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'Liège 2017'
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news - 22/07/2017
Liège 2017  -  Belgium

dogs breeders dog pictures by Karl Donvil
Liège 2017, double CACIB and Crufts Qualifier! The Syndicat d'Elevage Canin, the organizing committee, celebrates its 80th birthday and for that the Royal Society in Brussels, granted them the possibility to organize a double show and if this was not enough, the Golden dog trophy was chosen as Crufts qualifier, at least the show of Saturday. It is also a little bit confusing which of both shows is the Golden Dog Trophy, the one of Saturday or the one of Sunday. But does it matter? The Halls are large and there is not the least problem to house all the people and the dogs, have a special area for the yearly Golden Groomer competition, plus a large main ring for demonstrations, and in the meantime have the rings large enough. There are usually lots of trade stands and that was not different this year. The central entrance area had also its traditional small exposition of "The Dog in Art". Last year had 2275 entries while it was a single show. Now there were 1721 entries on Saturday and 1620 on Sunday, or 3341 dogs in competition. But is that correct? About a thousand dogs were entered for both days, so, in fact there were about 2300 different dogs over the weekend, about the same number as last year. But of course there were more entries paid for and in fact each show is separate. One thing is sure, the president, Mr. Yves Boclinville, was very happy with this result. Comparing both shows reveals that the difference between both days was due to the Belgian and the Dutch entries, with respectively 62 and 32 dogs less. And overall there was a difference in about 80 breeds, some a few dogs more, others a few dogs less. But in general a lot of people have entered for both days and that must have a big positive impact on the hotel sector and camping sites. This is one of our most international shows, along with Brussels and Kortrijk. On both days 21 nationalities were present. 79 Entries were from the UK and, surprisingly there were 22 Irish entries. There were also 14 Russian dogs, two from Thailand and 2 from Israel.

Inviting judges for a double show seems somewhat easier if judges are invited that judge a lot of breed or groups. The dogs/judging-day rate was very good with a score of 71. Only 3 judges were officiating one day only, all others were very busy in general. Only 5 of them were Belgians, the rest came from 10 other countries. The two best scoring judges on Saturday were Mr. Pierluigi Buratti from Italy with 98 dogs and Mr. Constantinus Andreou from Cyprus. On Sunday Mr. Francesco Cochetti, also from Italy had 100 dogs in his ring, but Mrs. Yana Gavrilova from Russia had one more. Together with her score on Saturday when she had 83 dogs to judge she had a total score of 184, the best score of the weekend.

If all 10 Groups have to be judged in the main ring, along with the regular other items like, couples and Breed groups, takes already some time. But knowing that in Liège the custom is to also judge the Golden Leash and the Golden Groomer and honoring the Beauty & Performance winners, you just wonder when things will end. All by all the judging went rather smoothly, but still. The handling competition for example took too long due to all the categories that had to pass, like the Junior A and B, the Open class and the Seniors, then the best of each day and on Sunday the overall winner. In general the public is not that much interested in judging, especially not in the judging of the handling as they are not involved. With judging of dogs it is different as they can more easily support for certain breeds that they like. Spectators need to be entertained, and that is why the main ring is the attracting pole of a show, but if you start with something that they have no or little affection with is putting the expectations low for the rest to come. So, no problem with handling, but make it shorter and fill the time with something more entertaining like a doggy dance demonstration. The group judging could also be interrupted with an act of something in order to catch back attention of the public. We see the same in a circus where the tension is broken by clown acts to bring some relief from time to time. This is something to consider by all organizers of dog shows, but certainly if everything should be judged on one day. Remember that main rings usually start at 3 in the afternoon and are supposed to end around 6. That is already 3 hours that the spectators are supposed to stand and watch. Every extra minute is just too much! People get hungry and want to go home with the children and certainly so on Sunday if they need to go to work or to school. The exhibitors too want to leave as they often have a long travel ahead and the dogs want to go out and home. No wonder that we often find empty main rings for the finals. On Saturday Mrs.Gavrilova was the BIS judge. Her 3rd place went to Dachshund "Spellbound's Black Tie Affair", an American bred male living in Poland with Jakubowska Marlena. Mr.Marian Draganescu from Romania was his judge in the ring as well as for the group. Runner up to Best in Show went to the Barzoi "Russkiy Azart Cerarius Valiant Invictus". This two year old male was entered in Champion Class , Mrs Misterka was the judge. The dog is Italian and owned by Maria Lazareva. Group judge was Mr. Andreou from Cyprus. The BIS came from Russia. Mrs.Mironenko brought her Pomeranian Thai Silk Gonne Make Me Sweet" to here in order to be judged by Mr.Buratti from Italy, as won the breed he was then judged by Mr. Argente Del Castillo from Spain who made him groupwinner. This little boy was entered in Open class and is 3 years old.

On Sunday it was Mr.Cochetti from Italy who was the Best In Show judge. His 3rd place went to the whippet "Boxing Helena's Orange by Boss", bred and owned by Bart Scherens from Belgium. Mr.Vasco Pocas from Portugal was the group judge, Mrs.Naarits from Estland was the breed judge. This dog is 2 years old. Reserve Best In Show was the Affenpinscher "Murimah Boan Capona". Only one was entered for judge Walsh from Ireland. This 2 year old dog is owned by Andrew Bizin from Russia. Mrs.Myriam Vermeire judged the group. A lovely dog! The winner on Sunday was the Gordon Setter "Perfect Thunder van de Mergelhoeve" owned by Beckers Kim from the Netherlands. This dog is 3 1/2 years old and was entered for Mrs. O'Gorman from Ireland. Mr.Vasiljevic from Poland send him to the finals and with success! One weekend, two shows, two BIS winners! The next show is Mechelen and again this is a double CACIB! It will be interesting to compare and see if that one will be as good as Liège.

Text and photos: Karl DONVIL

Results: SEC Liège

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