While last year’s August temperatures in Mechelen, Belgium, were almost unbearable for the International All Breed Dog Show, this year it was warm, but OK. And inside the Nekkerhalls, the dogs, handlers and visitors felt comfortable on both days. There was a loss in entries, but nothing to panic for. There were still 1,542 dogs entered. Let us not forget the many shows we’d already had in Belgium every two weeks.

Mechelen has a good reputation for its accommodation. The parking is huge and right around the hall, so no need to cross a street. Inside there is plenty of room with very large rings and space enough to bring all your stuff without blocking the ways. The large main ring was at the very end. The acoustic is not a plus point, but a small change in the position of the podium allowed the speakers to be directed toward the long side of the hall and that made an audible difference, though not a miracle. That will always be the weak point of this hall.

The dogs came from all over Europe, from 15 different countries. Nine hundred and eleven dogs were from Belgium. From Germany came 147; that is unusual, but they probably followed the many German judges that officiated. France had 165 entries and 281 dogs came from Holland. But besides this, there were 11 U.K. dogs, two from Sweden, three from Finland and even one from Turkey.

American Cocker Spaniel Sundust Something To Declare, owned by Jessica Van Den Boom of the Netherlands, was chosen as Best in Show at the International All Breed Dog Show in Mechelen, Belgium, in mid-August, by judge Mr. Eberhardt. Photos by Karl Donvil.

While only 11 judges were officiating in Leuven to handle about the same number of dogs, here there were no less than 26 judges, coming from 11 different European countries. Tickets to Ireland and the U.K. are not expensive, and even Spain is affordable. All others could come by car or train but still, it’s very unusual. So many judges means either that they don’t have too many dogs or that a lot are judging one day only, and that was the case here for no fewer than 17 of them. Another reason for inviting a judge for one day is that he or she is a breed specialist. That was probably the case for J. Michael Ewing from the U.K. who judged only 23 Shelties, Bognarova Sonia from Slovakia who judged nine Czech Wolf Dogs. And Andrew Beare came from Ireland to judge 32 Bulldogs and Waget Elise, from France, to judge 51 French Bulldogs. Giving new judges a start can also be a reason, for example, Mr. Vandaele Bart who judged the 29 Border Collies.

The top judge of the weekend came from Finland, Mrs. Ahlman Stokmari. She had 38 dogs on Saturday, not too many, but on Sunday she finished only after 87 dogs, the record of the weekend. Mr. Beare had 59 dogs on Saturday, including the 27 Staffordshire Bull Terriers. Mr. Eberhardt from Germany had a total of 112 dogs, and Mrs. Gonzalbo Lorenzo Maite from Spain had 114 dogs. On Sunday she had all the Poodles and eight Maltese. The one-day record of the show was for her compatriot Gual Fournier Sergio. On Sunday he had only 15 dogs, but Saturday was good for 94 dogs including 25 Bullmastiffs. Mrs. Blessing Regina from Germany was working on Sunday only, but her day was good for 83 dogs, the Akitas and Sheepdogs.

Mr. Eberhardt was the Best in Show judge and was asked to place all Group winners. His 3rd place went to the Papillon Pipistrelle Creamer’s Dream, a 5-year-old male owned by Marian Stiphout from Holland. Mr. Beare showed him the way to the main ring and Mrs. Rita Reyniers the way to the final podium. But he was beaten by the Weimaraner Grey Classic’s I Kick Azz from Edwin and Kristina Lenaerts of Belgium. This dog is almost 4 and won the Group under Jean-Pierre Achtergael from Belgium. His Group was also judged by Mrs. Reyniers. The BIS trophy went to Holland, to a U.K. American Cocker Spaniel, entered in Open class as a 2-year-old male under Mr. Eberhardt himself. Owner of this beautiful dog is Mrs. Jessica Van Den Boom. Mr. J. De Cuyper judged the Group and gave the Cocker a chance to win the Sint Romboutscup 2013.

The next edition of this show is planned on 23 and 24 of August 2014, but will that be in the same halls? Rumors are going that the National Television VRT is hiring the halls for a whole year long to turn it into a huge studio to make a film or series. But I doubt it, as the world famous Christmas Jumping is also in these halls. We’ll see. I look forward to the next edition and to see you there.

