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Saturday, 15 December 2018

Helsinki Double Show

Featured Written by Paula Heikkinen-Lehkonen
On Sunday, the Best in Show Judge was Leni Finne (Finland) and she chose the Finnish Spitz, Ch Loukkaharjun Aito Lempi, owned by Päivi Silomäki and Toivo and Anni Lielahti and bred Paivi’s father. On Sunday, the Best in Show Judge was Leni Finne (Finland) and she chose the Finnish Spitz, Ch Loukkaharjun Aito Lempi, owned by Päivi Silomäki and Toivo and Anni Lielahti and bred Paivi’s father. Photos by TEXTerri

The Helsinki Double Show was a spectacular end to the chain of Scandinavian main shows. It started in Denmark in November, at Herning, then there was Oslo, or actually Lilleström in Norway where there was also the Nordic Winner show, then Swedish Winner Show at Stockholm and the last and the biggest one of them all, the Helsinki weekend.

It consisted of two one-day shows, the first one on Saturday was called the Helsinki Winner Show with over 6,000 entered dogs and on Sunday the Finnish Winner Show with about 6,600 dogs. In addition to that, there were unofficial puppy shows both days, over 1,000 puppies in each. Altogether there were over 300 different breeds or varieties represented. The Amsterdam Winner show was on the same weekend, but obviously that didn’t have much effect on the entry figures, and some dogs had come even from central and southern Europe. Both days there was a lot of events for general public, especially families with children, various displays, lots of trade stands and breed club stands giving information about various breeds.

The working dogs were presented, like police dogs, guide dogs, border patrol dogs and dogs who help disabled etc. In Finland there are nowadays in many libraries and schools dogs who help kids to read. The dog is listening when the kid is reading aloud, and that has helped the little pupils to become better readers, because the dog does not criticise if the kid makes mistakes.

Also dogs who visit hospitals, elderly people’s homes or kindergartens do very important work with their volunteer owners. There was also the Nordic Championship in heelwork to music and freestyle, and these competitions are always worth seeing. Kids could also compete in the “Toy Dog Show”, that is with their stuffed toy dogs, and also in “Hairy Worm Agility”. Some popular celebrities who are known to be dog lovers could be met there, too. It was a real dog fair, and the gate was really good, about 37,000 visitors came to see all this. On Saturday the Finnish Kennel Club handed also the Vuolasvirta awards for merited breeders.

The breeder who gets this must have bred at least ten years and ten litters, and must collect as many points as there has been puppies altogether. The show wins and trial qualifications give a certain amount of points, and at least part of the litters must be second or third generation home-bred. Also the hero dogs were presented to the public.

This distinction is given to dogs who have saved lives, for example found missing persons, warned about fire and so on. One of the heroes was a Finnish Spitz, who was in the forest hunting birds with his master and his daughter, when a bear came running towards them. The Spitz started barking furiously at the bear and made it turn and go away. Another one was a Chihuahua, who woke up his sleeping master, when the mistress was choking after just eating a piece of bread. Altogether 18 dogs of various breeds got this award. It is interesting, that the Police Dog of the Year is not one of the usual breeds seen with the police, but a Parson Russell Terrier, Jekku, with his handler Miikka Ounila. Jekku has been trained to find drugs, passports, money and guns. Because of his small size he is able to go to places which are too tight for bigger Labradors or GSDs, and also people are not afraid of a small dog.

He is, like Terriers usually are, tireless and eager to work. The Junior Handlers’ National Championship final was held there, too. The judge was former Norwegian JH National Champion Patrick Oware, who has been a successful handler of various breeds after becoming “too old” for these competitions. Just a week ago he handled a Group and Res BIS winner at Stockholm.

The winner was Lotta Nykänen, who handled a Pointer so skilfully that she was the one who got the ticket to Crufts. A new thing was two new speakers in the main ring, Juha Palosaari and Virpi Pesonen. Juha is actually a teacher of languages when he is not in dogs shows, so he is fluent in several languages, and being a successful Terrier breeder and judge of many breeds, he knows a lot about dogs. Virpi is a successful breeder of Poodles and a good friend of Juha, so they were working very well together. One of the most difficult things for the speakers is to recognise all the breeds, because we have nearly all the possible breeds here, many of them rare.

