They managed it! Who would have dared put their money on the FCI European Section's 2012 Show in Bucharest being such a resounding success? Victim of a smear campaign on the social networks (what power, what strength, often positive but at times also very harmful), the Asociatia Chinologica Romana (AchR) was able to keep a cool head, rising to the challenge and attracting more than 6,000 dogs to the Romanian capital. The AChR was able to leverage the smear campaign against it to promote the show, and the least we can say is that it was very successful in doing so. Congratulations to the whole Romanian team, brilliantly led by Mr C. Stefanescu and Mr P. Muntean.

Unfortunately, three of the canine world’s top personalities have recently left us and the FCI would like to pay tribute to them here...

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Yves De Clercq
FCI Executive Director
FCI European Section Show 2012 in Bucharest (RO) – 5-7 October

Never before had an FCI European Section Show so much bad luck as this one. I still remember Petru Muntean jumping up out of joy next to Christian Stefanescu (respectively Vice-president and President of the Romanian Kennel Club) when the FCI flag was handed over to them last year in Leeuwarden. But then, when the deadline (August 31st) to enter was there, their counter was only at 2,237 dogs while 12 to 15,000 dogs were expected. The committee was desperate and started to cancel a lot of judges and postponed the entry date to September 11th and finally closed at 6,157 dogs. What happened?

© Karl Donvil

Romania is a beautiful country, but many people consider it as a very unsafe country with bad roads and where corruption is the rule. As if this was not enough, an unfair campaign started against the show with regard to the cruelties against the way street dogs are treated. More gossip was spread via Facebook and photos of judges taken during the Black Sea Winner shows in order to discredit them. The storm was heavy, very heavy, but first of all very unfair. Bucharest is a modern city, with many nice, new buildings and is no longer unsafe compared to any other big city. Bucharest is rather hip and young and it was nice wandering in the streets. And yes, there were street dogs and they all had a yellow badge in the ear, which means they were sterilised. During the days of dictator Ceaucescu, a lot of villages were abandoned and destroyed, forcing its inhabitants to move to the cities. Most of the dogs in the villages were left behind and started to become a big problem. And what happens when poor people want to solve this problem? They don’t put them into shelters as this is expensive and they don’t have money to pay vets to euthanise them or sterilise them. They use methods that look very cruel in our eyes, but that are as old as history itself. Those methods are not more cruel than the killing of sheep, cows, chicken, pigs… A boycott for this reason is unfair, totally unfair. What I consider as one of the main problems is Facebook.

How bad was Romania then? Bad? It was not bad at all, on the contrary. I was pleasantly surprised in many ways. Notwithstanding all the problems they had to face, the organisers did a fantastic job. Amazing to see that they were able to turn this show into one of the best ever. I questioned several exhibitors but they were all very enthusiastic. Expressions like “nice people, great show, friendly atmosphere, efficient friendly security, nice country, great trip, terrific showground” were common. No way to find complaints, not even from exhibitors from the USA and the UK who are used to other criteria.

© Karl Donvil

The showground was located on the outskirts of the city, easily accessible and with plenty of parking around. A kind of boulevard was leading to the circular arena that dominated the area. It was an impressive sight. Due to half of the expected number of dogs, only 3 halls were in use. Rings were 12 by 12 meters and, for some breeds, this was very small. Nonetheless there were grooming areas in every hall. And even if one knows that there was a lack of space, some handlers managed to reserve plenty of space for them, fencing themselves in and not caring about other people, visitors and dogs. Outside on the boulevard there was a kind of market place where locals had rented a wooden stand and were selling local goods, knitwear, food and woodcraft. In the middle of the boulevard were some big outdoor rings. Fortunately there was plenty of sunshine, it was warm but pleasant and bearable thanks to the dry air. These rings were reserved for the German Shepherds and the Caucasian and local shepherd breeds. The arena had 3 floors. The ground floor was for the main ring and the demonstrations, the collecting ring and the preparing area. On the first and second floors you had all the trade stands, Kennel Clubs and Breed clubs. Nothing was wide apart.

Prior to the FCI European Section Show there were several shows in the country, including the famous Dracula Show the weekend before. On Thursday was the first show in Bucharest, the Bucharest Winner & Interra Show, with about 2500 entries. Judging during the day was perfectly scheduled and it ended all well in time. But for the main ring, knowing that all 10 groups, puppies, juniors etc., had to pass the review, no wonder that the show finished very late. Friday, the first day of the FCI European Section Show, was also a busy day as there were 4 groups, groups 3, 4, 5 and 7. Every day there was another theme in the main ring. On Friday it was the Roman era: 5 girls and 2 boys, all models I suppose, were dressed in a Roman tunic. Saturday was devoted to the roaring twenties when Bucharest was called “little Paris of the East“ and had one the finest periods in its history. On Sunday the models were dressed modern while the boys had local clothes on. The light in the main ring was nice, but could have been a little brighter during the judging. Dimming the lights when the judge is introduced and when the dogs come in is always nice, but once the judging starts, it is better to have a bright view. The podium was more than correct. The evening programme was well attended, especially on Saturday and surely on Sunday. Saturday was late again. Groups 2, 6 and 10 were up, while on Sunday we had groups 1, 8 and 9, plus the finals. The Romanian Kennel Club is helping to set up a national sterilising programme for street dogs by co-financing a mobile veterinary unit. It is always better to solve a problem from inside as this has a better and more stable result on the long term. Dog shows are one of the means to teach people, to instruct them and to show that our world is more beautiful in the company of healthy and happy dogs.

