The Open European Championship was held in Prague, The Czech Republic in 2012. Kath had been invited to judge this competition which is growing in size each year. Setting off at 4:00am, she made her way to Birmingham Airport for the first of her flights to the CZ Capital. A transfer in flights in Frankfurt and then landing in Prague airport on schedule. The main organiser of the event, Barbora Kozová was at the airport to collect Kath and they travelled the 30 minute journey to the hotel Mars with no hold ups. A dream journey!!
Meanwhile, the host country was busy at the venue - laying the carpets and preparing the ring in the sports hall close to the hotel. A lovely big arena.
All done and ready for the countries to start training on the new surface in preparation for the next two days of competition.
There was also an area in another hall carpeted for the teams to practice and warm up their dogs.
After a couple of hours "power nap" Kath was ready to join the Teams, organisers and fellow judges at the Welcome Meal. Emmy Simonsen (Denmark) joined Barbora to welcome all to a great competition.
Everyone seemed to enjoy the meal and it gave time for all teams to exchange good luck cards and gifts. Thanks to everyone who gave Kath something too - with so many routines to judge over the next two days - she may have needed Good Luck!!
After the meal it was time to draw the running orders for the following days. Kath was asked to call out the names in the order they were drawn by myself and the Head Judge Andrea Rezková. With competitors from countries such as Azerbaijan Russia and Slovakia - you can imagine her pronunciation was not too good - but it seemed to lighten the mood of the event!!A final check through with Petra, and all were happy with their given numbers.
The following morning, the judging was to start at 8:30am so Kath was at the venue very early and so were the HTM Participants practising for the last time.
The Trophies and gifts for the winners plus the glass ornaments - one for each competitor and of course one for each judge and for the winners too!
Kath met with fellow judge Carmen Mayer (Germany) just before the competition. Carmen had driven to CZ from Germany after a day's work on the Friday so hadn't arrived in time for the Welcome Meal. It was lovely for Kath to meet up with Carmen again after she had attended one of Kath's Judges Seminars about 3 years ago whilst studying in Durham, GB.
The Opening Ceremony - there seemed more competitors and more countries this year all proudly showing their team uniforms and flags!!
The audience was huge - many being fellow competitors - but the tiered seating was ideal to give everyone a great view of each routine.
Unfortunately Kath had no photographs of the routines - well she was busy judging!!! But at the end of over 30 routines - the Team Winners were announced.First - Russia, Second Denmark and Third place Belgium.
Congratulations to everyone.
It was then time for more judging - now Kath and her fellow judges had to judge the top ten placed routines again to find the winner of the Individual Championship.
1st Anja Christiansen + Fćhunden´s Queeny Las - Denmark
2nd Polina I´llina + Shteffi - Russia
3rd Galina Chogovadze + Sun Light Spot - RussiaThere was plenty of entertainment too during lunch or between the competitions
Using people from the teams and audience! Recognise anyone?
On Sunday - it was the Freestyle Competition Day. Again, the competitors were allowed to practice in the ring - but it was a bit crowded!At the end of the 47 routines, the judges gathered to award the Team Prizes.
First place The Host Country - The Czech Republic, Second place Russia and Third place Belgium! Congratulations to all the teams!
Kath has no photographs of the Individual winners but the results of the competition which followed the Team Compapetition were as follows:
First place was Yvonne Belin with Alice from Switzerland, in Second place was Galina Chogovadze with Moja Nadezhda Rolly Royce from Russia and in Third Place was Elke Boxoen with Puma from Belgium.
Thank you to the organisers for inviting Kath to be a judge at the Open European Championship - where there were some stunning routines.
Kath also apologises again for having to cancel the seminar booked for the Monday after the Championships but this was due to the original airline (BMI Baby) closing down and a new flight could not be found with similar timings.
More entertainment - this time Rabbit Jumping!!!