Axel on top of the world!

Axel del Monte Alago
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Winner of the Eukanuba World Challenge held in Los Angeles was Italy's Bracco Italiano Tripoli & Ahrens's Axel del Monte Alago pictured here with judge Mr Frank Sabella,
AKC chairman Mr Ron Menaker, Mr Peter Friedrich President of the VDH,
Mr Dennis Sprung CEO of the AKC and
Mr Richard Learwood Global Marketing Director of Eukanuba

A BRACCO ITALIANO from Italy took the much coveted titled of the Eukanuba World Challenge winner in Los Angeles last weekend, following a two days of intense judging of some of the best dogs from around the globe.

Axel del Monte Alago was handled to his triumph by Bitte Ahrens who, along with her co-owner, was completely overcome with emotion as the detached voice of the announcer boomed out around the Long Beach Covention Centre Arena. It had been a tense day for the 12 finalists all of whom had been pre-judged the on the first day of the weekend shows. They then went forward to the evening event in the arena under the eye of final judge Mr Frank Sabella who spotted the World Show winner Axel.

Now in its third year the concept of the Eukanuba World Challenge has quickly evolved over the last three years into a competition which has captured the imagination of those breeders and exhibitors who have an eye to world stage of dog shows and dog showing.

Eukanuba's great competition has gone from strength to strength in such a short time and they were generous and attentive hosts to all 41 of this year's competitors. It was a testimony to this care attention that all the dogs involved in the competition were so well cared for and a credit to their breeders that they coped so well with their long journeys to Los Angeles.

In a change of format the four international judges pre-judged their sections in countries not governed by geography, but by a random draw made at the World Show earlier this year.


The move from the Convention Centre rings to the main arena - where it was incorporated into the AKC evening presentations - was a great step and the opening ceremony featured the flags of the nations parading into the ring, with Mrs Angela Cavill carrying the Union flag for Britain and Harry O'Donoghue the flag of St George as breeder of the famous 'Ruby' which qualified at the FCI European Show in Dublin in the Summer.

UK representative Brando aka Ch/Int/Fin/Swe/Est/Lt Ch Black Hope Brando was ably handled by Glynn Payne for Finnish owner Tarja Jarvinen.

On the first night the 12 finalists came through from the four judge as follows from Group 1 judged by Carla Molinari Switzerland's Newfoundland Borello's Simon handled by Fabio Allegra; FCI European Show winner the WFT b Ch Blackdale Carousel owned and handled by Andrew Goodsell and the Pointer from the USA McCarthy & Medeiros's Ch Cookieland Seasyde Hollyberry handled by Michael Scott.

Group 2 judged by Greg Eva the Dobermann b from Argentina Diaz's de lux Luthor Flashdance handled by Lorena Breuer; the Borzoi b from Japan Aminaka's Jubilee Celestial Lumination handled by Yoshio Harada and the Hungarian Puli b Huebner & Kelly's Charlotte from Australia.

Group 3 judged by Roberto Velex-Pico was the Beagle d Tan & Lao's Mikey from the Philippines handled by Gerry Narabel; Sweden's Saluki d Eriksson's Int Ch Shiraz California Dreaming and the WFT b from Brazil Malzoni's Sanherping Arepa.

Group 4 judged by Sergio Lopes Meira De Castro was Taiwan's Toy Poodle d Aust G Ch/Jap Ch Smash JP Three Belle Jackpot handled by Toshinori Omnra; Italy's Bracco Italiano Tripoli & Ahrens's Axel del Monte Alago handled by Bitte Ahrens and Puerto Rico's Thai Ridgeback d Multi Ch Sliver Ja Saak handled by Lemuel Melecio.


In a carefully choreographed final to allow the cameras and TV production team to maintain momentum the audience were kept guessing to the end but it was the World Show winning Bracco which was handed the big blue ribbon in the end.

In addition to being great hosts to all the competitors Eukanuba had also organised breeder seminars on the Thursday dealing with handling, grooming, international travel with dogs and various masterclasses.

The lure of Long Beach and Los Angeles will beckon once more in 2010 when the World Challenge will be held over the first weekend in December before moving south to Florida in 2011.
As an event this has no equal. Where else is it possible to see so many world class dogs competing at such a high level?

Well done once again to everyone involved in the concept of this magnificent achievement and long may the partnership of the AKC and the Eukanuba brand continue to thrive.

The world of dogs needs to nurture such strong links in these difficult times.

View pictures by Bill Moores from the show by clicking here

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