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2009 Eukanuba World Challenge announced

Dakira Sawahin
Last year’s winner was the beautiful Saluki, Dakira Sawahin, from Germany,
owned, bred and handled by Dagmar Hintzenberg-Freisleben, seen here with judge
Hans Mueller, Ron Menaker (AKC Chairman, far left) and Denis Sprung,
President of the AKC (second right)

Eukanuba, manufacturer of premium dog nutrition, is proud to announce the launch of the 2009 Eukanuba World Challenge. Once again, the finals for this magnificent event will be hosted at the AKC/Eukanuba National Championships on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th December at the Long Beach Convention Centre in California. This year the event looks set to be even more impressive than previous years with changes to the competition that will allow the world’s top dogs and new countries to participate in the 2009 Eukanuba World Challenge.

The 2008 Eukanuba World Challenge Champion was selected from the group of 12 "Challenge" finalists, by the distinguished Mr Hans Müller, FCI President and world famous All Breed Judge. He revealed the 2008 Eukanuba World Champion as the Saluki "Dakira Sawahin" from Germany, owned, bred and handled by Dagmar Hintzenberg-Freisleben. After winning the Challenge, an ecstatic Dagmar declared, "I got it; I made a dream come true."

This year some important changes will be implemented giving more top ranked dogs and additional countries the opportunity to participate in the Eukanuba World Challenge. There will be an automatic invitation to dogs winning some of the world’s most prestigious shows in 2009. Eukanuba will announce which shows will be applicable for these invitations at the FCI European Dog Show in Dublin.

New as well is an exciting semi final of the Eukanuba World Challenge to be held at the FCI World Dog Show in Bratislava in October. The semi final will be judged by all breed judges nominated by the FCI and it will allow Eukanuba to extend invitations to 20 European Countries’ top winning dogs to compete for one of 3 available places to attend the World Challenge final in California. This will be in addition to 21 of the European Countries who have already secured a place in the 2009 Eukanuba World Challenge final.

Dakira Sawahin
Dakira Sawahin and Dagmar Hintzenberg-Freisleben

An additional change, unlike in previous years where the dogs were put into geographical regions, this year’s Eukanuba World Challenge event in December 2009 will see dogs classified and assembled into four non-geographically related regions, allowing dogs from different continents to compete against each other. The winning three dogs from each of the four groups will be selected by that section judge respectively. Those 12 dogs will advance through to the ultimate competition to compete for the title of the 2009 Eukanuba World Challenge Champion.

Anne van Merkensteijn, Eukanuba Global Associate Marketing Director commented: “Eukanuba, FCI and the AKC have accomplished an on-going collaboration, which undoubtedly enhances the world of dogs and brings together those top winning dogs whom otherwise may never have the opportunity to share the same spotlight and compete upon the same world stage. Our support in this global event is a testament of Eukanuba’s passion for dogs.”

The “all breed” judges for the are:

• Mrs Carla Molinari, President Clube Portugues de Canicultura, Alcabideche, Portugal
• Mr Sergio Lopes Meira DeCastro, President Confederacao Brasileria de Cinofilia, from Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
• Mr Greg Eva, President of the Kennel Union of South Africa, from Cape Town, South Africa
• Mr Roberto Velez-Pico, Executive Secretary Federation Canofilia de Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Mr Frank T. Sabella from Wellington, Florida, USA will judge the 12 finalist; the 3 best dogs selected from each section, and crown one of them the 2009 Eukanuba World Challenge Champion, along with $10,000 prize. The runner up and the first runner up will receive prize money $3,000 and $2,000 respectively. And again, the national Kennel Club of the winning dog will be awarded with $5,000, all courtesy of Eukanuba.

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