© Karl Donvil

As could be expected, the biggest entry was from Russia – 1819 -, followed by Romania with 1183 dogs. I had expected many more dogs from Hungary but only 378 turned up, less than from Ukraine that had 436. Italy had also 378 entries. Great Britain had 22, Mexico 11, Chile 3, the same as Indonesia, Korea, San Marino and the USA. There were even 4 dogs entered from Egypt. Columbia had 2 dogs entered, Azerbaijan, Canada, China and Puerto Rico had one dog. Absolutely worth mentioning are the 16 entries from Thailand. In total 52 countries were represented. Only about half the number of the judges who were initially planned were officiating. It must have been a nightmare to reschedule them all only a few weeks before the show and to face all the questions and frustrations of the exhibitors who suddenly had someone else to judge their breed. Fortunately I heard no serious complaints about this, as if they all understood the problems and felt sorry for the organizing club.

The honour to judge Best In Show was granted to Vice-president Petru Muntean and I can assure you that he was looking forward to do this. He had some very good dogs from all over Europe. His number 3 was the Flat Coated Retriever “Win-A-Latte” bred and owned by Carina Östman Borlänge, from Sweden. Mrs Van Brempt, from Belgium, had judged the breed earlier that day and chose it out of 20 competitors. Mr Andras Korozs, from Hungary, made it “Best of Group”. Mr Paul Stanton, from Sweden, had judged the Afghan Hounds during the day and chose “Oudry Gandamak” out of the 39 Afghans present. Mr Gerard Jipping, from the Netherlands, gave the ticket for the finals when judging the group. “Oudry” ended up res BIS. It is proudly owned by Csilla Bakos, from Hungary.

I think it is the very first time ever that a dog from the United Kingdom was chosen BIS at an FCI European Section Show or World Show. “Zentarr Morgan” made history. This Lhasa Apso was the choice of Mrs Yolanda Nagler from Israel –she had 29 in her ring- and the Group 9 winner of Mr Francesco Cochetti from Italy.

Zentarr Morgan is co-owned by Stefano Paolantoni, from Italy, and M.D. Anderson from the United Kingdom.

The Bucharest FCI 2012 European Section Show will enter history as a show of extremes. Notwithstanding all the bad publicity the committee had to face they had the courage to go on and show the world that challenging them has an adverse effect . Those who came over to show in Bucharest returned home happy and probably satisfied too. Romania is a beautiful country, has great hospitality, a safe capital, nice people and a heart for dogs. The future of the Romanian street dogs looks a little brighter after the show. The intention of the Romanian Kennel Club was sincere, they will fight the bad reputation with regard to their street dogs and teach their people about the many benefits they can get from their dogs, about how to treat them and care for them. That way is long and not easy, but it is also the way to follow for many other countries too. Instead of opposing them, let’s stand with them and grant them a fair chance to prove that they can manage it. This FCI European Section Show is a fine start for this, they can really be proud.

Karl Donvil

Results: Romanian Kennel Club & ShowTailors

© Romanian Kennel Club
BIS Judge : Petru Muntean
1) 1) Lhasa Apso ZENTARR MORGAN (Stefano Paolantoni & M D Anderson)
2) Afghan Hound OUDRY GANDAMAK (Csilla Bakos, Hungary)
3) Flat Coated Retriever CACI´S WIN-A-LATTE (Carina Östman, Sweden)

Group winners

© Karl Donvil
Old English Sheepdog BOTTOM SHAKER MY SECRET (Jozsef Koroknai)
© Karl Donvil
Russian Black Terrier OSKAR YABLUNEVYI TSVIT (Irina Yablonka, Ukraine)
© Karl Donvil
Kerry Blue Terrier ROLLICK'S SUPER HERO (Owner Ivana Bilic & Igor Mioc, Croatia)
© Karl Donvil
Dachshund Standard Wire-haired MAGICAROMA Array
© Karl Donvil
Pharaoh Hound REEDLY ROAD ILLUMINATED (Maria Evteeva, Russia)
© Karl Donvil
Basset Hound BASSJOY CRAZY NIGHT (Mariano Galan, Spain)
© Karl Donvil
© Karl Donvil
Flat Coated Retriever CACI´S WIN-A-LATTE (Owner Carina Östman, Sweden)
© Karl Donvil
Lhasa Apso ZENTARR MORGAN (Stefano Paolantoni & M D Anderson)
© Karl Donvil
FCI 10
Judge : Gerard Jipping
Afghan Hound OUDRY GANDAMAK (Owner Csilla Bakos, Hungary)

Full Results by day: