OD2 February 21st 2014
OD2 February 21st 2014
Poodle and patriotism prevail in Orlando ! BIS judge Miguel Angel Martinez assessing his 12 beautiful finalists
The 2013 edition of the prestigious Eukanuba World Challenge reached its climax on Sunday evening, December 15th, amid the crowded arena inside Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center! It was the seventh year of this international competition, which saw 43 dogs and handlers from 38 countries around the world competing over 3 days for a grand prize of $10,000 and the highly coveted title “Eukanuba World Challenge Champion 2013”! Participating dogs were nominated throughout the year by their national Kennel Clubs or qualified at some of the world’s most renowned shows. The end result was arguably one of the competition’s strongest years yet, with many of the world’s most accomplished show dogs in recent history invited to compete. It’s no surprise that patriotism is a theme which flows throughout this unique competition. The opening flag ceremony on Saturday night has become a tradition for which the Eukanuba World Challenge is renowned and can prove to be an emotional sight for even the most seasoned of dog show exhibitors. Before the announcement of the 12 finalists, which were selected in the ! The flag ceremony pulls at the heartstrings of even the most pre-judging on Friday afternoon, seasoned dog show people each representative dog and handler entered the ring in order of country, accompanied by a designated flag-bearer proudly waving their national banner. The end result was a scene equal parts majestic and surreal, and undeniably memorable for all involved. Judging Best in Show this year was a task given to Mr Miguel winning Angel Martinez of Argentina, and team: Rick his ultimate winner was in the ywith his form of the elegant black handler, Standard Poodle male owner and breeder representing the UK! At two-years Jason Lynn old “Champion Afterglow – doing Maverick Sabre”, affectionately their final known as Ricky is his country’s lap first EWC winner, and is the UK’s #1 Dog All Breeds for 2013. He is also the second homebred finalist for Michael Gadsby and Jason Lynn’s ‘’Afterglow Kennel’’ from Lancashire, England. Ricky’s grandfather ‘’Champion Afterglow The Big Tease’’ represented Britain in the World Challenge in 2008. ! The
Handler Jason Lynn was elated with the outcome, saying that the win was a dream come true. ‘’For all of us involved in this hobby, the Eukanuba World Challenge represents the ultimate goal. To stand alongside so many great dogs and handlers from across the globe is thrilling, and to have our boy declared the winner is a fairytale ending to an unforgettable year! We have had so much support from back home, and I know that Ricky’s co-owners John and Sandra Stone were following along on the live-stream.’’ Breeder Michael Gadsby added ‘’We cannot thank Eukanuba enough for giving all of us the opportunity to come together in such a wonderful way and in such a spectacular venue. Getting to be here is the prize, and anything beyond that is the icing!’’ First Runner-Up was awarded to the Dogo Argentino female ‘’Champion Monika de Don Eloy’’ who appropriately hails from Argentina. She is bred and owned by Lilian Colantonio, and was guided to the win by professional handler Mr Agustin Farias. This winning team has earned an incredible 32 Best in Show wins, and
took home a $3,000 prize from Eukanuba. A proud Ms Colantonia said ‘’I was so nervous watching the Final, but she is such a calm dog and enjoys her time in the show ring very much!’’ The Second Runner-Up position went to the winner of last year’s AENC Bred-By BIS, the Doberman Pinscher ‘’GCh Protocol’s Veni Vedi Vici.’’ For breeder/owner/handler Jocelyn Mullins of Ohio, making it to the final was a thrill. ‘’We came with no expectations, we were just so honored to be here. As the finalists were being announced on Saturday I kept telling myself ‘I wish, I wish, I wish…’ We are so pleased with the result!’’ Fifi and her owner took home $2;000 in prize money, and adds her victory in Orlando to a distinguished career which includes over 50 all-breed BIS wins! Jose Luis Ibanez, EWC show chairman and EMEA breeder manager, was full of praise for this year’s event. ‘’It has been an exceptional weekend, and in my eyes all 43 dogs are winners. Of course someone ultimately has to win, and all of the top three finalists are wonderful dogs! ! Moni showing The fact that all three winning at her best dogs are fed with products from the P&G Petcare family and that overall 80% of all participants chosen independently by their local Kennel Clubs to compete in the World Challenge are fed Eukanuba makes me very happy and proud! This reflects that Eukanuba really does bring out the extraordinary in dogs and is the food of choice for Champions!’’ During the weekend all of the AENC’s main-ring action, including the Eukanuba World Challenge, was available to view over the web via a live-streaming feed. This offered those who were unable to make the trip to Orlando the chance to follow the results as they happened in ! Fifi performing at her peak real-time. The footage will continue to be available on-demand until the end of March ‘14 at live.eukanuba.com. Figures taken shortly after the AENC’s completion reported 1.6 million viewers had followed the show on live.eukanuba.com which served more footage than this year’s entire New York Fashion Week! Those numbers are expected to increase driven by continued interest in catch-up of the show, and through postings on social media sites such as Facebook. Hosting the live-stream were two well-known personalities from within the dog show world. Welshman Andrew Brace and Gina diNardo from the USA offered viewers insight and perspective throughout the broadcast, taken from their decades of active involvement in the world of dog shows. A patriotic Mr. Brace described the moment when his country’s representative was crowned winner of the Eukanuba World Challenge. “As the winning dogs were announced in reverse order, first the Doberman and then the Dogo, I felt certain that the night belonged to the Standard Poodle. When Mr Martinez finally pointed to him, I burst into tears and cried like a baby!’’ Providing a stage which allows countries large and small the opportunity to showcase their finest dogs and handlers to a global audience is unique to this event which is held by Eukanuba in collaboration with the FCI, the AKC and The Kennel Club. Celebrating international diversity and the very best of what the world of dogs has to offer is what the Eukanuba World Challenge is all about.
! The Eukanuba World Challenge Champion 2013 trophy
We are pleased to announce that plans for the eighth edition of the Eukanuba World Challenge are underway! Once again the AKC/Eukanuba National Championships week will host the event on 14 and 15 December in Orlando, Florida*. Throughout 2014 excitement will build as new national representatives will be selected by their respective Kennel Clubs or by success at a qualifying event or major dog show. *Visit the EWC website at www.eukanuba.co.uk/world-challenge, or follow our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/EukanubaWorldChallenge) to see complete Rules and Regulations. The Rules and Regulations are subject to change, and notice will be published on these sites.
OD2 February 21st 2014
Behind the scenes at the World Challenge Final The Eukanuba World Challenge has earned a reputation for gathering together the best dogs from around the world to compete for the penultimate “Best in Show”. In 2013 that final decision laid in the capable hands of Mr Miguel Angel Martinez of Argentina, a gentleman with a deep and varied career in the world of purebred dogs. Mr Martinez has been an owner, exhibitor and breeder in addition to veterinarian and accomplished judge on an international level. His appointment at the seventh-annual EWC was by his own admission a very special one. "The Eukanuba World Challenge is clearly one of the best shows in the world. It was a great honor to be selected as the Best in Show judge and I am extremely flattered to have such an important part to play.” Tensions ran high as the final twelve dogs and handlers entered the ring before a packed crowd and a record-breaking internet live stream audience. “It was very exciting as the dogs came into the ring,” said Mr Martinez. “The ringside was supportive of the dogs and handlers, who all seemed so focused on their job. I am sure that there were some nerves, but I was surprised at the sense of peace and calm from all the handlers.” What began as a field of 43 of the world’s most accomplished show dogs had been narrowed to simply a dozen. How does one select the winners in
such a star-studded line up? Mr Martinez explained the complexity of his task. “The quality of the dogs was exceptional, absolutely amazing to see. Because all of the dogs were winners in their own right, I was waiting for the ones who would stand up and tell me ‘Here I Am!’ All of the final three had great movement, and a great demeanor which separated them from the rest.” After a thorough and thoughtful examination of each contestant, the decisions had been reached. Mr Martinez announced his first runner-up, the Doberman bitch from America. “She is so feminine, with such wonderful posture and movement!” The Dogo Argentino, representing Argentina, was selected as the runner-up. “She has such a proud outlook, superb movement, and all the important characteristics called for in the breed.” However it was the Standard Poodle from Great Britain who would claim the title of Best in Show, a first for a British entry. CH Afterglow Maverick Sabre, known affectionately as Ricky, was guided by owner Jason Lynn to the win. “To me, this dog is the absolute ideal of his breed,” explained Mr Martinez. “What’s more, he owned the ring and worked with his handler in perfect harmony. It was a flawless performance!”