They interviewed the group final judges shortly before the dogs entered the ring, which made a nice impression, the spectators got to know something personal about the judges. The finals were live streamed and as usual these days, all the results were published online, so you could follow what is happening in the breed rings even if you were at home – or in another country.

On the first day the BIS judge was Renee Sporre-Willes from Sweden, well-known all-breed judge, breeder and writer. Two of the group winners had come from Sweden, one from Italy but the rest of them were Finnish dogs. Among the placed ones there were some more Swedish dogs, one from Norway and one from Latvia. As the supreme champion Renee chose the Keeshond, Int Ch Eerondaali Braveheart, owned by Taru Hankela but handled by his breeder Petri Turunen. He is three years old, multiple Champion and Winner. He represents third generation of Petri’s breeding, but both his sire and grandsire are American dogs, I guess Petri has used AI. But even the top dogs don’t always win, he was not placed in his class next day! Reserve place went to the Lagotto Romagnolo, Ch Cisco, owned by Annie Ahlberg from Sweden.


Saturdays Winner

Lagotto is in fact one of Renee’s own breeds, she was the one who introduced the breed to Scandinavia. This dog is an Italian import, already six years old and bears Ch titles from all the Nordic countries. He has visited Finland several times before and has every time done well. He has a litter here, too. He was BOB on the next day, too, but didn’t go further. Third was the Great Dane, Ch Euro Power L-Jo, owned and bred by Kati-Maija Korhonen, Quite young and hasn’t been shown very much so far, but is already Ch of three countries and has been BOB or BOS nearly every time shown. He was BOB also on the next day and second in Group. Also Kati-Maija’s team of Danes was placed both days in the Breeders’ Groups finals. Fourth was the Scottish Terrier, Int Ch Quaint Quincent, owned by Arja Tuuliniemi, a well-known big winner, he has been a.o.t. twice World Winner. He is a son of UK import, Int Ch Berrybreeze Daddy Cool. However, he didn’t win the breed the next day.

The rest of the Group winners were: the Smooth Collie, Ch Clingstone’s Amaze Me, owned by Sallamari Salmi. This bitch hasn’t been shown very much, but has done pretty well. This must have been, though, her biggest achievement so far. The Dachshund group winner came from Sweden, it was the Standard Longhaired Ch Örnbergets Zuper Ztar, owned and bred by Elisabeth Rhodin, who was in these shows already a year ago and was BOB even then as a junior, and got a group placing on Sunday, too. He is not only beautiful but is FT Ch in blood tracking.

Then there was the PBGV, Ch Mingrands Written In Stars, owned by Hanna Leinonen; the Pointer Int Ch Weimpoint N Seasyde No Autographs Pls, owned by Katariina Lahikainen & Kristina Pilatus, both of them established multiple winners. The Toy & Companion dog Group was topped by the evergreen and ever so happy veteran Havanese, Ch Jatakabi’s Xtempore, owned by Noora Kela & Nea Huttunen, who just celebrated her tenth birthday a couple of weeks earlier. After she became Ch, she was retired from showing for some years, but made a great come-back as a veteran and has done so well that she ended up as third in the Veteran of the Year list. The best of the Sighthounds was one of the furthest travelled ones, it was the Whippet from Italy, Int Ch Sobresalro Xxx, owned by Enrico Gaspari.

So it was worth travelling all the way, although she wasn’t quite as lucky on the following day. On Sunday the BIS judge was Leni Finne, one of our own all-breed judges. All the Group winners were different dogs than the day before, although some were placed both days. It is interesting, because in some countries if there is a cluster of shows, the judges are not allowed to watch the finals, if they are judging on the next day. Our results show clearly, that the judges are fully capable of making their own decisions, and some of Saturday’s group winners were not even placed in their classes in the breed ring.

When there is a big show, there are many high-quality dogs in most breeds, not just one! Besides, dogs are not machines, they don’t always perform quite as well every day. And when there are judges from many countries, they might have different preferences. Or, as in this case, the BIS winner of Sunday was not shown at all on Saturday.

