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news - 08/11/2006
Poznan Day 1 - Poland

by Karl DonvilPOZNAN WORLD DOG SHOW BREAKS MANY RECORDS (6000 Photos!) It was a little beyond expectations, but there were rumours going on about huge entry numbers for this years edition of the World Dog Show, which would be organized by the Polish Kennel Club in Poznan.

It was not the first time that the Polish Kennel Club organized a big event as a few years ago, they could practice already organising the European Dog Show in 2000 with a nice entry of almost 9000 dogs. Obviously they proved to have done this very well. 19.766 dogs were in competition for the title of World Champion 2006. The total entry of dogs, which also includes those participation in other disciplines like Obedience and Agility, was around 20,839 dogs divided over 354 different breeds, a spectacular number, indeed. Some well very well represented/ Most popular breeds were the Labradors with 432, followed by the American Staffordshire Terriers with 414, the Goldens with 386, surprisingly good were the Yorkshire Terriers with no less then 301 specimen. The Dachshunds were all together with almost 1000, which proves that in those countries they are still very popular hunting dogs that also are very convenient to have in the house. Another nice entry are the Chinese Cresteds with 256 entries. This clearly illustrates the rising popularity of the breed. And over hundred Nizinnies were entered as the best represented native breed. The Gonczy Polski was the last of the Polish breeds that was still not recognized. At this show they were judged by a team of specialists from the FCI in order to finally recognize the breed as the 4th native breed. With 68 entries it was possible now to have a good overview of the progeny of the breed and the breed was officially accepted which was proudly announced on the very last day of the show.

The overall impression about this show was one of very few complaints from as well the visitors as the exhibitors. Although the information concerning the subscriptions was very late, probably due to the unexpected number of entries, there was hardly any problem during the show. Everybody seemed to be pleased. Best represented country was of course Poland itslef, with 5993 dogs. Next was Russia with 2238 entries, then the Czech Republic with 1704, Germany with 1641, and Italy with 1410. In total no less then 54 countries were represented. The USA had 57 entries, the UK no less then 97. Dogs were entered from as far as Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, Argentina, Mexico and Uruguay etc.

The halls were not connected with each other and that meant a lot of walking. Fortunately the weather was pretty good during the 4 days of the show, excepts for a little bit of rain now and then, and for Polish standards it was not very cold. In the days before the show it had already snowed 20cm! This was probably a good reason why so many visitors turned up, especially on Saturday and Sunday. With 30.000 of them it was, together with the number of exhibitors and dogs, the biggest event ever held in the Poznan halls and one of the most successful in Poland itself. It is a fact that Poland has developed a lot, but it still shows a lot of aspects of its Socialist heritage. One of these aspects was the fact that most of the halls could only be entered with stairs and there are still no slopes for wheelchairs or benches on wheels.

But the halls themselves are very modern now, which bright light inside, clear floors and comfortable temperature inside. The staff in charge of cleaning deserves a bonus as everything was done to up droppings as fast as possible and every morning again the halls looked like it was on the first day of the show.

Although the commercial stands were not so numerous, most of them were almost sold out after the second day, no complaints from that side anyway! Finding food like a simple sandwich was not so easy, it seems that Poland has other customs and the fastfood snacks were unfamiliar to foreigners. The trade stands for dogfood companies were showing well that the golden years passed by. The huge impressive palaces, build for these occasions are obviously history now. But they are all still there, trying to impress each other.

I very much liked the exhibition near the main ring on пїЅchildren and dogsпїЅ. The paintings were пїЅhigh classпїЅ and represented countries from all over the world. It was not clear whether they were made by children or adults, but some of them were so good that they could hang in every art gallery in the world. It was only a pity that they were poorly framed.

The rings in general were nice and big. No cages were available or for rent. The main ring itself was big enough for the individual judging, it was the collecting ring behind the main ring that was too small. Especially for the groups and progeny classes it was impossible to have a nice overview and it would have been better to had them judged in the regular rings. This would at least have prevented that some breeds were represented in several groups and couples. If only the winning groups or couples would have been allowed in the main ring for the finals it would certainly have reduced the number of dogs in the main ring at one time. Now it gave an impression of chaos as many times the groups had to move closer all the time to get them all in the ring.

Together with the fact that the complete results were available every day on the internet one could think that almost everything was OK. Unfortunately a few remarks can be made. Admitted that this was a huge organisation, it was not clear who was in charge of what. The press, for example, had a special place reserved, but it was not fenced. Everybody could sit there. Nobody seemed to be responsible for them. On the second day it went better as someone turned up to help, but every time a suggestion was done, they pointed to different people who could be in charge. After all, the people from the organisation were very friendly and gave a very relaxed impression. But for an event like this it could be better to have a little more security around to keep order.

I had expected the main ring program to offer a little more spectacle in general. Especially on the first day, the show ended rather late (9PM). But also this seemed to improve as days went by. The finals and the ceremony part were a little dull, compared to what we had seen from their neighbours at the Eurodogshow in Bratislava a few years ago where there was plenty of animation between the judgings of the groups. Here we had only some life music band and a group of folkloristic musicians and singers, no spectacle from Mexico, the next organising country or some other performance before the finals. The light in the main ring was bright. but there were no effects or spots, it remained the very same every evening, even for the Best in Show.

The catalogues were very thick and heavy as half of it was nothing else but publicity, but it had no statistics and no detailed program with judges for the main ring.

I only know that about 130 judged officiated on this show. I donпїЅt know the name of the judge who did Best In Show. I just know that he is the oldest, and probably the most experienced judge in Poland. His choice for the 3th place was the very nice Maltese from Thailand пїЅBEACH GIRL Funny LadiesпїЅ, owned by Nanta Tansacha, was showing the same qualities as its kennelmate Seagarl who won several BIS in Europe and Best of Group in Tulln last year during the European Dogshow. Second BIS went to пїЅEMPERIOR KING OF HELLULAND Skipper'sпїЅ another dog that has a famous relative, the winner of the Eurodogshow in Helsinki пїЅSkipper's King of HellulandпїЅ. Emperior King is owned by Mr.Siklosi from Hungaria. Best In Show went to the nice Bracco Italiano (Italian Pointing Dog): пїЅAXEL del Monte AlagoпїЅ. The dog is from Italy and is owned by Ahrens. This dog was favourite to the public and deserved to win, as he was just in one word пїЅSPECTACULAR!пїЅ

Next World Dog Show is held in Mexico from 24 till 27 may. It will not be a record with regard to the entries, but it will certainly be a very spectacular show, and as we know that the previous edition had an unbelievable number of visitors (300.000!) it looks to very promising to me.

Text and photos: Karl DONVIL