Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Axel del Monte Alago &
Handler Britte Ahrens

One of the unique features of the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship is the World Challenge. It is comforting that in a world where nations can rarely agree on anything that we all can agree on who is man’s best friend. The international crowd arrived for the evening’s final with all the panache of the red carpet at Cannes, dazzling people in tuxedos and evening gowns all accessorized with Eukanuba pink touches.

CH Shiraz California Dreaming &
Handler Nicklas Erikson

The 41 qualifiers were whittled down to twelve semi-finalists, three each from four competitive sections. The final competition was judged by Frank Sabella, a man who was a consummate showman and handler before he became a judge. He selected the Multi BIS & Multi CH Bracco Italiano, Axel del Monte Alago, bred by Anna Maria Matteuzzi, owned by Bitte Ahrens Primavera & Salvatore Tripoli and handled by Bitte. The Runner Up (second place) was the Saluki, CH Shiraz California Dreaming, bred by Michael & Elan Edwards & Valerie Nunes-Atkinson, owned by Nicklas & Ingunn Erikson, and handled by Nicklas. The First Runner Up (third place) was the Wire Fox Terrier, CH Sanherpinc Arepa, bred by Santiago Pinto and owned by Victor Malzoni JR.

CH Sanherpinc Arepa

All three dogs thrilled the crowd with their showmanship. We often see show dogs that are mechanical in their performance, but not these three. All were extremely animated and ready to do the job they were bred for. The Wire Fox had that electricity the breed is know for, eyes darting everywhere looking for the vermin. The Saluki, swept the arena well out ahead of his handler, easily covering the ground, a match for any gazelle. The Bracco Italiano, moved with an athlete’s stride, showing the strength and stamina of a dog that could hunt all day. Each one was met with enthusiastic and appreciative applause.

It was a thoroughly entertaining, exhilarating education we recommend to all.

(All Photos Courtesy of American Kennel Club)


  1. What a wonderful show and with so many beautiful dogs!
    A little correction - The Bracco Italiano is owned by Mrs Bitte Ahrens Primavera & Mr Salvatore Tripoli, Rome, Italy

  2. when will akc have this bracco italiano????