European Dog Show and Championnat de France 2022

European Dog Show and Championnat de France 2022

 

European Dog Show and Championnat de France 2022

For some, the World Dog Show of Paris in 2011 is still clearly in mind. It was the biggest show ever organized, with 38,000 dogs, all sideshows taken into account. This time was different, right after the Corona situation. It would not be easy, and the first rumors talked about only a few thousand entries, but this proved to be gossip only. About 17,500 dogs were entered; 7,500 for the Championnat, 10,000 for the European Dog Show.

It would not be easy, and the first rumors talked about only a few thousand entries, but this proved to be gossip only. About 17,500 dogs were entered; 7,500 for the Championnat, 10,000 for the European Dog Show.

Both shows happened in the same halls at the event halls of Villepinte, very close to the airport Charles de Gaulle. It is impressive how big these event halls are, and there is a lot of parking around.Unfortunately, there was only one entrance and people who were located in the city and came by train had to walk a very long way around to get to the entrance of the showground. Luckily, the weather was fantastic; no rain and not too warm.

European Dog Show and Championnat de France 2022

European Dog Show and Championnat de France 2022

As usual, the first day the veterinary control caused long rows of waiting exhibitors; some calm, others exited. I have seen this so often before. Usually the organizations ask veterinary schools for this job and these students take their job a little too seriously and examine the dogs as if looking for a disease. I had the impression that the number of visitors was fair, not overwhelming, but probably the good weather plus the presidential elections on the very same day might have had a serious impact.

It was very unusual to find a catalog for every Breed Group, and this for the “Championnat de France” as well as for the European Dog Show. If you needed them all, like for the press, you ended up with 22 catalogs as there was even a separate one for Group 11, the Group of the non-FCI-recognized breeds. On the other hand, exhibitors only needed the catalog of their own breed, and in that case you only needed just two tiny ones if you entered both shows—unless, of course, you had more than one breed. That saves a lot on paper, with less environmental impact. The content of the catalogs, on the other hand, was a minor point. If, for example, you were looking for a breed that you wanted to follow, you had to look up which number this breed had, then you had to look inside the catalog to find out who was judging it, and then you needed to look in the front of the catalog to see in which ring it was and look on the map where that ring could be found. And that was not all, because you had to go to that ring to find out what time your breed was scheduled. That is all very complicated and I can imagine that most handlers with several different breeds to show were getting crazy to plan their day this way. However, with the many available functionalities of database programs, it should be easy to elaborate a much easier overview. Another point of critique is that the names of the breeds were only in French, and not everyone is a crack in translating French, like “Chien De Cour Italien,” which I found out was the French translation of the official Italian name for “Cane Corso.”

Contrary to the WDS of 2011, it was very clean all over the showground, and inside the halls there was a lot of space. Most of the trade stands were located strategically near the entrance of the halls and this makes a significant difference for their turnover. If you want the people to buy something, you need to take care that they find you easily. Seeing is buying. Royal Canin was the main sponsor and had a few strategic spots with a stand. Agria was the second sponsor. All over the place there were at least five stands where photos could be taken. The “Championnat” rings were in another hall, but there was only one main ring for the “European Show” as well as for the “Championnat de France,” and this was located in the main and biggest hall. This hall was huge, containing not only all the rings for the European Dog Show but also the trade stands, plus the main ring with podium and VIP corner. Around the main ring there were no stairs, only a few rows of chairs on one side of the ring but this proved enough. The opposite side was reserved for the Press and the Livestream Crew. Alike in Budapest and Brno, the same team, called P1, was hired for the organization of the main ring. Instead of four placements there were only three this time, something that I applaud because you only find four or more placements on Dog Shows and there is no reason for this. You don’t see this in sports or any other contests. The Livestreaming Crew was a guarantee that most things went smoothly and were well-organized, far from the chaos that we often saw in the past. It was only a pity that the side of the main ring where the dogs entered was much darker than the other sides, and on the podium the background was overlit compared to the foreground; the background was LED lighting while the foreground was clearly tungsten yellowish light. But this is only annoying for the press photographers. The main ring looked very nice and large with stylish decoration via digital panels and with real plants. The podium front announced every time a part of the program was on, in digits plus the name and nationality of the judge. Convenient, as there was no program to be found about what was going on and who judged what.

