news - 24/07/2022 Liège Golden Dog Trophy 2022 - Belgium
by Karl DonvilLiège Golden Dog Trophy 2022
2187 Entries was the score of this double CACIB show, with 1124 dogs on Saturday and 1063 on Sunday. The club faced bad luck for its first show after the pandemic and, obviously, had expected more dogs. The Halles des Foires, at the port of the Meuse in Herstal/Liège, was completely demolished and there will probably be no others in the near future. That forced the club to look for another solution. They were forced to move to Marche-en Famenne, in the Ardennes, more than an hour further away. The halls were nice but much more expensive and that is what frightened them most. The halls were larger than necessary and I suppose they had expected more entries. There were 9 trade stands, which is not too bad and they even had a sponsor, Cpro Food, and that is a luxury nowadays. In general, the trade-stand owners were happy and I had the impression that the number of visitors was rather good.
I was happy to have a good old catalog, with statistics, info, and everything you need, including the addresses of the exhibitors, although I think it was not according to the EU privacy rules. It probably is in the grey zone and if you ask people to agree to use the data when entering their dogs, it could be perfectly within the rules. Anyway, I don't any of the exhibitors had a problem with that. At least, people who are looking for breed info and breeders can get in contact with them, and that's what breeders do it for. An "exhibition" is not meant to be something private anyway. As usual, this show holds its annual Golden Groomer and Golden Lead contest. The first speaks for itself and every year it attracts participants from far abroad, the ultimate winner this year coming from the UK. The Golden Lead is their traditional Handling contest for Juniors to Seniors. 27 Participants entered the Saturday competition, 15 for the Sunday one and they came from Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, and France. There is always a lot of attention from abroad for this show and this year was no exception. Exhibitors came from no less than 15 different countries, including 1 from the USA and also 2 from Ukraine. And the British keep coming, notwithstanding the difficulties with Brexit and the long queues for crossing the channel. 21 British entries were registered. 24 Judges were invited, representing 12 nationalities and that is very good if you want to claim the title of being an International Championship Show. But here too, I had the impression that the organization expected much more entries. The average dogs/judging-day score was only 49,7 and knowing that 7 judges were from Belgium, including 3 that judged only one day, means that most of the other judges had travel expenses and needed hotel and dinner and that makes them less profitable. It is not easy to compile a judges list and try to guess what you need, especially as it is the first show in another place, the first after the pandemic and in the middle of a serious crisis, due to the war in Ukraine. But, long before the pandemic, I predicted serious problems to come, caused by the new trend to organize "double shows". Check my previous articles for that. There is no competition any longer and it gets too easy to win the necessary titles. Why spend more money and days to visit more shows if you have what you need in one or two double shows? The effect in the short term is an increase in income for the organization, but in long term, it devaluates the shows. On Sunday I could only find 6 breeds with 20 or more entries. The Golden Retrievers went down to only 21! On Sunday it was even worse with only 3 breeds and also here there were only 22 Goldens, no reason to blame it on the popularity of the judges. Next year Liege will take place again in Marche-en-Famenne and it will again be a double one. Double Shows are not the way to generate more income, at least not a steady income. Organizing a show is a very complex and difficult matter and too many unstable factors can influence the outcome. I can only wish for the people of the Syndicat d'Elevage Canin de Liège that things will change again for the better. This show is still the best show in Wallonia and I hope that it will keep its title of the biggest one too. The future can only get better.