Revival of the Belgian shows.
In my opinion, the numerous double shows paid off. But fortunately, a generation in show dogs is only a matter of 4 to 5 years maximum before a whole new battery of dogs is in competition, and that starts rather quickly. That is why I think that the rise in entries to 1731 for this year, can be considered as a revival. We will soon know when more shows will grow in numbers of entries too. No need to tell that the organizers looked relieved.
May exhibitors are worried and skip this show because it gave a very claustrophobic impression in the past, but a couple of years the organization made a totally new set-up with fences and special areas for grooming and walking around and the result is spectacular. It is much easier to move around. Of course, the number of trade stands has decreased and that leaves more room, but I did no longer see people taking up space for tables, chairs and other pick-nic stuff as if they own the whole place. Parking space remains one of the issues, but together with police and the community a lot is possible and compared to other years I heard no complaints maybe because people get used to it and know what they can expect. But in general, the atmosphere seemed more relaxed. It was hard to tell if it had to do with the attitude of the exhibitors, the layout of the showground, the team of collaborators?
I suppose a combination of it all or were there fewer visitors? Mouscron usually has a lot of visitors probably due to its democratic entry prizes with a focus on families with children. and with a reason as Mouscron has not only good average numbers of dogs of well-known breeds, but there were also several rarities on show like a Cao Da Gado Transmontano, a large Portuguese guard and shepherd dog, a Dask Gardshund, a small farm dog, a few American hairless Terrier and Biewer Yorkshire Terriers, a Barbado Da Terceira, another Portuguese Shepherd dog of average size, Miniature American Shepherds and American Waterspaniels, at least rare in Belgium, and one Vostochno Evropeiskaya Ovcharka. This dog, created in Russia from German Shepherds is hard to tell apart from its ancestors, except for his color which looks like it was bleached and its size that is taller in general.
The smoothness of the show rolled gently over in the finals. The whole program was handled at a leisurely pace. 16 Judges were invited from 10 different countries and only 6 were from Belgium. WIth a Dogs/judging day score of 61,8 the organization has certainly done a very good job. Most Judges had nice entries but some were absolutely popular, two women in particular. Mrs. Kelveri from Cyprus had the second-best score of Saturday with 128 dogs to judge. Two breeds were decisive, 27 Rottweiler and 22 Cane Corsos. For Mrs.Shenashenko from Russia, it was not the first time that she judged in Mouscron.
She had the best score of Saturday. Famous as a Terrier judge she had no less than 135 entries and here the high turnout of the American Staffordshires, 46 altogether, certainly contributed to this amazing general score. On Sunday she had 87 dogs in her ring and that made her the second bests scoring judge of the weekend.
Mrs Kelveri claimed this title as she had 99 dogs on Sunday and that included 24 Beaucerons and 29 Aussies. Mr.Bispo from Portugal had a nice score of 40 Chinese Crested dogs, Mr. Doval from Spain had 42 Bulldogs, a high score nowadays, and Mrs.Mach from Switzerland, had 43 Chihuahuas, a breed that will probably always be popular. She was also the Best In Show judge. She clearly remembers judging in Mouscron in the early days of this show and was sincerely honored to be invited again, and all the more because she was granted the honor to judge Best In Show.
But contrary to the tradition of the Mouscron Dog Show, she did not want to honor only one dog, the Best In Show, she wanted to place the 3 best dogs. Fortunately, as most show organizations, they had some spare trophies from previous editions that could be offered to the second and third Best In Show. They were offered to the Whippet "Vis Major of Gentle Mind" owned by Saskia Debeuf and the Chihuahua "Cowboys and Angels Rumble in the Jungle" owned by Weyden Lucretia, respectively.
Rumble won its breed under Mrs.Mach in Open Class at the age of almost 2, the group under Mrs.Strijbos from the Netherlands. Vis Major, only 9 months old, got his ticket in Junior Class females from Mr.Tom Hehir from Ireland who also judged the Group. But who was Best In Show? It was "Karalen Blyuz Royal Daymond", Nadine Carpaccio's Yorkshire Terrier. 10 Yorkies were entered in total. Karalen won the Champion Class males and is a 4-year-old male bred in Russia but living in Belgium. Mrs. Shenashenko made him Best of Group.
The show of next year will happen on the weekend of January 30-31 and probably with another increase in entries. And remember, no reason to fear claustrophobic situations any longer.
Written by Karl DONVIL
Photo Gallery by Karl Donvil