by Karl DonvilLOMMEL, 2017, popular CAC Show.
1169 Dogs were entered to celebrate this small but popular show's 40th edition. That is 100 dogs more than the previous edition. The dogs came from 12 different countries , even from as far as Spain, Finland, Denmark and even Russia. But although Lommel is situated right to the border with Holland, only 204 Dutch dogs were entered. From UK there were 6 entries. The catalog was good but there was little information for the outsiders, no KC rules or Championship explanation or info on pedigrees. For the insiders it was perfect and very complete.
Lommel is always one of the sunniest shows in Belgium and there was no difference this year. Notwithstanding the sunshine it was cool inside the sports arena and there were no incidents with dogs in cars. I was very nicely surprised by the speakers team. Instead of giving flat comment, it was a vivid conversation, alike the presentation of the Eurovision Song Contest and it makes you listen more intensely. One of them is asking questions while the other one is answering, and that works. More of this please! Another thing that I liked very much is the placing of only 3 winners, no number 4 or 5 or 6, but 3 like in all other disciplines and contests. I should also have been applied to the finals, like we see in some shows where all others are ex-aequo on the 4th place, or simply one winner and a runner up like at Crufts. Being placed 10th or even 4th is nothing to celebrate and it is as if the victory of winning the group is suddenly fading away. Nobody likes it, NOBODY! Just grant them the pleasure of winning the group and don't dishonor them with placing them later on a lower place. The final thing I liked was that the show ended very well in time. It sometimes went a little too fast, but all in all it was perfect for the spectators especially for those with kids.
15 Judges were present, coming from 9 different countries, which gives this CAC show a very international aspect. On Saturday there were only two judges with mover 65 dogs, Mr.Robert Kotlar with 72, thanks to his 18 Afgan Hounds and 25 Australian Shepherds, and Mrs. A.Shisklein from Belarus had 68 entries. As she had a nice score on Sunday too with 73 Terriers, she was the most successful judge of the weekend. Mr.Victor Van Raamsdonk had a score of 66, including 25 Leonbergers and 23 Bernese Mountain Dogs. Mr. Jean François Vanaken had all the Dachshunds and that was good for 71, which is pretty good for such a small show as this. Top scoring judge of Sunday was Mr.M.Ljutic from Croatia who had English Cockers, Goldens, Flats and Labradors and those popular breeds made him end the day after having examined 86 dogs.
Other good breed scores were for Mrs.N.Vigo Navajon from Spain, who won the Championnnat de France 14 days prior with her Chow Chow. This time she was not showing but judging, she had 41 Spitzes on Saturday and 31 Bulldogs on Sunday. Mr.Theo Leenen from Belgium had 29 Chinese Cresteds and Mr. Johan Wolteputte had 24 Border Collies, both on Saturday.
Mr.Karsten Birk was the Best In Show judge. His 3rd place went to the American Cocker Spaniel "Waka Waka's Just Do It". 9 Were entered for Mr.Augustin Ionescu. Mr.Shiskin later made him win the Group. Waka Waka is a 3 year old male Champion, owned by Estelle Marcq from France. The 9 year old Irish Setter of Ilse Vermeiren from Belgium, named Harko Dekellefleur, the same dog that won the show of Wieze, was placed ResBIS. He was entered in Veteran Class and seems to suddenly have a late show career impressing Judge Liliana Opris who judged the breed and and Mr.Ionescu who judged the Group. 6 Were entered. Mr.Alain Alaerts was exceptionally pleased when he heard that his dog was chosen BIS. He literally jumped in the air while his Basenji "Faraoland On A Bed of Roses" didn't have a clue what why his master suddenly made crazy jumps. This bitch was bred in Sweden by Helena Paula Strombert Steel and is now almost 4 years old. She was entered in Champions class and was a choice of Mr.Carsten Birk himself who judged the breed on Saturday. Mr.Ionescu was again the Group judge.
A great small show this is, and I remember the nice speakers team most of all. I hope that lots of other shows will follow this example.