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'Mechelen 2018'
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news - 25/08/2018
Mechelen 2018  -  Belgium

dogs breeders dog pictures by Karl Donvil
Mechelen 2018, UK Victory! I was wrong, contrary to last year it was again a single show, but next year will be a double version again. Notwithstanding the World Dog Show of Amsterdam just behind, there was a rather good entry of 1456. The organizers were not disappointed but of course they all payed for more. But remember that last year there were only 1228 entries on the first show and 1242 on the second. The committee has been flirting with bankrupt not long ago and they crossed their fingers that this show would not mean the end. Within the committee this always creates high tension and at the top there have been changes. But at the end of the show I asked if there was good hope and it was confirmed. Indeed it would be a pity if this would be the last show in a long row, but there is good hope that next year the 40th (and 41th) edition can be celebrated. That will be on 17 and 18 august 2019. Let me hope they will have many dogs. Of course, a double show like last year means 2470 entries that were paid for, a thousand more than this year and that makes a difference at the end of the show, but “in” the end all shows go down in numbers. And is it not necessary to pay extra judges, their hotel and transport, with what bring those thousand extra entries into the account of the club? You need more space, an extra catalogue, more stewards, more rings, more trophies, rosettes, printings, etc. And as this is a rather new development in the world of dog shows, we need to see how it will evolve. But if you read my previous show reports, I have no good hope if this will become the new norm.

The Nekkerhalls have become more expensive since the city sold them to a private company that has several expo halls all over in Belgium. Profit is important for them and the committee decided to rent less space and use the space of the main ring during the day for rings, and why not as there have never been demonstrations before and the main ring was just an empty spot. And even now there was plenty of space for the rings and moving around. The Nekkerhals are very large and only less than half was occupied for the show and at first sight one had the impression that it was a small show, but that had everything to do with no separate main ring. Compared to previous years, except for last year, Mechelen always had between 1400 and 1600 entries, but at the time the halls belonged to the city it was probably no problem to use more space. So, in fact this was a very normal Sint-Rombauts-dog-show.

The catalogue is arranged by Onlinedogshows and contains everything we need, except for two things; one is there are no longer full addresses of the exhibitors published, which has probably to do with the new Privacy rule. But on the other hand, they surely mention the breeders amongst their members with full address which is f course a plausible gesture. The second thing is that they no longer publish statistics about the nationalities present. It is only a push on a button to make a count in their program and a small space in the catalogue, but it says a lot about the prestige and internationality of the show. Hence I was forced to have a count myself, which is very time consuming and less accurate. But to my surprize I found 20 different nationalities! Of course some were only represented by one or two exhibitors, but anyway! The Netherlands had 172 dogs entered, France 90 and Germany 66 and then came the United Kingdom with 18 and Denmark with 15 dogs. Among the more rare countries I could find even two entries from Romania, one from Cyprus , one from Israel and two from as far as Argentina!

The judges, on the other hand, were selected from 9 different countries. 6 From the 19 judges were from Belgium and of which 4 were judging on Sunday only. It was somewhat strange to notice that 11 judges were officiating one day only, that is a lot compared to other shows. But notwithstanding that the dogs/judging-day rate was not bad with a score to 54. Best scoring judge on Saturday was Mr.John Bond from Ireland. Judging dogs from Group II, including 28 Bulldogs, he finished the day after having examined 138 dogs in his ring. Mrs.Amanda White was invited from the UK to judge 48 Bullmastiffs, the only breed she judged, but what a nice score for this breed that is growing in popularity! She did not judge on Sunday like Mr.Habig did. He came from Germany to judge 93 dogs on Saturday and that included 25 Boxers and 32 Great Danes. He was the best scoring judge of the weekend as he finished with 202 dogs in total. On Sunday he judges 109 dogs including 30 Shih Tzus. But Mr. Jan Coppens from the Netherlands did better with a score of 110 entries, thus the best score on Sunday. Two Belgian judges also had a nice score on Sunday. Mr. Bart Vandaele had an entry of 75 dogs, but it were the 24 Australian Shepherds mainly, that helped him reach this good result. And Mr. Jos De Cuyper, our main speaker at shows, is a judge too and had an entry of 90 dogs, and for him it were the 36 Chinese Crested dogs and the 29 Chihuahuas that caused this nice result.

It was Mr. Christopher Habig, who was granted the honour to pick out the Best In Show. And notwithstanding the 3 placements only for all the parts of the Main Ring program, for the Best In Show he had to place all group winners, all but one who did not stay till the end. For a two day show it would be best to chose a Best of Day. That would save the winners of the other groups of that day to come back the next day with only one chance to ten to win Best In Show. It must be frustrating to spend your Sunday, coming back all the way or rent a hotel room, just to find you being placed number 10 or 9 or 8 or….I never understood this. And what if you have entered for another show 5OO km away or if you live that far away and you need to be back on Sunday for work or school on Monday! There are many reasons why group winners of Saturday hate this system, being disadvantaged compared to the winners of Sunday. Let us not forget it is just a regular show, not the World Dog Show or the European Winner. Anyway! Mr.Habig’s 3rd place went to the Weimaraner “Grey Classic’s Make Mine A Double, owned by Edwin Lenaerts. 15 were entered for judge Mr. Burski Wojciech from Poland. He also judged the Group. This male was entered in Champion Class and is 5 years old. Reserve Best In Show was for the Standard Dachshund Longhaired “Quickstep Fonzie Of Mister Quincy”, entered in Intermediate Class for judge Inez Pattison from Ireland. And here too it was the same judge who judged the group later. I nice surprize for owner Marianne Maes who is a breeder for many years of Standard Longhair Dachshunds. The dog is only 17 months old. The winner of Best In Show went to one the Rottweiler “Minaeleas Black Mambo”, a choice of Mr. John Bond from Ireland, and again the same judge for the group. Black Mambo was entered in Champion Class being 8 years old, imagine! He is bred and owned by Robert Taylor for the United Kingdom! Is it just a coincidence or can I suspect Mr. Habig from being chauvinistic as all 3 breeds are German Breeds? Nice victories anyway, a veteran winning BIS and a breed that is usually placed low in the line-up of the groups winning Res BIS.

Let us hope that next year, when it is again a double show, will not be affected by a lack of entries as a consequence of this new trend. Faster and easier gathering of the necessary titles will diminish the number of entries on long term. Let us cross our fingers that I will be wrong.

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