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Teckels to the top in Helsinki

Unusually, this year both the Finnish and the Swedish Winners Shows were held the same weekend, December 7th and 8th, depriving both of some of their normal numbers, writes Harry Baxter. Finland had 7,600 dogs, Stockholm maybe two thirds that number.

Groups were scheduled ‘back-to-back.’ Theoretically it was possible to show at both though they are several hours apart by ferry and one hour by air.

Only one had the problem of which of two BIS finals to take part in and difficulties of transport provided the determining factor. On Saturday the Finnish Stovare was the winner of Group 6 (Scent Hounds) in Stockholm, returning to Finland to compete again in a breed entry of 27 before taking the Group over a Dalmatian (2nd), Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen (3rd) and a Drever (4th).

Finnish show organisation was exemplary, the BIS efficient, presentation pleasing but not spectacular, timed to the minute, the only seasonal ‘extra’ a tour of the ring by Father Christmas - on foot!

It was a first, for Paula Heikkenen-Lehkonen, first time to award BIS at the year’s most prestigious Finnish show, and a first time a Dachshund had taken the top award.

The Miniature Smooth Dachshund, Taxgemena Un Poco Mas was “superb” - “Nothing is hidden in a Smooth.” They may be just as true of the Smooth Collie (BIS 3), the Basenji, the Finnish Hound and the Vizsla (BIS 4). BIS 2 was the Wire Haired Fox Terrier and BIS 5 the Golden Retriever. All ten group winners are listed, and a full show report will follow.

Group 1 Smooth Collie - Sandcastle’s Olivia Swing.
Group 2 Min Schnauzer - Gra-Dverg’s King.
Group 3 W.H.F.T. - Starring El Hannibal.
Group 4 Mini S/H Dachs - Taxgemema Un Poco Mas.
Group 5 Basenji - Bulldobas Calido Caribe.
Group 6 Finnish Hound - Kuttatorma Saku.
Group 7 Hungarian Vizsla (smooth) - Hookside Csabas.
Group 8 Golden Retriever - Golden Soul Feelgood.
group 9 Min Poodle - Seltar’s Beauty Stranger.
Group 10 Afghan Hound - Ingenue Sebaztian.