Barbet News (page 81)
Dog Show, Douai 2016.
While everyone else was heading to France for the European Football Championships we had our own reason for heading to northern France, the Douai National and International Dog Show. With Douai just over an hours drive from Calais it is the nearest major F.C.I. show within reach of the UK, and since our first visit in 2010 we have seen increasing numbers of Brits making the trip.
Archie (Novaforesta Laurel Oak) with judge Mr Michael Forte.
Despite some delays with the Eurotunnel the GB contingent, five dogs and nine owners all arrived safely in Douai on the Friday, just as well as we were informed by text that evening that the barbet had been re-scheduled for 9:00am instead of the advertised 11:20am so we all prepared for an early start! On the Saturday is the French National Show and as at present, UK barbet are registered in France we are eligeable to enter. With such an early start time there was no need to hang around. The dogs passports were checked by the on site vet and we quickly went to find our allotted ring.
Intermediate Female: Truffle and Livvy take their turn.
With two youngsters, Archie (Novaforesta Laurel Oak) and Livvy (Novaforesta Livingstone-Daisy) making their show debuts it was a relief to find that our judge, Michael Forte was from Ireland so at least the instuctions would be in English.
The dogs were all judged in their individual age classes and then finally male and female. Each dog is given its own `critique` and grading. Truffle, Snoop Dog and Boris (Novaforesta Joss Stone, Lady Fern and James Brown respectively) were awarded `Tres Bon` while Archie (Novaforesta Laurel Oak) and Livvy (Novaforesta Livingstone-Daisy) were awarded `Excellent` and both gained the Reserve CACS (Certificat d'Aptitude au Championnat). A great result for the newcomers.
Team GB: (l to r) Archie, Livvy, Snoop, Boris and Truffle.
With our time in the show ring completed early in the day we had plenty of time to visit the `Confirmation Judge`. 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 judge gave all the dogs a thorough going over, checking their height, teeth, coat etc and giving recommendations where appropriate. Happily all our dogs passed, another milestone reached.
Snoop (Novaforesta Lady Fern) passes her `Confirmation` with senior French judge Mr Jean-jacques Dupas.
The only other activity planned for the Saturday was to take the T.A.N. Eau (Test d`Aptitude Naturelle), a basic retrieving test which was to be held in the lake to the rear of the exhibition hall. Sadly, due to the recent heavy rains which caused flooding in Paris and northern France, the lake was still officially closed as it was being pumped out to restore its normal level. despite the lack of the T.A.N. it was lovely to have a walk with all the dogs around the lake. We were able to have our own practice T.A.N. and I`m sure all of the dogs would have passed. It certainly helped to give the owners some confidence that their dogs were up to the mark.
Livvy (Novaforesta Livingstone-Daisy) has no problem with a dummy retrieve.
Being a large group, we had already taken the precaution of booking a restaurant for the evening, and had been given two tables at one end of the room. Apart from the odd `woof` you would never have known that there were five dogs lying under the table. We had a lovely evening with good food, good wine and in good company!
On the Sunday, a more reasonable start time meant a more leisurely breakfast at our hotel before checking out and heading to the show in good time. With Sunday being the International day we were able to meet up with some other barbet owners who had arrived for the day.
Boris (Novaforesta James Brown) graded as `Excellent`.
In the showring, it was again the more senior dogs that took the top prizes but under judge Mr Rui Oliveira of Portugal, Truffle, Snoop Dog and Boris (Novaforesta Joss Stone, Lady Fern and James Brown respectively) were graded `Excellent` while Archie (Novaforesta Laurel Oak) and Livvy (Novaforesta Livingstone-Daisy) were awarded `Excellent` and both gained a second Reserve CACS (Certificat d'Aptitude au Championnat) and the Reserve C.A.C.I.B. (Certificat d'Aptitude au Championnat International de Beauté). The judges on both days clearly liking the two UK youngsters, ones to watch for the future.
The end of show party.
With the formalities complete, all the competitors were invited to join Frank Steegmans and his wife Alex of `Magnum Kiss Curl` kennel for some extravagant nibbles and a drink. A lovely way to end the show. After an easy drive back to Calais, the dogs all passed through Pet Passport control without problem and the homeward journey was only marred by further delays at the Eurotunnel. A successful trip!