Barbet News (page 54)

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National and International Dog Show, Douai, France 2011


Setting out very early on Friday morning our small group of UK barbet owners set out for the Channel Tunnel. We were already one dog down as Bepop who had been entered in the show had come into season days earlier and so could not take part.

We picked up Annette and her Canadian girl `Ebčne la Cour Ailée` and had a straightforward journey to the Tunnel terminal where we met up with Jill, her daughter Charlotte and their boy Novaforesta Duplo. We were soon in France and met with a torrential downpour for the hour and a half drive south to Douai which made for an unpleasant but thankfully uneventful drive. We settled into our hotel and were later joined by David and Lorraine with their boy Novaforesta Eton who had come over on a later crossing.

Duplo with Charlotte in Best of Group

Duplo with Charlotte in Best of Group.

We were all up bright and early on Saturday morning for the start of the show. The `Exposition canine nationale` in Douai is run by the Club Sait Hubert du Nord and is a French Championship show where the C.A.C.S. = (Certificat d'Aptitude au Championnat) can be awarded. We were disappointed to find that we had the only barbet entered at the show as it is always nice to meet other owners but since we were there to have the dogs confirmed and appraised by a show judge, this would not affect the reason for our visit.

With Eton in the Intermediate Male Class, Duplo in the Open Male Class and Ebčne in the Champion Class all three dogs were judged individually. In French shows all the dogs are given a written critique so win or lose you can tell what the judge thought of each dog. The judge, Mme Molinari from Portugal rated each dog as `Excellent` so a great result for the UK and Canadian barbets. The dogs went straight into the breed judging, with Duplo taking Best Male and then finally beating Ebčne to get Best of Breed and gain his first C.A.C.S. A very good result for Duplo and his handler Charlotte, both taking part in their first show.

M.Dupas with Eton and owner Lorraine

M.Dupas with Eton and owner Lorraine.

With the judging complete the dogs went over to the `Confirmation Ring`. In France dogs are issued part pedigrees at birth and then for the full pedigree are required to be examined against the breed standard once they are over a year old. This is to check that any dogs going forward to be bred from are of a good quality in respect to the standard. The confirmation judge for the day was a M. Dupas, an extremely experienced judge, he certainly knew the breed. Each dog was measured, teeth checked, examined all over and had their movement checked; M. Dupas was happy to confirm all three as good examples of the breed. Having achieved what we had come to France for, we could all relax and take in some of the rest of the show. Later on we all took up seats around the main show arena for the group judging. Although in the end Duplo was not placed it was a great achievement for a young dog and handler to be representing the barbet at a French show.

On the Sunday was to be the judging for the International part of the show and knowing that the barbet was not to be judged until 12:30 we all managed a leisurely breakfast before heading to the show. We arrived in plenty of time and again each dog was judged in turn by Mme Desserne. Again each of the three was graded `Excellent` so the same result from two judges was clearly no fluke. For the breed judging Mme Desserne gave Eton Best Male gaining him and his handler and owner Lorraine a C.A.C.S and C.A.C.I.B. (Certificat d'Aptitude au Championnat International de Beaute) on only their second time in a show ring; the first being the day before! The judge took her time over Best of Breed and in the end gave it to Ebčne who had already qualified as a Canadian Champion before coming to the UK.

Ebčne with Annette in Best of Group

Ebčne with Annette in Best of Group.

Walking around the show we bumped into M. Jacques Goubie, a show judge and former President of the `Club du Barbet du Lagotto et autres Chiens d`Eau`. Recognising the small group of foreigners he had a quick look over the dogs and gave us a thumbs up and a smile. It was nothing official but nice to have further indication that we have good quality barbet in the UK.

With the clock ticking towards our departure to get to Calais in time for our train we were hanging on for the Group 8 judging. Luckily we just had time. Annette took her turn in the main arena with Ebčne and was shortlisted into the final six and although not finally placed, again ensured the barbet was represented. As Annette left the ring with Ebčne we grabbed our belongings and thankfully had a straightforward journey back to the Channel Tunnel Terminal. The journey home was only marred by a heavy downpour and the closure of the M20, welcome to England!


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