It took Brabo a long time to recover from its lows of the past years. Who could have expected this show would become ranked in Belgium’s top three? Indeed, no less than 18 percent was gained compared to last year’s entry, which was already a good year. The increase was from 1,743 to 2,057.

Guido Surinckx, the president of the club, was extremely proud to announce this year’s number. Since the first edition of the show, the magical number of 2,000 has never before been reached. 981 dogs were on term on Saturday: 553 were from Belgium; 220 from the Netherlands; 96 from France; 79 from Germany; and no fewer than 28 from the U.K., plus two from Poland, and one each from Spain, Italy and Norway. On Sunday there were more dogs when Groups 1, 5, 6, 9 and 10 had to be judged, with 640 dogs from Belgium; 226 from the Netherlands; 109 from France; 78 from Germany; and this time only 13 from the U.K. But now we have four dogs coming from Russia, two from Sweden, again two from Poland, and one dog each from Luxembourg, Latvia and Northern Ireland.

The top winners and their handlers pose for photographers on the podium at Brabo 2013. All photos by Karl Donvil.

Years ago, three halls in the Antwerp Expo were used for this show, but now only two house the 14 rings and the main ring. Brabo is one of the shows where it’s possible to have demonstrations, as the main ring is not in use during the day for the regular judging. For the fair and cheap price of five euros, and free for children under 12, the public can enjoy dog dancing, obedience demonstrations, and junior and senior handling.

The catalog was also very useful, and I was very fond of the diagrams that were printed. Here it was immediately clear to me that Group 2 was the biggest one, covering 22 percent of the entries. I always thought that Group 1 was the second largest – and I don’t know if this is a coincidence or a regular phenomenon – but Group 9 came in second in entries with 20.5 percent, whereas Group 1 was good for only 14.5 percent. One could also see that the males were overshadowed by the bitches, with a difference of 3 percent. This is rather funny as bitches come in season, while males can be shown all year long. I don’t see the point of splitting males and females into the different Groups they are entered in, but no problem. Its presentation in the catalog is appreciated and original.

Notwithstanding all these positive things, now it’s time for the organizers to focus on a better solution to display all the different trade stands. The stand holders were not very happy – at least some of them – particularly those who were positioned along the outer walls of the halls. Trade stands should always be positioned before one reaches the rings, so that everyone is forced to pass by them. There should be no way to take a shortcut in order to avoid them. I can imagine this will not be an easy exercise, but when all the rest comes close to perfection, the trade stands should have priority now.

Best in Show at Brabo 2013 under judge Monique Van Brempt was Weimaraner Grey Classic’s I Kick Azz, owned by Kristina and Edwin Lenaerts of Belgium.

The main ring here is nice and even a little larger than before. Eukanuba is the main sponsor. On one side, the short side where the Eukanuba booth is located, a few tables were reserved for Eukanuba’s VIPs. The long side of the main ring was reserved for the 29 judges. This setup was comparable to the main ring in Luxembourg. The podium, however, still needs to be improved. Of course it is far from the horrible situation of some years ago, when the podium was stuffed with bags, reflective material and a dark depressing background. All of this is history, and changes are made for the better, but it was a pity that there was only one poster with a dog on it – the famous Eukanuba posters – as on the left side there was a poster filled with text, and that is very distracting. It would have been perfect if there were two posters with a dog on it. But that was not so bad. More important is that the podium itself should be replaced. I keep on repeating it, but only with a nice podium and a nice background can one take nice pictures.

The Belgian-owned Belgian Sheepdog (Belgian Shepherd Groenendael) Ian de Bruine Buck received second place for owners Stroobants and Aertgeerts.

