Ian is on top of the world
Dog World|March 17,2017

Winner of the first Eukanuba World Challenge to be held at Crufts was the Maltese from Italy, Franco Prosperi’s Ch Cinecitta’ Ian Somerhalder, handled by Javier Gonzales Mendikote. With them are Kennel Club chairman Simon Luxmoore, event chairman Jose Luis Ibanez of Eukanuba, judge Laurent Pichard, Johan van Rietschoten of Spectrum Brands, Franco’s partner Stefano Paolantoni and FCI president Rafael de Santiago.

Marina Scott

THE EUKANUBA World Challenge celebrated its tenth anniversary at the world’s greatest show, Crufts.

There is no dog event in the world that can compare to this unique competition. It spent the first six years in the US, followed by a two-year stint alongside the Amsterdam Winner Show when the decision to bring the exciting competition to Crufts was made.

With the support of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) and the Kennel Club (UK), 32 dogs from five continents earned a slot to compete at the event. The competitors had qualified either by being best in show at a major international dog show such as the World Show and Crufts or by being selected by their country’s kennel club.

The FCI is the largest canine organisation in the world and includes 91 members and recognises 344 breeds. The FCI has been a partner of Eukanuba for ten years and has been an invaluable supporter of the Eukanuba World Challenge since the competition began in 2007.

Hive of activity

The competition slotted into the main ring programme in the Genting Arena as if it had always been there but I can imagine a lot of sacrifices had to be made to find the extra time and space for the event. The main ring is a hive of activity from 9am until 8pm on all four days of Crufts and the Eukanuba World Challenge opening flag ceremony began at 5.30pm on day one. All competitors were announced individually into the ring accompanied by their nation’s flags and many were also joined by representatives from the country’s Kennel Clubs.

Immediately following this we watched the semi-final judging. The dogs had been pre-judged in rings 35/36 in hall 5 earlier in the day so there was no hanging around – the judges just saw them move once more and then their top four dogs were selected to go through to the best of the best final.

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