Eukanuba’s Johanna Rhomberg spoke to Jason Lynn, owner and handler of Standard Poodle CH Afterglow Maverick Sabre, about their EWC win JR: With the World Challenge now finished, I must congratulate you on Ricky’s triumphant win! What were your expectations as you began your trip to Orlando? JL: Thank you, it was a remarkable week! I can honestly say the only thing we expected as the plane touched down in Florida was that we would have a great time. That was a given. To be able to spend a week in Orlando through the generosity of Eukanuba was something we intended to make the most of! We knew that by going to the World Challenge we were giving up LKA back home, and if this made a difference in the Top Dog points tally then we owed it to ourselves to have as much fun as possible! JR: So you never regretted making the decision to compete in Orlando? JL: Absolutely not!! We knew that there was a clash with the 2 shows, and from the moment Ricky won the Champion Stakes Final we really tried to put “points” out of our minds. The EWC is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and we were proud for Ricky to represent the UK there. As it turns out, he finished as Top Dog anyway! JR: I believe this is your second time attending the EWC. How would you compare the two experiences? JL: That’s right, so I suppose it was TWICE-in-alifetime experience for us! Mike handled Ricky’s grandfather Donny at the 2008 EWC in Long Beach, CA, where he was a finalist. The California venue was wonderful, too, but of course getting there from the UK takes a bit longer. The convention centre in Orlando is just incredible, and there is so much to do within walking distance. The main similarity between both trips was Eukanuba’s hospitality and care of all the participants. They look after everyone so well, and plan every detail so that you can relax and enjoy your stay. For us in the dog show world, it’s like the ultimate holiday. You meet so many interesting people from around the world who all share the same passion for dogs.
JR: When did you find out who your Section judge would be, and what was your reaction? JL: Eukanuba put on a big dinner party for all of the owners and handlers at a wonderful Cuban restaurant on Thursday evening, and during the course of the meal there was live drawing to determine which of the four judges would be assigned to each Section. Our judge ended up being Mr Jipping from the Netherlands. We had never shown under him before, so we had no reaction either way. Like I said, we were there to enjoy ourselves! JR: Describe the morning of Section round judging. JL: I guess we finally went into “competition mode” on the morning of the pre-judging. That’s when the pressure was turned up a notch. There were a lot of people around the ring watching, and as we were in Section 3 I got to see a bit before it was our turn. The quality of the dogs was really impressive and it became obvious how tough the competition was going to be. There were so many dogs in each section who had big reputations in their countries such as Top Dogs, World Show Winners, Crufts winners and so on. It was really exciting to watch unfold. We knew that we wouldn’t learn which three dogs had made it from each section until after Saturday night’s opening ceremony, so I only hoped that Ricky would perform like we knew he could. He didn’t let me down, and handled himself brilliantly in the big ring. Then it was just a case of waiting! JR: Participants always find the evening flag ceremony a special part of the event. How was that for you? JL: The flag presentation is quite unique in the world of dog showing! I’ve seen it as a flagbearer myself back in Long Beach, as a spectator from the stands last year, and now as an exhibitor with Mike carrying the Union Jack for me this time! It is a spectacle, with flags from each nation lining the ring next to dogs and their handlers. It highlights the truly international feel to the Eukanuba World Challenge and you can’t help getting a caught up in the moment.
