Elbereth Finnish Lapphunds

Monday, 28 January 2013


Mouscron is a small town in Belgium, near the French border and home to an International dog show, one that has attracted me back over a number of years.  This year, Sue and I headed off with Matkamies and Kia, but as many of you know our trips are not without mini (or major) dramas and for this one, we were somewhat disappointed to arrive at our hotel and find the restaurant did not open weekends!!  So we had a quick beer (we tend to take supplies!) and walked back through the snow edged roads on slippery paths into the town of Bondues, could we find anywhere to eat???  No we couldn't!  We trekked for a couple of miles rather worried that one of us would slip and break something, and so headed back towards the hotel and had to take advantage of a MacDonalds!  At least the dogs were welcome in MacDonalds, and they got a lovely long walk.  So couple of miles back to our hotel and guess what no bar either, just as well we had supplies.

Suomenlapinkoira - Elbereth Matkamies - Group Five winner
Elbereth Matkamies, Group 5 winner Mouscron
Then the next morning as we tried to check out there was some confusion over whether we had pre paid our room, the debate and checking delayed us so we were late leaving for show, and this venue is notorious for having hardly any parking on site - so yes you guessed it a few trips up and down side streets to try and find a parking space.  The best option seemed to be an unused building site - where there was a lot of snow and ice on the ground, until we got out of the car - and the heavens opened with heavy rain!  So it was an interesting walk pulling trolley and trying not to succumb to the ice.  We made the vet check at the show entrance with minutes to spare and headed to find our ring, but being unintentionally late there was no where for us to set up crates/anywhere for dogs or grooming table and later was much needed given the walk into the venue and fact we now had muddy wet dogs!  Luckily we saw a friendly face - and soon a few people kindly squeezed up and we were in situ and ready to roll.  The dogs were dried, brushed and got ready, and soon we were in the ring, our competition being some well known dogs from France.  Matkamies then won the Champions class and best dog to gain another CAC & CACIB, then Kia did the same, another double for the litter mates under judge Mrs Kavcic from Slovenia.  Then it was the wait for the Group, and first there was prejudging in the collecting ring, and as ever a very large group for Group 5 Spitz and Primitive breeds, last year here we were shortlisted, so when we made the shortlist of five again I was delighted.  Then tension mounts as under FCI they award the placings in reverse order, so as the sibe left the ring it was the 4 remaining places and we were still there!  Group 4 was called then the G3 and I realised we were still in the ring with the Akita Inu - and I strained to listen out for the announcement from the ring steward (in french of course!) of the winner - le gagneur du groupe  - Le Suomenlapinkoira!  The first time a UK Finnish Lapphund has won a Group at Championship show level, in UK or under FCI rules!

Elbereth Matkamies  Finnish Lapphunds
We did not go any further in the competition for BIS, but were delighted to represent the breed there.  Matka didn't quite see what fuss was about and chilled out on his grooming table as we packed up for the dash back home - and a tighter than expected deadline to get the the tunnel!  Thanks to Sue for driving and the all important photos of great weekend!  Where shall we go next!!!

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