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 VGP European Dachshund Cup in Steigerwald (DE)

The InterVGP (International Utility Test for Teckels) trial regulations approved by the FCI General Committee were applied on 4 - 6 October 2013, with the North Bavaria Dachshund Club (DCN), a member of the German Teckel Club, given the responsibility of organising the trials. The trials were in the competent hands of DCN President, Ms Ute Hellfeier and trial director Mr Reinhold Meyer. 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. In addition a watercourse suitable for dachshunds was needed for the water test. The Steigerwald in Bavaria proved to be just the right venue for this high-ranking event, as had already been seen back in 2000, the last time the European Dachshund Cup was held there. The skills required included 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, as well as a wide range of demands regarding the obedience of the dogs. A further 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. The final challenge was to retrieve a duck from deep water - a wet affair if any!

Richterkollegium mit Prüfungsleiter, v.l:
Jiri CikrytDelegierter CZ
Hans OstermannPräsident ÖDK
Steffen MaarObmann Jagdgebrauch DTK
Stefanus MiddendorfPräsident DTK/WUT
Klaus SchulzSchliefenwart Kunstbauanlage DJTC
Robert OsterwalderPräsident FCI-Erdhundekommission
Reinhold MeyerPrüfungsleiter DCN
Antonio PalladiniPräsident ABC I
Katrin MaarD
Xavier van den EyndenDelegierter B

Of the 15 teams entered, only 8 teams from Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, and the Czech Republic ultimately decided to face up to the challenging demands set. Even before the trials had officially started on Friday evening, the organisers found themselves confronted with a major problem. Although both the FCI trial regulations and the invitation letter both clearly listed entry requirements (the dogs' scorecards), the Hungarians had entered a team not complying with these. There were no two ways about it – the team was not allowed to start. This led to the remaining three Hungarian participants, two judges and a handler, deciding to boycott the trials. All four headed back home on Saturday morning. 5 teams did not turn up, excusing themselves in advance for various reasons. The organisers were lucky to be able to call up two judges from amongst the spectators, meaning that the judging panel was again back to full strength.

The 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 and one team had failed the flushing out test, with the result that there were only four teams at the start on Sunday for the working-below-ground and water tests. Happily all four teams were able to successfully overcome this final hurdle.

Die vier erfolgreichen Amazonen mit ihren vier Hündinnen, v.l:
  • Erika Gissing mit Kora
  • Zdenka Leonhardtova mit Angie
  • Monica Pagella mit Hanuta
  • Clarissa Günnewig mit Desi

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

Xavier van den Eynden Belgium
Katrin Maar Germany
Steffen Maar Germany
Stefanus Middendorf Germany
Antonio Palladini Italy
Hans Ostermann Austria
Robert Osterwalder Switzerland
Ulli Sand Switzerland
Jiri Cikryt 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. The final result was announced after lunch.

2013 winner Wire-haired dachshund Desi derer zu Pempelfort, Clarissa Günnewig (AT) 276 points (CACIT)
2nd Wire-haired dachshund Hanuta von der Bismarck-Eiche, Monica Pagella (IT) 263 points
3rd Short-haired dachshund Angie Bella Morawia, Zdenka Leonhardtova (CZ) 240 points
4th Wire-haired dachshund Kora z Oravskej Maguri, Erika Gissing (AT) 227 points

Präsidenmtin DCN Ute Hellfeier mit klubeigener Bläsergruppe

There was one incident that really shook up everybody - one participant lost hold of the leash in the blood tracking event, with the result that the dog set off on its own, ignoring the work demanded of it. The whole of Saturday was spent looking for the dog. Without success. Sunday morning saw everyone available carefully searching the part of the woods in question - this time successfully! After 24 hours the black-and-red short-haired dachshund was found uninjured - the leash had become entangled in a tree-trunk. This was certainly no pleasant experience for the dachshund, as there had been heavy rain showers that Saturday. This incident nevertheless had a great team-building effect. The most important event of this three-day competition, this search for the missing dog had a happy end.

Conclusion: A young lady and her wire-haired dachshund bitch ended up taking the prized CACIT (qualifying the dog for the FCI title of Champion Working Dog) back with her to Austria. Indeed, two of the four finishing teams came from Austria. All four teams were completely female, with both the handlers and the dogs belonging to the "fairer sex". The men are going to have to start pulling up their socks - fast. The DCN team did a great job of looking after the participating teams, and the "Green Evening" event on Saturday, to the musical accompaniment of the DCN's hunting horn ensemble, went down very well. This generous and heart-warming hospitality certainly made the trip to Bavaria very worthwhile. A “Weidmannsdank” for the North Bavaria Dachshund Club.

Robert Osterwalder
President of the FCI Earth Dog Commission