JR: What one word would describe your feelings upon hearing Ricky announced as a finalist? JL: Relief! JR: Why relief? JL: Because for all that I keep saying that this trip was only about having fun, the truth is we are competitive people. And not only that, I felt a sense of obligation to do well out there because of all the support we had received in the UK throughout the year and leading right up to the show. We had so many calls and messages of encouragement, including a massive card signed by all the Poodle people which we took with us for luck. People were following along on the live-streaming back home, too. It felt like so many were pulling for us, and I guess I didn’t want to let them down. So I figured making it to the finals was a case of job done, and no matter what happened after that we would go back to England happy. JR: How were your nerves prior to Sunday’s final, and what was going on in your mind inside the ring? JL: I was honestly never nervous. These are the types of moments we live for! Ricky is so much
Jason and Ricky right after winning the title Eukanuba World Challenge Champion 2013
fun to show, and is a dog that you can stand away from and allow to showcase himself. I was eager to get in there and get to work! When they announced the order we would go in the ring, I noticed I was next to the American Doberman bitch “Fifi” whose not only earned a tremendous record, but is the ultimate showdog. I remember thinking that I would have to take some risks and give Ricky a lot of freedom out there if he was going to hold his own next to her. JR: He certainly did hold his own! Describe the moment he was announced as the winner. JL: I felt Ricky was absolutely on fire, and did everything I asked him to. He seemed to sharpen his performance each time he went into the ring and truly saved the best for last! When Mr Martinez began to announce the winners, it was the Doberman as 1st runner-up, and then the famous Dogo Argentino . . . and when we were called as the winners, I hugged Ricky for what felt like five minutes before going to the center of the ring to accept the award! And then he did his trademark “bow” in front of the crowd which pretty much sums up the clownish nature of this wonderful dog! JR: Looking back on your successful trip to Orlando, what would you say this win means to you? JL: The EWC has grown from an exciting idea into a fully-fledged, world-renowned event. It’s the dog world’s answer to the Olympics I suppose. To win there, a first for a British dog, and with one we’ve bred, owned and handled is something we will always be proud of, and we are so grateful to Eukanuba for giving our hobby such a grand showcase for the world to see. I’ll remember that feeling for a long time! JR: What is next for you after what you describe yourself as the ‘most wonderful year’? JL: Thanks very much Jason for taking the time to share your experience with us. All the best for your next challenges and hope to see you soon around the world’s dog show rings
The runners-up American Beauty
In America’s highly competitive showing world, dogs with professional handlers overwhelmingly dominate the group and best in show rankings. This makes the astonishing record amassed by GCH Protocol’s Veni Vidi Vici and breeder/owner/handler Jocelyn Mullins all the more impressive. This enigmatic black and tan bitch known as Fifi is a three time US national specialty winner in addition to over fifty all breed best in shows.
CH Monika de Don Elo is a Dogo Argentino, a breed which is rather unfamiliar to many outside its native South America. For her breeder and owner Lilian Colantonio, there can be no other dog for her. “There is simply no room for another breed in my heart!” she proudly exclaimed. At four and a half years old Moni is no stranger to the winners circle, having been awarded over 30 best in shows during her show career.
Jocelyn, who runs a boarding and training center for dogs in Ohio, USA, says that Fifi is a smart and energetic dog who is easy to live with. “I was really nervous before entering the ring for the Final. As usual, my routine is simply to play with Fifi before we compete. It’s not really for her benefit so much as mine as it helps to calm me down!”
“Moni was a special puppy who stood out from the very start. She has a unique character that makes her a natural in the ring.” Her win at the Eukanuba World Challenge was meaningful to Lillian, who considers it a great acknowledgment of her work as a breeder. “It reassures me that I am going in the right direction, and encourages me about the future.”
Competing at the EWC was a special moment for Jocelyn. “It’s been such an honor to represent our country at this event! To make the final three amongst the best dogs from around the globe is amazing! I couldn’t have wished for a better birthday present!”
Handler Agustin Farias escorted Moni to her win in the final. “I have always wanted to be invited to the EWC. I was nervous before the Final, but once we came into the ring I felt a very special atmosphere. It was full of emotion and truly unforgettable!”
OD2 February 21st 2014
And then there were twelve
After several days of fun, food and festivities for the participants in this year's Eukanuba World Challenge, the first phase of competition was set to begin on Friday December 13th. Although the panel of section judges had been announced, their individual ring assignments remained uncertain. These final judge/section designations were determined by a live drawing during a special evening meal for EWC participants on Thursday evening at Orlando's Cuba Libre restaurant.
The next dog sent through by Mr Green was the American Doberman Pinscher ''CH Protocol's Veni Vidi Vici'' known affectionately as Fifi. Along with breeder/owner/handler Jocelyn Mullins of Ohio this determined duo have amassed an incredible show record in the US where professional handlers and large campaign budgets dominate the higher rankings. Fifi is the winner of 75 all breed best in shows, over 50 specialty bests, and a staggering three consecutive national specialty wins. She qualified for the EWC by virtue of her Best Bred-By Exhibitor in Show win at last year's AENC.
