by Karl DonvilWith an entry of 1233 dogs, the organizers of the latest “Ambiorixtrofee” were quite happy. In 2017 they still had an entry of 1738 and last year 1513. “If we compare with all the other shows and the declining tendency, we are happy to have that many dogs”. I think this is rather sad as shows like this have to fight back really hard to get enough dogs to go on with organizing their yearly shows. The result is very clear, double shows not only kill shows like this one but commit suicide to themselves in the long term. But enough of this, if have warned and mentioned enough. 1233 entries is still a good result indeed and the dogs/judging day rate of 53,6 is still in the good range.
The committee, however, has made a big difference since this year. The new formation opened new doors and thanks to a few inventive and handsome members the result was amazing, a new podium and a panel for the rosettes. The last one was really inventive and took little space. It was rolled into the mainring and all the rosettes hung impressively in place, nicely exposed. Simple but so efficient and eyecatching! The podium was even more ingenious. It was composed of modules with the numbers built into a pedestal and lit up with LEDs. The only problem were the flowers on top. Instead of vertically oriented flower pots, they had wide pots and that was not the best idea as they covered in some case the dogs or parts of the dogs. But on day two they left some space in between the modules so that the flowers did not cover the subject so much anymore, leaving the dogs more space to present themselves and the proved much better. Unfortunately, I saw here again 4 dogs to be placed each time and for the Best In Show, all dogs had to be placed. Dog Shows are some of the rare competitions where you find 4 placements.
Notwithstanding the warm weather on Saturday, the temperature inside the hall was very bearable, at least in the main hall. On Sunday it was cooler outside, but as the warmth had cumulated, it was warmer than on Sunday inside the halls. But fortunately, there were no incidents to report. 18 countries were represented for this show. On Saturday 539 dogs were judged and the reaming 694 were all for Sunday. 726 dogs were Belgian entries, 233 were Dutch, 106 were French and 90 were German. From the United Kingdom, 31 crossed the channel. More unusual entries came from Israel with 3 specimens, Ireland with 6, Norway and Spain with one each, Sweden with 3 and Russia with 2. And, curiously enough, there were some rare breeds present, breeds like the Gammel Dansk Honshund, the Aidi (Atlas Mountain Shepherd dog), the Cao Fila de Sao Miguel, the Canadian Eskimo Dog and the GonczyPolsky or Polish Hound. In relation to the total number of dogs that is rather unusual.
15 judges were invited, 7 of them for one day only. One of them was Mr.N.Newbury, who was flown over from the United States just to judge 40 Australian Shepherds on Saturday. The judges came from 8 different countries and 5 of them were Belgian judges. Mr.ErwinDeutscher from Austria had a total number of 138 dogs to judges, on Saturday the included 28 Rhodesian Ridgebacks and on Sunday, when he had a total of 87 dogs, they included 33 Bulldogs. The best weekend score, with 144 dogs, was for Mr.Tom Hehir from Ireland who is very popular in Belgium. He had also the best one day total with 88 dogs to judge on Saturday. On Sunday he was in charge of all the Dachshunds. Mr.ChristianStefanescu from Romania had the second-best weekend score with 137 entries, but he was also the Best In Show judge. He had to place all 10 group winners as said. His 3rd best finalist was the Whippet “BonnymaidFrozenTreat”, a 3-year-old bitch, imported from America and bred by Harris Noreen. Only 5 were entered for Mrs.Schwerm-Hahne from Germany who also judged the group later. Runner up to Best In Show went to the American Cocker Spaniel “Royal Inc. Bentley Boy” the winner of 10, judged by Mrs.VanBrempt from Belgium. She also judged the group and gave the ticket to the finals. Bentley Boy is bred and owned by Jessica Van den Boom from the Netherlands and was born in February last year. The Best In Show went to the Kaninchen Dachshund Wire, “Prisme des Supers Supers”, bred and shown by our famous judge Jean-François Vanaken. Prisme is almost 3 years old and was entered in Open Class along with 8 others to be judged by Mr.Tom Hehir and also this judged showed him the way to the finals later on in the main ring where he judged the Group.
I hear some rumors that more and more shows will stop having double shows, fortunately! With some luck we see the numbers of entries for this nice show grow again. Help turn single shows again into the big and important ones where winning is really tough and victory tastes so much better and where, even if your dog did not win, the result means much more than any CACIB won without any competitor to beat.