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
European Cup - Races in Versoix, Switzerland on 7 & 8 September 2013

The Leman Society for Greyhound Racing was delighted to welcome the Championship for the 9th time. The organising committee had pulled out all the stops to ensure that this event took place in the very best conditions. The grass track was prepared to an exceptional standard. We must point out that the prices had been calculated so that everyone could have something to eat without going bankrupt. No fewer than 354 dogs were entered to contend for the title of European Champion.

The dogs were divided into groups as follows:

Afghans 21 bitches 16 dogs
Azawakhs 5 bitches 3 dogs
Borzois 14 bitches 8 dogs
Deerhounds 5 bitches 3 dogs
Spanish Greyhounds 5 bitches 6 dogs
Irish Wolfhounds 4 bitches 3 dogs
Hungarian Greyhounds 11 bitches 8 dogs
Pharaoh Hounds 5 bitches 6 dogs
Salukis 20 bitches 12 dogs
Arabian Greyhounds 10 bitches 6 dogs
Whippets 61 bitches 65 dogs
Italian Greyhounds 20 bitches 12 dogs

The decision of the CDL (FCI Commission for Sighthounds Races) to re-measure all the Whippets and Italian Greyhounds taking part in the championship aroused a great deal of questioning and discussion. In fact, the organisation was obliged to modify the planned programme, because of a problem with dogs which did not conform to the sizes laid down by the FCI. They had to arrange to measure all the Whippets and Italian Greyhounds, on Friday, September 6th. The measurements were taken by a delegate of the CDL, under the supervision of Mr Iser, the President of the CDL. A great deal of tact and diplomacy was required when explaining to owners that their dogs were too big. The inspection revealed that the size criteria for dogs had not been respected. It should also be pointed out that some owners did not turn up, as they knew that their Greyhounds were too large. In the light of these events, we can say that the cheats stayed at home. Measuring the dogs will have to be more than a one-off event, since the credibility of the CDL is at stake. It must take place at all important racing meetings.

The opening ceremony took place on Friday evening in the presence of the local authorities. The parade of the team leaders was accompanied by the official brass band of the Republic and Canton of Geneva, La Musique de la Police. The parade was greatly enjoyed by the participants.

On Saturday the large breeds, apart from the Greyhounds and Hungarian Greyhounds, competed for the title. We saw some magnificent races during the day. We were able to see how breeds such as Irish Wolfhounds and Deerhounds performed in an outstanding manner in the cynodrome. During the day, no less than 15 titles were awarded before a large crowd and in good weather.

On Sunday, in unsettled weather, we started with Whippets, Italian Greyhounds, Greyhounds and Hungarian Greyhounds. A great many more races had to be scheduled for this day, as a lot of dogs undertook an optional second run. The crowd and owners were able to watch hotly contested finals.

On Sunday, unfortunately, despite the excellent condition of the grass track, a Hungarian Greyhound broke a paw. We wish this dog a speedy recovery. Happily, this is the only serious accident we have to report.

You can see all the results on the website: www.igwr.ch

In spite of everything, it was observed when entering dogs that problems arose with several federations. We realised that some countries were unaware of the FCI rules. In fact, during licence checks, it was noticed that some participants were not eligible to enter any of the races in the championship. Nevertheless, the officials had allowed people to travel to Versoix, knowing that they risked being unable to take part. In view of these problems, the team leaders took the decision to allow their dogs to run. Ignoring the rules creates precedents which will make it more and more difficult to enforce them.

Marcel Borloz

Borzoi Stephun’s Anfisa – Klein (DE)
Afghan Hound Kassidy – Leloup (BE)
Saluki Laaibah of Falconers Dream – Wiehser (AT)
Greyhound Vierin Zeagle – Valvekens (BE)
Magyar Agar Thajra Erdesz – Leman (DE)
PLI Fifablue del Buffone – Toma (IT)