Friday's formidable task was to narrow the star-studded field of 43 competing canines down to a final twelve. This was done by way of four rounds of pre-judging, in which three dogs per group were sent forward by their section judge. After dogs and handlers strutted their stuff on the blue carpet, each judge's top three contenders were written down and placed inside sealed envelopes. These remained closed until Saturday evening's presentation in the main arena, which ensured a sleepless Friday night for many!
The third and final selection was yet another PBGV, bred once again by Gavin Robertson of the UK and handled by him as well. ''CH Soletrader Peek A Boo'' qualified for the EWC following her Best in Show win at Crufts in 2013. She was also her country's top winning dog for 2012, and is in fact the granddaughter of the Dutch representative ''Bjorn.'' This was a wonderful achievement for Mr Robertson's ''Soletrader'' kennel and he was thrilled with the result. ''We are so excited to enter the final in this amazing show! The atmosphere is fantastic, if you don't enjoy this you are definitely in the wrong sport!''
The Eukanuba World Challenge opening ceremony signaled the start of Saturday's main-ring activity with an elaborate flag display. Each dog and handler, along with a compatriot, entered the ring in order of country and waving their national banner. It was a patriotic and at times emotional sight, and proved once again to be a highlight with the crowd.
Following this procession, the dogs comprising each section were quickly re-assembled in size order to await the final verdict from Friday's pre-judgement. After each judge was introduced, the finalists were announced one by one to the cheers of an appreciative audience.
European section Best in Show
UK Eukanuba Champion Stakes Best in Show
Section 3 was headed by Mr Gerard Jipping of the Netherlands, who is also President of his country's kennel club Raad van Beheer. ''It is a great honor and a pleasure to judge here,'' said Mr Jipping. ''The quality of the dogs was outstanding, and to write a critique is difficult because I fell in love with so many of them!''
US Eukanuba Breeder Stakes Best in Show
Section 1 judge Mr Andras Korozs of Hungary was greatly impressed with the dogs presented to him. ''I had the pleasure of judging a very strong group. All of the dogs were magnificent, as was the quality of their handling. Judging different breeds is always a challenge, but judging dogs which are so close to perfect is even more difficult!'' In no particular order, Mr Korozs' first selection was the Miniature Smooth Dachshund from Russia ''CH Formula Uspeha Colibri,'' who also won her FCI group at this year's World Dog Show in Hungary. This two year-old female is bred, owned and handled by Ms Irina Hapaeva of Russia and holds Champion titles in eight countries! ''I am so happy to be here,'' said Ms. Hapaeva, who felt mixed emotions upon learning she had made it to the final. ''I was relieved to know we made it to the last 12, it took a lot off my mind. But now I may have trouble sleeping because I am so excited!'' The second entry from Section 1 was the USA Eukanuba Breeder Stakes winner, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi ''CH Coventry Allure at Wyndstar.'' At three years of age ''Allie'' is the winner of 18 American best in shows, and ranks among the winningest Pembroke's in her breed's history. For handler Bill Shelton of California, who is also a co-breeder, taking part in the EWC was a special achievement. ''I feel very proud and privileged for Allie to represent the USA and the Breeders Stakes. Being here is the cherry on the cake!''
The first dog sent through by Mr Jipping was the Scottish Terrier ''CH Filiste Brash Kooh-I-Noor'' who was the FCI European Section Winner. This three year-old is breeder/owner/handled by Ms Valentina Popova from Russia, who felt relief once her dog was announced. ''I am very happy and also relieved, because the tension was building since Friday's pre-judging. It was almost unbearable for me as I entered the ring, but soon I was focused on my dog and we got lost in the moment.'' Brie was awarded Best in Show at the European Show in Geneva and holds a long list of champion titles from around the world. Mr Jipping also sent through the representative from Taiwan, the Maltese ''CH Pitera of Moly Bo Bo'' who is her country's #1 Dog All Breeds for 2013. In addition she is the winner of six Best in Show wins. Pitera is owned by Chi-Cheng Wan, and was handled in the competition by Yu-Chun Wang, who were delighted to participate in the World Challenge. ''She is the first Maltese from Taiwan to qualify, and we are so very excited to be here!'' The final dog moving forward from Section 3 was the black Standard Poodle from the UK ''CH Afterglow Maverick Sabre.'' Ricky is his country's reigning #1 Dog of All Breeds for 2013, whose qualfication to compete in Orlando meant giving up his home country's final show of the year and potentially his top ranking. Breeder/owner/handler Jason Lynn was philosophical about the outcome. ''For us the chance to represent our country here at the World Challenge was too memorable to be missed. Regardless of points back home, we knew we wanted to be in Orlando!''
