Dear readers,

A new year started off and we wish you happiness, joy and success. May the traditional wishes of “health” really come true.

This year again, we shall try to keep you informed about different and interesting subjects. As a federative organisation, it is essential that our members, the breeders, the judges, the exhibitors be kept updated with the activities organised by the national canine organisations, with the routine that makes their daily work or with the different working championships as we also want to focus on the work, the missions, the functions that our dogs are able to perform.

We shall keep taking time to make you a bit more familiar with our national canine organisations by allocating them a specific space. In the issue you are about to read, we have chosen to highlight our Ecuadorian member, AERCAN.

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Yves De Clercq
FCI Executive Director
Mouscron celebrates its 40th edition!

It is interesting to find out what makes the success of something and what not. Belgium has several shows, most of them in Flanders. Kortrijk is probably the most famous, and Brussels is its biggest challenger. Shows in Wallonia have struggled and some disappeared like La Louvière and Namur. Charleroi is back but still recovering. But the two remaining shows however are doing very well, Liège on one side and Mouscron on the other side of the linguistic border that divides Belgium. The success of Mouscron has been lasting now for 40 years already, time to celebrate!

© Karl Donvil
Best in show
Judge: Mrs Ganami-Kertes (Israel)
Breed: Pekingese
Dog: Guillaume the Conqueror Vannjty
Owner: Lassero - Richard (France)

It all started in 1974 with a small show for dogs of Group 1 and 2 only on The Nekker in large tents and had a modest entry of 130 dogs. The second edition was a CAC and was held in a Fiat garage, enough to hold 425 dogs. That accommodation proved too small after 3 years, even when in the meantime the show was spread over 2 days. Another location was found to accommodate the show for the coming years as it was still growing. A closed factory offered a solution, large enough to accept no less than 2,014 entries in 1983, the largest entry they ever had. For many years the club felt comfortable there but then they had to move again and in 1984 they moved to the cosy restored hall where they still are now, with one exception in 1990 when the show was held in Tournai.

The current expo halls are charming and cosy, but parking is a real problem and space is limited. On Sunday, however, the nearby supermarkets opened their parking areas to offer more parking space. It is always very crowded on this show.

© Karl Donvil
Best in show
Judge: Mrs Ganami-Kertes (Israel)

A look at the catalogue shows us much respect for all those who are no longer with us but who contributed a lot to the success of this show, honorary members and presidents. They all get their place in the catalogue and this way are not forgotten. This is a very nice gesture. There is also a place reserved for the winner of last edition. The helpers, ring stewards, (much appreciated) restaurant staff, breeders and judges who are members of the club were all mentioned too but unfortunately, the only flaw is that there are no statistics. So I need to go over the participants list to have an idea. My eyes fall immediately on a few entries from the United Kingdom, some from Russia and several Finns, which has probably a reason since the 3 Finnish Judges. Foreign judges always bring some compatriot-exhibitors with them. A massive number of exhibitors crossed the Southern border, a usual situation here in Mouscron. Mouscron is a border town to France. The influence from the Netherlands and Germany is nothing compared to other Belgian shows. On Saturday, due to the discomfort caused by the lack of parking, smaller groups were planned and it worked as only 763 dogs were to be shown on that day. Due to the bad weather that day many of them did not turn up. The weather forecast for Sunday was better but the morning could still cause serious trouble and it did due to frozen glass. The committee gave orders to open the doors an hour earlier but even that was not enough to prevent a queue waiting to enter the halls. It promised to be a very busy day as a remaining more than thousand dogs were to be exhibited. However, to face these problems a strong team of judges was invited, 17 in total, 8 Belgian, 3 Finns, one from Israel, one from Norway, one from Russia, one from Slovenia, another from Ireland and one from Latvia. Some of them were very, very busy, like Mrs De Ridder from Belgium. She had 108 dogs on Sunday, not an abnormal number if you know that she had the Chinese Crested Dogs (36) and Chihuahueños (41). She finished the weekend as second most popular judge of the weekend with 163 dogs. Mr Deschuymere, secretary of the Mouscron club, came very close. He was relaxed on Saturday with only 25 dogs, but a hundred more were waiting for him on Sunday, including 43 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. With 125 dogs on one day he was the best scoring judge for Sunday and he finished with 150 dogs for the weekend. Another good scoring judge was Mrs V. Klucniece from Latvia. She had 29 Bulldogs and 32 Great Danes on Saturday and 99 dogs on Sunday, 62 French Bulldogs, the best scoring breed, and 29 Pugs. Mrs M. Kavcic from Slovenia was pretty busy on Saturday as she had 86 dogs to judge. Her popular breed that day was the Newfoundlander with 38 specimens. With the 71 dogs of Sunday she had a total score of 157 entries. Mr and Mrs Lehkonen-Heikkinen (Finland) were the hit of the week-end. They were good for 330 dogs or over 18% of the entries. Mr Lehkonen had no less than 109 dogs on Saturday, the best score on Saturday. These popular breeds helped him to reach this number; 22 Bull Terriers, 33 Staffordshire Bull Terriers and 42 American Staffordshire Terriers. Sunday didn’t bring him any relief. He had 102 entries, including 46 Labradors and 50 Golden Retrievers. His total for the weekend was 211, which made him finish on the first place. Best In Show judging was an honour granted to Mrs A. Ganami-Kertes from Israel. She had 68 dogs on Saturday and managed to attract 26 Dogues de Bordeaux and 17 Mastiffs to Mouscron. On Sunday she had 78 dogs when she did all the Poodle varieties and some companion breeds. With a total of 146 entries, she proved to have been a good “investment”. Mrs Ganami was asked to select only two dogs, the BIS and the ResBIS. Her Reserve went to the Weimaraner “Grey Classic’s I Kick Azz” a two-year old Champion male, bred by Kristina and Edwin Lenaerts from Belgium. The dog was judged by Mrs P. Heikkinen, who also selected it for the finals when judging the Group in the main ring. The title of BIS went to France, where Pascal and Eric Lassero-Richard are taking care of “Vannjty Guillaume The Conqueror”, the 17-month old Pekingese male. Mr Deschuymere judged it on Sunday when he won from 8 competitors. Mrs V. Klucniece (Latvia) offered it the cup of the group and its ticket for the finals. The owners could take it home safely as on Sunday afternoon the sun showed up, announcing the end of the Belgian winter. I can give you the dates for next year, 25 and 26 of January, so that you can reserve that date right now.

Text and photos: Karl Donvil
Results: U.C.M.