N.E. of the Club du SLAG 2009

Date: July 18, 2009
Location: Valençay (France)
Judge: Mr. Leneuf (France)     

The French sighthound club SLAG (Sloughi, Azawakh, Galgo and Mediterranean dogs) organises its club show (Nationale d'Élevage) once a year in July. The exhibition usually takes place in a stylish ambience, e.g. in a park of a castle, in different regions of France. In the past, we attended the show almost every year, but now, our last visit was five years ago. This year, the club show took place in the Château Valençay, in the region CENTRE. For us, it was some kind of reminiscence tour, because not far away from Valençay Ligueil is located, the village where our first Nationale d'Élevage took place 13 years ago.

Château Valençay

The palace and the park are famous tourist attractions and so it was no wonder that also this weekend, many people from different countries were visiting the place. And they sometimes looked quite amazed to see sighthounds in droves. So, we could see not only many Galgos but had also the opportunity to enjoy everything else of the palace. The start of the construction of the château was in 1540, but it got its final shape in the second half of the 18th century. It was once owned by Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, the foreign minister of Napoleon. The following saying is, amongst others, accredited to him:

"Clever and diligent:  does not exist.
 Clever and lazy:  so am I.
 Stupid and lazy:  all right for representation purposes.
 Stupid and diligent:  Heaven beware!"

...on the ground ;-)

The exhibition rings were placed within eyeshot of the castle on a meadow with shades of high trees. But there was no need for shadow, the unsettled weather reminded us on our last visit to Sweden: T-shirt weather in the sun - but when a cloud obscured the sun, it was getting cold and you needed a coat. Luckily, it didn't rain during the day. Anyway, already the entry through the big gate of the palace and the drive with our R.V. through the park was a great experience!

We already knew many owners and their dogs from former visits, but were also very happy to meet many new people who we only knew from the internet.

An Irishman with a
Kilt and Sloughis

There were 28 Galgos entered for the judge Christian Leuneuf, unequally distributed with 6 males and 22 females. Especially the open class was well occupied by twelve females. There was almost no space left in the relatively small ring. With the exception of our Hilde and a female from Italy, all Galgos were French owned. Some of them were bred from Spanish kennels. Among the males, the judge decided for Boule de Neige de la Tour du Chouan in open class and Narooma Bilbao in the champion class. Hilde was the only Galgo in the junior class and got a Ex1, the open class was won by Albufera from Italy and in the champion class, Belinda d'el Collina of Perruska was first.

Narooma Bilbao
Timide de la Tour du Chouan
Rayma Collons Cagueme
Boule de Neige de la Tour du Chouan
Bohemio d'el Collina of Perruska
Narooma Dona Ines
Baraka a la Cour du Roi Boulou
Dama de Calathea
Caritas Palesia Cadiz
Narooma Abigael
V'Jade du Bouleau Argenté
Belinda d'el Collina of Perruska
Agatha de Calathea
Ufana del Sayad el Gazel
Cocolores Cara Mia
Pykita a la Cour du Roi Boulou

In the afternoon, all winners were invited to compete for the 'Best of Breed' and later for the 'Best in Show' in the gorgeous scenery of the palace. Before that, the judge Jean Louis Ainardi presented the different breeds of the SLAG to the audience. Then, all first-placed dogs of each breed competed for the BOB which in the case of the Galgos were given to Albufera. In the final, the best dog of the show was chosen from all BOB winners of the breeds Azawakh, Sloughi, Galgo and the Mediterranean dogs. Eventually, the BIS was won by the Azawakh, the Galgo was third.

Jean Louis Ainardi

On the following day, a lure-coursing took place. It was a little bit uninspired and relative short, placed on a flat meadow. Like many times before, there was just one judge in the middle of the field. Beside the coursing filed, there was an enclosure with fallow deer and a donkey which eagerly followed the event. In contrast to our fear in the beginning, none of the dogs was interested in the wild animals. They all dutifully followed the plastic lure. Photos and results of the coursing can be found here.

We used the second day to explore the park together with our dogs. They enjoyed the special breeds of sheep and goats in several enclosures. And the loose peacocks everywhere in the park caused a lot of wild jumps on the leash. We explored the labyrinth, the orangerie, perfectly arranged gardens, and enjoyed the large colourful flowering meadows besides the palace. Unfortunately, photos cannot perfectly reflect the blaze of colour and even less the fragrance of the different flower arrangements.

And to finally prove that our little Alex is the one and only real princess, here is now the photographic evidence:

For more photos from Valençay click here.

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