Introduction by the editor
For two weeks we have been in contact with three Argentine visitors whom we have integrated as much as it was possible into our spring Trial Juries. They have sailed across the Atlantic especially to find out about our French Sporting Breeds and their system of selection of spring hunting pieces
This small team consisted of Marcos Giannone, president of the Argentine German Pointer Club, Rafael Digiano, president of the Argentine Setter Club, and Marita Dellepiane de Berczely, our interpreter for the occasion but, above everything, a well-known breeder of the German Pointer whose prestige is acknowledged in North and South America. She has sent us her cunning point of view, which is broadly shared by the other two members of her team, on her arrival in her vast country, which possesses a plentiful variety of hunting pieces.
A wink from Argentina on our return from an exceptional cynological trip.
French Open 2007
I am sending you this small wink from Argentina in the shape of a short summary of our trip impressions, after having had the joy and pleasure of seeing magnificent specimens of different breeds at either British and European dog shows, at the eight Working Trials I had the honour of having been invited to. Among these I would specially like to mention the French Open 2007 and the Special Shows in San Just and Vésigneu.
As it was made evident in most of the specimens I had the chance of evaluating, French breeders have impressed me with their artistic sense of balance, in accordance to what we know of French history and culture. In the specific case of the German Pointer, they have been able to find, in my point of view, the ideal point of balance. Leaving behind the classical, ancient Kurzhaar, of which we still find some specimens, and not going to the extreme of some specimens that might be found in other parts of Europe, mainly closer to the British type instead of to the typical German Pointer, with a mechanized way of searching instead of that reflexive, intelligent search, its changes in speed and its way of honouring while decreasing it so typical of our breed.
On the other hand, I have observed that some specimens of European breeds possess a bit of an excess of that British stroke consequently losing the typical style in movement and honouring of the original breeds.
In spite of being separated by 13,000 km again, I have seen characteristics which are similar to those of our organization, always bearing in mind the differences in size of these events as regards the number of participating specimens, the necessary organizing efficiency and the accurately coordinated work that you can observe and enjoy in France.
The chats and meals we shared in the country with our dog-loving friends, both here and there, were truly wonderful. However, I must confess that I will miss their excellent cheese, wines and desserts. I will be forced to content myself though with our revered barbecues.
The fact of seeing that incredible number of vans, provided with extraordinary facilities, full of dogs taking daily fieldwork trials is inconceivable in Argentina. Here we simply do not schedule when to go hunting, due to the availability and diversity of wild hunting pieces. Even the Argentine professionals themselves are, above anything, hunters.
In the face of these differences, I wonder if such a huge demand, as regards the great amount of business this brings about, does not finally affect selection. We can appreciate this in a small dimension at the body structure contests which are held every weekend from March to November.
Finally, I will take the liberty of expressing a personal reflection, liberty which I hope you will allow me, on the issue of certain discrimination that I have witnessed clearly while assisting the barrage at the French Open. I would like to know why certain breeds are regarded as better or as “superior” to others. Breeds differ morphologically or in their behaviour simply due to their history. It is so breathtaking to watch the work of a Setter, a Pointer or a Kurzhaar! They are simply different and we should respect their differences lest we breeders might fall into the terrible and boring mistake of breeding only one breed or even worse, of not becoming aware of their dissimilar styles because we have fallen into a mixture, which will be the fruit of following a “unique conception project”?
It is my wish not to be misunderstood here or to harm anyone by thus expressing my opinion. I am just a passionate dog - lover, who feels deeply moved by an outstanding performance, no matter the breed.
Excellence stands out independently of location.
I have only left to thank you for the great warmth of your welcome from all points of view, and for the great chance you have given us to become richer on the cynologic level with you.
I would simply like to say a big “thank you” from our hearts, especially to the great family of the German Pointer in France.
Marita Dellepiane de Berczely