At the end of the year there is always the big Winner Show in Helsinki, held at the huge Fair Center and now consisting of two one-day shows instead of a single two-day show. The entry dropped a little from last year: Saturday had just over 6,200 dogs entered, Sunday 7,100, with 315 breeds or varieties shown in 98 rings, and participants representing 18 nationalities. There was also agility, heelwork to music, flyball, rescue dog display, the junior handlers’ finale, lectures and stuffed toy dogs for the children. There were dozens of trade stands and most breed clubs had a booth providing information about their breeds. About 30,000 spectators came to see the shows.
The Fair Center is adding a new hall and more parking space, so in 2014, when the World Show will be held in these premises, there will be space enough for any kind of mammoth show.
There were over a hundred international judges. Some came long distances, such as Passiri Nisalak and Apiwut Kasemsanta from Thailand, Philip John from India, Jacqueline Quiros-Kubat from Argentina and Abderrahim el Baroudi from Morocco. AKC chairman Ron Menaker judged one of the Sporting Dog Groups one day.
It was very cold and lots of snow, which must have provided an exotic experience for judges coming from warmer climes.
No dog managed to win its Group both days, although some placed. On Saturday BIS judge Dan Ericsson from Sweden, well-known and widely traveled all-rounder, put up the Bulldog Ch. Black Hope Brando, Finland’s Top Dog two years ago, and also shown in the U.K. where he won his champion title and some Groups.
The top dog this year, Norwich Terrier Ch. Nanstop Polkagris, could not compete in the Group, although he had won BOB, because the Group judge, Kari Salminen, is the father of the dog’s breeder and handler Nan Salminen.
As reserve BIS Dan Ericsson chose a young Pharaoh Hound from Sweden, Farao Anubis Golden Gait, not yet a champion, because he is less than 2 years old (the qualifying CC must be won after a dog has turned 2 years old). Third was a dog of the country’s most popular breed, the Finnish Hound Ch. Latukkakorven Leevi, 5 years old but only shown nine times. In addition to his show Champion title he is also a Field Trial Champion. Fourth was the young Saluki Aziz Fazel, again too young to have received her champion title, in spite of now having won 13 CCs. Her sire is the US-bred Ch. Khiva’s Hot Stuff.
On Sunday BIS was judged by Finland’s Paavo Mattila. His winner was the black Standard Poodle Ch. Diego da Maya, born in the U.S., bred by Zuleika Borges Torrealba in Brazil, and campaigned in Europe by Charlotte Sandell, although on this occasion handled by Camilla Tell-Collinge.
Another Finnish Hound was Runner-up BIS, the bitch Kahvanahon Lounatuuli, who only needs another field trial result to finish her full Champion title. Third went to Russia with the Miniature Wire Dachshund Ch. Gudwil’s Terrific Timothy Dalton, and fourth was the BIS winner at this show a couple of years ago, Skye Terrier Ch. Olivia Spirit of American Idol. He was bred in the US by Olga Smid.