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Thursday, 17 April 2014

Norwich Terrier Club Open Show - Finland

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I was very honoured and privileged to be invited to judge Norwich Terriers at the combined Finnish Norfolk & Norwich Club Open Show in March this year.
I set off early on the Saturday morning from Manchester and arrived in Helsinki around 3.30pm Finnish time. I made my way to the hotel, 10 minutes away from the airport, and awaited my co judge, Dot Britten who was to judge Norfolks at the same show. 
Early evening myself and Dot met with Hans Lehtinen and Johan Juslin who organise the club show. We had a lovely meal in the hotel and caught up on all things “doggy”. It was a very early start as Finland is two hours ahead and there was also the clock change, which meant we lost three hours. 
I woke up in good time and had a good breakfast to start the day. We made our way to the show which was approximately thirty minutes from the hotel. I was thrilled with my entry and on arrival it was clear to see lots of exhibitors and their dogs raring to go. It was a great experience for me, as the number of Norwich in Finland is greater than here in the UK which gave me a chance to go over more dogs in one entry than I could over here.
Although the judging system is under FCI rules, because it was a club open show, it was very similar to our club open shows, other than every dog has to have a written critique completed in the ring. The placings were one to four and the judge has the option with  every dog that is placed to award a prize of honour. Every dog that’s awarded a prize of honour comes back in to what is effectively their challenge. The only other difference was that instead of awarding i.e Best Dog and Reserve Best Dog, in the challenge, four dogs have to be placed i.e Best dog one, Best Dog two etc.
The quality overall was very good, especially in the younger classes and I was very pleased to see some fantastic tails which is something we lack over here in the UK due to not having enough time yet to concentrate on breeding for them.
The organisation and finer details were fantastic. The Fins certainly know how to run a show and both myself and Dot couldn’t have asked for better hospitality. The ring stewards were excellent and made sure I knew exactly what I was doing, made the ring run smoothly and wrote my critiques as I dictated. The show was held in what can only be described as a millennium Dome type building obviously on a smaller scale. The rings were a really good size and the flooring was similar to Astroturf which was great for the dogs. 
We finished judging in good time and Hans and Johan took us to Down Town Helsinki to a quaint little restaurant, where we had great food and talked nonstop about dogs in general and the great day we had. 
The following morning I had a little wait as my flight was in the afternoon so I caught up on some sleep before making the journey home. All in all I had a fantastic experience with great people, great dogs and I would like to thank the committee and exhibitors for an unforgettable time!
Read 2814 times Last modified on Monday, 12 September 2016

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