It was the Finnish Spitz, Ch Loukkaharjun Aito Lempi, owned by Päivi Silomäki and her in-laws Toivo & Anni Lielahti, bred by Päivi’s father. So a real family affair. I myself was ever so happy that this beautiful bitch won, because I had judged the breed. The entry was unusually good, 30 Finnish Spitzs were entered. It is not common that they come to indoor shows, because the Finnish Spitz is a hunting dog and lives usually at countryside and is used to outdoor life. The hunters don’t usually bother to show their dogs more than necessary, at least not when you have to travel to a big city and the show is in a big hall.

Anyway, this bitch, too, is qualified in field trials, she is obviously an excellent bird barker, which is the real purpose of the breed. As a matter of fact, nobody in Finland keeps them for any other reason than hunting! It has been a while since I’ve judged Finkies in a bigger show and was really impressed by the overall quality. Both dogs’ and bitches’ Champion classes were a great pleasure to go over and I had to split hairs when putting them in order.


Sundays Winner

Actually, Esa Ruotsalainen who was judging in the next ring said that he couldn’t help glancing at the Finkies between his own exhibits when there were so many top quality ones. Angela Cavill was sitting at the ringside and I believe she was enjoying herself, too. Great that our national breed enthusiasts have started to value also the main shows. When there are more young ladies nowadays as handlers, they make more effort to teach the dogs to behave. Res BIS was the Bichon Frise, Int Ch Jitterbop Clap Your Hands, owned by Marella Närkkki, our top showdog of the year.

He was third in Group on Saturday, not a bad weekend for him. Also third, the W/H Standard Dachshund, Int Ch Treis Pinheiros Wild Again, owned by Sari Hirvonen & Kati Komulainen, took the titles both days, he was second in Group the day before. He is a Brazilian import and has Ch and Winner titles from several countries. Fourth was the PBGV, but not the same one as yesterday, this was Int Ch Soletrader Just Jazz, owned by Kristina Bergström, bred by the Robertsons in UK of course. She and Saturday’s Group winner just changed places in the breed ring from day to day.

This one, by the way, won the Group at Stockholm a week ago. The winner of the Pastoral Group came from Russia, it was the young Bouvier des Flandres, Cashmir Bouviery z Regla, owned by Larisa Savkina. He was beaten in the breed on Saturday, but now it was his day. Another Russian Group winner was the impressive Tibetan Mastiff, Ch Dzhozias Sabur, owned by M Pankarova. He was BOB also the day before but didn’t go further then. Now he managed to beat the previous day’s Group winning Dane, who was second. The Terrier Group winner was the Smooth Fox Terrier, Ch Texforrier No Illusions, owned by Molli Nyman & Sakari Joenväärä.

She, too was beaten in the breed on Saturday. The best of the Pointing Gundogs, the Gordon Setter, Int Ch Goango Black I Want It All, owned by Nina & Joakim Caldén, was not entered on Saturday, but he has won and been placed in Group finals many times. Then there was the Cocker Spaniel, Int Ch Northworth Jumper Just Fits, owned by Tuuli Rossi, she won her class the day before but didn’t go further then. The Sighthound group was topped by the Irish Wolfhound from Latvia, Ch Dwarf’s Valley O’Neil, owned by Larisa Blazevica. Best Veteran on Saturday was the Finnish Lapphund Int Ch Peikkovuoren Vahca, owned by Taina Friman & Jaana Miettinen.

He completed the success of his breeder Taina Friman, whose Breeders’ Group of four Finnish Lapphunds was also best team in show, and then finally on Sunday she received the award for the Breeder of the Year. On Sunday the enormous group of Veterans was topped by the Golden Retriever, Int Ch Daily Rays Chaming Star, owned by Riikka Aholammi. He was Best Veteran in Show also in the Retriever Club specialty a couple of months ago. Now the Best Breeders’ Group was presented by Nina Brusin with her team of Memorylane’s Bearded Collies, who have done very well for some years now. This kennel was third in the Breeder of the Year list.

Photos Gallery by TEXTerri


Read 4567 times Last modified on Monday, 18 February 2019

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