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Monday, 22 May 2017

Mexico Champions of Champion

Featured Written by Vince Hogan
Winner of the Tournament of Champions in Mexico was the Afghan Hound, Brilliant Nigh Jp Dear Zeus owned and handled by Juan Miranda Saucedo. This was judged on a points system with the final judge being Jan Reital from the USA, pictured here third from left with the organisers, fellow judges and sponsors.The event was part of the National Specialties Week organised by the Mexican Kennel Federation. Winner of the Tournament of Champions in Mexico was the Afghan Hound, Brilliant Nigh Jp Dear Zeus owned and handled by Juan Miranda Saucedo. This was judged on a points system with the final judge being Jan Reital from the USA, pictured here third from left with the organisers, fellow judges and sponsors.The event was part of the National Specialties Week organised by the Mexican Kennel Federation. Photo by J Ortega

Mexican Specialties! And not a wall in sight!

When you tell people you are going to Mexico, you get the usual comments about beans and sombreros. More recently the jokes concern walls and Donald Trump, but folks need to sit up and take a real hard look at what happens down Mexico way, as the Federacion Canofila Mexicana (the FCM) sure know how to put on a good event! I know it’s not easy to take a quick trip over from the UK, in fact about 12 hours from Heathrow and a bit less going back….but it’s great to see how they do dog shows on the other side of the world.

The whole event was centred around the National Speciality week, held on the grounds of the FCM, with the added interest of the Tournament of Champions on the Friday night of that week. With an international judging panel featuring judges from the USA, South America, Germany, Spain, Canada, Sweden, Serbia and the UK as well as Mexican judges an excellent entry had been drawn for a show that took place over six days at the FCM headquarters.

Russell Lamonby was the UK judge in attendance going over Bull Terriers and Staffords. Anyone who has ever attended a show at this showground will have been impressed. As many of the judges told me when chatting to them during the week they enjoy coming to shows in Mexico and have always been impressed with all aspects…not least the quality of the dogs, with the whole ambience initially taking them by surprise. The hospitality of the organisers, the excellent facilities, and especially the well turned out dogs AND handlers. With many of the handlers being professional, they are all well turned out in sharp suits and ties and make many countries exhibitors look positively scruffy! One judge from Canada, the well known Kim Le Blanc of the Snowmist Siberians, told me that she was really impressed with the standard of grooming; Kim judged Akitas and Siberians.


To paint the picture, it’s not JUST a show ground, it’s a total complex. As you drive in and park in the onsite car park, the first thing you pass is the Vet Clinic and Semen Bank. On your left is the excellent grassed show area which featured a stunning marquee hired in for the entire week of the specialities. Further on is the restaurant, bar and behind the library. There is a grooming and training school, editorial offices for the in house magazine, admin block, reception area and an auditorium that is like a full sized cinema.

All of this is self contained and within an area just off a main road, down a side street and there you have it…..a canine oasis in the south of Mexico City. It has to be seen to be believed and appreciated. Many kennel clubs around the world would be very envious of these facilities which benefit exhibitors and organisers alike. It’s the kind of show centre that British and Irish exhibitors have talked about for years; the whole Kennel Club set up is there in one place, its pleasant, its modern, its user friendly. Hats off to the FCM!

The show set up

The flat grassed showground area lends itself perfectly to an event like the National Specialities Week with enough room for parking (just!) and plenty of space for gazebos and tents underneath many tress providing excellent shade. Sponsors were Purina Pro Plan and hats off to them as well for providing a stunning marquee which housed all the rings; this was open at both ends allowing for perfect ventilation and cooling breeze…ideal as the weather was pretty warm all week. Their team were available for photos with winners, they had a great photo backdrop, they provided hospitality and they also supplied about 12 gazebos for handlers to set up down one side of the outside of the marquee. On the Friday after the end of judging the riggers came back in and closed off one end of the massive tent and the agency team went to work to create a whole new look to stage the tournament of champions that evening.

The Tournament of Champions

So it was on with the evening dress and onto the night of champions with a panel of judges allotting points as they went along on a knock out basis. Before the parade of champions however, we were treated to a stunning display from three magnificent dressage horses in the more than adequate ring. Following that, all the dogs were brought in and the judges could walk amongst them getting a preview look. Bit by bit, dog by dog, the contestants were whittled down to the final 10.

The last judge to go over the dogs was American Jan Reital from California. Jan looked elegant in the main ring as she went over the super line up of the last ten dogs; Jan’s points were added to the previous totals (she was not judging the dogs and placing them as such) which then produced the final placings with the Afghan as number 1.

