BRNO , European Dog Show 2014 by K.Donvil

We had a beautiful, almost perfectly organized World Dog Show 2014, about two months before the FCI European Section Show that was held in BRNO in the Czech Republic. Prior to the show there was little information spread, breeders had to wait long to receive confirmation of their entry and the Press did not get info either. What could be expected from the 2014 European Dog Show ?

A couple of weeks before the event, rumors were spread telling that the total entry was beyond expectations. In the end no less than 14.665 dogs were entered for the FCI European Section Show and another 6.214 for the National Dog Show, bringing the total number of entries largely over 20,000. This means that this year's FCI European Section Show is ranking at the top. 53 Countries had send their best dogs to Brno, one of the largest cities of the Czech Republic, about 200 km from Prague and a bit closer to Vienna and Hungary. The Republic itself had the largest entry with 3.415 dogs, followed by Russia with 1.390 dogs. The USA had 7 entries, the UK 31, Japan 5, Brazil, India, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan had two each. But besides that there were also entries from Egypt, Indonesia, South and North Korea, Iceland and Peru, Thailand and Turkey. There were 149 judges coming from 26 countries. The Czech judges were far out in the majority with 64. Many exhibitors would have liked to see more foreign judges, but on the other hand, it could also be seen as a possibility to show your dog under a totally unknown judge. It's all a matter of how you see it.

There was a catalog for every day of the Section show and a big one for the CAC show containing all 4 days. On Thursday groups I, IV and V were on term, a total of 3.805 dogs. Friday showed us groups III, VI and X, 3.396 entries, while Saturday was completely dedicated to group II, the largest one with 3.196 dogs. Sunday had the remaining groups, VII, VIII and IX, good for a total of 4.268 entries. Together with the BIS judging and the Official ceremony, it was the longest day. The CAC show had no finals, no group titles or BIS title. For some this was a little unusual but if that would have been added to the finals of the European show, it would have taken much too long every day in the main ring. The list of breeds and their numbers revealed some interesting facts. No surprise that the Golden were the most popular breed in this show, but the Siberian Huskies came second with 229 entries. The Beagles took the fifth place with 189 and that seems unusual nowadays. Looking for the more rare breeds I found several non-recognized breeds. Ever heard of the Braque Dupuy, the Continental Bulldog, the Odis, The Patterdale Terrier, the Choretaja Borzaja, the Russkaya Tsvetnaya Bolonka?

The venue was great. The Central European Exhibition Centre or BVV is a fantastic place with an abundance of parking space close to the halls, next to the highway. From the many halls, Halls P, F and V were used while hall G was reserved for the indoor commercial stands, 37.000 square meters altogether. In between the halls were also many trade and food stands. The first couple of days the trade stand holders were not that happy. The location was not central but on the outside and too far away from the show happening. That had probably a lot to do with the bad weather that kept many inside and of course Thursday and Friday were working days. Fortunately there was a big change on Saturday and Sunday, enough to compensate for the two poor previous days. The halls were huge with enough space to allow comfortable walking between the rings. But if you wanted to follow the judging you had to stand all the time as there was not a single seat or bench to rest. Hall F was reserved for the National Show. The rings were not the largest but large enough. The funny thing, however, was that they had only carpet on the side around and no diagonal line, which is the most important one to inspect the gait of the dogs. The floor was OK, although I can imagine that for some breeds it could be slippery if not on the carpet. Some handlers complained about the lack of light inside. A more important complaint was the electricity that was not offered in adequate manner to keep all the hairdryers working and several times the electricity fell out. There was, in addition, no special grooming area which could have prevented this. In and around the halls it was very clean and accidents were removed efficiently and quick. The rings were indicated by large balloons with the corresponding number on it.

The main ring was located in hall P, the largest hall of the venue. Eukanuba and the FCI had their stand attached to the front side, with the VIP area on its left and stairs on its right and on the other end. Behind that was a huge pre-judging ring. Led lights have made their appearance offering splendid possibilities to enlarge the show aspect. But for the photos it was not that good. Lights were placed on the floor around the ring and that caused heavy contrasts in the photos as if the dogs feet were on fire. In Helsinki similar lights were posed behind the dogs on the podium, causing the same difficulties. The podium itself was perfectly lit.

The main ring program was well stocked as even the minor puppies were judged. Best males and females appeared in the ring that was too small for some groups, but the pre-judging proved to have been very effective as all the groups were judged perfectly within the time schedule. Every day the national breeds were presented to the public. Only the Czech Terrier and the Czesky Fousek are recognized by FCI. This is one of the things the Bohemian and Moravian Cynology Union (CMKU) is grateful to Vaclav Rusicka, who was even FCI president around the sixties. The other 4 breeds are under discussion : Czech Mountain Dog, Czech Spotted Dog, Prazsky Krysarik and Chodsky Pes (Bohemian Shepherd). The presentation was done very professionally by two nicely dressed ladies. The music was performed live and was a bit loud at first, but that proved to be only a matter of fine tuning.

In general, it was a nice show with only minor beauty faults. It was a surprise, a positive one. Nobody had expected a show like this because the information prior to the show was very little, giving a false negative impression. Congratulations to the team, the President and the Bohemian and Moravian Kennel Club in general.