Rounding off the finalists from Section 1 was the Netherland's representative, Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen ''CH Soletrader Bjorn Borg'' and owner/handler Gwen Huikeshoven. Seven year-old Bjorn has won 16 best in shows across Europe and is a former Best of Breed winner at the breed's national specialty show in the USA. In addition to being the oldest competitor in the competition he is a champion in six countries, and was bred in the UK by Gavin Robertson and Paul Sparkes. Following a two month break from the ring, Bjorn was happy to be back in action. ''He performed so well, and was excited to be in the ring again. I am so proud that he is the first Dutch dog to make the finals,'' said Ms Huikeshoven.
Americas/Caribbean Section Best in Show
The final section was judged by Mr Zvi Kupferberg of Israel who felt the high quality of the dogs made his role easier. ''For me it is always easy to judge when you have good dogs in the ring. With great dogs and handlers performing at their best, it was an honor to select not just one but three winners.''
Asia Pacific Section Best in Show
US AENC Best Bred By
Crufts Best in Show
The first sent forward from Section 4 was the Dogo Argentino ''CH Monika de Don Elo.'' This female native of Argentina won her right to compete in Orlando by topping the FCI Americas and Caribbean Section Show. Monika is four and a half years old and has won over 30 best in shows in her distinguished career. Her tour of the USA was particularly unique in that her breed is not yet recognized by the AKC. Her excited owner Lilian Colantonio had conflicting emotions. ''I am very, very happy to be here, but also very nervous for the final! The good thing is Monika is a calm dog who enjoys her showing, so she is already a winner!''
Section 2 was judged by a very familiar face to most in the world of dogs, Mr Peter Green of Bowmansville, Pennsylvania. Mr Green was genuinely impressed by the line-up of dogs in his section. "I have honestly never judged a more beautiful entry of dogs in one ring in my entire career, and to have so many great dogs together in one place is simply amazing. It was hard to make my decision, but all of dogs are winners which speaks for the quality of the event.''
Mr Kupferberg's next selection was the European Qualifier, Papillon Phalene ''CH Magic Sunrise Great Gentleman'' from Latvia. This charismatic four year-old has a list of titles even larger than himself, and has earned countless Best in Show and group awards at shows worldwide. For owner Ilze Fraimane and handler Andrejs Fraimane, Mr Gently's extraordinary career has been a source of great joy. ''He brings us so much happiness, as well as many new friends around the world!''
The first dog sent through by Mr Green was the FCI Asia Section winner, the Yorkshire Terrier ''CH Nanette's October Sand Dune'' from Thailand. This four year-old male is bred and owned by Nanta Tansacha, and was handled by Jirayut Komonkul. Among his numerous show-ring accolades, Dune is the #1 Dog All Breeds in Thailand for 2012 and 2013. Mrs Tansacha remained humble following her dog's advance to the final. ''Although we felt he performed well in the pre-judging, the dogs were all so beautiful and high-quality it was impossible to predict the outcome.''
The final representative of Section 4 was the Doberman Pinscher from Malaysia ''CH Halley de Blackshadow,'' who was bred in Argentina by Elsa Beatriz. At six years of age, Halley is an accomplished show dog with a record that includes multiple Best in Show awards and champion titles. Owners Mr Chan Yoke Kuan and Mr Chin See Fu explained that taking part in itself was an honor. ''To make it to the finals is amazing, and I think it is the first time for a Malaysian dog! We are simply over the moon!''
Published on Feb 24, 2014
The 2013 edition of the prestigious Eukanuba World Challenge reached its climax on Sunday evening, December 15th, amid the crowded arena ins...