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(Updated 8/7/01)

Interra 2001, Israel

Report and photo by Karl Donvil

BIS was judged by Monique Van Brempt (Belgium), who found her BIS winner in the
Russian owned Kerry Blue, Volkola’s Ch Avgust Strong Sensibility

THIS YEAR, the well-known Interra Terrier show took place in an Israeli Kibbutz a day before the European Championship all breeds show in Tel Aviv.

It took some time to find out where the Kibbutz was. The inhabitants of the neighbourhood hardly understood English and as the pronunciation of the Hebrew name of the Kibbutz was a little bit more problematic as English it meant that we were forced to explore the area for some time.

Once we found the location, it seamed very clean, mostly in open air, while the ring of honour was located on the covered sports field. It was rather hot, but fortunately the wind was making the heath bearable. The dogs themselves seemed to feel comfortable. Besides, there was plenty of shade.

It was not crowded with visitors at all and because the area was rather vast it looked like there was not so much to do. But in fact, I was surprised to find 160 terriërs to be judged by the three judges, Mrs Monique Van Brempt (Belgium), Mr.Horst Kliberstein (Germany) and Mr. Ole Staunskaer (Denmark). Twenty different breeds were representing the Terrier group. The best represented among them were the American Staffordshire Terriers with 31 entries, followed by the Airedales with 28, the Yorkshires with 21 and the Scottish Terriers with 19. Those numbers aren’t bad at all in my opinion, especially when compared to the total number of entries for the European Dogshow all Breeds, the next day, with 1224 entries! And this show had an international representation too. The majority of the dogs came of course from Israel itself, but besides that there was also a strong delegation from Russia with no less then 43 dogs and further on seven entries from Spain, four Finnish dogs, three from Holland, two out of France, two from Hungary, the same number from Slovenia and even one from Greece.

Just like it was at the European Dog show, the quality of the Russian dogs was exceptional and it was no surprise that they were high ranking. The brilliantly trimmed, almost stylised Kerry Blue won every trophy with ease. It was the very same dog that would also win the BIS the next day at the European Dogshow. It was thrilling to see such a dog, but I really wonder where we will end at last if this breed and many others will be trimmed in such a manner that it will hardly be possible to suspect that these are the Terriers that once destroyed rats, mice, rabbits and foxes on the British Islands and were known for their rough nature and weather resistant coats. Even the Russian Terriers, also handled by Russians, gorgeous examples, were overtrimmed in my opinion.

I don’t have a problem with the fact that a working dog is turned into a house pet, but what if we are going to use them as hairdressers models? This is something the judges should watch over. After all it is their responsibility to preserve and improve our breeds, but not alter them into something that doesn’t cope any longer with the roots of the breeds.

Karl Donvil