A Challenge for the new age

Modernisation, communications and innovation are now a reality and an integrated part of our everyday life at the office of the FCI. In response to the many solicitations that reach us daily from every part of the globe, we supply information and try to provide the best possible services to our member countries and to the world of organised dog-related activities.

In fact we continuously strive for excellence.

Suddenly the world has gone global in many respects and all of us feel the need to be in full and immediate contact at all moments. Consequently, the need to communicate within the major areas of our activities has increased and so have the demands for immediate responses. For this reason also, the requests that are forwarded to our Organisation at management level have increased tremendously and almost instantly.

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Carla Molinari
Treasurer of the FCI
European Championships - Lure coursing, Halbinsel Pouch (DE), 22-23 June

This year the championship brought us to Germany, the peninsular Pouch, near Bitterfeld. Only a few days before big parts of this area had been flooded. Luckily the grounds for the lure coursing event were not affected. The scenery is the largest natural art object in the world and also hosts a yearly music festival. More space than enough for 4 fields and a camping ground. Just a shame that the whole area was covered with pieces of broken glass. It took the members of the organising Greppin sighthound racing club, with the help of other enthusiasts, quite some time to track at least the coursing fields and remove the thousands of glass fragments. A total of 807 dogs were entered whereof 326 dogs had to compete the first day on 3 fields. Field number 1 was the most diverse field with a lot of turns and difficulties which required a lot of endurance. The 2nd field took off in a long straight line which turned to the right just before a huge hill. Dogs which chose the wrong direction often lost the lure for the rest of the course and were eliminated for the day. A lot of slopes, high grass and bushes were worked into field nr 3. The dogs needed to be very intelligent and agile to follow the lure. The slightest mistake or lack of speed to keep up with the competitor resulted in losing the lure. Fearing that they would not be able to finish the 480 dogs for the second day, the organisation decided to add a 4th field and to shorten the distance of field 1. Compared to the others, field number 4 was rather predictable and easy. It must be said that for endurance breeds such as Podenco Ibicenco, Saluki and some others most of the fields did not have enough length. I doubt if most of them even had the minimum of 800 meters which was a bit of a disappointment for many.

© Marc Goetstouwers
Galgo Español

For the statistics lovers amongst us, the largest entry of dogs came from Germany with 159 entries and the lowest entry came from Romania with only 1 whippet in competition. The breeds with the largest entries were the Whippets with a total of 152 dogs followed by the Salukis with 112 dogs in total. The least represented were the Podenco Canario, although the number of 6 was more than what we saw of them at any ECC in the past years. Although some claim that lure coursing is a jury sport, you see - also in large breeds - a lot of dogs in the top 10 that were also there the previous year. Surely this is the proof that talent will always come to the surface and that the judges have a good eye for it. Congratulations to the organisers and their many helping hand of even neighbouring countries, everything went smoothly almost flawless.

© Marc Goetstouwers

Taking into account that these championships started off in 2002 with an entry of 400 dogs and that they more than doubled in 2013, we cannot but wonder if the event will stay manageable. Surely the FCI Sighthounds Races Commission and its new president, Hubert Iser, will come up with an innovative and suitable solution to the growing interest in this wonderful sport.

© Marc Goetstouwers
Afghan Hound

Bettina Fredrix