"Sweden September 2009 "


After judging shows in Tervakoski , Finland I was off to Hogbo, Sweden to judge the Gastriklands Kennel Club Annual FCI International Dog Show held on September 5 & 6, 09. My fiance Wendy Anderson and I took the overnight ferry from Helsinki to Stockholm with fellow judge Bo Skalin and his family from Finland. The crossing was a lot of fun, beginning with a gourmet buffet on board then finishing the night bar hopping on the boat to the various haunts and night clubs before retiring to our luxury cabin for a good nights sleep. We awoke that morning and enjoyed the beautiful voyage amongst the archipelago of islands we had to pass as we approached Stockholm. We then drove an hour north to the hotel located on the grounds of the show site at Hogbo Bruk...quite convenient. We were greeted by committee member Pernilla Ohlsson who welcomed us on behalf of the club. It was situated in a beautiful historical park and our hotel was a spa resort offering all the amenities. We had a delicious meal of lamb for supper and after walking the park grounds, relaxed in our room before turning in for the night.

The next day I judged several breeds included a quality entry of 40 Salukis who were amongst the 3300 total entry at the show. The International panel of judges all had the maximum numbers of dogs assigned to them of approximately 90 dogs each with many overdrawing and requiring several more overflow judges. Under the Swedish system, all dogs are given a written critique and quality ranking from Excellent and downward. Half the groups were judged on Saturday and the remainder on Sunday. Saturday evening we enjoyed dinner with our fellow judges and many of the show officials including Pernilla and show chairperson Patricia Ratsepp.

I had the honour of doing Best In Show and selected the impressive Saluki DK & NO & SE CH NOW Shiraz California Dreamin’ Bred by Nunes-Atkinson V & Edwards M & E of the USA, owned by Eriksson Nicklas & Solberg Eriksson Ingunn, Sweden as my pick with Reserve going to the handsome Pharaoh Hound INT & NORD & NU & HU CH WW Northgate’s As You Like It , bred by Ukura Hanna & Kari, Finland and owned and handled by Jenny Hall from Sweden.

Our time with our friends Bo and Anne had come to an end as they were soon headed off to spend time with the kids before returning home to Finland. Wendy and I were off to Stockholm for the next three days before our trip came to an end.

We had thoroughly done Stockholm a year ago when we were there for the World Show and we reminisced as we went back to our favorite places that provided us with memories. The old city of Gamla Stan, the downtown markets, Central Station were some of the many. This time however, we stayed in a hotel, Scandic, that provided free use of bikes. We had a great time covering a much larger area of Stockholm and surrounding area than we had ever done before. The first day we covered over 27km and did a repeat performance the next day despite a little stiffness! The weather was perfect and we found hidden areas we never would have discovered without the bikes.

Our time in Finland and Sweden was very memorable and we met many new wonderful people with whom we share great memories. We have formed a lasting friendship with Bo and Anne and are looking forward to seeing them again next year when we attend the World Dog Show in Denmark!