Call to take part in the FCI Centenary Champion of Champions event

Half of the FCI Centenary Year has now gone by and we can already look back on two very successful centenary events: the FCI Centenary Winner Show in Dortmund and the FCI Centenary World Dog Show in Paris. The next major event, shortly to be taking place, will be the Centenary European Show in Leeuwarden (NL). We would like to take this opportunity of wishing the organisers every success.

The culmination of the Centenary Year will be the FCI Cynological Days, to be held in Brussels on 11-14 November. We would like to recommend the following events to member and partner countries: the symposium on 11 November and the FCI Centenary World Champion of Champions (CoC) competition on 12 November 2011 (open to qualified dogs), together with the Centenary Gala Evening (for delegates from national kennel clubs and invited guests). We recommend exhibitors not to miss the FCI Centenary World Champion of Champions event on 12 November. Entries for this event will be accepted and processed by the Union Royale Cynologique Saint-Hubert in the period 5-30 September 2011. Reminder: Qualified dogs are those having gained a CACIB at either the Brussels Show in December 2010 or at one of the Centenary shows (Dortmund, Paris or Leeuwarden) in 2011. Also entitled to take part are all "FCI international champions" (CIB and CIE). With the CoC event in Brussels a "once in a blue moon" event, we hope to see as many qualified dogs as possible taking part. The more dogs entered, the more interesting the competition will be. We are counting on your being there!

Yours sincerely,

Hans W. Müller
FCI President
Junior Handler : Hilde-Marie Fredriksson

Hi Hilde-Marie Fredriksson, thank you for accepting this interview for the fourth edition of the FCI Newsletter. Please, tell us something about you in few words: who are you, how old are you, when did you meet dogs for the first time and which breed do you have at home?

I’m Hilde-Marie Fredriksson, a 16-year old girl from Finland. I got my first dog when I was 7 years old, a kleinspitz. Nowadays I have two kleinspitzes at home.

In what countries have you ever competed as a Junior Handler and which were your major awards?

I’ve competed in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Estonia, Great Britain, Lithuania, Hungary, Slovenia, Slovakia and France. My major awards would be the Nordic championship 2009 & 1st place in the Nordic championship team competition, Finnish championship 2010, shortlisted to top 8 in Cruft’s and World championship 2011 in Paris. Other awards like Finnish ranking-list 1st and 2nd place in 2008 & 2009 are huge achievements!

Do you have a special feeling about a specific breed which you prefer to handle? What are the breeds you use to show in competitions?

I actually don’t have a “favourite” breed. I like to show different breeds, though I really enjoy showing salukis, because they’re so calm. I have a different breed in almost every competition, because I think it’s important to learn showing many kinds of dogs.

How did you start with that career? How did you learn about it? Do you remember your first experience in the ring?

I started to compete in child&dog competitions in unofficial shows with my very shy and difficult kleinspitz. When I was too old for that, I went to a junior handling competition and was placed as 5th of 20 handlers! That was when I thought, this could be a nice hobby. I learnt by doing and watching, and also when I got to know junior handlers, because they helped me a lot! My first official junior handling competition was in 2005 with my shy kleinspitz. It did not go very well, and the dog did not let the judge touch her. Anyway, I started to compete more and more with my own dog. After a half year of active handling I got to lend a dog for the first time, a Samoyed and in our first competition we won our age group!

Do you think it’s easy to be a Junior Handling Judge?

No I don’t think! No, no and no! There are many different styles of handling but the technique is usually the same. When everyone does the technique part right, then it’s up to the judges own opinion, and that’s the part when it’s the hardest for a judge, I think.

How is Junior Handling organised in your country?

I think the competitions are very nicely organised and we get information in good time and stuff like that. The prizes and trophies that we get are also often very nice. I just sometimes don’t think that people respect this hobby as much as they should. We are the future handlers and breeders, and I think we should get treated like that. Like everyone else (: We could maybe have more handling courses, because we are very excited to learn more)!

In your opinion what is the most important skill to be a good Junior Handler?

To have a skill to connect with different dogs and treat the dogs well. A good junior handler should also be able to show the best part of her dog and really work with cooperation with it. She should show the dog, not herself.

Many times people say that parents are often causes of tensions in the sport. Should parents encourage Junior Handling or leave Juniors caring about that? Tell us about your experience.

I don’t think that parents should press the juniors to do something if they don’t want to. But the support of parents is very important; because often they may pay your entries and costs of travel. Junior handling is all about you and a dog, not about your parents and winning.

Do you personally take care of grooming?

No I don’t, because we don’t have a dog which takes a lot of grooming. Just brushing and washing, but not more than that. If someone asks me to help with grooming, I of course help. I would like to learn more, because the preparation of the dog for shows is on the same level as showing the dog in the show!

Are you showing dogs professionally too?

I’m not so much into taking money of showing dogs, because it’s my hobby and it’s just my advance to show a new dog and get to know the breed.

What are your plans for the future?

I will finish my school first. I may start breeding and want to become a successful handler. I want to get a real showdog that I can start to handle in shows and hopefully go abroad to study more about dogs & handling!

Thank you for this interview Hilde-Marie Fredriksson, we wish you good luck for your next shows!

Interview by Carina Kitti

Editor’s note: Hilde-Marie Fredriksson won the Junior Handler competition on Sunday July 10th, 2011 during the World Dog Show in Paris. Congratulations!