One of the things to love about their shows, is the informal song to start the show each day by committee member Jette Nielsen, it puts everyone in good spirits. As always, they had assembled an excellent panel of judges, including FCI President Tamas Jakkel from Hungary and Jose Homen De Mello from Portugal, both of whom will be officiating at Crufts in March. The hotel for the judges is shared by many exhibitors over the weekend as it is literally a short walk across to the super indoor venue.
On the first day I judged some interesting breeds from Group 7, including 13 Gammel Dansk Honsehond, which translates as Old Danish Chicken Dog, but better known to us as Old Danish Pointers. This breed has an interesting history, with the Bloodhound being deemed to have been an early contributor to the breed. I also had 18 Stabyhouns and 1 Epagneul De Saint Usuge, another breed with a very interesting history.
As with many Kennel Clubs nowadays, the Danish Kennel Klub require judges to complete forms regarding health issues. I think there is merit in expanding this to include unsatisfactory temperament, as someone commented, no point in the dog rescuing a person in the snow and then attacking them!
Jens Utke Ramsing from Denmark judged Group 2 and his choice for top spot was the Bullmastiff, The Nightshifts Dance Till You Drop. Jose Homem De Mello judged the Group 7 Final and his winner was the Bracco Italiano, Olympos La Mia Bellissima Piana, while in Group 9 the winner and choice of Group Judge Luis Catalan from Portugal was the Lhasa Apso, Chic Choix Parti Celebris. Completing the Group judging on the first day was Saija Juutilainen from Finland in Group 10, and her winner was the Italian owned and bred Azawakh, Azamour Zainabu. DAY TWO Day 2 and I had four Group 5 breeds to judge.
I also had 3 student judges, two of whom were aspiring judges and they had to write critiques and grade a number of dogs in the breeds and then after I had placed my class we discussed the dogs and their attributes and the gradings which the aspiring judges gave.
The other student, who is at a different level, just shadowed me, viewed my critiques and then discussed the dogs with me. I have to say, the three of them were excellent, perhaps due to a different mentality in relation to ongoing education in dogs in Denmark. I started with Alaskan Malamutes, where I had half brothers from the Falgreens Kennels as Best Male and Best Male 2, unfortunately no CK’s in females.
Siberian Huskies were a little disappointing, however, my winners were very pleasing, a 10 month male, bred in Poland from Winter Melody Kennels was Best Male and in females the BOB and gaining her Danish Champion title on the day was a 2 year old, also bred in Poland by Zaltana Kennels and had travelled from Norway for the show. I had 14 American Akitas to judge and overall I guess they were a little disappointing, outside of the top classes, where the quality was good.
But my BOB, in my opinion, was outstanding. She was just 10 years old and a cracker, bred in Denmark by Senseo Kennels out of a Redwitch female. I have left Samoyeds till last to mention, I had 27 of them and there were simply stunning. I have to admit, that when my male line up came back in, I had goosebumps looking at them. One of my best mentors in dogs, the late Vic Salt, used to talk about seeing a great dog and being “filled up” in his words; well I was filled up over and over again.
My BOB winner was a 2 year old male, Cabaka’s Raw Power and he would later be runner up in Group 5. My BOS, I think gained her title on the day, Cabaka’s Show Me A Miracle. My Best Veteran, Cabaka’s Kiss The Rain, went on to win Best Veteran in Show Svante Frisk from Sweden judged the Group 1 Final on the final day and his winner was the Australian Shepherd, Leading Angels Waltz the Spotlight, from the top winning Danish Kennel. Jussi Liimatainen from Finland judged Group 3 and his winner was the Australian Silky Terrier, Curiosity Simply A Stunner. The Dachshund Group 4 was judged by Adam Ostrowski from Poland and his winner was the Standard Wire Haired, Hodja’s Darwin.
Gerard Jipping from the Netherlands judged Group 5 and his choice was the Pharaoh Hound, Vaskurs Varenne Qiwison, which had travelled from Sweden. Group 6 was judged by Kurt Nilsson from Sweden and his choice was the Porcelaine, Nimik Oceane De Blanc. The Final Group to be judged was Group 8 and it was judged by my fellow Irish judge, Stephanie Walsh and her choice was the English Springer Spaniel, Siegers Never Walk Alone.
This left the finale to German Judge Hassi Assenmacher-Feyel to make the choice of Best in Show at the first International Show of the Danish Kennel Klub for 2020 and her popular winner was the English Springer Spaniel, Siegers Never Walk Alone, completing a wonderful treble for the renowned kennel as they won Top Breeders Group on the day and also Top Puppy of Day 2 with Siegers Sweet Love of Mine, who was the choice of Tamas Jakkel.
The Danes now turn their attention to their next big International Show in May in Roskilde, located close to Copenhagen, definitely worth considering a visit to.