The policy of the committee of the Brabo dog show is to invite as many national judges as possible, with a minimum of 50 percent. Let’s have a closer look at the list of judges. Mr. Pocas Joao Vasco from Portugal had 83 entries, including a lot of Bulldogs, Boxers and Bordeaux dogs. Mr. Inzoli Massimo from Italy had a total of 81 on Saturday, including 50 Bernese Mountain Dogs, and 30 dogs on Sunday, including 24 Akitas. He had the second best score of the weekend. Mr. Joseph Van Hummelen from Belgium had 189 dogs in total. Mr. Walter Jungblut from Germany was invited to judge on Saturday, only to judge no fewer than 115 dogs. But these 115 dogs were enough to make him the best scoring judge of the weekend. He judged all the Dachshunds and some Terrier breeds. Mrs. Muldoon Colette from Ireland had a total entry of 91 dogs, 44 of them Labradors. Mrs. Diane Degryze is from Belgium, and she judged on Sunday only, but 44 Chinese Cresteds helped her to reach a nice total number of 96 dogs. Her husband, Mr. Freddy Declercq, had only a few less dogs in his ring. He reached a total of 92 dogs, thanks to 66 Chihuahuas that turned up to be judged by him.

Some judges were responsible for nice entries in certain breeds only. Mrs. Ingrid Hectors attracted 36 Leonbergers and 31 Newfoundlanders. Mr. Jean François Vanaken had 39 American Staffordshire Terriers on Saturday and 44 dogs on Sunday, a total of 83 dogs. Mr. Victor Van Raamsdonk judged the 49 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels that were entered for the show. Mr. Erwin Manders came from the Netherlands on Sunday to judge 55 Poodles, all varieties. Mr. Mark Wibier came from Germany to judge 68 dogs of which 42 were Border Collies. The 44 Golden Retrievers were for Mr. Louis Dehaes, while Mr. Dirk Spruyt had a nice number of 41 French Bulldogs and Mr. Roger Van Bunder had 24 Shetland Sheepdogs. Maybe these are not top numbers, but it indicates that the breeds at this show were rather evenly represented. Of the 27 judges, 14 were invited to judge one day only, but since 17 were Belgian judges, it probably did not affect the expenses too much.

Third place in the final lineup was the Dalmatian Solbo’s Kayo, owned by C. Hultink and H. Hoie of the Netherlands.

Mrs. Monique Van Brempt was the Best in Show judge, and she had to place all the Group winners. The Dalmatian Solbo’s Kayo had strong competition during the day. This male champion, coming from Holland and owned by Hultink and Hoie, won its breed under judge Mr. Dick Baars, also from the Netherlands. There were no fewer than 13 Dalmatians at the show. In Group 6, he was Belgian Jean-Pierre Achtergael’s favorite. Kayo finished third BIS. Second BIS went to the Belgian Shepherd Groenendael Ian de Bruine Buck. Ian is also a male and was entered in the Champions class. Mrs. Monique Van Brempt judged this breed herself. The Group was judged by Mrs. Myriam Vermeire, a specialist of the breeds and a breeder of Groenendaels herself. This 4-year-old dog is owned by Marcela Stroobants. It is no secret that Mrs. Van Brempt is fond of the famous breeders and handlers of Weimaraners, Kristina and Edwin Lenaerts. It was no surprise that she chose as her top winner the Weimaraner Grey Classic’s I Kick Azz, a male champion little more than 2 years old. Mr. Achtergael gave her the opportunity to do so as he made the Weimaraner best of Group 7.

I look forward to next year’s edition and the possible small adjustments with regard to the podium and the hopefully better positioning of trade stands. It is a big achievement for the current board to bring this show to such a high level and if it keeps on going on like this, Brabo will become a big challenge for Brussels and Kortrijk.

