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news - 02/06/2018
Lommel 2018  -  Belgium

dogs breeders dog pictures by Karl Donvil
LOMMEL 2018 It was pouring rain in several areas of Belgium and Lommel was at risk. But the showers were very local. Halfway from my place to the show I had to drive trough 20 to 30cm of water as the road was flooded over about 5km. Fortunately Lommel was not affected, but there was always a chance as a lot can happen in a weekend's time. But they were lucky as it was warm, not too hot and no accumulation of heath in the sports hall where the show takes place. About the same number of dogs were entered, 1131, spread over 200 different breeds and that is very nice for a show of this size. This show took place at the very same date as the Championnat de France but that didn't affect the show as last year there were only 38 dogs more and the Championnat de France was a week prior to Lommel then. The number of dogs was about the same on both days but it was remarkable that there were a lot of entries in Group IX (companion dogs) and Group II (molossers, pinshers and schnauzers), 216 and 245 respectively. The catalog was very slim and exhibitors had the choice to order a printed version for 5 EURO extra of a free digital version online. That is an excellent ecological idea, but what if you are out of battery power or out of range? Of course there are enough people around but I still prefer a paper one. Just like reading on my kindle it is not easy to go back and reread something, and you cannot browse like in a book and have a quick overview. In a printed catalog we know where to look for addresses, judges, breeds,... whatever. Electronically it is totally different, but I suppose it is just a matter of getting used to it. But the printed catalog was also a little unusual. There was no statistic of the nationalities of the participants and I use to give a look at the numbers of dogs for each judge, but here the breeds were split up in males females and per category. If you wanted to know how many dogs were entered in a certain breed, you had to count the puppy males, puppy females, junior males, junior females, etc. Very weird! The main ring started well in time and alike last year I loved the speakers team! One was asking questions while the other one explained. It gets your attention more easily as you want to know that they are talking about and that is totally different to when a speaker is alone and explaining talking to an anonymous audience. That should be done at every show as it is very entertaining. Compare it to a newsreader and a talk show. As said I missed an overview of the nationalities and was forced to make a rough calculation. Lommel is a border town only a few kilometers away from the Netherlands, but I could only find 157 Dutch entries and that's surprising! And if I looked well I found 7 UK entries, one from Ireland, Russia, Norway and Poland, assuming that I looked well.

16 Judges were invited, 8 from Belgium. The dogs/judging day rate was 43,5 and that is not excellent. However, 5 Belgian judges were invited for one day only and the Belgian judges are less expensive compared to foreign judges. Mr.Colin Simu from Romania was probably an interesting choice for many exhibitors. Being unknown , means unpredictable results, and fairer chance. We all know that judges have their own preferences and friends, it's not secret. But certain judges can deal better with preferences and friends than others and that is how you get a certain reputation, good or bad. So, people like unknown judges in the hope to get a fair and unprejudiced result. Some popular judges are respected. They are more or less predictable but would never put a top dog behind a lesser dog of a friend or well known handler. Mr.Simu was the best scoring judge of the show. On Saturday he ended with 76 dogs in his ring, on Sunday with 59. His compatriot, Mr.Csabu Zsolt Lokodi, is better known over here. He had the top score on Saturday with 87 entries. Along with the entries of Sunday he had a 132 dogs in total. On Sunday there was only one judge standing out in numbers of entries and that was Mr.Enrique Mate Duran. He had 72 on Sunday but only 26 on Saturday. There were no outstanding breeds in numbers and no very rare breeds.

Mrs.Mieremieczyk from Poland, a well known judge, was granted the honor of choosing the best dog in show. I was happy to see that only 3 dogs were placed in each item of the main ring program, but for the Finals all the winners of each group had to be placed. I just still don't understand why this is still a habit. Maximum 3 dogs placed and all the rest ex-eaquo is what it should be. Maybe in some years organizers will see that this is not making sense. All the group winners have won their breed and their group and for the finals they end up with an 10-9-8-7... in front of them. Let's cross our fingers that this will end soon. Anyway I will stick to my 3 winners. 3rd BIS went to the Gordon Setter 'J'adore Black Ivy". He was judged by Mr.Lokodi who also judged him for Best of Group. This female is 3 years old, a CHampion and lives in Germany with Marlena Deininger. The ResBIS went to the Bearded Collie "Beardie Connections Quite a Dream", owned and handled by Mrs.Liesbeth Wijns from Belgium. 9 Were entered for Mr.Simu and he too judged the group. Dream is 2 years old and was entered in Intermediate class. He will probably end up soon in Champion Class. Best In Show went to the particolor American Cocker Spaniel "Royalty Inc.Beat It". This male was entered in Veteran Class and won that class in the main ring. Later on he won the group and ended BIS, nice! He is 8 years old! Mr.Pawel Osak was his judge for the breed judging and again, he was the group judge too. It was quite impressive to see the numbers of trophies handler/breeder Jessica Van den Boom could take home. The owner of the dog is Mr.Rui Da Silva.

Next year the Championnat de France will be on a different day, as far as I have heard, and then there is no excuse anymore to enter for this show too. See you there, you will enjoy it. Rent a bungalow in the Center Park 1 km away and make it a long , relaxing weekend!

Text and photos: Karl DONVIL

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