European Dog Show and Championnat de France 2022
Championnat de France

Every day, the finals started very early and there was a very serious reason for this. On days one and two, the Championnat was together with the European Dog Show and this guaranteed a very long main ring program as everything happened in one main ring as told before. On Friday, the Finals of the “European Dog Show” started at 1:00 PM and took till 4:30 PM for Groups 1, 4 & 5, followed by a pause. At 5:00 PM, the show continued with the finals of the “Championnat de France” for Groups 7, 8, 9 & 10. All this included Minor Puppies, Puppies, Groups, Progeny, Veterans, Junior Class for every Breed Group, plus Adult Breed Groups, good for 30 different judgings, each averaging 15 minutes. On Saturday, the same scenario took place plus the BIS finals of the “Championnat de France.” This time there were 36 different judgings, plus the European Junior Handling competition! The show ended
past 9:00 PM.

On Sunday, things were back to normal because there was no “Championnat de France” this time, as that took only two days. Instead, we had the flag ceremony. Everything went very smoothly and the timing was very strict, but still both first days were absolutely exhausting. I understand, of course, that it would make a difference in budget. Hiring the P1 team (livestreaming) for three days instead of five (same for the halls and the judges) probably makes a very big difference. But why not have the “Championnat” finals take place in the other hall and only have the Junior and the Breed Group Finals held in the Big Hall with livestreaming? This could have made a significant difference of maybe 1.5 hours every day. The Sunday show ended at a very reasonable time and this was a relief, with all respect, as for the rest everything went smoothly and within a strict timing.

Championnat de France
Championnat de France

Due to the overloaded program, there was probably no time space in the program for some kind of entertainment like we used to see at big shows like these. Of course, it’s not a must, but it is always appreciated on the condition that it is not overdone. On the other hand, coming to a show of this size in France is a treat in itself because France has 55 FCI-recognized breeds, plus five more not-yet recognized breeds that you can see here for the first, and maybe only, time in your life. Especially for judges, this is a very unique experience. France is one of the most important cynological countries in the FCI, with over 130 employees. Every weekend, there are numerous different activities all over the country. Many of its breeds are hardly known outside France itself because they are working dogs, mostly hunting pack dogs, differing in size, color or hair type and linked to “Chateaux.” They often have names that sound as nice as expensive bottles of wine, names like “Grand Gascon Saintongeois” and “Briquet Griffon Vendéen.” I have seen larger meutes (packs) of over 30 dogs several years ago, but still, even seeing six Poitevins or Porcelaines attached on a long stick or chain being presented by two handlers in hunting outfits is impressive. Most of these dogs are branded with the seal of the Chateau on the back or on one of the flanks, and just like in the old times, only those that work fine are kept. In general, they are very gentle and social in the pack. If not, it would never be possible to hunt with them in large packs of 30 to 50 dogs.

Some of the other rare breeds here were the Cao da Serra de Aires, the Romanian Carpathian and Mioritic, the Kai, Korean Jindo Dog, and the Norsk Lundehund. In Group 7 we could find breeds like the Ariègeois, the Braque d’Auvergne, the Bourbonnais, the Epagneul de Pont d’Audemer, and three varieties of Braques Français: the Gascognois, the Pyrenées, and the Saint Germain. In Group 2 we found the Fila de Sao Miguel, the Tosa Inu, and the Cao De Gado Transmontano. And in Group 6 we had, besides the pack hounds mentioned before, the Français Tricolore and the Grand Anglo-Français Tricolore. And finally, in Group 11, the Barbado De Terceira, the Cusinu, the Epagneul de Saint Usuge, the Ratonero-Bordeguero Andaluz, the Pödenco Andaluz, the Ratonero Valenciano, a Cane Di Mannara, and the Spino Degli Iblei.

The most popular breeds of the show were the Teckels [Dachshunds], all varieties in size and hair type together, good for 362 specimens, followed by the Poodles, all varieties in size and colors, with 227 specimens, the Chihuahuas, long- and short-coated, with 194 entries, the Golden Retrievers and Labradors, with 190 and 158 respectively, the Australian Shepherds with 186 entries, and 155 Huskies. But the most popular was the French Bulldog with 234 entries, and from this breed there is one variety only. Along with 127 Pugs, 102 Boston Terriers, and 101 Bulldogs, it is clear that the brachycephalic breeds are still extremely popular and this worries me at times as they are the main topic of discussion in veterinary circles. It is the duty of the judges to promote and favor the healthy types, not the most caricatured ones, and help to prevent breeding bans in the future. There seems to be moving a lot in Europe with regard to these breeds, and if we keep going on turning a blind eye to this problem we could be facing a complete European ban. While all exhibitors went home, an FCI- European-section meeting was planned on Monday. I can only hope that wise decisions are taken with regard to this problem and that we can organize many more marvelous European Dog Shows.

