Report on the Show Scene in Iceland
An email from Margret Thomasdottra inviting me to come and judge in the land of volcano’s arrived in late April.
I understood the occasion was that of the semi-annual National Dog Show known as the Hundareaektunarfelagioishunder.
They are affiliated to the FCI whose H.Q. are in Spain to this organisation more than 50 countries are members.
I was told that some 30 breeds would enter and that the entries over the two-day show would be around 295.
I accepted and purchased my ticket to Reykjavik. What would I wear? would the weather be warm or cold?
I need not have worried the sun shone and the weather was as a pleasant spring day.
Arriving at the airport after some delay in the flight I was met by Sarah Einarsdottir. A pleasant lady who’s English was excellent. She asked what I wished to see in her country as we made our way to the Hotel called the Cabin. Booking in I found my room pleasant and clean. The view was of the bay from my window and the mountains still covered by snow. The sun was still bright as they have daylight for 24 hrs.
After settling in I returned to reception to find Sarah ready and waiting to take me to my evening meal. I then went on a conducted tour of the area visiting the Harbour.
I was introduced to Sarah’s father who was a Fisherman who invited me out on his boat to see whales, seals and polar bears, the trawl nets landed. The glaciers. Were spectacular a sight which was breathtaking remaining in my memory for years to come.
After berthing we returned to the Hotel for I wanted to be fresh for the following days judging.
After a breakfast that was very healthy offering fresh produce and as much as one could consume, we left for the first day of the show.
Like here in the UK venues are at Equestrian Centre’s this being on the edge of the town, Here I was introduced to the lady with the camera, Sandra, whose English was also very good, and Margret, whom I had contact with in the emails.
All were busy preparing the Venue for the next two days. The centre was prepared by the committee and had many awards on the table at the top of the large ring trophies, cups certificates and rosettes a surprising site for such a young club.
I found the people very friendly accepting comment with good will they are such good sportsmen.
The classes started with Young puppies. The breeds consisted of Working dogs on the first day Huskies, Papillons, Tibetan Terriers, Icelandic Collies, Retrievers, and Old English classes. Handled by young and old experienced and amateur handlers.
One has to give an individual critique on every animal and from this they are classified and placed. The steward then asks if you wish to see the winner return for the challenge.
The breed type in all classes was good to average, some were excellent.
Handling was exceptional especially by the juniors’ handler class. The small breeds I found were of a type, with faults present being common that were present because the gene pool was small and needed to improve to improve.
The kennels that had managed to invest in stock from abroad stood a better chance of improvement.
From my observations one of the main faults were the teeth and some teeth definitely needed to be attended to as there was too much tarter present, on some of the small breeds which were reluctant to have their mouths examined.
All dogs were otherwise brought into the ring in excellent condition, and handled well.
I was pleased to have 11 animals before me on Day 1, which had Class 1 qualifications for the Best of Show.
The winners were a Dogunar Ulfynja Mist who one could imagine working, his ground covering gait with drive, feet shoulder were excellent as was his coat and presentation. A very good example of this breed. Beautifully presented and handled.
Reserve was an Icelandic Collie the “National Breed” of Iceland again a proper working dog, whose construction was excellent, coat, colour and type good trotting gait which would go all day. Unfortunately he did not show himself as well in the final challenge.
Trophies and rosettes presented we said our farewells and returned to the Hotel to freshen up. Leaving an hour later for our evening meal.
Yet again I was asked where I wanted to go, this time we went to the volcano’s a site never to be forgotten. Hector erupts every 10 years and he I am told is due to speak this year, (Please God, not while I am here, I thought).
The land is very rugged and gives the impression it is very dry. The roads are to die for.
We then went to the Hot Springs and participated in the Spa. The water was lovely and warm and it was pleasant to sit and watch the reflections of the scenery on the water. I was glad |I had taken sunglasses for the water dazzled.
We then went to see a museum, which contained many relics of Danish Vikings and information of the Icelandic community. This was an excellent opportunity to see why the Germans were interested in occupying the Island during the war.
Evening meal was again requested and we then returned to the Hotel.
Saw me judging many small breeds of which there were some excellent Pugs, also Pomeranians that appear to be quite popular, and of a nice type. I have always had a soft spot for the Pug a breed that I have found can work and also makes a very nice family pet.
The Old English appeared another popular breed was also included in the breeds on Day 2. They were again of good type and most had come from English Breeding, as did the Retrievers. All well presented and beautifully turned out deserving their placing.
French Bull Dogs had a strong group entry, these had mostly come from Denmark and Norway so having the two different breeding programmes they had a strong Gene pool, as did the Whippets. All very correct in both cases with excellent movement and type.
Bulldogs and Dachshunds, CKC, French Bulldogs, Boston terriers were well represented well presented but were in the minority nothing really caught my eye, but I was pleased to note that when the Bulldog moved it was not out of breath. It was also bred with more thought of the breed and bore a longer muzzle.
Miniature Pinchers had a strong group the movement although typical the actual entries were very varied in size and height.
Staffordshire Bull Terriers were present a large entry two specimens in particular would have done well in the UK. I later learnt this is where they originated.
The kennel still imported from the UK and other parts of the world that must give them plenty of scope when they breed a litter. The animals entered were not as mature for their age as one might like to see but give them time and I am sure there is one of two good animals to keep ones eye on.
My admiration of the 16 Junior Handlers who came into the ring and showed their skills impressed me and it will be something I will always remember.
This class is judged by picking out the strongest six and then places them 6th to 1st place in that order.
Well I have to say they were very impressive, all very professional, the handlers performing with excellence. Their charges presented in tiptop condition.
This was a difficult class to judge all could handle very competently watching the judge and presenting their charge all the time. Very confident in showing teeth of their breed in a calm and considerate way.
They were polite and knew about the breed that they handled. Many an adult would have learnt a lesson or two from these Juniors.
At last I short listed a young man handling a Tibetan, a young lady handling a Boxer, another handling a Icelandic Collie, another young lady handling a French Bulldog, a Retriever and handler whose smile never came off her face and another handling a Chihuahua, the winner being the young lady with the Chihuahua.
The first three received Gold, Silver and Bronze medals and the next three received a wooden medal the whole class received certificates.
Then came the final judging of the day to choose the Best for Day 2. which included the previous days winner.
Seven unbeaten dogs came into the ring to be judged. They were all presented in good condition and moved well.
The Icelandic Collie impressed me but he did not perform as I have already said as well as he had the previous day.
The winner was the Pug, Dalsmynnis Bella, owned and handled by Arna Hulda Jensdottir a very correct example of her breed that never stopped showing. Fawn dark markings equally placed over the muzzle and ears, eye’s were bright, the body was compact with a good curl to the tail good level back, feet were tight, the movement was to die for, I was pleased to award her BOS.
(I was told afterwards that she had been awarded the same last year by a judge from Denmark).
Reserve was the Siberian Husky Dogunar Ulfynja Mist, whose thick dense coat, alert ears, good bone and masculine head made him a strong challenge to my winner. When he moved he had a good topline. Well handled Jokull Golden who was handled by one of the young handlers won Family Group. A typical Golden with flowing movement, coat and colour, good tail carriage correctly constructed again well presented and handled.
I really did enjoy my visit and thank the Committee for inviting me to judge at this very relaxed show. The hospitality is second to none the experience is one I shall never forget.
Dorothy Cullum - Cermar GSD’s