The "FCI Cynological Days" in Brussels

Marking the climax and also the culmination of the FCI's centenary celebrations, the "FCI Cynological Days" were held on 11-14 November 2011 in Brussels. Delegates from 35 countries were offered a programme catering for all tastes: a cynological symposium, a high-class "FCI Centenary World Champion of Champions" competition, a gala evening, and, to round things off, a trip to Bruges, the UNESCO World Heritage City, and an open day at the FCI headquarters.

Some 150 people took part in the symposium on "Dog and Man: quo vadis? Knowledge and Prospects”, greatly enjoying the very interesting presentations addressing current issues.

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Hans W. Müller
FCI President

Interview with Horst Kliebenstein

I suppose it was a nice surprise when you received the invitation for such a special event as the FCI Centenary World Champion of Champions. Did you expect it?

I felt very honoured (and surprised) to hear that I was being invited to this event. Given the number of possible judges, I think each of us was pleasantly surprised.

The rules of such a show are somewhat different and it was probably difficult to send away one of the two dogs in front of you during the first rounds, knowing that they were both much nicer than some that came later?
Was there a dog that was voted away by your colleagues in the first rounds that you wanted to be still in?

Having already judged at lots of Champion of Champions events, I was already fully conversant with the system.
What makes this event so special is the element of surprise. Otherwise it would be just like any other event.
The fact that we often had different opinions shows that each of us kept to what we knew, without being influenced, and that everything was done democratically.

Did you follow the judging during the day?

No, my colleagues and I specifically did not go and watch the judging in the morning in order not to be influenced.

Was the overall quality of the dogs really high as these were all champions?

With regard to the qualifying 64 dogs - and these were the only ones I actually saw - I can say that the level of quality was very high.

Were you happy with the organisation, was the main ring OK and do you have any suggestions or remarks?

The whole set-up of the arena was great. Spectators were kept well-informed and entertained by the commentators.
My fellow judges and I would have liked to have been able to actually touch the 64 candidates. Judging long-haired dogs solely by the state of their hair is not really the right way of doing things.

4 dogs were placed at the end, can you give a short impression? (feel free to do this dog by dog or all 4 together).

As the winner is described in the answer to the next question, let me start here with the runner-up, the Welsh Corgi Pembroke:

Excellent overall impression, type and stature. Beautiful, fox-like head. Straight and firm back, confident gait.

Always well-behaved.

The joint third-placed dogs:

The Scottie was an excellent representative of its breed, and well-built. Hair and trimming were in top condition. Magnificent head and short back. Held its tail well. Good disposition, gait typical of the breed.

The Shar Pei was a typical representative of his breed, also well-built. Beautiful hair and wrinkles. Magnificent head, with small, thin ears, wide muzzle, correct eyes. The back, the tail and the posture typical of the breed. Flawless gait.

The ultimate winner, the Irish Wolfhound, deserves an extra word, can you share your opinion on this one?

The Irish Wolfhound bitch was a highlight of her breed. The right height and length, the right hair. Typical head with excellent eyes and ears, strong neck, and a firm back - even after all those assessments.

Moved so gracefully and confidently - it was a pleasure to watch her.

How was your general impression on the Cynological days? Should it be repeated more often?

All I can say is that I was really impressed by the whole event. It would be a good idea for shows like this to take place more often.