As every show, it all started small. In 1964 Mr José Misselyn organized the first edition in Menen, a small town nearby Kortrijk. In 1970 I entered my Great Dane for this show and I remember that it took already place in the first expo halls of Kortrijk. 25 years ago I started to work as a reporter for the national magazine in Belgium, WOEF, the Eurodogshow was my first show, and since then I have been a yearly visitor and saw it grow larger, bigger and more professional. Kortrijk became an example for many other shows and even for big show like 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 canine people in every aspect. And this year I saw two newcomers working in the main ring, two juniors, a new generation!
The EURODOGSHOW is one of the big events related to Kortrijk and the community is very proud of it. This show is so famous in Belgium that if one speaks about a dogshow, 9 times to 10 they have the EURODOGSHOW in mind. It is also no secret that thanks to the EURODOGSHOW the Kortrijk EXPO became so well known as one of the biggest Expo complexes in Belgium. The number of visitors was very good , around 22.000. That is a number that no other show in Belgium can claim. 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.
So how could the Royal Society Saint Hubert (Belgian kennel Club) refuse to give a double CACIB for the 50th anniversary of this show! I was wondering how this would work out and how many dogs would come. The goal was 6000 entries and they finished at 6225, which is an amazing result! A double CACIB would mean a double show, one on Saturday and one on Sunday. Other years there are always different kind of competitions going on, but those were cancelled now 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 the kids under the supervision of an adult babysitter so that mam an 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 was 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 it 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. For the babies and puppies it is not a big deal yet, but for junior class it is already worth to have a better look on them. But after all it was not a real problem.
This Jubilee show was an exceptional opportunity to see almost all the recognized 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 3133 dogs on Saturday and 3092 on Sunday. In absolute numbers it is a more or less regular show as the EURODOGSHOW usually has around 3000 entries. The Belgians were of course best represented with 1342/1340 (Sat/Sun)entries. France came second with 730/781 entries followed by Holland 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 find also entries from as far as Georgia, Greece , Israel and ….”Heard Island and McDonald Islands”???? This took my special attention and a look on Wikipedia learned that these are very remote Islands a few thousands of kilometers away from Australia direction Antarctica, only inhabited by seals and penguins. A look in the list of exhibitors explained to me that my suspicion was correct, it was a funny mistake; a Dutch exhibitor wrote only part of his postcode in Holland ‘HM” omitting his community and country and HM is the landcode of the Islands. I suppose his entry card for his dog is probably still on its way to him and will hopefully arrive in a few months.
In the welcome article of the catalog the president speaks of 129 judges from 20 countries. In fact it are 72 different judges from 20 countries, 39 of them were judging one day only, the rest both days. Together plus a few judges of other disciplines than the show, this can result in 129. Anyway, 72 is a lot! 15 Of them were from Belgium, another 15 came from the UK, 8 from Germany, 6 from France, 4 from Sweden and rest from all over Europe, except for one from Mexico and one from Indonesia. Mr.Christopher Kilpatrick (UK) was scheduled on Saturday only for the 60 Bull Terriers. Mrs. G.Schwab (LU) judged Terriers on both days. On Sunday she had 99 including 54 Staffordshire Terriers. Mr.Miodrag Vretenicic (ME) was also more busy on Sunday with 89 dogs. Mr.E.Sistermann (D) had also 89, but this time on Saturday. Mr.Sonny Ström (SE) had two busy days. 90 Dogs on Saturday, thanks to 45 Aussies and a nice number of 75 Belgian Shepherds.Mr.H.Gesquière from Belgium had them on Saturday and had a total of 83. Mrs.Inga Siil came from Estonia to judge 115 dogs on Saturday, when she did all the 79 poodles and 52 Chihuahua’s on Sunday. Mr.Masanori Fujimoto flew in from Mexico to judge them on Saturday, while on Sunday he had the highest score with 131 dogs from groups 5. Dr.A.Schemel (A) had the Pugs and French Bulldogs together on Sunday and that resulted in 114 entries, (78/36). The Great Danes were very numerous on Sunday when they were judged by Mr. J.Medard-Ringuet from France. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniels were judged on Saturday by Mr.M.Sedgwich and on Sunday by Mrs. Norma Inglis, both UK judges. There were 66 entered on Sunday and 73 on Sunday. Mrs.L.Frncova (CZ) had a busy day on Sunday when she had 102 dogs to judge, all Group V breeds. Mr.Jeff Lane, UK judge, was invited to judge the 77 English Bulldogs on Saturday. Mrs.M.Vincent-Presland, compatriot, judged them on Sunday. Mrs.Susan Willumsen from the United States judged the 43 Labradors on Saturday. On Sunday they were judged by Mrs.P.Harrison from the UK. She had 15 more. Mr.L.Moran from Ireland judged 83 Goldens on Saturday and Mrs. S.Towers from the UK judged them on Sunday. She had 79 entries. It would bring me too far to mention them all but it is clear that the committee of the EURODOGSHOW made serious efforts to invite good judges and specialists if possible which is proved by the number of one-day-judges.
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 Champions class under Mr.R.Vanhoenacker from Belgium. He is owned and bred Mrs.Lacey, Mr.Szyczewski Avril Edward and coming 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 and 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 Champions Class to compete with 26 other Mastiffs and is 4 years old. With his marvelous temperament he stole the hearth of Mrs.Liliane De Ridder –Onghena who handed him over to the judgement of Dr.Andreas Shemel who judged the Group.
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 was almost 2 years old and entered in Champion Class. He 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 he won the group again, judged by Mrs.Myriam Vermeire from Belgium. So there he stood again in front of Mrs.De Ridder, but this time lined up for the finals, and believe it or not, he was chosen again as BIS, twice in one weekend, on the same show. Was he so exceptional? Probably, as he was very nice, but very convincing in the first place by his marvelous character. But most of all he was lucky to be chosen on Saturday when he was judged by Mr.De Ridder and now again he was here again, in front of her.
I made a better look at the results and compared Saturday to Sunday and this is a unique opportunity to do so as 98% of the dogs were shown both days. In Group I the Puli won the group on both days, idem ditto in Group II for the Bullmastiff and in group IV for the Dachshund. The Alaskan Malamute in Group V won the group on Saturday and ended 3rd on Sunday. The Bracco Italiano of Group VII won 2nd place Saturday and 4th place on Sunday. In Group 8 the very same Welsh Springer was awarded 3rd place on both days. The Pekingese, winner of the 3rd place in Group IX on Saturday, finished on the 2nd place on Sunday and the Greyhound who won the Group X ended 3rd place on Sunday. The Baby Scottish Terrier won on Sunday and was placed 3rd on Saturday and the same Chow Chow won BIS Junior Class on both days. There are many explanations possible, coincidence is one of them, exceptional is another reason and there are more, but I leave it up to you.
15 and 16 November 2014 is the date to note down in you agenda, cause then you have a new chance to see if 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?
Photo Gallery Click Here
Saturday Results Click Here
Sunday Results Click Here