The second day of Russia’s biggest dog show weekend, Eurasia, had a total entry of 6,211 dogs, all judged on Sunday, March 24. Mostly the same dogs competed as the previous day, but the results were mostly different — not surprisingly, in view of the large entry and the diverse group of 66 judges, who came to Moscow from all over Europe and beyond. The total number of spectators was reported to be around 150,000.
The only North American judges on the panel were Mike Macbeth from Canada and Burt Yamada from Southern California. Mike Macbeth felt the show was well and efficiently run, and the finals in the big ring were beautifully presented, with music accompanying the finals judging. “A huge TV screen was facing the audience so they could see close-ups of the dogs being judged. Interestingly, there were commercials for a number of competing dog food companies in between the Groups.
“Although we were told we would not have more than 100 dogs each day to judge, quite a few judges had more than that, and as we only had three-and-a-half to four-and-a-half hours to judge them, the written critiques [which are obligatory at most FCI shows] had to be shorter than usual. The critiques were dictated to a steward who then translated them into Russian.
“The Russian dogs are beautiful! Certain breeds are particularly good: the Black Russian Terriers (naturally), Kerry Blues and Scottish Terriers, Yorkshire Terriers, Dachshunds and Alaskan Malamutes are examples. The native Russian breeds had their own competition in the finals, and it was interesting to see breeds that few of us had encountered before.
“The hospitality was second to none and included a visit to Yar, the legendary nightclub that has hosted famous and infamous personalities as disparate as Rasputin and Stalin, Indira Gandhi and Arnold Schwarzenegger.”
In spite of the lack of American judges, the influence from both the U.S. and Canada was strongly felt among the winners. Best in Show, judged by Horst Kliebenstein of Germany, went to the U.S.-imported Scottish Terrier, Ch. McVan’s To Russia With Love. ‘Knopa,’ as she is also known, was bred in the Pacific Northwest by Vandra Huber and Michael Krolewski, and is owned by Marina Khenkina in Russia. Knopa is sired by Ch. Land Rose JP All Right out of Ch. McVan’s Fire Starter, and has an AKC champion title to her credit as well as top wins in Russia. Knopa has produced winning offspring, which have been imported to the U.S. from Russia.
Runner-up BIS was a Maltese, Ch. Cinecittá Diane Lane, owned by Franco Prosperi in Italy. Third in the BIS finale was the Labrador Retriever who had won BIS the previous day, Ch. Etu Asti Mondora, owned by Elena Akimova of Ukraine. ‘Etu’ was one of only two dogs to repeat their Group wins from the previous day; the other was the Beagle Ch. Varinhouse Eashly Lucky Choice.
The winners of the 10 Groups, with some added information when available, were:
FCI Group 1
FCI Group 2
FCI Group 3
FCI Group 4
FCI Group 5
FCI Group 6
FCI Group 7
FCI Group 8
FCI Group 9
FCI Group 10
In addition to the usual competitions for Best Baby, Puppy, Junior and Veteran, there were also brace, team and breeders competitions, and even a separate contest for “Best Provisionally Approved Breed by FCI.” This was judged by Russia’s Dmitri Trofimov and won by a Phantom (black-and-tan) Toy Poodle named Improvizacija Dlya Severnovo Stilya. Apparently the Russian Kennel Federation offers classes at its shows for both black-and-tan and harlequin (particolor) Poodles, but these “new” color varieties have been met by protests from more traditional FCI countries.
Best Provisionally Approved Breed by FCI
Best National Breed
Best Junior in Show
Mike Macbeth judged Best Junior in Show and reports: “They brought every dog that won Best Junior in Breed (9–18 months of age) into the ring all together, over 130 breeds. Although there was pre-judging in a separate ring, it was a bit challenging. It occurred to me at the time that I had as many juniors in that ring as we sometimes have in one of our tiny rural shows in Canada! The sight of so many dogs in the ring was amazing; the ring was huge, yet the dogs were three deep, circles within circles, with the largest dogs on the outside, the medium dogs in the middle, and the small dogs making the inner circle. I was asked to pull 10, then choose three. My third place was a Scottie, second a Chihuahua and winner a Siberian Husky, Bright Colour Dream Speigas. I think the juniors may have been the biggest class, although the spectacular breeders class totally filled the ring as well. One team of Standard Smooth Dachshunds was particularly memorable, as the exhibitor had all four on leashes on her left side and they trotted as one.”
The Norfolk Terrier junior that Mrs. Macbeth had awarded BOB the previous day — and went on to win the Group and BIS-3rd — won BOB again, but did not stay for the Group or Junior in Show.
Best Baby in Show
Best Puppy in Show
Best Veteran in Show
Best Baby in Show was the Australian Shepherd Seventy Seven Silver Bullet under Swedish judge Nina Karlsdotter. Best Puppy in Show was the Alaskan Malamute Ilmira Snezhnaya Fntazija, judged by John J. Walsh from Ireland, and best of the veterans was the Miniature Poodle Ch. Cover Girl S Tsvetochnoi Polyana, Russian-bred but by a Swedish-owned Australian sire, Ch. Saisonelle Master Class, who in turn carries U.S. blood from Ch. Kiyara Legends of the Fall.
Before the Groups began, there was a procession of about 40 shelter or abandoned dogs, many of which wore signs saying, “Adopt me!” Some of the caring foster people had taught them tricks or dressed them in cute hats; anything to draw attention to them for the chance of finding a new home. There were mongrels and Shepherd crosses, even a couple of Pit Bull-Am Staff types.
As Mike Macbeth put it, “You could see the love between the caregivers and the dogs. The look on the faces of these dogs tore at our hearts — more than one judge was weeping. At least I think so, as I could only see through my tears.”
In a final report from Eurasia, to be published on Wednesday, April 10 we’ll take a closer look at some of the many native Russian breeds, most of which are rare or as yet non-existent in the West.
I hope you read Burton Yamada’s interesting comments that appear after Friday’s Eurasia report. He remarks on how good especially the Samoyeds were, “any of which could win easily at our AKC show[s],” and suggests that their excellent coat quality may have something to do with the freezing Russian winter temperatures.
I was not at the show, of course, but I’ll be in Russia in June and hope the Moscow River will not be frozen over at that time…