Handlers perform on world stage by Marina Scott
Fiona Mycroft, 20, from Mansfield, Nottingham said:
"Well I was invited to the World Show only two weeks prior to the show so I quickly booked my flights and before I knew it I was in Amsterdam. I went to Groningen to meet with my friend and owner of some of our Whippets Margreet Veenstra of the Shiny Sensations Whippet Kennel, and also met our friend Bart Scheerens of the famous Boxing Helena Whippets and Cirneco Dell’Etna kennel from Belgium.
"It was a two day journey in a camper van through the spectacular countryside and amazing views of Holland, Germany and Austria. When we left the campsite on the Friday morning, we gave ourselves three hours to do a 40 minute trip to the show but we ended up in a three hour traffic jam. We contacted the arena to warn them as many other dog people were also in the traffic but the show did not delay judging! So we had no choice but to change into our suits, grab the dogs and run from the highway for 6km to the show. We finally arrived and managed to get into our classes and I took fourth open with Multi Jnr Ch Supeta’s Ziggylicious. I also handled Multi Ch Shiny Sensation’s First Sensation to fourth in a very heated champion class.
"On the Saturday we went back for Bart to show his Cirneco Dell’Etna who took first in champion class, BB and then BOB making her the World Champion for the third time. We were so pleased, we waited to see her in the ring of honour and it was terrific to watch, all the shining lights, music and some beautiful dogs. It was so exciting.
"The World Show itself however was very dirty – dog muck all over the place, rubbish everywhere, very smelly – and it was not organised very well as many of the ring stewards didn’t have any idea what they were doing and a lot of the dogs’ papers were not given to exhibitors and many stewards seemed to be rushing the judges through their classes. Also nobody was checking dogs out of the show, so anyone could have taken a dog and gone home with it!
"However, there was plenty to do and plenty to see with many friendly and happy exhibitors clearly just loving the atmosphere! Although we had some bad points about the show, the weekend was absolutely amazing and the company was what made it so good. But, to just be at the World Dog Show was an amazing feeling! I hope next time to take my own Whippets to show!”
Hayley McCallum, 23, from Nottingham said:
"SWEDEN 2008 was my first my World Dog Show experience as a spectator, since then I have been given the opportunity to exhibit our dogs at three World Shows, Denmark 2010, France 2011 and Austria 2012.
"I love the atmosphere at these prestigious events and what a platform they provide to meet new people from so many different countries with the same passion as myself. I am proud to represent England, the Newtonwood Kennel and to show the rest of the world that we too have some fantastic Havanese.
"My favourite world show so far has to be Paris, although it could have been managed better with regards to hygiene, the actual organisation of the show is to be commended. The stewards and judges where totally on the ball and the event ran smoothly. Awards were clearly marked and all exhibitors where given a fair opportunity to showcase their dog’s talent.
"I would like to thank my grandmother for allowing me to campaign our Havanese – Happy Friend’s What A Guy. This super little boy always shows his socks off and we are really growing a great rapport together. Guy was critiqued excellent and awarded reserve CAC at the World Show in France 2011 and Austria 2012.”
Sophie Ellis, 15, from Lincolnshire, said:
"OUR JOURNEY to the World Dog Show started on the Friday. My gran, grandad (Cherry and Alan Wilkinson) and myself were flying out to meet Maureen Thompson and Peter Chapman, who had travelled down in the car with the dogs. I would be handling my gran and Maureen’s Tsoyu Cho Cho Hime Go, a bitch who I am absolutely in love with! This would be her first time in the ring since she and I won BOB at Crufts this year, but with a massive entry of 160 Japanese Akita Inu’s the next day, we were just hoping that she’d put in a good performance and enjoy herself, as this would also be her début in a foreign ring. After a discussion about timings for the next day, we all retired to bed.
"The next day we got to the show for about 8.30am, so the dogs could get used to the atmosphere. Both Cho and her kennel mate Maya (Tsoyu Amaya) were entered into the open bitch class and we were amazed at the massive entry of 40 in the class! We groomed the dogs, and then settled down to watch the rest of the judging.
"At about midday it was time for us to enter the ring. Cho was so switched on and put in a fabulous performance. The class was very strong, and I was over the moon when she was graded excellent and shortlisted to the final six as was Maureen with Maya. Unfortunately we were not placed, but I was so pleased with just getting shortlisted with strong opposition in the ring.
"The next day we took a tour around Salzburg, and only then did I fully appreciate what a beautiful country we were in. I am thoroughly looking forward to when I will show abroad again.”