The Golden Dog Trophy show promised to be a very hot, late July, dog show in Liège, Belgium, this year. But after all it was not so bad. OK, it was pretty warm, but as the show was inside the new halls at the Foire Internationale de Liège, there was protection against the burning sun and that made it bearable.

Since last year, the main ring moved to the new hall that was built after the old one burned down. The new one is much brighter inside, allowing lots of natural light to come in. And that hall is a lot larger too, providing enough room to make spacious rings and a nice main ring.

Liège, by tradition, has several side competitions. The Golden Lead is the name of the international handling competition. There is also the Golden Groomer, the grooming competition, and every year there is a small art exhibition. Liège is the only show where Sighthounds can win the “Beauty and Performance Trophy.” It means that the Sighthounds who perform well on the race track can compete in this beauty contest and prove that they are still within the standard of the breed.

Traditionally this show is in summertime and attracts dogs from all over Europe because a lot of exhibitors are on holiday, moving around Europe and participating in shows if possible. Many visitors from the northern countries like Denmark, Sweden, Holland and Germany make a stop in Liège to participate in the Golden Dog Trophy, before moving farther south to France, Spain and Italy. But this is not the only explanation; there is more. Liège is a nice town, and the show is famous, one of the very few in the Wallonia region, and without any doubt, the best.

No fewer than 18 countries were represented, a total of 1,945 dogs, about 200 more than last year. There were 1,037 dogs from Belgium, 246 from Germany, 277 from Holland, 282 from France, and no fewer than 39 from UK. There were also exhibitors from as far as Spain, Hungary, Romania, Norway, Poland, Finland, Estonia, and even one from Argentina.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi Antudor Accidentally In Love, owned by Rita Tilley Wilberg of Norway, was named Best in Show at Liege 2013 by judge Mr. Petru Muntean of Romania. All photos by Karl Donvil.

I always like the very complete catalog, which includes statistics, and also mentions the list of the breeders and members of the club, which is good promotion for them and for the club.

There is always a lot to do in the halls: entertainment for the children, competitions like the grooming competition, and traditionally clowns walking around to amuse the kids. In the main ring is also a competition of doggie dance, and for the first time, an obedience presentation comparable to the one at Crufts.

The panel of judges was a well-balanced mixture of national and international judges. From the 17, seven came from Belgium, two from Poland, two from Ireland and one each from Finland, Serbia, Greece, Germany, Portugal and Romania.

Mrs. Leni Finne from Finland had a lot of dogs on both days. On Saturday she had no less than 85, including 21 Basset Hounds. On Sunday she had Terriers, 94 in total. Mrs. Suncica Lazic came all the way from Serbia. Her busiest day was Saturday when she had 70 dogs, including 22 Swiss White Shepherds and 20 Tervurens. Mr. Sean Delmar, president of the Irish Kennel Club, and his wife Cathy proved to be good choices too. Sean finished the weekend after 117 dogs and Cathy after 158. Cathy’s busiest day was Saturday when she had the best one-day score with 115 and did all the Poodles and Chinese Cresteds. Mr. Theo Leenen was the best scoring Belgian judge. Thanks to a few popular breeds like the Rhodesian Ridgebacks (39) on Saturday and the American Staffordshires and Staffordshire Bulls, he had 137 over the weekend. His partner, Mrs. Rita Reyniers, came close with 124. She did 37 Bulldogs on Sunday. Mrs. Carin Swysen is a newcomer and was invited to judge all the Dachshunds. She had a nice number of them, 71. Portuguese judge, Mr. Luis Pinto Teixeira, was the best scoring judge of the weekend. He had a total of 188 dogs: 101 on Saturday, including 45 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, and 87 on Sunday when he judged all the Pincher and Schnauzers.

Mr. Petru Muntean was granted the honor to judge Best in Show. On Saturday he judged 64 French Bulldogs, and on Sunday he did the Golden Retrievers. His total for the weekend was 136.

He had to choose a Best of Day, which is not so common anymore. More and more they place all the Group winners. On Saturday his pick was the Welsh Corgi Pembroke Antudor Accidentally in Love, a 3-year-old male from Norway that won the breed under Mr. Delmar and later the Group under Mrs. Reyniers. On Sunday Weimpoint Keep Smilin’ stole his heart. This English Pointer was bred and owned by Edwin and Kristina Lenaerts from Belgium. A 2-year-old female champion, she was another choice of Mr. Delmar to win the breed, but it was Mr. Opara who made her win the Group and send her to the finals. Mr. Muntean’s final choice for BIS went to the Welsh Corgi. Mrs. Rita Tilley Wilberg did not regret staying over a second day for the finals as she could take the Golden Dog Trophy 2013 back to Norway.

Liège can handle easily more than 2,000 dogs. Make your dog one of the 55 needed to reach that magical number – and hopefully much more. Next year will be the 60th edition of the show, and there will be again be the Gala du Chien, a show with dinner, comparable to the Champion of Champions, which is held every two years on Saturday night during this show. Don’t forget to enter in time.

