remains a mystery to many outsiders. Another issue is that many dog owners do not realise that there are a number of fun activities that can be introduced into the dog's life to bring some sparkle into their time together.  Two enthusiastic Finnish Kennel Club event managers, Laura Lehdistö and Jonna Päivike, formed a team of volunteers who showed how to unleash dogs’ potential in the new event area located right in the center of the venue.

Among their guests were police and military dog trainers, agility and obedience teams, junior handlers and specialists in bowling with dogs – a discipline that I would definitely have to look into next year.  Children under 10 years of age competed in the ring with their toy dogs – a good start for the future handlers. Satu Tuomisto, Miss Finland 2008, model and TV hostess, judged this competition. Just like in previous years, the Kennel Club organised various seminars and lectures for the breeders and show visitors on dog’s health, genetics, interaction with children and training, so there was no better place in Helsinki to experience and learn about the wonderful world of dogs.

Established in 1889, the Finnish Kennel Club (Suomen Kenneliitto) is the oldest kennel club in the Nordic region. Its first show ran in 1891 and now combined annual entry in dog shows has reached an impressive 200,000. However, what remains a truly Finnish phenomenon is that unlike in other FCI countries agility, hunting and obedience are almost as popular with more than 135,000 starts at these competitive events annually. 

Finnish Kennel Club unites 1,900 breed clubs and canine organisations with combined membership of over half a million. One out of five Finnish households has a dog and out of these 600,000 over 80 per cent, are pure bred pedigree dogs. The Finnish Kennel Club will celebrate its 125th anniversary in 2014 and will host the FCI World Dog Show in the same year, an event that every dog show fan eagerly looks forward to and one that OUR DOGS will be a major player as the International Media Partner with the Finnish Kennel Club

 All Finnish clubs set the worldwide standard for dog show organisation, but what really sets December Helsinki shows apart is their finals. Tastefully decorated and set against the back drop for two days, the Main Ring becomes a stage for four legged actors and their handlers.  Once again, show leading lady Leena Sarvi, supermodel and poodle judge, has been in charge of the Main Ring ceremonial with several stewards in her attendance. This year the Finnish Kennel Club took a step in a completely new direction and had a music band perform live during the finals on Sunday – an initiative frowned upon by many, but carried out with such consideration to the public and, the most importantly, dogs that this just might become a new show tradition.

The Best in Show title of the Helsinki Winner Show on Saturday, December 3, went to the Pomeranian Fon’s Flying To Dan-Star-Kom bred by Sujittra Peeyachaiprapha from Bangkok, Thailand and owned by Liudmila Komyakova from St. Petersburg, Russia.  BIS judge Carla Molinari, President of the Clube Português de Canicultura, said that she was very excited to have the honour of choosing the most beautiful dog at the largest one day conformation event in the world.  The BIS award was presented by Ms Angela Cavill, owner of one of the UK's most successful breeding prefix and organiser of one of the UK's largest dog shows, Southern Counties Canine Association's General Championship Show. Angela is an honorary Finn and speaks the language very well… not an easy task!

British judge Ferelith Somerfield, who took the spotlight in the main ring on Sunday, got her first dog, a Dalmatian, in 1946, but it was Cairn Terriers that brought her kennel to prominence – first champion finished in 1949 and the latest in 2006.  She awarded the first prize to the Top Show Dog of 2011 Lhasa Apso Chic Choix Adrenalin Rush bred by Juha Kares and co-owned by the breeder and Nina Tiitinen. The BIS award was presented by Pertti Kuopila, an honorary member of the Finnish Kennel Club and Honorary Chairman of the Finnish Elkhound Club.

Traditionally the Finnish Kennel Club invites successful professional handlers to judge Junior Handling Championship. This year it was Sweden’s Camilla Tell-Collinge who won the BIS last year with the Standard Poodle at the same show. She selected Susanna Gourine as Top Junior Handler of Finland who will represent her country at the International JH Championship at Crufts in 2012.

The audience was very happy to see two Finnish Hounds placed high in the BIS line-up. Finnish Hound Kahvanahon Lounatuuli, owned by Marja Kuivas & Katja Rytkönen won the Scent Hound group both days.  This bitch also became Number 3 All-Breeds Top Show Dogs of Finland. The Finnish Hound breed is virtually unknown outside of Finland, and is a result of a breeding programme that began in the 1800's and involved French, German and Swedish hounds. The goal was to develop a hound dog that could work on hilly terrain and in deep snow. The Finnish Hound is a sturdy working dog that hunts hare and fox and in the past years it gets very impressive results in the show rings.

The finals also included beautiful and touching ceremonies of awarding the Hero Dog of the Year on Saturday and Top Veteran, Top Breeder and Top Dog of the Year on Sunday that brought into the house the true holiday spirit reminding all that this indeed is the season to celebrate friendship, family and our dogs. 

Congratulations once more to the whole team at the Finnish Kennel Club for another successful and well organised event.
 
Read 3555 times Last modified on Monday, 12 September 2016

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