The final top four placings were as follows showing two imported dogs and two Mexican bred:

  • 1. - Afghan - BRILLIANT NIGH JP DEAR ZEUS (Japan import)
  • 2.- Boxer - DIAMOND BLACK (MEZA) (Mex)
  • 3.- Siberian Husky - DANTE PASOS LIGEROS (Mex)
  • 4.- Pug - FLYING WINNER BAGRATION (Russia Import)

Juan Miranda Saucedo, the owner of the winning Afghan at the Tournament of Champions said “This weekend I was able to achieve my dream with Zeus and win the Champion of Champions Tournament 2017. Zeus was judged by 10 experts from around the world and obtained several perfect scores of 100. It was a dream come true! Since I was a kid I dreamed of competing and winning that show. I was fortunate enough to see my father win two times with our dog Regency. My parents and I dedicate this very special win to the memory of Teri's father, Teri Tevlin God bless you. Zeus is one of the Top 10 Dog All Breeds Mexico 2017 (to date)” An excellent event all round for all concerned...even though it ran on into the VERY small hours!

Some judges headed to the hotel early as they had to be back the next morning to recommence the speciality shows. One of the judges of Rottweiler’s at the show was Gerard O Shea from Ireland, now resident in Sweden, who was most impressed with the whole set up. Gerard said, “The Mexican Kennel club, FCM, hosted an amazing week of Dog shows combined with Champion of Champions gala night. Full credit to the FCM, the organization and hospitality was first class. And it was very interesting to meet so many world renowned specialist judges in their more popular breed.

Siegmund Trebshuh, ADRK Germany and myself Gerard O´Shea, FCI, Sweden were honoured with the task of judging back to back Rottweiler Sieger shows. The organizers asked for open critics on every dog with a full explanation of all the class placements. This provides exhibitors and spectators with both an educated and entertaining days judging. The quality of the dogs was very high in most classes and the Rottweiler enthusiasts in Mexico should be very pleased with the direction their breeding program is taking. The sportsmanship and behaviour of dogs and exhibitors was particularly high with most onlookers showing their appreciation for the winners in every class.

The trophies for these two shows where particularly nice. Beautiful breed specific statues for both Best Male and Female along with some very impressive cups and rosettes that was almost as big as the dogs themselves. The whole event was held on FCM grounds under a very impressive marquee which protected both exhibitors and dogs from the hot Mexican sun. Finally as an added bonus to this wonderful event our hosts, the Mexican kennel club was super generous in providing all the judges with daytrips to the National Anthropology Museum, the Aztec pyramids and city tour. A must for anyone who visits Mexico City” Well Gerard sounds well impressed!

Westminster Winner

Another well known face at the show was the handler and co owner of the winning GSP at the famous Westminster dog show in New York in 2016, Valerie Nunes Atkinson, who told me that she had enjoyed a fabulous last day in Mexico City. Val was one of a number of American judges who were on the panel including Dawn Spivey (Bulldogs), Christa Cook (Boxers), Scott Kellogg doing many of the Terriers, Wood Wornall and Elizabeth Hugo Milam who went over French Bulldogs.

Valerie added, “I had the honour to judge FCM Top Junior Handlers in a wonderful competition represented by both Novice and Open Handlers. My Best was this very talented young lady with her Siberian.

What I especially appreciated was her soft confident hands and a style of handling where she just blended away into the background, allowing me to focus on her dog. When we took the photo she told me she had won the previous year with an Australian Shepherd. Congrats to all the Jr. Handlers it was a honour to judge you. Mexico has a bright future with their up and coming handlers.

The rest of the day and into the night I enjoyed watching and listening to two International respected Rottweiler Judges as they judged and critiqued a very full day’s work of Rottweilers.

Gerard O'Shea from Sweden/Ireland and Siegmund Trebschuh from Germany; both men are highly respected and renowned for their vast knowledge in the breed. What a honour to watch, learn and listen to open critiques at this Sieger Rottweiler Show. A first for me that I enjoyed immensely, I learned so very much. Many thanks to the FCM for an excellent event” It’s great to see judges appreciating their fellow judges.

And finally

To round things off, I spoke to one of the main organisers of the event Mr Gerardo Bernard, himself a judge and exhibitor; Gerardo was an excellent host along with the President of the FCM Dr Jose Luis Payro and the Vice President Juan Luis Martinez who made me feel very welcome on this my second visit to an FCM event. Gerardo said, “The Federación Canofila Mexicana (FCM) was very pleased with the 2017 FCM Champion’s Tournament and National Week and thanks all judges, exhibitors, trade stand holders and visitors for attending. Entries from different countries of America and visitors from overseas enjoyed and complimented this event.

The FCM is looking forward to the next set of events and encourages the participation of competitors worldwide. Big shows are coming soon! Preparing now for the annual 10 days indoor show in September with CRUFTS qualification; 2018 National Week and Champions Tournament and most IMPORTANT to mention is the 2019 FCI Americas & Caribbean Section show – to be held in Mexico.

We are looking forward to being the host of those events and receiving you with open arms to make everyone feel welcome and very much at home” Amen to that, muchas gracias and hasta manayana……. with luck I’ll be back compadres and I am happy to recommend a visit to the show to dog people around the world. Plan a trip of a lifetime and come and enjoy life, down Mexico way!


Read 3595 times Last modified on Tuesday, 06 June 2017

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