Forty-nine editions ago, in 1964, the Kortrijk Eurodogshow started in Menen, a small town in the neighborhood of Kortrijk. Now it is, without any doubt, the number one show in Flanders and the strongest competitor of the national show of Belgium in Brussels. It is the most famous and best known not only in Belgium, but also in Europe.

Best in Show at Kortrijk, Afghan Hound Afterglow Jumping Rainbows Of Sofico. Photographs by Karl Donvil.

For Britain, this show has always been the most important “overseas” show. This year, no fewer than 173 dogs crossed the channel to participate, the fourth most prevalent nationality in the show and better represented than Germany. And this counts only for the participants of the show. The handling competitions, for example, have their regular British competitors. Besides this, more judges from the United Kingdom are invited than from Belgium or any other country.

Despite all this history, the November 17 and 18, 2012, show saw a slight decrease once more in the total number of entries. We count 2,987 entries, while last year there were 3,066. The organizers claim to have had 4,500 dogs in the show, including the participants for the many competitions like agility, flyball and obedience, plus the dogs that give demonstrations. But I count 300 entries for agility and 80 for obedience. The catalog says there are 29 countries represented and 65 judges from 16 countries. I count 42 judges and dogs from 21 different countries.

The Group ring at the Kortrijk Xpo in Kortrijk, Belgium.

These numbers are, at a minimum, confusing, and, from a show organizer’s perspective, difficult to control. But does it matter so much? The fact is that I am impressed by the number of ring stewards – 67 – and collaborators – 60 – plus the 23 committee members. Those people are responsible for bringing a show of this size smoothly to a good end.

The degree of perfection of this show was and still is an example to many other shows. It has been copied many times for its dog-festival aspect, bringing the positive relations between man and dog into the spotlight via demonstrations of the many canine disciplines. Besides standardizing the breeds, this is one of the most important, and nowadays maybe the most important, reason for organizing dog shows.

The Afghan Hound Afterglow Jumping Rainbows Of Sofico, Pointer Weimpoint Keep Smilin’ and Beagle Ch. Roeper’s Magic in the Air, on the podium at Kortrijk 2012.

Everything is there to entertain visitors: guide dogs for the blind and assistance dogs for the disabled; sports such as obedience, agility, flyball and apache [a reference to the (French) ring sport that demonstrates a dog’s abilities for personal protection— Ed.] and fun with Doggy Dance, or heelwork to music. The entertainment for children is amazing with a carousel and three big jumping castles. And for those who want to shop, the number of commercial stands is nowhere bigger than here. No other show is a better promotion for dogs and dog sports than the Kortrijk Eurodogshow.

The entry fee offers the best value for the money.

In Kortrijk one can expect some strong competition. Winning BOB has a bigger value here than at other shows. It also gives a much stronger international radiation, adding “BOB” or “BOS” or “CACIB KORTRIJK” to the records of your dog. And you can also find some judges from very exotic places on the list, often breed specialists and also judges that come here for the first time. From the 42 judges only eight were Belgian. In addition to the 10 from the U.K., six from Germany, three from France and three from Italy, all others came from different countries in Europe, and as far as Greece and Russia. One judge traveled from the United States and one from as far as New Zealand.

Best in Show under Mr. Javier Sanchez of Spain was awarded to the Afghan Hound Afterglow Jumping Rainbows Of Sofico, bred by Michael Gatsby and Jason Lynn, and owned by Dudley and Glynis Chadwyckof the U.K.

Very unusual was the fact that only 10 judges officiated on both days. The top judge on Saturday was Mrs. Dianna Spatin from the U.K. She had 62 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, 33 Beagles and 18 Basset Hounds. Mr. Eugeni Rosenberg from Russia came close with 112 dogs, including 79 Great Danes. He judged on Sunday too, but only had 34 dogs. Mr. Nikolas Vazakas from Greece was also a one-day-er. He finished Saturday after having examined 86 dogs. Mr. Jean-Francois Vanaken from Belgium had a nice number of Poodles and some other breeds and that brought him a total of 83 entries. Mr. Hans-Karl Schneider from Germany finished his day after 82 dogs, all Pinshers and Schnauzers. Mr. Van Raamsdonk, also from Belgium, had 80 dogs in his ring. There were nice numbers of Leonbergers, 59, for Mr. Guido Perosino from Italy, and Newfoundlands, 62, for Mr. Frank Kane who finished the weekend with 164 entries, thus becoming the second most popular judge of the show. Mrs. Willemine Van Deijl from Belgium had 93 dogs on Sunday and 122 in total.

