by Karl DonvilLeuven-Lovaniumtrophy 2017
While last year was a big success with 1772 entries, this year was not bad either with 1639. In fact there could have been as much entries as last year but a lot of entries were accidentally refused as not paid in time. Automatic registration has its own disadvantages too. But for the rest there is no complaint. The organizers have done a good job with even less people compared to previous years. The catalog is very eco-friendly with less pages due to smaller spaces between the lines. That makes a lot of difference, even with less entries it comes close to 30% less pages, weight etc. There are still people who like to have a catalog in the hand instead of on a tablet, one that you can keep as a souvenir or just to collect and take at hand whenever you like. What about our records and history in 20 years is all catalogs will only be consultable online. Will they still be there? Of course, online you can print out only what you're interested in and leave the rest behind. As every year, competitors at this show never go home with empty hands. For every entry there is a free dry-bed and for the winners in the main ring are treated with bathroom items. There are usually many visitors as Leuven always has a wide variety of breeds to show. It is one of the most quiet shows we have in Belgium as there is no separate main ring for demonstrations or whatever. On Sunday we had considerably more dogs than on Saturday, 937 to 702. As with the exeption of Mr. Mark Wibier from Germany, all judges were on duty both days. 14 Judges were officiating and they came from 9 different countries. Only 4 judges were Belgians if we take Mr. Casteels into account as a new judge with one breed and 9 dogs on Sunday. The dogs/judging day score was very good with 63. On Saturday Mr. Wibier who had 37 Australian Shepherd to judge was the second best scoring judge with 84 entries. Mrs. Wieremiejczyk from Poland had one more dog and that included 41 Border Collies, the best scoring breed of the show. Mr.Gustaaf Van den Bosch had another nice result with 73 entries including 26 Miniature Spitzes who become very popular for the moment. But it was Sunday who made him the most popular judge of the show together with Mrs. Wieremiejczyk, both ending the weekend after 186 dogs. Mrs. Wieremiejczyk had 101 dogs on Sunday, including a few very popular breeds, 39 Rhodesians, 26 Beagles and 25 Dalmatians. Best scoring judge of Sunday was Mr.Kostadin Shankov from Bulgaria who had 149 dogs to go over. Mr. Petr Rehanek from Czech Republik had 100 dogs on Sunday, most Dachshunds and all the Pugs. Mr. Piet Roosenboom had a total of 155 dogs, 80 on Saturday, 75 on Sunday. Worth mentioning are also the 39 Golden Retrievers for Mr. Aleksandras Kulesa from Lithuania and compatriot Mrs. Ramune Kazlauskaite who found 40 Chinese Cresteds and 20 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels in her ring.
Best In Show judge was Mrs. Malgorzata Wieremiejczyk and she had a difficult task, to place all 10 group winners. I cannot stop repeating that it should be considered to ban this out. The FCI should advise it as no one wants to be placed on number 10, 9 , 8, 7, etc if you won Best of your Group minutes or the day before. It's the same with 4th places. There is no sport that I can think of that places 4 winners, moreover, the 4th placed dogs are not even "on" a podium, but a little "lost" aside of the real 3 podia, they are hardly noticeable against the spectators behind them. It's time to stop that weird habit. It was also rather weird to place the 10 winning dogs one on the right side, the second on the left side , then the following on the right side again, etc. Very distracting and placing all 10 is so difficult for the judge especially if the quality, like it was here, was very high. Who to place 10th, who to place 9th... knowing that they all feel disappointed while the spectators who are seldom insiders, think they are less good dogs than the ones on the podium while all insiders know that for the Best in Show most of the time it is a matter of personal choice of the judge as all the dogs are supposed to be worthy winners, unless the breed- and group judges didn't know their jobs.
On place 3 we found the Australian Shepherd "Kraftbrew's Blossi At Heimsenda" a two year old male, bred in Denmark and imported to Iceland by Mrs.Lara Birgisdottir and who is now touring in Europe for his titles. He had strong competition as 37 were entered for Mr.Wibier who also judged the group later on and deservedly send him to the finals. "Macho Man Malterzi" was entered in Champion Class to be judged by Mr Kostadin Shankov who also judged the group and found him the most worthy candidate of Group 9 to go for Best In Show. 3 Year old Macho Man won Reserve BIS, but that was certainly a very nice result for owner Remy Raboin from France. The wire haired Kaninchen Dachshund "Prisme Des Supers Supers" was entered in Junior Class and Mr. Petr Rehanek was his judge. Mr. Kulesa Aleksandra met him in the main ring for the Best Junior of Sunday competition and placed him second. But being Best of Breed, Prisme was allowed to compete with the adults for Best of Group 4 , judged again by Mr. Rehanek and won it. That is a proof that judging dogs is no exact science. And for the very same reason we saw this little soldier run through the ring behind his master Mr.Vanaken from Belgium, one of Belgium's famous judges.
Next year we meet here again the last weekend of October, 27 & 28, one year minus 1 day from now. Don't miss this nice show, enter in time!