45th Euro Dog Show- Nov 2008
11 Feb 2009
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45th Euro Dog Show , Kortrijk , Belgium
( V.Z.W. Vlaanderens Rashondenfestival )
15th & 16th November 2008.
Mr. Partha Sekhar Chatterjee was judge at this grand event and here is his experience about this show:
I have just about completed 20 years as an International All Breeds Dog Judge – all these while only judging in the southern hemisphere – and this was my first fling at EUROPE , that too in Belgium the country that hosts the FCI , headquarters.
I was excited indeed when this invitation had come to me through the recommendation of a judge friend with whom I had judged some 2 years back. Not having any experience of EUROPEAN SHOWS except only from videos and information given to me from friends who had been to EUROPEAN SHOWS before.
The non stop flight from Mumbai to the European hub BRUSSELS was a near 9 and half hour flight . From Brussels , it is an hours drive to the beautiful old town of KORTRIJK . After checking into the Hotel Kennedy Park I went into the town to have a look around. I saw the ancient belfry, St. Martin's church (13th. Century) and also the twin Broel Towers on the banks of the river Leie. The towers are the last remaining medieval fortification for the old city of Kortrijk. The town hall was also built in the gothic revival style and had some very interesting and ancient stained glass windows, "low country" tiles and stone carvings of the 11 Dukes of Flanders in ancient times. The building also contained some early maps of the region, which I thought was interesting.
Next day was the first day of the show – the big yellow BUS came to pick up all the Judges from the hotel exactly at 8.50 a.m. to drive us to the venue the Xpo , which was a stones throw from our hotel. On arrival at this huge , huge Xpo at Kortrijk the 51 odd judges from about 15 countries qued up to collect our judges badges and breed details and ring numbers where our stewards were waiting to start the show at 10 .00 am. So that left us enough time to have a cup of coffee we walked of to our respective rings.
There were about 25 rings in operation with one main ring where all the show specials and other events of general interests like agility, etc. At other times throughout the day demonstrations by beautiful canines of all shapes and sizes were on display throughout the day offering entertainment to the thousands of spectators who kept pouring in to watch this mega event at the Xpo. The Show specials were held from 4.00 p.m. on Saturday and also on Sunday finishing of with the Best in Show, which was watched by a packed crowd from all around the main arena.
The show attracted about 3000 entries coming in from several countries – with stalls selling practically everything canine that one would expect to get in a big show of this magnitude. Finally I must admit that the organisation was excellent – and every detail was well planned. To sum up I must say it was a job well done to Secretary General Mr. Joel Vanlerberghe and his most efficient team of officers who need to be congratulated on a job well done.
- Partha Sekhar Chatterjee