The first show of the year in Belgium, the Ambiorix Trophy in Genk, was almost a nightmare for the committee. Two weeks before the show would take place, little more than 600 entries were registered. That would mean a big financial fiasco for the club, but fortunately the weekend of the closing date ended in euphoria with two entries more than last year’s edition – 1,369.

The digital era, including Facebook and the Internet, has caused a revolution in the dog world too. But I would call it an evolution rather than a revolution. Revolution is more in the sense of progress, while evolution is more neutral. Ten years back, entering a dog for a show meant filling out an entry form and sending it via regular mail. If you wanted to be sure that it would arrive in time, there was no question of waiting until two days before the closure date. Idem ditto for the payment, as a bank transfer took a certain number of days. Now it is no problem to enter your dog via your mobile phone within two minutes and do the payment with your credit card – instantly – at the very same time. Seconds later a confirmation mail arrives in your mailbox, and you can even take this as proof that your dog is entered. Indeed, this sounds like big progress. I agree; for the exhibitor this is big progress. But is it progress for the organization too? In a way, yes, a lot of typework is taken out of hands, and often the payment is secured. But it is a nightmare that they only measure the success of a show’s entry, the moment the catalog should go in print.

 Best in Show at the Ambiorix Trophy 2013 was awarded to the Cocker Spaniel (American) Galaksi Another One Bites The Dust, owned by Jessica Van Den Boom of the Netherlands. Photos by Karl Donvil.

Best in Show at the Ambiorix Trophy 2013 was awarded to the Cocker Spaniel (American) Galaksi Another One Bites The Dust, owned by Jessica Van Den Boom of the Netherlands. Photos by Karl Donvil.

But what about rearrangements with regard to judges, halls, rings, ring stewards, etc.? I can very well imagine what the committee has passed through. Most things need to be done months in advance (even years), like the halls, hotel reservations, flights and booking of the judges, etc. That means that expenses must be incurred in advance. Then you see that not even 50 percent of the estimated number of entries is registered a few days before closing time?

The European Show of Bucharest was even worse and could have meant the bankruptcy ofa national kennel club. Only after having advanced the deadline for entering, did the sky clear up. How far can this go? What is the final limit?

The weather was far from ideal as well, and on Sunday snow could have caused serious problems. If the situation keeps going on like now, we can expect exhibitors entering their dogs only when the weather is promising. Besides that, there will be a lot of reasons to enter a show or not if too much flexibility is possible. Comfort for one person usually means discomfort or more efforts for other people. If this evolution goes on, I predict a lot of problems in the coming years. The financial risk will completely be transferred to the organizing club. Years ago, all exhibitors risked their entry fees if they could not make it to a show.

Reserve Best in Show went to the Airedale Terrier It van ’t Asbroeck, owned by François Graulus of Belgium.

Reserve Best in Show went to the Airedale Terrier It van ’t Asbroeck, owned by François Graulus of Belgium.

But it was a relief for the organizers of the Ambiorix Trophy in the end, and 1,369 entries for a national title is a very good result.

I miss statistics in the catalog (the only remarks concerning the catalog), but a quick look in the address list shows me that, as expected, the majority of foreign dogs were from Germany and Holland, given the geographical location of Genk. But I saw also a few exhibitors from the United Kingdom, and that surprised me.

Thirteen judges were invited, seven of them from Belgium, which is totally acceptable for a Certificat d’Aptitute au Championnat (CAC) show. Mrs. Rita Reyniers and her partner Mr. Theo Leenen, both from Belgium, were the most popular judges of this show. Together they had 336 dogs or 25 percent of all entries! On Saturday Mr. Leenen had 108 dogs, including no fewer than 57 Border Collies. That was the best one-day score of the weekend. He finished the weekend with 170 entries on the counter. Mrs. Reyniers had 73 on Saturday and 93 on Sunday. Mr. Norman Deschuymere was filling gaps on Saturday, but on Sunday he was very busy and finished with 100 dogs. Mr. L. Catalan from Portugal finished his weekend in third place with 135 dogs in total. Saturday was the busiest day when he had 24 Dalmatians and a total number of entries of 96.

The Old English Sheepdog from the U.K., Longdorham Follow The Dream was BIS Third. The “bobtail” is owned by Sally Penney and Adam Duffin.

The Old English Sheepdog from the U.K., Longdorham Follow The Dream was BIS Third. The “bobtail” is owned by Sally Penney and Adam Duffin.

Mrs. Monique Van Brempt, who was judging on Saturday only, was asked to accept the honor of judging Best in Show. All Group winners were to be placed, but going into detail would bring us too far. So, let me stick to the usual podium places and start with number three. Mrs. Sally Penney from the United Kingdom had to take a hard decision, going back home Saturday or staying for the finals on Sunday, notwithstanding the bad weather forecast. Fortunately the snow came a lot later, and she could go home with a nice trophy won by her 5-year-old Old English champion Longdorham Follow the Dream in the Champion class to be judged by Mr. Leenen. Mr. Harsanyi from Hungary was the Group judge. The Airedale Terrier It van ‘t Asbroek” won RBIS. This 2-year-old female was also entered in the Champion class to be judged by Mr. Anatoli Zhuk of Belarus. The Terrier Group was assigned to Mr. P. Kroll from Poland. It is a product of the kennel of Mrs. and Mr. Graulus from Belgium, members of the host club. Best in Show went to the Netherlands and again, and like the OES and Airedale, it was a Group winner of Saturday that came back on Sunday for the finals. The American Cocker Spaniel, parti-color Galaksi Another One Bites the Dust, was entered in Intermediate class males to be judged by Mr. Deschuymere. He was bred in Denmark by Kristensen and is owned by Jessica Van Den Boom, one of the top breeders in Holland. Galaksi was just 15 months old. Mr. Des Manton from Ireland gave him the Group ticket to compete for the finals.