Results are provided by Patricia Claes and Karl Donvil. A complete listing of Group winners appears below and at

Karl Donvil lives in Belgium, where he is a freelance photographer and reporter specializing in dogs. He founded the World Dog Press Association in 2001 and is the current CEO. He is a member of the editorial board of the FCI newsletter and covers shows throughout Europe, including Crufts and the World Dog Show.

Main Ring Results – Liège 2013

Group 1 – Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs, except Swiss Cattle Dogs
Judge Mrs. R. Reyniers, Belgium
1st: Pembroke Welsh Corgi Antudor Accidentally In Love, owned by Rita Tilley Wilberg, Norway
2nd: Bearded Collie Beardie Connections Kenji, owned by Rinus Otto, Netherlands
3rd: Australian Shepherd Melody Blue Star, owned by Sabrina Fogliazza, France

Group 2 – Pinschers and Schnauzers, Molossoids and Swiss Mountain Dogs
Judge Mrs. M. Vermeire, Belgium
1st: Chinese Shar-Pei Jade East First We Take Manhattan, owned by Esmae Minne-Anders-Nijholt, Netherlands
2nd: Black Giant Schnauzer, Apollo vom Schloss Ehrenberg, owned by Anja Johnsen, Germany
3rd: Bullmastiff Kasper van De Westerhoeve, owned by Bart Michiels, Belgium

Group 3 – Terriers
Judge Mr. S. Delmar, Ireland
1st: Yorkshire Terrier Every Jackson de la Castelviroise, owned by Serge Mindeau, France
2nd: Welsh Terrier Heinerle von Der Hohen Flur, owned by Jack Houben, Netherlands
3rd: American Staffordshire Terrier Parastone’s Designed With Love, owned by Paul F.M. Marks, Netherlands

Group 4 – Dachshunds
Judge Mr. T. Leenen, Belgium
1st: Standard Smooth Dachshund Joury Of Lady Joan, owned by J. A. Holtappels, Belgium
2nd: Miniature Longhaired Dachshund Sina vom Ellernhügel, owned by G. and H. Bremer, Germany
3rd: Miniature Smooth Dachshund Vityaz v Tugrovoy Shkure iz Mishkinogo Doma, owned by Artur Lewantowitch, Germany

Group 5 – Spitz and Primitive Types
Judge Mrs. Dekaristou, Greece
1st: Siberian Husky Chinanook’s Jack, owned by Gwenaëlle Guillaume, Belgium
2nd: Miniature Spitz Yarburg Chingiz Han, owned by Margareta Brzek, Germany
3rd: Basenji C-Quest Jokuba Dandy Shandy, owned by Noel Baaser, Germany

Group 6 – Scenthounds
Judge Mr. S. Delmar, Ireland
1st: Dalmatian Jeiro du Bois du Ronchy, owned by C. and J. Cordy and J. Vanbever, Belgium
2nd: Rhodesian Ridgeback Ringerike African Safari Girl, owned by Elisabeth Dusbaba, Netherlands
3rd: Bloodhound Légende de la Voie Royale, owned by M.P. and M. Preyse-Demaret, Belgium

Group 7 – Pointers and Setters
Judge Mr. Luis Pinto Teixeira, Portugal
1st: English Pointer Weimpoint Keep Smilin’, owned by Edwin and Kristina Lenaerts, Belgium
2nd: Irish Setter Trawricka High Jinks, owned by Frances McKimm, Belgium
3rd: Hungarian Wirehaired Pointing Dog Alfa Pogo Joey, owned by Katrin Geens, Belgium

Group 8 – Retrievers, Flushing Dogs and Water Dogs
Judge Mrs. S. Lazic, Russia
1st: American Cocker Spaniel Very Vigie Fame’nd Fortune, owned by Huovila Benoit Courtier-Vartiainen, France
2nd: Clumber Spaniel Bears Bay Full Speed to Cape Lewisporte, owned by Jan and Danielle Counotte-De Vree, Belgium
3rd: Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Gowan of Great Pleasure, owned by Rik Bogaerts

Group 9 – Companion and Toy Dogs
Judge Mrs. L. Finne, Finland
1st: Toy Poodle Smash JP Rock On, owned by Marieke and Nathalie Koelemeijer-Thunnissen, Netherlands
2nd: Pug Winsome’s Double Play, owned by Christine Sonberg, Belgium
3rd: French Bulldog A’Vigdors Beyonce, owned by Danielsbaka Van Mourik, Pieter Dunning and Ben Pekka, Netherlands

Group 10 – Sighthounds
Judge Mr. Luis Pinto Teixeira, Portugal
1st: Irish Wolfhound Just in Time of First Avenue, owned by Gary Janssens, Belgium
2nd: Italian Greyhound Caeles It’s Showtime, owned by Margret Veigarsdottir, Belgium
3rd: Afghan Hound Jazzaro’s Say What You Say, owned by Andrea Wöhler, Germany