Time really flies! At the twilight of 2016 we can definitely say that this year was challenging but gratifying. To run a global federation like the Fédération Cynologique Internationale is not an easy task. Cultural, political and vision differences bring conflicts that must be promptly resolved, taking into consideration how the results will affect the cynological community. Thanks to a great team work and efforts we managed to solve the issues we were faced with during this past year.

After months of speculations regarding the ability of the RKF to organise the World Dog Show 2016, the most important dog show in the World was a world-class event with marvelous dogs, incredible hospitality and excellent press. On the other hand we were sad to hear that Ecuador resigned from the organisation of the FCI General Assembly and the World Dog Show 2017. Making history, the VDH, in an unprecedented situation, took a step forward to organise both events in Leipzig, Germany, next November. We are grateful and proud that the VDH took this huge responsibility.

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Rafael de Santiago
FCI President
FCI European Cup for Spaniels, 9th edition: France monopolises the top spots

On November 28th and 29th, 2016, Blingel, in the French region of Pas de Calais, was the stage for the ninth FCI European Cup for Spaniels.
France, who was in charge of organising an event that rallied five nations around those hunting breeds, more than lived up to the expectations.
The national breed club had not been willing organise the event; things were thus taken charge of by the Société Centrale Canine. A brilliant and first-class event that set very high standards for the future editions.

The FCI was part of it, too: Mr Yves De Clercq had been so kind as to accept our invitation and allow us to introduce him to our discipline otherwise than through fairly intricate sets of rules. It was a great honour for us to welcome him. I wish to thank him for his kindness, his availability, and the interest shown all along the dogs' runs, too.

We were welcomed by Mr and Mrs Pâque in the prestigious setting of their stud farm in Blingel; on their request, the fantastic hunting grounds up close had been made available for the occasion. Some hunting license holders took part in the event in person and escorted us on the grounds to act as official gunmen in the competition. All these people have contributed to setting very high standards in this edition of the European Cup, both from an organisational point of view and as far as the site and fields were concerned.

Over those two days, the atmosphere amongst the attending nations was one of remarkable sportsmanship, sharing and friendliness. Spain, who had missed the event in the last few years, joined us on this ninth edition with a high-grade team; the customary teams were most happy to greet our Southern friends, whose kindness and sportsmanship won the same unanimous support as always, despite their accumulating a lot of bad luck on the fields.

For two days, the prevailing dogs thus went head to head on extremely challenging fields considering the game densities.
The 2016 Cup was a risk-bearing competition. Numerous dogs committed fouls, either for lack of wisdom, or for missing game. The fields were ideally suited for Spaniels. There, we could feast our eyes on the achievements of the current best and most typical dogs, which would search the undergrowth in order to drive the well-concealed birds out of hiding, make them take wing and leave none behind.

A perilous exercise in which a number of dogs got side-tracked by first-class wild game.

It is a euphemism to say that the French competitors played their cards right: they made a clean sweep off!
France won in Cocker and Springer both in teams and in individuals.
Italy was declared Vice-Champion of the European Cup in Cocker, and Belgium ranked Vice-Champion of the European Cup in Springer.
The Netherlands rose to the third position in Cocker, and Italy in Springer.

The title of European Vice-Champion goes to Bishwell Scooby in Cocker Individual and to Nitro of Glharama in Springer Individual – both dogs belong to the French team.

This edition of the European Cup is to be told about in nothing if not superlatives... Such top quality simply had to spell high stakes.

Acknowledgements are customary in the context of such events; however, I would hate to get lengthy... or forget anybody! So please allow me give heartfelt thanks to the very many passionate people who got directly or indirectly involved, and who helped make this edition of the European Cup a near-perfect event.

Isabelle Ley
FCI Delegate for Belgium

Pictures and results are featured on the European Cup website: www.european-cup-spaniels.com