The Cocker Spaniel (American) Galaksi Another One Bites The Dust, Airedale Terrier It van ’t Asbroeck and Old English Sheepdog Longdorham Follow The Dream, on the podium in Genk, Belgium.

The Cocker Spaniel (American) Galaksi Another One Bites The Dust, Airedale Terrier It van ’t Asbroeck and Old English Sheepdog Longdorham Follow The Dream, on the podium in Genk, Belgium.

The next edition of the Ambiorix Trophy is planned for February 8 and 9, 2014, a few weeks later than this year. Please don’t hesitate to schedule it in your agenda and enter well in time. It will make such a big difference for the organization, think of that.

A complete listing of Group winners appears below and at www.dogshowonline.be

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 – Ambiorix Trophy

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Group 1 – Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs, except Swiss Cattle Dogs
Judge P. Harsanyi, Hungary
1st: Old English Sheepdog Longdorham Follow the Dream, owned by Sally Penney and Adam Duffin
2nd: Belgian Laekenois Hoi Sil of the Border River, owned by Peter Hermans
3rd: Shetland Sheepdog Evad Space Aurora, owned by Nadine Vannylen

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Group 2 – Pinschers and Schnauzers, Molossoids and Swiss Mountain Dogs
Judge M. Van Brempt, Belgium
1st: Newfoundland New Angels Knoxx, owned by Gautier-Van Leuven
2nd: Bullmastiff Leatherneck N’ Rodels Road Warrior, owned by Bus Whalea
3rd: Leonberger Hacuna C. Bora Z. Miloticek, owned by Bauwens-Roobrouck

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Group 3 – Terrier
Judge P. Kroll, Poland
1st: Airedale Terrier It van ‘t Asbroek, owned by Graulus
2nd: Skye Terrier Mustang, owned by Sonberg
3rd: West Highland White Terrier Bellevue Town DJ, owned by Van de Veen

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Group 4 – Dachshunds
Judge N. Deschuymere, Belgium
1st: Standard Smooth Dachshund Joury of Lady Joan, owned by Holtappels
2nd: Miniature Wirehaired Dachshund Furioso vom Altsiedlerhof, owned by Stotijn
3rd: Rabbit Wirehaired Dachshund Geronimo van de Nerendijk, owned by Vermeiren-Moelans

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Group 5 – Spitz and Primitive Types
Judge D. Manton, Ireland
1st: Siberian Husky Atlanterra Amaunet, owned by Deroucker-Picot
2nd: Shiba Inu Mara-Chimas Kei Mikata, owned by Wilma Van Der Meer
3rd: Chow Chow El Custo de los Perros de Bigo, owned by Martine Kabergs

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Group 6 – Scenthounds
Judge L. Catalan, Portugal
1st: Bloodhound Hector of Lufon Royal Pride, owned by De Vadder
2nd: DalmatianUnited SPotz Quartz, owned by Achtergael
3rd: BeagleHoudini van de Mansveldhoeve, owned by Gijsemans

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Group 7 – Pointers and Setters
Judge P. Kroll, Poland
1st: Dutch Stabyhoun Stabylands Foppe von Anne-Djuire, owned by HarrieVenner
2nd: Gordon Setter Liric Xcalibur, owned by Booij
3rd: Weimaraner Grey Classic’s I Kick Azz, owned by Mike Tamara

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Group 8 – Retrievers, Flushing Dogs and Water Dogs
Judge D. Manton, Ireland
1st: Cocker Spaniel (American) Galaksi Another One Bites the Dust, owned by Van Den Boom
2nd: Labrador Retriever Raglan Jack Frost, owned by Onkelinx-De Smedt
3rd: Spanish Water Dog Kawapitraco de Aronague, owned by Rolf Karsijns

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Group 9 – Companion and Toy Dogs
Judge R. Reyniers, Belgium
1st: Miniature Poodle Artmann Take Me To The Top, owned by Gochet-Wijnant
2nd: French Bulldog Jarretelle de la Parure, owned by Van Raamsdonck
3rd: Boston Terrier Bocaguay Canmoys Dream Team, owned by Christine Sonberg

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Group 10 – Sighthounds
Judge M. Van Brempt, Belgium
1st: Whippet Gloss and Lipstick of Swala Pala, owned by DominiqueDelabelle
2nd: Italian Greyhound Hotfarfale of Devils Pigeon, owned by Reynaerts-Scheerens
3rd: Saluki Navahrym van ‘t Swartshof, owned by Niederlof and Schrooten