A very busy weekend of dog showing took place in Dortmund early in May with exhibitors competing in two major events writes Vince Hogan. The two events held alongside one another in the huge Westfallenhallen show grounds were a brilliant starting point for the FCI Centenary Celebrations which are taking place this year.
This was the first of four events with the FCI World Dog Show in Paris in July, European Winners Show in the Netherlands in September and FCI Centenary Champion of Champions Event in Belgium in November. Winners of CACIB’s at the first three shows qualify for the Champions event in Belgium and also can win a unique title in this Centenary year. There was an excellent panel of national and international judges for the three days and plenty of extra prizes and rosettes from the many clubs involved.
There were therefore two BIS winners, one the famous Russian Corgi Andvol Pinkerton handled by Olga Shilova, owned by Olga Shuvalova and the other the top winning Tibetan Terrier from the USA Atisha's Blanc De Noir but handled here by Hungarian Zsolt Hano.
The overall entry was just over 12,000 which is good in this day and age - nearly 6000 for the Winners Show and just over that number for the Centenary show - there were however competitors from over 30 countries present and judges from just about the same number of nations.
Over half the entries were from Germany with the Netherlands and ever expanding Russia following on with the next greatest number of entries.
The organisation of these two shows was once again in the capable and ever efficient hands of the German Kennel Club (VDH) team under the leadership of its President Professor Peter Friedrich and its Chief Executive Bernhard Meyer together with Show Manager Leif Kopernik.
The organisation and timing of these shows was a first class example of just how shows should be run. OUR DOGS were delighted to act as the international Media Partner for the VDH and attended the show with a stand alongside the European Winners show from Holland and the FCI stand promoting Paris and Belgium in hall 6 adjacent to many of the large and well carpeted breed rings.
The shows were twinned also with a big cat show and had an extensive section containing a pet show with all types of animals from hamsters to miniature horses. The German Kennel Club’s other main event in Dortmund in October is itself twinned with a major horse show and all of these attractions ensure that the German public turn up in large numbers and this year there seemed to be a large number of young people visiting despite the hot weather over the weekend. What a great way to involve the public and also increase footfall to make the show more economic and bring in potential customers for the 200 or more trade stands.
Next year at this show, and in association with Birmingham National, there will be Kennel Club Challenge Certificates for all British native breeds available, to be judged by British judges. At Birmingham, all Germanic breeds will be judged by German judges and you can also win a CACIB…more of this in OUR DOGS later this year and through the VDH, but again congratulations all round for trying to ‘think outside the box’ and make shows more interesting, appealing and more value for money for exhibitors.
Added to these attractions were the famous ‘dog trick’ section in the foyer of the main entrance hall, the performances of an ace dog trick act which involved brilliant Chihuahuas, Terriers and a Boxer dog. Frisbee dogs, obedience, agility and all types of doggie activities in the main ring added up to make this a ‘DOGFEST’ for the three days of the show. There were even classes and prizes for crossbreds each day in a special ring in hall 6.
The emphasis this year too was very much on positive international co-operation between the FCI and its Member countries and between all of them and other non members such as the UK and the USA - both of whom were given good recognition at the various official events. Much of these was stated in speeches at the big Gala dinner on Saturday night held in the neighbouring Park Hotel where over 400 guests were invited, all receiving a copy of the sumptuous new book and DVD on Dog Anatomy and Movement… worth 50 Euros... a very generous and appreciated gift by all. The DVD was shown on a large screen and we were introduced to the authors and the illustrators on stage at the gala dinner.
A very funny speech by the VDH President introduced some of the dignitaries in dog terms at this dinner…much of it off the cuff so apologies for not being able to reproduce the jokes here! However, it set the tone for the evening, well hosted by VDH press Officer Udo Kopernik, and a great time was had by all.
Additional off show activities included an FCI press conference with its main sponsor, Eukanuba, where the FCI was proud to introduce its new mascot called ‘Cobby’, of which we will no doubt see more in the future... but on this day all we had was a small soft toy!
The British contingent did well with great wins reported with a clean sweep in Corgis with Lisa Croft Elliot and Carrie Russell Smith, Pointers with Mark and Jonathan of the Ledgands prefix from Kent doing the double and a great show both days for the Albameiler Borzoi team who won the dog CACIB and BOB each day as well as the Bitch CACIB and Reserve the next day, plus great wins in Tibetan Spaniels for Linda Johnstone from Scotland, Shirley Hill in German Spitz Klein, Diana Curtis won well in Podengos,
The Best in Show
It was agreed ringside that each of the two Best in Show competitions on the Sunday night sported an excellent line up of dogs from a wide range of countries with Russian dogs taking a BIS and two Reserve Best in Shows. The VDH Winners Best in Show was judged by one of Germany’s top all round judges Horst Kliebenstein with the FCI Centenary BIS being judged by FCI President Hans Muller. Some really top quality dogs won their way through to these top awards.
The main ring in Dortmund affords easy viewing for the watching public with an open side and tiered seating (for free) on the other sides. There is also easy press access for photographers and a results service second to none…the complete results were placed in my hand, fully printed within minutes of the BIS judging being completed!
The big screen is a boon for the ringside especially when the dogs names and details are put up after the judgements are given in the rings….not seen this anywhere else or at least not to this level. Well done the back room team!
All best of breed winners also received a free bottle of bubbly as they left the ring; this free gift or prize was also in addition to all 12,000 exhibitors receiving a complimentary souvenir centenary mug which was also filled up with coffee when a special voucher was taken to the distribution points in each hall. A very much appreciated, welcome touch and a nice souvenir in this special year.
We were delighted to have the Mayor of Dortmund in attendance and she made the presentations alongside Nico the representative from Eukanuba Germany together with Peter Freidrich, all receiving a great round of applause from the crowd.
There were special presentations made by the South American FCI section and a terrific trophy for the winner that looked like the World Cup!
At the end of the event most people went home knowing that the FCI Centenary Year had got off to a very good start - and looking forward to the next stage at the World Dog Show in Paris in July. The organisers at both the World and European Shows have been given a real benchmark to work to by the very efficient and well organised German Kennel Club, the VDH.