Second place BIS was awarded to the Pointer Weimpoint Keep Smilin’, bred and owned in Belgium by Kristina and Edwin Lenaerts.

Mr. Philip Docwra from the U.K. judged on Sunday only, both varieties of Bull Terriers, and finished his judging after 62 specimens. The American Staffordshires were reserved for American judge Mr. William Roadhouse. He had 78 in total. Mrs. Sue Jolly from Britain had the very same number, but Golden Retrievers this time, while the 68 Labradors and 15 Flat Coats were reserved for Mrs. Julie Bedfort-Pope from New Zealand. All the Belgian Shepherd varieties were subjected to the verdict of Mrs. Bente Harlem from Norway. She had 73 in total, an amazing number. Mr. Javier Sanchez from Spain is a very respected all-around judge. His popularity can be read in the nice numbers he had on both days. On Saturday he had 90 dogs including 76 French Bulldogs. On Sunday the 61 Staffordshire Terriers brought his total to 79, or 169 for the whole weekend, the best score of the show.

Third place BIS went to the Beagle Ch. Roeper’s Magic in the Air, bred and owned by Mrs. Tineke Perfors of the Netherlands.

All BOG winners were placed for the finals, and it was not easy for Mr. Sanchez. It is always much easier only to pick out three. Now he needs to place a dog on number 10, 9, 8, etc. Notwithstanding the fact that these dogs won a whole Group at a prestigious show, taking place behind number 10, 9, 8, gives a false impression of having lost. That is why I am in strong favor of placing only three, making all dogs from four to 10 ex-aequo, or equal, as fourth place. That is why I start with focusing on Mr. Sanchez’ third place, Beagle Ch. Roeper’s Magic In The Air, a Dutch 3-year-old female bred and owned by Mrs. Tineke Perfors. Mrs. Diane Spavin picked her out of 33 Beagles to compete for BOG 6, that she won under judge Mr. Niksa Lemo from Croatia. Runner-up to Best in Show went to English Pointer Weimpoint Keep Smilin’, bred and owned in Belgium by Kristina and Edwin Lenaerts. There were six in competition and Keep Smilin’ is again a bitch, little more than a year old. The judge for the breed was Mrs. Danielle Letroye-Lantin and Group judge was Mrs. Adriana Griffa from Italy. There were a lot of British victories in this edition of the show, but it was a nice surprise to see a British dog win Best in Show. Mr and Mrs. Chadwick entered their Afghan Hound, Afterglow Jumping Rainbows Of Sofico, in Open Class Dogs to be judged by Mr. Massimiliano Mannucci from Italy. There was pretty strong competition, 32 in total, but Mrs. Dudleyglenys’ Afghan won. The victory continued later on in the Group finals when Mr. Evgeni Rosenberg decided to send this dog to the finals for Best in Show. And the rest we know – a fantastic trophy to take home to Britain. ‘Afterglow’ is a 5-year-old dog, bred by Mr. Michael Gadsby and Mr. Jason Lynn.

Let’s hope that this British win creates the hope to win next year, wherever you come from.

The next show will be its jubilee, celebrating its 50th edition, and I can assure you, expectations are high. The committee hopes to reach 5,000 entries by turning this edition into a very special one, starting with a double CACIB. Cancel any show you have on November 16 and 17, 2013, and book this one. You will not regret it. It will be an edition beyond expectations.

