news - 22/07/2012 Liège 2012, Gala du Chien - Belgium
by Karl DonvilLiège Golden Dog Trophy 2012, brighter than ever before.
Two years ago, no so long after the show, the main hall burned down. Last year extra space was created on the parking area and did not affect the success of the show. This year the surprise was complete as the show was held under a new roof, just in time to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Syndicat d’Elevage Canin de Liège, the organizing club.
A new bright and spacious hall was erected since last show, large enough to provide big rings. In the roof were many windows so that a lot of natural light could shine in, good for the photo’s as no need for flash or artificial light. It also saved a lot for the organization as they did not need to rent that much spots. However, not everything was perfect. The acoustic is not good at all, but we can live with that as sound is only needed for the speaker and for the heelwork to music it was not too bad. I prefer this anyway. Before this used to be the darkest hall, while now it is the brightest.
Since last year a beach festival is organized just across the street along the riverside. That means less parking space and unfortunately this also brings along small criminality. A few cars were broken in and in one of the stands all the cash of Saturday was stolen. Whether this is a direct result of that beach festival or not is not clear, public events always attract small criminality, unfortunately.
The show is a festival on its own, I call it the Eurodogshow of Wallonia. It is in fact the only remaining show in Wallonia. Mouscron is just on the border and a lot of people use to speak Flemish. Namur is no longer and Charleroi tries hard to have a show again. Fortunately Liège is still there and has a long history of 58 editions. The president, Mr.Yves Bocclinville and his team have worked really hard to turn this show into a Canine Gala, where dogs can be admired and where the public can learn many aspects of dog sports. There are several demonstrations, Doggy Dance, there is the Golden Groomer competition, the Golden Lead for handling, the usual art exhibition and of course the Golden Dog Trophy, the show itself. This year there was a tiny increase in entries with 5 dogs or 1733 dogs in total. Besides that there were also the entries for the Master Trophy, the Gala show held on Saturday evening, a kind of Champion of Champions show. Here the dogs are judged in pairs by 6 judges and one is always eliminated until only one remains. This competition is open to dogs that on one BOG, 3 BOB or Belgian Championship on a Belgian show, other than open, over the last year. This competition goes along with a gala dinner in cocktail dress. 24 Participants turned up. That is not so much, unfortunately. Probably not enough people did read the changes in the rules for the competition as in order to avoid a good dog to be out in the first round, points were given . Only from then on the dogs were posed two by two, one on a bleu and one on a red carpet. The judges raised a pallet with the color of their preference. In case of an ex-aequo, the captain of the judges ‘s choice decided. Judges were Mrs L. De Ridder-Onghena (BE), Mrs L. Zake (LV), M. N. Deschuymere (BE), M. A. Zhuk (BLR), M. F. Asnaghi (IT) and M. S. Šinko (SL). The quality was high in general and finally two dogs stood face to face. On one side was the Lagotto Romagnolo CH. GLESKA GOODY GOODY owned by Van Gemert Katrien from Holland and on the other side the Pug CH. WINSOME'S GOLD STANDARD, owned by Sonberg Christine. The Pug finally won the Masters Trophy. Both dogs were outstanding, showed fantastic and ran through the ring with enthusiasm. And thus ended the first night of the show.
The catalog is very complete. You find a list of the trade stands, statistics and all members that have a kennel are listed with complete address, nicely divided per group. However, I missed the list of judges and was forced to have a look on the website and here I found them with even much more information than I would need. It is a little bit unusual but I forced me to have a closer look on this website www.sec-liege.be. It is maybe not the most pleasing website to look at, but I must admit that it is one that has a large range of useful information. And here is what I found. 17 Countries were present, 889 dogs from Belgium, 313 from France, 264 from Holland, 181 from Germany, 23 from the UK and even dogs from Spain (9), Russia (2), Denmark (13), Norway (1) and Latvia (1) and even one from Canada. The 20 judges too were very internationally composed and represented 11 nationalities, only 5 were from Belgium. Mrs.Soleckyi Szpinar from Poland judged the Schnauzers on Saturday and Spitz and Primitive breeds on Sunday when she had 71. She had a total of 108 entries. Mrs. Kupriyanova from Slovenia ended with 136 entries in total and shared Spitz and Primitive breeds on Sunday. On Saturday, however, she had 83 dogs to judge, 38 Great Danes and 45 Bulldogs. Mr.S.Sinko, her husband, had a total of 115 dogs. On Sunday, he had the day-record with 84 dogs, including 39 Swiss White Shepherds, a breed that enjoys an ever growing popularity. Mr.Van Raamsdonk from Belgium, one of Belgium’s new judges and breeder of French Bulldogs, judged the breed a second time in Belgium this year and has again a nice entry of 52, the second most popular breed of the show. Indeed, the Chihuahua’s were with one more and were Judged by Mrs.Shwalibog from Poland She was the second most popular judge of the show with an total entry of 144 dog. Saturday was her busiest day with 80 dogs to judge, all Terrier breeds. The most popular judge of the show was Mrs. M.O’Gorman from Ireland. She judged the Cockers and Spaniels on Saturday, among them 27 English Cockers and 33 Americans. On Sunday She had dogs from Group 6, (Scenthounds) . As this group includes another popular breed, the Rhodesian Ridgebacks, who were 29 in total, she ended that day with 70 dogs or 151 dogs in total. Let me mention a few other nice numbers; 23 Labradors for Mr Ionescu from Romania, 39 Golden Retrievers for Mrs.De Ridder-Onghena from Belgium 48 Dachshunds for Mr.PP.Condo from Italy, which is quit good for Belgium standards. Mr.F.Asnaghi from Italy menaged to bring 26 Afgans together while Mrs. A. Brankiviae from Serbia had 33 Amstaffs and Mrs.Delabelle from Belgium had 27 Chinese Cresteds.
The main ring program started well in time every day as it is a well loaded program with all the Golden titles to win. It started every day with the Golden Lead competition for Junior and Senior handling. After that the regular final judging start, followed by the Finales of the Golden Lead and the finals of the Golden Groomer, a competition with international interest. At last there is the Best of Day judging and the BIS judging on Sunday.
Mrs. De Ridder-Onghena, Belgian all rounder judge, was granted the honor to choose the Best In Show. She also picked out the Best of Day and left her with only two dogs to choose from. On Saturday her preference went to the Yorkshire Terrier “Ch.Underwood Don’t Stop the Music”, a male Champion bred by Eric Bernard and owned by Catherine Consten from France. Hunderwood is no yet 4 years old, won the breed under judge R.Kanas fromSlovakia, from 18 competitors and the group under judge Mr. Norman Deschuymere from Belgium. He finished Res BIS as theGolden Dog Trophy went to Italy, to the Miniature Poodle Ch.Kudos Lykke Li, a 3 year old female, bred and owned by Mr.Nilsson Mikael, who was so moved and happy. Lykke Li was judged by Mrs.De Ridder during the breed judging and won the group under Mrs. Kuprianova-Sinko from Slovenia.
A new era has started for the Syndicat d’Elevage de Liège, good for at least another 75 years. The new hall is certainly fantastic and I am convinced that this news will make even more exhibitors curious to find out themselves. No problem as there is still plenty of room to accept another 500 dogs. Note 20 and 21 of July 2013 already in your agenda, you will not regret it if you come.