Sweden recently hosted one of the world’s most important canine events, as more than 22,000 competitors thronged to the capital city of Stockholm from July 3 through 6, for the Fédération Cynologique Internationale’s World Dog Show.
Nearly ten thousand dogs and their handlers represented the host country, followed by neighboring Finland and Russia who also sent a large number of entrants. Uruguay, India, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Argentina, and Chile sent one competitor apiece, while the United States boasted a total of 86. Sixty nations participated in total, and 50,000 visiting spectators and curious dog lovers passed through the admission gates.
Show organizers offered a wide and colorful array of entertainment, with competitive obedience, freestyle dancing, and dozens of trade booths displayed. A “four seasons” theme ran throughout, with each day’s opening presentation highlighting traditional customs, foods, and holidays.
Also featured were Sweden’s native dog breeds; the Jamthund and Hallesforshund; the Drever, White Elkhound, and Norrbottenspets; the Hamilton, Schiller, Smaland, and Gotland Hounds, the Danish/Swedish Farmdog, and the Swedish Vallhund and Lapphund. The simple yet artful descriptions of these working breeds not only educated, but went a long way to provide a glimpse into the life and routine of the Scandinavian hunter and those who rely on these dogs.
Not surprisingly, Sweden fielded most of the breed and Group winners, but it was the Sealyham Terrier American/Canadian Ch. Efbe’s Hidalgo At Goodspice who took the fancy of judge Kenneth Edh and walked away with the supreme title of World Winner Best in Show. Bred in Canada by France Bergeron, “Charmin” is a familiar face to North American dog show fans; owner-handler Margery Good guided him to a Terrier Group win at this years’ Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, and Best in Show at the 2007 Eukanuba National Championships. Taking the runner-up position was Sweden’s 2007 top show dog of all breeds, the Pharaoh Hound Ch. Northgates As You Like It.
The 2009 World Dog Show will be held in the city of Bratislava, in Slovakia.
Dawne Deeley is a contributing columnist to Dogs in Review.