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 – Kortrijk Eurodogshow

Group 1 – Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs, except Swiss Cattle Dogs
Judge R. Vanhoenacker, Belgium
1st: Pembroke Welsh Corgi Edelweiss Vom Moosacher, owned by Michiko Takatsuka
2nd: Catalan Sheepdog, Long-Haired Pastora De Bellagosca, owned by Ronald Van Doornik
3rd: Bearded Collie Beastly’s Selkrik Bannock, owned by MarcVan Den Berghe-Lagring

Group 2 – Pinschers and Schnauzers, Molossoids and Swiss Mountain Dogs
Judge L. Gorjao-Henriques, Portugal
1st: Newfoundland New Angels Kisstheboy, owned by W. Wouters Didier and D. Haeck-Dhyne
2nd: Bernese Mountain Do gMaxima’s Kingdom Never Say Never, owned by C. Van Loenhout
3rd: Serra da Estrela Mountain Dog Haia Da Casa De LoasEmBamcwt, owned by L. Bermingham and Kendrick

Group 3 – Terrier
Judge A. Sume, Estonia
1st: Dandie Dinmomnt Terrier Cassencarie I Kid You Not, owned by Lucie Pearce and Rachel and Beverly Deacon
2nd: Bull Terrier Teirgwyn Latest Flame, owned by Aurelie Chaube
3rd: Yorkshire Terrier Dear Casanova Du Clos des Bleuettes, owned by Serge Mindeau

Group 4 – Dachshunds
Judge N. Patrix, France
1st: Rabbit Wirehaired Dachshund Come and Get Me Da Quinta D’abroeira, owned by Joe and Mary Allan and Mary Dick
2nd: Miniature Smooth Dachshund Kinchville Cecino Mumbo Jumbo, owned by Larisa Shabalina
3rd: Miniature Wirehaired Dachshund Fanelie De Buch De La Perouse, owned by Christiane Buchotte

Group 5 – Spitz and Primitive Types
Judge E. Rozenberg, Russia
1st: AkitaKayamaru Tokimitsu, owned by Catharine Hoebeke
2nd: Pomeranian Razzle Dazzle Of Pomeranian World, owned by Dirk Donné
3rd: Pharaoh Hound Farao Anubis Iskandaria, owned by Christine Varoqueaux

Group 6 – Scenthounds
Judge N. Lemo, Hungary
1st: Beagle Roeper’s Magic in the Air, owned by Tineke Perfors
2nd: Bloodhound Legende de la Voix Royale, owned by J. Francois Loncke-Preyse
3rd: Rhodesian Ridgeback Ridgevalley Farouk African Jewel, owned by Leon Aarts

Group 7 – Pointers and Setters
Judge A. Griffa, Italy
1st: Pointer Weimpoint Keep Smilin’, owned by Edwin and Kristina Lenaerts
2nd: Weimaraner Grey Classic ‘s Ipanema Girl, owned by Edwin and Kristina Lenaerts
3rd: Bracco Italiano Federico Derivato Dei Sanchi, owned by Jeannot Lohman

Group 8 – Retrievers, Flushing Dogs and Water Dogs
Judge N. Lema, Hungary
1st: Welsh Springer Spaniel Glenbrows Portrait, owned by Harrison and Harmsen
2nd: Golden Retriever Laurenley Layla, owned by Janis Ward
3rd: English Cocker Spaniel Black Lord’s Smooth Criminal, owned by Van Guyse and Melissa Apers

Group 9 – Companion and Toy Dogs
Judge M. Mannucci, Italy
1st: Japanese Chin Stepheter Jack the Lad at Rysalka, owned by Sue Tweedie
2nd: Papillon Phalène Freetain S My Oh My, owned by Carine Rutten
3rd: Boston TerrierFull Aux As de la Legende de L’archer, owned by Francoise Wantiez

Group 10 – Sighthounds
Judge E. Rosenberg, Russia
1st: Afghan Hound Afterglow Jumping Rainbows Of Sofico, owned by Dudley and Glynis Chadwick
2nd: Italian Greyhound Caeles It’s Showtime, owned by Margret Veigarsdottir
3rd: Scottish Deerhound Aghnadarragh Hinney, owned by Catherine Germain