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IKC unveils ‘Winners Show’ bid

Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern meets the IKC Committee

The Irish Kennel Club has unveiled details of its bid to the FCI to bring the European Winners Show 2009 to Ireland.

At its monthly ‘Ard Comhairle’ meeting, elected representatives of breed clubs, general all breed societies and working gundog clubs among others were given a detailed update on the bid, which will be put forward at the FCI meeting to be held in conjunction with the European Winners Show in Helsinki this week.

The bid will see the Irish Kennel Club and Ireland cement their relationship with the FCI, having received an impressive one hundred per cent unanimous acceptance for full membership of the FCI last June at a meeting following the World Show in Argentina.

Mr. Nick Hammond, Chairman of the General Purposes committee of the Irish Kennel Club, outlined the details of the bid to an appreciative gathering at the plush surroundings of the Crown Plaza Hotel in Dublin. In his presentation, Mr. Hammond informed the representatives that the event would be run with the full support of Failte Ireland, who are responsible for the marketing of Ireland as a tourist destination. The bid also has the backing of the government and Taoiseach (the Prime Minister) Bertie Ahern who gave a message of support to the Irish Kennel Club in their endeavors to bring this prestigious event to Ireland.

In a powerpoint presentation shown to the representatives and also forwarded to all Kennel Club organisations in Europe, the IKC explained their interest in running the event and focused on the reasons why Ireland was ready to host the event.

If successful in the bid, the show will be held at the Royal Dublin Society’s Exhibition Centre and Showgrounds in Ballsbridge, home of the famous Dublin Horse Show and home to the Irish Kennel Club’s St. Patrick’s Day Dog Show and a number of other canine society shows down the years.

The venue has also hosted numerous prestigious events including the Eurovision Song Contest and large concerts by major international acts.

The IKC’s own venue, the National Show Centre at Cloghran, just beside Dublin Airport, will be the equivalent of an event village for the duration of the show. It is envisaged to have camping facilities, kenneling, catering and entertainment centred on the Cloghran venue . There will be shuttle services in operation between the event village and the main venue. In addition to this it is expected that various breed clubs and group clubs will apply to run breed and group specialties during the weekend of the main event and it is envisaged that most of these would be held at the National Show Centre.

Various well known Irish dog lovers have come on board to give their support to the Irish Kennel Club for the bid including the frontman of band ‘The Dubliners’, Ronnie Drew who will give a personal message of support for the final presentation at the meeting of the FCI in Helsinki where the decision on who hosts the European Winners Show 2009 will be made.

Speaking to OUR DOGS last week, Mr .Nick Hammond said that the IKC remained hopeful that the FCI delegates meeting in Helsinki on June 12th would give Ireland the opportunity to bring this premier event to Ireland. He said that a positive decision in Ireland’s favour would be a massive boost for the sport in Ireland and that it could pave the way for further exciting developments which would make the European Winners Show 2009 even more spectacular.