Results are provided by Patricia Claes and Karl Donvil. A complete listing of Group winners appears below and at www.dogshowsonline.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 – Mechelen 2013

Group 1 – Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs, except Swiss Cattle Dogs 
Judge Mrs. R. Losh-Romans, Netherlands
1st: Belgian Shepherd Dog Malinois Hanako De La Belle Pitou, owned by Hendriks Monique, Netherlands
2nd: Berger de Picardie Fritton De Stephieci, owned by Louisette Beauvisage, France
3rd: Saarloos Wolf Dog Joscha Van De Woolfsdreuvnik, owned by Jan Verbeeck, Belgium

Group 2 – Pinschers and Schnauzers, Molossoids and Swiss Mountain Dogs
Judge Mrs. Gonzalbo Lorenzo, Spain
1st: Bulldog Lewis Bullbuzzer, owned by Fabienne Vande Meirssche, Belgium
2nd: Chinese Shar-Pei jade East First We Take Manhattan, owned by Esmae Minne, L.B. Anders and K.R. Nijholt, Netherlands
3rd: Leonberger Evermay’s Lincoln For Ospern, owned by Bauwens-Roobrouch, Belgium

Group 3 – Terriers 
Judge Mrs. Lochs-Romans, Netherlands
1st: Australian Terrier Pariservikens Good Luck Charm, owned by Ole and Birthe Buch, Denmark
2nd: Airedale Terrier Everyman’s Lincoln For Ospern, owned by Jos Wohles, Luxembourg
3rd: West Highland White Terrier White Bandits’ Chilly Pepper, owned by Gabi Maul, Germany

Group 4 – Dachshunds
Judge Mr. T. Leenen, Belgium
1st: Miniature Smooth Dachshund Vityaz V Tugrovoy Shkure Iz Mishkinogo Doma, owned by Artur Lewantowitsch, Germany
2nd: Miniature Longhaired Dachshund Fausse Manoeuvre Du Dom Teckel, owned by Jean Louis Jacops-Frein, France
3rd: Standard Smooth Dachshund Joury of Lady Joan, owned by J.S. Joltappels, Belgium

Group 5 – Spitz and Primitive Types 
Judge Mr. A. Beare, Ireland
1st: Basenji Akmar Queen Ankhesenamun, owned by Paula Steele, U.K.
2nd: Samoyed I’m A Babe Vom Beverenkant, owned by Michele Borremans, Belgium
3rd: Alaskan Malamute Stormchaser The Saint, owned by Rita Liebrand, Netherlands

Group 6 – Scenthounds
Judge Mr. T. Leenen, Belgium
1st: Bloodhound Hector Of Lufon Royal Pride, owned by Alfons De Vadder-Van Buggenhout, Belgium
2nd: Basset Hound Georgette Original Big Bone, owned by Van Walleghem and Anne and Linda Van Der Sichel
3rd: Beagle Kalamazoo Van De Mansveldhoeve, owned by Annie Gijsemans, Belgium

Group 7 – Pointers and Setters
Judge Mrs. R. Reyniers, Belgium
1st: Weimaraner Grey Classic’s I Kick Azz, owned by Edwin and Kristine Lenaerts, Belgium
2nd: Irish Red Setter Keann of McBirdy, owned by Jean Noella Duhant-Ketelaers, Belgium
3rd: Hungarian Shorthaired Pointing Do Ramses Pajkos, owned by Yani Everaert, Belgium

Group 8 – Retrievers, Flushing Dogs and Water Dogs 
Judge Mr. J. De Cuyper, Belgium
1st: American Cocker Spaniel Sandust Somethin To Declare, owned by Jessica Van Den Boom, Netherlands
2nd: Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Gowan Of Great Pleasure, owned by Rik Bogaerts, Belgium
3rd: English Cocker Spaniel Billsor Hunky Dory, owned by R. And N. Feyaerts, Belgium

Group 9 – Companion and Toy Dogs
Judge Mrs. R. Reyniers, Belgium
1st: Papillon Pipistrelle Creamer’s Dream, owned by Marian Stiphout, Netherlands
2nd: Smooth Chihuahua Luigi My Pride And Joy, owned by Lydie Carrozza, France
3rd: Lhasa Apso Mi-Amor Kiara, owned by Martine Bellens and Linda Deroo, Belgium

Group 10 – Sighthounds
Judge Mrs. S. Kealy, Ireland
1st: Deerhound Nimloth Brandir, owned by Caroline Van Zanten-Boomgaard, Netherlands
2nd: Irish Wolfhound Quilmara of First Avenue, owned by Gary Janssens, Belgium
3rd: Saluki Qasamyr Van ’t Swartshof, owned by J.W. Schrooten and R. Nederlof, Belgium