FCI in transition

We are living in a changeable world. Politically the last 25 years have been characterised by very big changes: New countries have emerged, others have dissolved and new state formations have appeared.

This has of course affected the FCI and our whole organisation. We have become many more members and before long we will probably pass a total of 100 full member countries, associated countries and contract partners. And not many years ago we were “only” 70 countries.
As most people will know, our statutes are based on the principle “one country – one vote” and this principle will surely be challenged in the coming years, as the rapid increase in the number of members with a lot of quite small kennel clubs is diluting the influence of the large and middle-sized countries; those countries that pay for almost the entire running of the FCI (the 5 largest contributors pay more than 1/3 of the total income of the FCI).

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Jørgen Hindse
2013 Earthdog Grand Prix

The earthdog trial regulations approved by the FCI General Committee were applied for the second time on 30 August - 1 September 2013. As was the case last year, the FCI Earth Dog Commission awarded the Thuringia subsidiary of the German Teckel Club responsibility for staging this year's EGP. Led by trial director Hubert Stäblein, the 40-man team of volunteers was well up to the task, maintaining control throughout the trials. It is a demanding assignment to set up and run a high-quality international competition, including a supporting programme, starting from scratch. In addition to logistics, accommodation and catering for a group of around 50, an internationally compatible artificial den was needed for working below ground on predatory game, as well as a few hundred hectares of woods for the blood tracking section and the search and flushing out of game. Well stocked with game, the hunting grounds of Thuringia were certainly predestined for such a top-ranking trial. The earthdogs had to show their various skills during these trials. Working a fox in the artificial den before the shot (in accordance with animal welfare criteria and without direct contact), and searching for game over a broad area in thickets above the ground in order to flush it out both had to be successfully accomplished, as well as a wide range of demands regarding the obedience of the dogs. The final challenge was the work after the shot in the artificial blood tracking discipline with a minimum laying time of 20 hours, without being accompanied by the judges. If the handler and the dog lose the scent during this part of the trial, they end up “out in the back of nowhere”, with nobody on the spot to offer assistance. This makes it practically impossible to complete the trials successfully.

Of the 14 teams entered, 12 (1 German Hunting Terrier and 11 Teckels) teams from Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland and the Czech Republic ultimately decided to face up to the challenging demands set. There was also a "first", with a German Hunting Terrier taking part in the Grand Prix for the first time. Knut Wedel with his Ambra was the well-cared-for mascot of the organisers, and it soon became clear that this team was in top form. The GHT team “came, saw and conquered”, ending up with a CACIT placing.

Die 7 erfolgreichen Gespanne v.l:
  • Caramelo Zelene mytiny mit Vaclav Luka CZ
  • Justus Nonnenschlag mit Roswitha Eckstein D
  • Dusty Boyvital mit Gonny v. Tankeren NL
  • Kyrah Jufferfey mit Alfred Schmucki CH
  • Enzo Uhlighof mit Albert Kreuzer A
  • Ambra Hohen Börde mit Knut Wedel D
  • Henry Schloss Rosenau mit Bernd Trautmann D

The tough trial requirements soon started whittling down the field, and at the end of the first day three teams had failed to complete the blood tracking, one team had failed the obedience test, and one team had failed the test in the artificial den, with the result that there were only seven teams left on Sunday for the wide-area search. Happily all seven teams were able to successfully overcome this final hurdle.

The international judging panel was made up of judges from four countries:

Xavier van den Eynden Belgium
Johann Huschens Germany
Steffen Maar Germany
Peter Mätzke Germany
Robert Osterwalder Switzerland
Jaroslav Svec Czech Republic

The practical section of the trials was completed at around 12:00 on Sunday, after which it was time for the obligatory paperwork to begin. Trial director Hubert Stäblein maintained a clear view over the entire course of the event, including this phase, and it didn't take long for the final result to be announced.

1st Short-haired dachshund Caramelo Zelene mytiny, Vaclav Luka (CZ) 256 points (CACIT)
2nd Wire-haired dachshund Kyrah Jufferfey, Alfred Schmucki (CH) 252 points (CACIT)
3nd German Hunting Terrier Ambra Hohen Börde, Knut Wedel (DE) 246 points (CACIT)
4th Wire-haired dachshund Justus Nonnenschlag, Roswitha Eckstein (DE) 223 points
5th Short-haired dachshund Enzo Uhlighof, Albert Kreuzer (AT) 202 points
6th Short-haired dachshund Dusty Boyvital, Gonny v.Tankeren (NL) 190 points
7th Short-haired dachshund Henry Schloss Rosenau, Bernd Trautmann (DE) 180 points

This result compared well with last year when no team achieved a score qualifying it for a CACIT. It was therefore a great surprise to have three teams awarded the CACIT. The minimum score qualifying a team for a CACIT at an EGP is 244 points. The maximum score achievable is 256 points.

Joachim Dietl1. Vorsitzender LV Thüringen DTK
Xavier van den EyndenDelegierter B
Steffen MaarObmann Jagdgebrauch DTK
Vaclav LukaSieger GPE 2013 CZ
Peter MätzkeHauptleistungswart DFV
Jaroslav SvecDelegierter CZ
Hubert StäbleinPrüfungsleiter D
Johann HuschensParson Russel Terrier Club D
Robert OsterwalderPräsident FCI-Erdhundekommission

As the body responsible for and the organiser of these CACIT trials, the FCI Earth Dog Commission is dependent upon sponsoring by the member associations of the FCI Earth Dog Commission, as well as affiliated interest groups. The FCI Earth Dog Commission does not receive contributions from anywhere and therefore does not have any assets. It is only thanks to donations by

  • The German Foxterrier Association
  • The German Teckel Club 1888 (DTK)
  • Gero Handels AG (CH)
  • Parson Russel Terrier Club (DE)
  • Royal Teckel Club Belgien
  • Schweizerische Kynologische Gesellschaft (SCS)
  • The Czech Teckel Club
  • Töpferei Weingarten Römhild (DE)
  • Welt Union Teckel

that this event could be put on at all in this magnificent way. Many thanks to all the participants and the sponsors.

The Hildburghausen-Sonnenberg team with its 40 volunteers looked after those taking part in the trials in a splendid manner. They were always there to provide friendly assistance whenever they were needed. The blood tracking sections were excellently laid out, the artificial den was in very good condition, the foxes in the best of shape, the Thuringia forest well stocked with game, the hospitality at the club house in competent hands, the “Green Evening” event on Saturday accompanied by good musical entertainment and a delicious hot and cold buffet. All this and the accommodation at a capacious country inn certainly made the trip to Thuringia very worthwhile. Hope to see you all again next year.

Robert Osterwalder
President of the FCI Earth Dog Commission