France can look back on this show with pride, though it is not only here that the number of entries decreased since the start of the COVID Pandemic. But after the release of the COVID restrictions, there are suddenly so many postponed European and World Shows, like the upcoming (and several times postponed) Madrid World Show in Spain, that it could all turn out a little bit expensive for many exhibitors. And let us not forget the impact of the war in Ukraine! No Russian or Ukrainian dogs have a very huge impact on the number of entries. I am confident that it will all come up again, bit by bit, especially once the war will be over. And who knows if we will ever get to the astronomical entries of several years ago? The least we can say is that the big international events did not die
with COVID.

Another nice European Dog Show is over… up to the next one.

 

EUROPEAN DOG SHOW

 

Best in Show 1

Greyhound
Ina’s Fashion Desirable
Owner: Ina Koulermou

Best in Show 2

Fox Terrier Wire
Funfair Foxhouse
Owner: Davide Valli

Best in Show 3

Portuguese Water Dog
Casa Hoya’s Shoot For The Moon
Owner: Ilona Griffioen-Van Beek

Group 1

Australian Shepherd
Once In A Lifetime De La Noval
Owner: Sonsoles Hevia De La Noval

Group 2

Pyrenean Mountain Dog
Ouness Du Neouvielle
Owner: Estelle Galy

Group 3

Fox Terrier Wire
Funfair Foxhouse
Owner: Davide Valli

Group 4

Miniature Schauzer (Wire)
Tolles Erfolg Vitoraz
Owner: Pedro Delerue

Group 5

Spitz (Miniature)
Tokie Time After Time
Owner: Bozena Borkowska-Grochala

Group 6

Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen
Forget-Me-Not Van Tum-Tums Vriendjes
Owner: Anouk Huikeshoven

Group 7

German Shorthaired Pointing Dog
Theo Oberon Haus
Owner: Istvan & Antal Zsombor

Group 8

Portuguese Water Dog
Casa Hoya’s Shoot For The Moon
Owner: Ilona Griffioen-Van Beek

Group 9

Standard Poodle (Black)
Or Olympique A La Cerise
Owner: Konstantin Yakovenkov

Group 10

Greyhound
Ina’s Fashion Desirable
Owner: Ina Koulermou

 

 

 

CHAMPIONNAT DE FRANCE

 

Best in Show

Tibetan Mastiff
Rongshai Du Domaine De Toundra
Owner: Sandra Haeffele

Group 1

Bearded Collie
New Look De Chester
Owner: A & JP Cousson-Bernardi

Group 2

Tibetan Mastiff
Rongshai Du Domaine De Toundra
Owner: Sandra Haeffele

Group 3

Yorkshire Terrier
Royal Precious Jp’s F4 Conan
Owner: Yoshiko Obana

Group 4

Miniature Dachshund (Wire)
Ilex Aureu’s Rupaul
Owner: Davy Le Lair

Group 5

American Akita
Tip Top Line Like The Wind Of Change
Owner: Vlatko Jelic

Group 6

Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen
Snowball Van Tum-Tum’s Vriendjes
Owner: Anouk Huikeshoven

Group 7

Irish Red Setter
Meldor-Sett Woody Hill
Owner: Renata Olszewska

Group 8

American Cocker Spaniel
Very Vigie All Or Nothing
Owner: Sanna Vartiainen

Group 9

Papillon
Graceros Zalomes Biforis
Owner: Jose Luis Santiago Pier

Group 10

Greyhound
Ina’s Fashion Desirable
Owner: Ina Koulermou

 

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  • I have always been extremely fond of dogs, starting with a mongrel at 4 years of age, later 2 Great Danes and then, my most favorite breed, 5 racing Salukis, bred from an import Saluki from Kurdistan. Unfortunately, I no longer have dogs. My passion for photography started at 12 when I developed my first films. I started my career in the canine press working for one small Belgian Magazine. It was when "Pedigree" discovered my skills that my career got a big boost, bringing me all over Europe and South America as their principal photographer. In 2001 I started the World Dog Press Association, uniting worldwide all the professional photographers, reporters and editors and turned it into an International non-profit organization with members in every continent of the world. An achievement that I am very proud of. I also worked for the FCI for several years. Whether my reports are on small shows or on big events, I try to be sharp but constructive in order to make changes in the favor of dogs, dog shows and canine sports in general. I live in the Flemmish part of Belgium, not far from Brussels, and together with my wife I support a big animal loving family; 4 married children and 11 grandchildren, all vegetarians. I recently joined the Showsight Team and I am so proud of that. I love reading and always read English books on my Kindle in order to train myself constantly, but it will never be my mother tongue. And that's where a good team like the Showsight Team comes to help, making corrections to my work while remaining loyal to my original text.

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