Results are provided by Paula Dictus. 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 – Brabo 2013

Group 1 – Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs, except Swiss Cattle Dogs
Judge Myriam Vermeire, Belgium
1st: Belgian Sheepdog Ian de Bruine Buck, owned by Stroobants and Aertgeerts, Belgium
2nd: Bearded Collie Beardie Connections Kenji, owned by Otto Rinus, Netherlands
3rd: Swiss White Shepherd Dog Guanche of Luna Legacy, owned by Melody Gason, Belgium

Group 2 – Pinschers and Schnauzers, Molossoids and Swiss Mountain Dogs
Judge Staf Van Den Bosch, Belgium
1st: Miniature Schnauzer (Black and Silver) Leonieke’sNils-Nalynn, owned by Leonie Verbruggen, Netherlands
2nd: Newfoundland A. and B. Newfs Hit The Gas, owned by J. and D. Counotte-De Vree, Belgium
3rd: Leonberger Hakuna C. Bora z. Miloticek, owned by C. Roobrouck and B. Bauwens, Belgium

Group 3 – Terriers
Judge Dr. August De Wilde, Belgium
1st: Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Greentree Storm Catcher, owned by Möller-Sieber, Germany
2nd: Yorkshire Terrier Nanette’s Nichi Ren, owned by Nanta Tansacha, Thailand
3rd: Sealyham Terrier Efbe’s Goodspice Anchors Aweigh, owned by I. Schotel, Netherlands

Group 4 – Dachshunds
Judge Diana Degryze, Belgium
1st: Rabbit Wirehaired Dachshund Ilusion Da Quinta D’Abroeira, owned by Christine Sonberg, Belgium
2nd: Rabbit Longhaired Dachshund Jony von Lotenthal, owned by Patrick De Paepe, Belgium
3rd: Standard Smooth Dachshund Lolita du Clos de l‘Estinal, owned by Emanuelle Kockelbergh, Belgium

Group 5 – Spitz and Primitive Types
Judge Dr. August De Wilde, Belgium
1st: Samoyed McMagic’s the Candy Man of Pebbles Run, owned by Amalie Hindsdal
2nd: Chow Chow Joch el Custo de Los Perros de Bigo, owned by Ale Figliolia
3rd:Pomeranian Caletto Where the Magic Begins, owned by De Bock-Verstrepen, Belgium

Group 6 – Scenthounds
Judge Jean-Pierre Achtergael, Belgium
1st: Dalmatian Solbo’s Kayo, owned by C. Hultink and H. Hoie, Netherlands
2nd: Bloodhound Hector of Lufon Royal Pride, owned by Fonnie De Vadder, Belgium
3rd: Rhodesian Ridgeback Ridgevalley Farouk African Jewel, owned by Leon Aerts, Netherlands 

Group 7 – Pointers and Setters
Judge Dr. Jean-Pierre Achtergael, Belgium
1st: Weimaraner Grey Classic’s I Kick Azz, owned by Kristina and Edwin Lenaerts, Belgium
2nd: German Wirehaired Pointer Gipsy vom Minnetthal, owned by Cornelie Verheugt-Meyer, Netherlands
3rd: Pointer Weimpoint Keep Smilin’, owned by Kristina and Edwin Lenaerts, Belgium

Group 8 – Retrievers, Flushing Dogs and Water Dogs
Judge Dr. Walter Van den Broeck, Belgium
1st: Portuguese Water Dog Patriot’s Life in the Fast Lane, owned by Griffioen-van Beek, Netherlands
2nd: Flat-Coated Retriever Velvet Hunters Sunny Princess, owned by Leonie Doeve, Netherlands
3rd: Cocker Spaniel (American) Galaksi Another One Bites the Dust, owned by J. van den Boom, Netherlands

Group 9 – Companion and Toy Dogs
Judge Diana Degryze, Belgium
1st: Bichon Frise Manoir’s Cutting Edge, owned by Pauline Johns, U.K.
2nd: Pekingese Vanity Guillaume the Conqueror, owned by P. Lassero and E. Richard, France
3rd: Coton de Tuléar Easy And Sweetie du Haut Marais, owned by Veronique Places, France

 Group 10 – Sighthounds
Judge Dr. Louis Dehaes, Belgium
1st: Afghan Hound Karakush the Meow Factor, owned by Regina and Faye Tromp, Netherlands
2nd: Italian Greyhound Grisabella du Domaine de Chanteloup, owned by Jean Laveyssiere, France
3rd: Whippet Hello World Di Mahana, owned by Jan Willem Akerboom, Netherlands