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
European Dog Show in Bucharest (RO) 5-7 October
Interview with Susan Tweedie, UK breeder of Portuguese Water Dogs
© Karl Donvil

How often do you participate in FCI shows?

I have been showing in Europe since 2000. I normally go to 8 to 10 FCI shows a year

How do you choose the FCI dog shows you take part in? According to section, to country,… ?

Countries easy to reach from Calais or Hoek v Holland – will consider most shows. If further afield I tend to look for a cluster of shows (e.g Denmark had 4 shows at Vejen, Sweden had 4 shows in Vadstena). Alternatively, if a ‘circuit’ of several shows can be done in a week – Copenhagen, Oslo then on to Stockholm for Club & World shows.

What is your motivation to come to an event like this?

Enjoy the competition of World and European Shows. Also the opportunity to see a different culture and curious about Romania.

How high were you expectations on this show (European Dog Show) compared to other dog shows?

Not very sure what to expect. A lot of mis-information before the show. We found ShowTailors & Melinda from the Dracula Show very helpful when making the entries for the week.

What were the positive/negative points of this show?

Positives: Romexpo is a lovely venue & in easy reach of Bucharest if you wanted to explore. Everyone was very helpful and& it was nice that the majority of information was in English. Rings were clearly marked. The venue was kept spotless.

Negatives: Would have liked more thorough pre-judging in the groups, with judges giving all dogs a hands-on assessment (as is normal in the UK).

Crufts Stall – as a UK exhibitor, very disappointed that this appeared to be unmanned for the majority of the time. Also, the information was in English only – unlike the other Europeans who accept that not everyone has full knowledge of their language!!!

Were you pleased with the halls, the organisation in general?

Exceeded expectations. After a bit of a problem with where to park the MotorHome, this was speedily sorted out by the Show organisers (to the annoyance of the Security guard who wanted us to park at the furthest point of the carpark). Electric and Water hook-ups were connected very speedily and Expo staff very helpful.

Some judges were not very clear on their placings – many exhibitors not entirely sure what they had won until they picked up the award sheets. Would have preferred if these were handed out on completion of class or breed rather than end of the ring judging, as mistakes and corrections were sometimes difficult to confirm.

Show organisation seemed very efficient. Possible only grumble at the Bucharest show was being told to move when sitting on some steps (directly behind the judges) whilst waiting to go in the group. Was told to sit in the grandstand but was unable to get to the seating with the dogs, so had to stand in the balcony for a couple of hours.

How was the flow of information? (registration, internet info, catalogue, signs, information desk, etc.)?

Overall very good. Registration was easy and catalogue clear to understand. Internet info sometimes misleading (e.g. grooming area payment), but this was soon clarified by emails before the show.

Very nice to get the Ch. certificates by the close of the show – they dealt with the mammoth paperwork & queries very well.

Noticed that the daily ring listings were not changed in the halls – on Sunday the Friday listings were still up. This was possibly the only minor grumble.

In your opinion, what is the main issue concerning dogs to be dealt with urgently (breeder point of view, general public point of view)?

Breeder: Main concern is that all breeders consider temperament and health of parents and puppies as top priorities. Breed ‘type’ is important, but should not be detrimental to health. Judges should be aware of this – their placings can have a profound effect on the future breeding plans.

General: The public needs to consider the welfare of the dogs. There are signs that Romania is starting to understand this, but it is a slow process. They need encouraging to buy puppies from the breeders establishment rather than from ‘back of a car’ or where the origin is unknown.

You live in UK; in your opinion, what would be the difference between a dog show organised there and an FCI one?

Apart from the obvious group differences, the FCI shows allow for more showmanship and the spectators are more enthusiastic. The Group placings from 4th to 1st is better and I like the fact that Brace, Breeders, Juniors and Veterans are also considered an important part of the show.

The grading system is very useful and I like the fact that judges will withhold awards - in the UK very few judges have the courage to do so.

At FCI shows I liked getting an immediate critique on the dog and do feel that for the entry fees paid this should be compulsory, if none is given, the exhibitors have no idea why they got their grade or placing. It also showed whether a judge knew the breed, especially when they praise a fault. In the UK, judges have to submit a report to either of the two weekly dog papers. These may appear many weeks later but everyone can read it.

Any other special comment for the readers of the FCI NL?

For anyone who thought Romania could not hold a successful European show – how wrong you were.

Super atmosphere, friendly people, great venue – kept very clean. Some of the previous World and European shows appeared to have far more problems.

I would recommend a visit to their shows – just don’t rely on SatNav. A new TomTom arrived from Appeldorn on the Tuesday before we left, but still could not find the way from Dracula shows to Wine Gate Keepers show. A helpful policeman in Ploiesti drew a map on the back of a ring card for us.

Thank you very much for your cooperation!

Interview : Marie Luna Durán
Marketing and Public Relations