The beginning of the FCI’s Plan for the Future

The last six months have seen a great deal of hard work, adaptation, changes and planning. They have also been the first six months of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale’s new plan for the future and during this time we have reached a consensus on working together to build a platform for the new FCI.

Ever since the very first day on which I became chairman, I have been determined that the FCI would begin this new era strengthened and united, in order to face up to the challenges that lay ahead of us all, and to make the changes needed in order to convert the FCI into a proactive organisation which would benefit not only our members but - far more importantly - the dogs of the world.

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Rafael de Santiago
President of the FCI
50th anniversary of the EURODOGSHOW in Courtrai (BE)

As every show, it all started small. In 1964 Mr José Misselyn organised the first edition in Menen, a small town near Courtrai. In 1970 I entered my Great Dane for this show and I remember that it already took place in the first expo halls of Courtrai. 25 years ago I started to work as a reporter for a national magazine in Belgium, WOEF, the Eurodogshow was my first show, and since then I have been a yearly visitor and have seen it grow larger, bigger and more professional. Courtrai became an example for many other shows and even for big shows like the World and European Shows. The know-how of building up a show of this size is invaluable. One of the big secrets lies in the fact that most of the committee members are direct family or at least related to the Misselyns who are renowned in the area as real dog people in every aspect. And this year I saw two newcomers working in the main ring, two juniors, a new generation!

The number of visitors was very good, around 22,000. The cooperation with the city is amazing. The parking around the halls is always reserved for the exhibitors. The visitors can park in other places in the neighborhood from where they can take the shuttle bus to the halls.

© Karl Donvil
from left to right : Joel Vanlerberghe, Johnny Misselyn, Bruno Misselyn and Roger Loonis

So how could the Royal Society Saint Hubert (Belgian kennel Club) refuse to give a double CACIB for the 50th anniversary of this show? The goal was 6,000 entries and they finished at 6,225, which is an amazing result! A double CACIB would mean a double show, one on Saturday and one on Sunday. On other years, there always were different kind of competitions going on, but those were cancelled this time in order to have enough space to host all the dogs and build up the 35 rings for judging. The main ring was reserved for demonstrations and entertainment like Dog Dancing, Fly Ball, Police work etc. The Rambla (main corridor) had a Children’s Village with several attractions to entertain kids under the supervision of an adult babysitter so that mum and dad could show the dogs. The main ring was moved a little more central in order to make more room for a bigger pre-judging ring. Indeed, as the time schedule was tighter, it was of utmost importance that no time be lost in the main ring. And compared to the normal editions, this one would have all the groups to be judged in the main ring every day, Saturday as well as Sunday. This worked perfectly on both days and it was amazing how smoothly everything went and how early a show of this size could end. Notwithstanding the comfortable size of the main ring, it proved to be much too small to hold the Babies, Puppies and Juniors of all the breeds. On regular shows you have around 200 to 240 different breeds/varieties, while here there were around 300. That means that about 100 to 150 babies, puppies, juniors were together in the main ring, ending in a double circle. This is too much at once and also too much for a judge to choose from. But after all it was not a real problem.

This Jubilee show was an exceptional opportunity to see almost all the recognised breeds, but also some very rare breeds and some old breeds that are not shown any longer in big numbers. There were two Bouviers des Ardennes, a Broholmer, two Cirneco’s dell Etna, two Korean Jindo Dogs, 2 Shikoku’s, a Thai Bangkaew Dog, two Tornjaks, an East Siberian Laika and even a Turkish Kangal Dog. For the public, this show was very interesting as they could choose which day to come as all breeds were shown on both days.

A double CACIB meant a double show. If you look at the number of entries you have 3,133 dogs on Saturday and 3,092 on Sunday. In absolute numbers it is a more or less regular show as the Eurodogshow usually has around 3,000 entries. The Belgians were of course best represented with 1,342/1,340 (Sat/Sun) entries. France came second with 730/781 entries followed by The Netherlands 379/310. The good relations with the UK resulted in a very good entry from overseas with 248/253 dogs. And I think one can say that the Eurodogshow is the number one “overseas show” for the British. Germany had 205/183 representatives, Russia 54/54, Denmark 44/44 and Ireland 24/23. Amongst the 28 nationalities present here I also found entries from as far as Georgia, Greece and Israel.

© Karl Donvil

There were 72 different judges from 20 countries, 39 of them were judging one day only, the rest both days. 15 of them were from Belgium, another 15 came from the UK, 8 from Germany, 6 from France, 4 from Sweden and the rest from all over Europe, except for one from Mexico and one from Indonesia.

BIS judge on Saturday was Mr Norman Deschuymere. His 3rd place went to the white male Puli “Weetoneon Artic Storm”, a British-bred dog, 8 years old and entered in Champion class under Mr R. Vanhoenacker from Belgium. He is owned and bred Mrs Lacey, Mr Szyczewski Avril Edward and comes from France. He had no competitors in the breed. He won the group under Mr Paul Jentgen from Luxemburg. The Res BIS went to the Weimaraner “Grey Classic’s I Kick Azz”, male, 4 years old, bred and owned by Edwin and Kristina Lenaerts from Belgium. 10 Weimaraners were entered to be judged by Mr W. Van den Broeck from Belgium. The ticket for the finals came from Mr Miodrag Vretenicic who judged the group. The BIS winner was a Bullmastiff from Germany with the name “Aspen Ridge Restarting Golden Uelsi”. This Russian dog was bred by Tracy Michele Mackiewicz and is now owned by Svetlana Akdeniz Masalskikh Bilo from Germany. This male was entered in Champion Class to compete with 26 other Mastiffs and is 4 years old. With its marvelous temperament it stole the heart of Mrs Liliane De Ridder-Onghena who handed it over to the judgement of Dr Andreas Shemel who judged the Group.

© Karl Donvil
Best in show
Judge : Mrs.Liliane De Ridder - Onghena (Belgium)
Bullmastiff - Aspen Ridge Restarting Golden Uelsi Akdeniz Masalskikh Bilo,svetlana - Germany

On Sunday it was Mrs Liliane De Ridder-Onghena who judged BIS. For her 3rd place she chose the Blond Labrador Retriever “Leonardo of Angel’s head” who was little more than a year and was entered in Junior class under Mrs Pat Harrison from the UK. This young male had strong competition as no less than 58 Labradors were entered. The Retriever Group was judged by Mr Theo Leenen. “Leonardo” is a product of the famous and successful kennel of Thierry and Nicole Onkelinx-De Smedt from Belgium. ResBIS went to the Scottish Terrier of Mrs Valentina Popova from Russia “Filisite Brash Koh-I-Noor” bred by herself. “Filisite” is almost 2 years old and entered in Champion Class. it was challenged by 10 competitors under Mrs Gitty Schwab. It was Mrs Siv Jernhake from Sweden who judged the Group and gave the ticket for the finals. Our Bullmastiff “Aspen Ridge” won the breed again, under judge Pamela Jeans-Brown from the UK, beating 30 competitors this time. And it won the group again, judged by Mrs Myriam Vermeire from Belgium. So there it stood again in front of Mrs De Ridder, but this time lined up for the finals, and believe it or not, it was chosen again as BIS, twice in one weekend, on the same show.

15-16 November 2014 are the dates to note down in you agenda, since you will have a new chance to see whether your dog is also a strong competitor, or the chance to come as a visitor to this magnificent Canine Festival, the 51st edition of the Eurodogshow. But…as there have been two shows this year …, isn’t this the 52nd edition then? ;-)

Text and photos: Karl Donvil
Results: Karl Donvil and Eurodogshow