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'La Louvière Wallonia Dog Show 2018'
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news - 06/10/2018
La Louvière Wallonia Dog Show 2018  -  Belgium

dogs breeders dog pictures by Karl Donvil
La Louvière/Charleroi 2018, The Wallonia Dog Show Last year was the last edition in the old Expo halls of Charleroi. They were old and made a dirty impression except for the entrance hall. I cannot remember the windows be cleaned in all the years that I went there and that was still in the previous century. Charleroi is coalminers town, once a rich town but with poor neighborhoods around. Smoke and ash dust were common and most buildings make a dark and grey impression. It is clear that Charleroi needs a new Expo hall. Charleroi is one of the big towns in Wallonia and should have one. This time the old building was being demolished and the club had to find a temporary solution. That was found in La Louvière. Here too the previous old halls were an old factory, demolished some years ago. Now the town is proud of a completely new modern Expo centre with a big "whaw" factor. However, space was a major concern of the RCCH or the Royal Club Canin of Hainaut, organizers of the Charleroi show. La Louvière is not that far from Charleroi and offered a good solution. There was plenty of parking space around and had easy access to the highway. France is nearby and the Netherlands and Germany are easily reached within an hour and a half maximum. The Hall consists of two parts plus the office and conference part. The front side is one big window allowing plenty of light in. Unfortunately the main ring was placed alongside of this window and as the weather was fine with plenty of sunshine, it was too bright and the spectators had to follow the main ring while the sun shone straight in their faces. This main ring was not used during the day and if you fear not having enough space to host all the exhibitors and dogs and having large enough rings available this is something I don't understand. The main ring was at the far end of the hall fenced by a row of trade stands. As it was not used during the day it gave the impression that there was nothing behind, while there was still a big stand behind, blocked away from view and as there was no circulation they had nothing at hand except for the few people who discovered them by accident. Next time they should use this space during the day. It was large enough to make 2 or 3, even up to 4 extra rings and offering space around for trade stands while now it took 1/5 to 1/6 of the total space of the halls. Next thing to reconsider is the podium. I suppose the club owns this podium and wanted to use it anyway, but it instead of building it wide enough to place the podium parts with the long side toward the front, the placed them with the short side to the front, making it very deep and difficult very inefficient to place dog, handler and judge. And I just asked myself why the spots were placed facing the winners and not from above. These spots were very hot while it was already very warm inside with the large windows and the sun shining in and they were casting a very yellow color from one side. The second and third places had a yellow cast while the winner did not. Place the main ring more central in the halls, further away from the direct sunlight, use the space for rings during the day and reconsider the podium, that would be my advice.

Of course, a new hall means re-scheduling everything and the first time shows all the shortcomings. I am very confident that the organizers will make things more efficient next time. What they achieved so far is really to be proud of. Not even 10 years ago the club was in crisis, corruption and financial problems took over and the Belgian Kennel Club revoke the for further shows. It was thanks to Mr. Jean-François Goval that the club rose from its ashes. And only a few editions later they had to face already a new challenge, the problem of finding new halls for their expo. They deserve extra credits. Compared to last year when they had an entry of 1444 dogs, this year they welcomed 1503, 818 on Saturday and 685 on Sunday, a very good result. The show was held in conjunction with the show of Douai, the groups of Saturday in Douai, were on term on Sunday in La Louvière and vice versa. Douai is only about 100km away, and that offered a perfect opportunity for both shows, much better than the new wave of having a double show. As Belgium is small and with plenty of neighbors this could be done more frequently and thus offering chances to win two CACIB titles in one weekend without affecting the number of entries and it is an extra plus as one can win titles for two national championships. Most entries were from Belgium, 784 and of course France came second with 467. The Netherlands had 91 entries only and Germany 86. In total there were dogs from no less than 17 different countries, even one from the USA, 2 from Iceland and 1 from Andorra and there were also 33 entries from the United Kingdom. I suppose also that the European Dog Show of Warsaw played a role, but probably more in the negative way, except perhaps for the participants of the UK as there were only very few entries from central Europe as they were probably focusing on the European Show instead of a rather small show in Belgium. We will see how it will turn out next year.

Only 16 judges were invited and 8 of them judged only one day, resulting in a very nice score of 63 dogs/judging day. Well done for the committee. On Sunday Mr. Aleksoski from Macedonia had 90 entries and 75 on Saturday. From Ireland Mrs Clarke and her daughter were invited. Both had a busy day with over 80 entries and a calm day, one on Saturday and the other on Sunday . Mr.Meeremans from Belgium had 82 dogs on Saturday while Sunday was much calmer with 56 entries. Mr. Huber from Germany was invited on Saturday only and had 103 dogs to judge. From France Mr.Thevenon proved very successfull. On On Saturday he judged 23 Rottweilers, 18 Bordeaux Dogs, 25 English Bulldogs and 14 Pyrenean Mountain dogs. Sunday he judged amongst other breeds, 22 Tervuerens, 29 Australian Shepherds, a total of 103 dogs. Top judge, however, was Mr.Guffanti from Italy. On Saturday he judged companion dogs, good for 118 entries. On Sunday 37 Golden Retrievers, and 28 Labradors and a number of other breeds resulted in an even higher score of 122 dogs. With 240 dogs in one weekend he was an absolute hit.

Best In Show judge was Mr. Jean-Francois Vanaken. "Leonardo of Angels head" was his choice for the 3rd place. This 6 year old male was entered in Champion class and had strong competition. He won his breed and group under judge Guffanti. This dog was bred and lives with Thierry and Nicole Onkelinx - De Smedt from Belgium. The winner of Group V was Basenji "Abuluka Obamba" was an identical situation. Mr.Aleksoski made him Best of Breed and Best of Group and this male was also entered in Champion Class. This male is 3 years old and bred and owned by Erik and Ingrid Arend-Dormaels from Belgium. But the title of Best In Show was spend on the Tibetan Terrier "Ti La Shu Broadway Babe" owned by Sabine Katja Rauhut from Germany. 7 Were in competition for Best of Breed, judged by Mr.Aleksoski who again judged also the Group. This time however Broadway Babe is a bitch, entered in Champion class, 3 years old, and again bred by the owner. For sure it was the success formula on this show.

I hope that the organizers will make a few important changes and I'm very confident that next year they will easily welcome 200 extra entries without lack of space...on condition that they use the space. Good luck !

Text and photos: Karl DONVIL

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