Thuin, Canine Capital of the World!

In 1954 the General Secretariat of the FCI settled in Thuin. It is curious to note that dog lovers throughout the world know the name of the town in which the FCI operates and offers the services that its 13 employees provide on a daily basis. Thuin now figures on the world map in the hearts of all dog enthusiasts on all continents! This is a reality that, although not on a grand scale, has not escaped the town’s elected representatives, who have on several occasions expressed their delight in counting an international organisation celebrating its centenary amongst their population of 14,650 inhabitants!

Conscious of the role that the FCI plays as an ambassador for Thuin, Philippe Blanchart – Acting Mayor – and the Town Council have named the city “Canine Capital of the World”. In this centenary year, this designation crowns the good relations between the FCI and the town that welcomes the Federation by focusing attention on Thuin, which would become a Mecca for dog fanciers, providing a positive window to the world by displaying knowledge, projects, initiatives and other breakthroughs concerning an animal that in this day and age has an important place in our society.

What could therefore be more natural than this designation knowing that Saint Roch, the Patron Saint of Thuin, is also the protector of animals and frequently portrayed with his dog?

Marie Luna Durán
FCI Marketing and Public Relations Manager
Dortmund combines VDH-Europasieger with FCI Centenary Winner Dog Show

Double Shows are not new and usually are very attractive for owners/handlers as they can win several awards and titles or become Champion in one week-end. For the organizations, double shows are interesting too. The work is more than for one show but much less than for two separate shows and certainly a lot cheaper. Judges can be invited to officiate two days for different breeds. For the price of an extra night in the hotel and restaurant costs, you organise an extra show. For a show of the size of Dortmund it is certainly worth it. Germany was one of the founding countries of the FCI, along with Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Austria. France will organize the FCI Centenary World Dog Show, the Netherlands the FCI Centenary European Dog Show and Belgium the FCI Centenary Champion of Champions, leaving Germany with another initiative to celebrate the 100 years of the FCI. It was decided to have a combined show with the traditional VDH-Europasieger, a qualifying show called the FCI Centenary Winner Dog Show, for the FCI Centenary Champion of Champions.

© Karl Donvil

12,028 entries were registered for this show, 5,868 for the Europasieger and 6,160 for the FCI Centenary Winner Dog Show. Of course the number of different dogs is around 6,000 as probably all dogs that were entered for the Europasieger were also entered for the FCI show. The halls of Dortmund are large enough to combine this show with a cat show and a Pet exhibition, but I didn’t visit it and I suppose very few dog people have seen the other shows. The weather was excellent for leisure activities and that is probably the only reason why the number of visitors was a little below expectations, but still enough with 51,000 visitors. This is 9,000 visitors less than the 60,000 that were expected. At the start of the catalogue, in the forewords, I learned that no less than 176 judges officiated, coming from 24 countries. 66 were from countries other than Germany and from as far as Argentina, the United States and Canada. The exhibitors represented even more countries, 34 to be specific. Much appreciated was the free cup of coffee and the special-edition FCI Centenary Winner Dog Show & Europasieger free mug, offered by the VDH (organizers) and Eukanuba.

Online I found more information and I could read that also for this show the most popular breeds were the Golden (146) and Labrador (113) Retrievers, Rhodesian Ridgebacks (134), Bernese Mountain Dogs (104) and German Shepherds (122) of course, as we are in Germany. These were the figures for the FCI Centenary Winner Dog Show. Rare breeds were the Aidi, Bernese Hound, Bouvier des Ardennes, Broholmer, Cao Fila de San Miguel, Chart Polski, Ciobanese Romanesc Mioritic, Danish-Swedisch Farmdog, Deutscher Wachtelhund, Français blanc et Orange and the Français Tricolore, Gonczy Polski, Hamiltonstövare, Jura Laufhund type Bruno, Schwyzer Laufhund and Niederlaufhund, Slovenky Kopov, Tornjak and the Wetterhoun. On Friday there was a Press Conference of the FCI. Not only were all planned festivities clearly explained but the Press and VIP’s were introduced to Cobby, the mascot of the FCI, an idea of president Hans Müller, similar to the Olympic Games. You’ll certainly meet Cobby in the coming months.

© Karl Donvil
BIS Europasieger

The show showed what “Deutscher Grundlichkeit” (German Perfectionism) means. I didn’t hear any complaints from exhibitors. Of course there will certainly have been some with remarks, but compared to other shows it is more than good. In general this show has a lot of trade stands as this show attracts a big number of visitors. On Friday I even saw several schools. The halls are large and spacious enough for a show of this size and are easily accessible via the motorways. The main ring was nice to look at, with very nice light. On one long side were the VIP and Press Area, opposite the main sponsors had their stand. On both sides were grandstands for the public. Spotlights highlighted the dogs very precisely, a pleasant sight to look at and a joy for the photographers (usually it is the opposite). The dogs entered the main ring via a central door with pillars that were decorated with FCI and VDH logos. Although no special décor was built for this event, like we often see in World and European Dog Shows, I liked the main ring very much, not exaggerated, no special effects that can cause troubles to see the dogs or what happens, just good light, bright, well focused and neutral in color, essential to make good photos. On the other hand the time schedule was very strict because of the two shows and the two main ring programs every evening, so that the show ended at a very reasonable hour , even on Sunday for the finals.

Two shows means two finals too and two Best in Show. The first was the VDH-Europasieger. 3rd place went to “Filisite Brash Celebration”, the Scottish Terrier that we met at Crufts last year. Handler Popva Valentina is from Russia. The Leonberger “Amicus Optimus Antoniu”s, a real giant, is owned by Kuharskaya also from Russia. And to make the troika complete, the BIS title went to the Welsh Corgi Pembroke “Andvol Pinkerton” owned by Olga Shuvalova from Moscow. It was Mr Horst Kleibenstein from Germany who judged BIS. The FCI Centenary Winner Dog Show was judged by, who else, Mr Hans Müller himself, President of the FCI. His 3rd place went to the Wire-haired Miniature Dachshund “Magik Rainbow Brabus”, again a dog from Russia owned by Grishina E. Res BIS was the American Akita “De Kaner’s Wolverine Revenge”, from Italy, owned by Diestro Nati. And Best in Show went to Hungary, to the Tibetan Terrier “Atisha’s Blanc De Noir”. The lucky owner is Eva Füzeseri.

© Karl Donvil
BIS FCI Centenary Winner Dog Show

Up now to the next FCI Centenary show, the FCI Centenary World Dog Show in Paris. You will certainly meet all these winners there too.