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Eukanuba World Challenge

A magnificent event for the world’s Top Dogs

Hans Mueller, President of the FCI
Hans Mueller, President of the FCI

Eukanuba, the global premium dog food company, has announced the launch of the Eukanuba World Challenge 2008. This follows the success of the highly acclaimed 2007 inaugural event, where one Top Dog from each of the 40 participating countries was invited to represent their country and compete for the title Eukanuba World Challenge Champion 2007.

Karl Reisinger, Vice President FCIThis year Eukanuba has invited an additional 12 countries to participate by selecting their Top Dog to represent them at the Eukanuba World Challenge 2008. This results in a total of 52 Top Dogs competing, one from each of the participating countries. All those invited will compete for the prestigious Eukanuba World Challenge 2008 Champion title, which is awarded to the ultimate winner along with the prize money of $10,000. The event will once again be hosted at the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship in Long Beach, California, USA on the 13th and 14th December 2008. “The Eukanuba World Challenge shines the spotlight on the world’s top dogs in a very unique way, and perhaps even brings the international dog fancy closer together,” notes AKC Chairman Ron Menaker.

“The American Kennel Club is proud to host this prestigious event at the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship. We can think of no better podium from which to celebrate quality in dogs and recognise excellence without borders.” It should be noted that the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship is an entirely separate competition from the Eukanuba World Challenge and different rules will apply. Eukanuba World Challenge representatives may however, if they are an AKC recognised breed, compete in the regular breed class and the Bred-By-Exhibitor competition.

Davis Merriam, AKC Vice ChairmanEukanuba is working in co-operation with the FCI, the AKC and national Kennel Clubs from around the world to create this exciting opportunity for breeders/owners/handlers and their Top Dogs. The national Kennel Club from each participating country will be responsible for the selection process, or in a few cases according to clear rules allowing for an independent selection of the Top Dog. The eligibility criteria can be either a Best in Show win at a designated show or based on a ranking points system. The 52 countries will be divided into four sections, predicated on the geographical region; the European and South Africa section, which will be sub-divided into Europe and Africa; section 1 and Europe and Africa; section 2: the Asia and Oceania section and the Americas section. There will be a draw held at the World Dog Show in Sweden, adjudicated by the Hon David Merriam, AKC Vice-Chairman, to decipher which of the countries from Europe and Africa will go into section 1 or into section 2. Each country’s nominated dog will be representing their country in the relevant section. There will be four world renowned judges: Edd Bivin from the USA judging the Europe and Africa section 1; Rafael De Santiago from Puerto Rico for Europe and Africa section 2; Ellis Hulme from the UK for the Asia and Oceania section and Paolo Dondino from Italy for the Americas section.

Ron Menaker, Chairman of AKCLast year there were three sections; one dog was selected from each section to go forward to the final. At this year’s event each section will be judged independently and three winners from each section will be selected to go on to the final Challenge. The excitement and anticipation will be intensified for spectators, breeders, owners and exhibitors alike as the 12 dogs go through to the final to compete for the coveted title and prize money. These 12 finalists will be presented in the Best In Show ring to the FCI President and all breed judge, Mr Hans Muller. He will then select the ultimate winner, awarding the title Eukanuba World Challenge Champion 2008 along with a beautifully engraved trophy and prize money of $10,000, a runner-up will be awarded $3,000 and a first runner up $2,000. The national Kennel Club of the ultimate winner will be presented with a recognition prize of $5,000.

The Eukanuba World Challenge final will be taped and televised by Animal Planet, as it was at last year’s inaugural event when we witnessed American Cocker Spaniel Multi Ch Very Vigie Vamos A La Playa, representing Switzerland, scoop up the Eukanuba World Challenge Champion 2007 title along with the $10,000 prize money. The officiating judge was the notable FCI Vice President, Karl Reisinger, who commented: “It was an honour for me to judge dogs at such a top level and I was deeply impressed with the excellent quality of all the representatives”. His ultimate winner Vamos, handled to his victorious win by Hughes Schuh, was bred by Laurent Pichard and is co-owned by Joelle Doucet and Dr Juan Louis Staufir. Laurent, who has bred more than 250 Champions across three breeds in over 30 years, speaks very fondly of his time spent at the Eukanuba World Challenge and was ecstatic when Vamos won. “I will go down in the history books as being the breeder of the very first winner. What an honour to represent my country, Switzerland, and to win the very first Eukanuba World Challenge. Hughes deserves credit too. He is a very talented handler and groomer. We make a great team. The show was exceptionally well organised, a credit to the American Kennel Club and Eukanuba. We had a fantastic time; all the Eukanuba people who looked after us were fun and very friendly.”

Rafael De SantiagoThe 2008 Eukanuba World Challenge event will be even more impressive and spectacular this year. Fifty-two Top Dogs will be representing their country, courtesy of Eukanuba. They will all be escorted into the large, elegantly carpeted ring accompanied by flag bearers carrying their country’s flag.

Any breeders or owners who would like to know more about the qualifying criteria and the opportunity to represent their country for the Eukanuba World Challenge 2008 can visit

Eukanuba will be hosting a panel discussion and a World Challenge 2008 presentation at the World Dog Show in Sweden. All members of the press who are interested in attending should email Lorna Hastings on or Zbyszek Kalenik at

Countries invited to participate in the 2008 event
(* denotes new countries)

Europe and South Africa Asia and Oceani The Americas
Czech Republic

South Africa
United Kingdom


South Korea
*New Zealand
Puerto Rico