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My Donaueschingen experience

After publishing an album from my trip to Donaueschingen on Facebook site, and after so many people liked it I decided to write more about this show, and my experience.

I first heard about Donaueschingen five years ago, when I got my first sighthound Karat. Everyone spoke about this event, ant that this is "must see" for every sighthound breeder or owner.
What do I know about this show?
I know it takes place in small town in south west Germany, that usually number of entered sighthounds is around 1000, that it is a show in open place, surrounded by green, that there is a nice castle near, that they always invite good judges and breed specialists and that is always great party for owners.

It was (and still is) my great wish to show my dogs on this event. But what bad luck I had. My Zara lost all her coat after heat and I made fun that she can only be shown in greyhound class. My other female Neva looked really good at that time, had super coat condition and muscles from trainings but – she went in heat, and we supposed to drive in same car with a male, so it was a no go. It would be too difficult. So, sadly, I left my two show girls at home and decided to take my camera with me and go just as visitor to this show. I am very curious person and idea to be able to see in flesh all this borzoi made my heart go faster.

I calculated our route. It was 1000 kilometers for me, and a bit less for my friend Alexandra Gruber (v. Schloss Perchino kennel). She lives in Graz, so the plan was for me to get to the Graz and from there we started our adventure. I wake up early on friday morning and my husband drove me from Varazdin (Croatia) to the Austrian Alps near Graz, were Alexandra lives.

We took to show her two Russian imports, a male Rezvy Veter Zlatoyar, out of famous Borzowski Phenomenon and Vega Shelk Rumyana, and her Russian import Volya Volnaya Osen Rhyzhaya out of Vega Shelk Prima and Vega Shelk Ratibor. Clouse cousins looked like siblings and I was really impressed of their quality.
While waiting to get started with our adventure I also met other members of v. Schloss Perchino kennel, Feya v. SP and her 5 months old puppies Inara, Illiya and Igray. I was a bit sad because just day before Alexandra sold my favorite puppy from photos – Illay. So I missed seeing him in flesh.

We put our bags and the dogs in car and our trip to Donaueschingen started in Austrian Alps on Friday morning. It was very nice day for driving, and I have always admired Alps, specially in summer. Our navigation showed us way through Schladming, a very popular ski resort that Im used to visit only in winter. Now, without snow all looked so green, with big lawns, and I could only imagine how my dogs would love to run there. I guess that is first thought of every sighthound owner when he sees a big field.

Around six o'clock in the afternoon we have reached Donaueschingen, and first thing we saw from highway was two horsemen riding on big polo field. Road showed us a way to green resort and there we found a big parking lot where we parked our car under the trees.
Looking for theoffice we noticed many people have already arrived, we saw many campers and wonderful area for the show where people started to make tents, and prepare for tomorrow.
Some of our borzoi friends were there so we made quick chats, and made some nice photos.

The show ground was perfectly prepared, the grass cutted nice and short and was lovely to run on it.
So, after we said hello to our friends we put out the tent for tomorrow so close to the ring that I could make many photos. And we went to our Hotel, wich was 20 kilometers out of Donaueschingen. As we have applied so late, it was almost impossible to find a room somewhere closer.

 Me, Alexandra Gruber and Mahbuba Trevisan with 
Rezviy Veter Zlatoyar, Volja Volnaja Osen Rhzaya Beliye Volki Gneva Liubov and Bel etual Vronskiy

On Saturday morning, after breakfast we arrived to Donaueschingen again, and there I could feel this show atmosphere. Many dogs were going somewhere, owners were unpacking their stuff, more and more cars were arriving on parking lots.

Saturday judge was Mrs. Patti Widick Neale (Sylvan borzoi) from USA, and I was supposed to show Lis in open class. There were 15 males in open class, 84 borzoi in general. Lis wanted to run with me, and we had this positive energy, so I had a really good feeling. Judge had very nice system for judging, looked closely every dog, and I had an impact that she wants to see a lot of movement. When we entered the ring I had a feeling she likes this dog, and I was right - we finished on third place in open class! First place was his father Borzowski's Phenomenon and second place Apriori Nijinsky. Phenomenon went BOB at the end.

 Rezviy Veter Zlatoglaviy Zar

 Moment from the ring...

 Achat Legenda Rosii head

Zlatka from Wolkowo kennel

 Borzowski Phenomenon BOB


In female open class Alexandra handled her Laska to amazing second place!
We were very happy with this great results. Of course under our tent it was always loud, people coming and going and when you are at so nice show you talk and talk.
At the end of the judging of the borzoi judge thanked all exhibitors and winners and loud clapping went over the show ground. It was truly nice show.

Me & Rezviy Veter Zlatoyar 3th place in open class!

But for us, the show was not over. There was still best in show in couple class where Alexandra applied her dogs.
So, we waited.
In the meantime friends asked us to see lure coursing training held near the polo field. I am always interested to see dogs run.
Any dog could apply. Track was not long, with one longer curve. Machine was small one, connected to battery. Lure was made from plastic bag and a bit stripes, so when the lure was pulled, it was a bit over the ground, filled with air.

It was fun to look at the dogs, and I am sure it is very nice presentation & promotion of this sport.
We saw Lis's brother Rezviy Veter Zlatoglaviy Zar running there and I can only say that the male was very fast and agile.

After coursing we had time to look around the showground a bit, I saw many sighthound art, an exhibition of french artist Martial Robin, many wonderful handmade collars, and other things what you can buy for your sighthound. Restaurant, and coffee bar all was full of people watching the presentation, I believe it was junior handling and then after all kinds of presentations, so there was allways something going on there.

Inge bringing me delicious cookies send by Conja Soenveld! Mmmmmmmmm!

Happy Mahbuba!

In late evening the Best in Show ceremony begins. It was scheduled for earlier then it started, but some judges really took the time for every dog, so some judgments were not finished.

The opening ceremony of best in show was with four knights on shire horses followed with this mystery sounds of fantasy music, a true spectacle of this “gentle giants”. When they started to gallop through the ring it was really a spectacular sight. With Irish wolfhounds in same ring it was really wonderful picture, that I will keep in my mind for very long time. The horses were inside the ring and wolfhounds were running their rounds in ring.

Sadly then the showers started, so the ceremony had to be paused.
Finally the couple class was on the schedule, but we did not place, so all wet from the rain we went back to our hotel.
Lis & Laska
This day in Donaueschingen will remain a wonderful memory for me, to see all this wonderful dogs. Sadly I had time only to watch borzoi, so I am sad to miss all other breeds. Specially saluki and afganhounds.
Congratulations again to all the winners, it was great to see all this beautiful dogs. Special thanks goes to Alexandra that was driving me.
I will return to this beautiful place, hopefully with my own dogs, I am shure!

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