The community of Surwold came to life October 13th – 15th with hundreds of DK enthusiast in the area for the International Kurzhaar Prüfung (IKP). Arriving in the area by car from Amsterdam we traveled through rain for the entire drive until we were thirty miles from our Inn. At that point the rain subsided and the sun tried to shine through. The weather continued to improve as the week went on and the stage was set for a memorable IKP.
Thursday morning came soon enough and we traveled to the IKP Headquarters where the activities were in fullswing with registration and preparation for theFormbewertung (conformation evaluations) that wouldstart after lunch. The best part of the first day of the IKPor a Kleemann is all the leaders and dogs are in one spot.It is your chance to visit with people you see only once per year and view all the dogs entered in the event. It was great to run into Rob Engelking and Julie Griswold during the registration. Both Julie and Rob would be leading dogs in the IKP. At that time there was no way to know what was going to transpire over the next two days. The Formbewertung would start at 1:00 PM and until then we had a chance to see many people we had met in previous trips to DK events in Germany and visit with them.
The IKP was being hosted by Klub Weser-Ems. Herman-Joseph Shoemaker, a member of the NADKC and often a Judge at NADKC events, is the President of Klub Weser Ems. Herman-Joseph and his group are to be compliment for doing an excellent job of hosting the IKP. The Headquarters and Formbewertung facilities were excellent and the fields and water provided for that part of the IKP were second to none. When evaluating the Formbewertung grounds one had to remember that the area had been soaked with rain for days and theKlub had done everything possible to make the ground useable.
The Opening Ceremony was very well done with short welcomes from many dignitaries and all of the necessary protocol. One of the very nice elements of the opening ceremony was when all of the Leaders, Richters, and Officials retired to an area beyond the show rings for a group picture. Each country represented at the IKP had their flag presented. Julie Griswold proudly presented “Old Glory”.When the Formbewertung started there were four rings going at once with two for Hündins and two for Rüdens a total of 190 dogs had enter the IKP and 168 would be evaluated this afternoon. Each group (approximately one-quarter of the sex group) would be summoned to the ring, reviewed by the Formwertrichters, dismissed, and then they would return individually for evaluation.
After two groups (approximately one-half of the sex group) are evaluated (V or SG – if they receive a G they are eliminated from the test) all of the “V” dogs return to the ring and the top ten from each ring is determined. We spent most of our day at the rings where the females were being evaluated waiting for Bessi vom Trocken Bach. The previous day we had been informed there had been a training incident and Bessi’s left front foot was injured. We had no idea what this would do to her evaluation. She had been the V4 Hündin at the Klub Rheinland Zuchtschau in June but today could be a different story. Finally it was Bessi turn and the Judges wasted no time making their decision. They noted her injury and still awarded her a “V”.
After the final twenty dogs of each sex are selected the final placings are determined and this is where the vom Riverwoods success story starts. The Rüdens were first in the ring for final placing. When we arrived at the ring where the final placings would be determined we were pleased to see that Rob Engelking and his Rüden Scout vom Riverwoods were in the final twenty. At this point everyone around the ring becomes an expert selecting their top five and even placing them in order. I was no exception and to my novice eye Scout looked like the best of the group. The Formwertrichters went to work and soon had the group down to ten and then five and Scout was still in the ring. Could it be that Willie Engelking’s last “pick of the litter” was to be recognized as very special at the IKP, Scout had already made the top five and was at the front of the line as the final evaluation started.
When the Formwertrichters finished there stood Scout vom Riverwoods and Rob Engelking at thefront of the group the V1 Rüden at the2011 IKP. Having the V1 Rüden at theIKP would be a great week for any breederbut for vom Riverwoods the IKP was justgetting started. 2011 IKP V1 – V5 Rüden
Friday morning started early as the dogs have been divided into testing groups and each group assigned a meeting place. It is imperative you arrive at your meeting place on time or the group will have departed for the field and you will have little or no chance of finding them. In our case our meeting place had an unusual address so I had found Rob Engelking and had him help me enter the address in our Garmin on Thursday before the Welcoming Ceremony. Friday morning everything was going great until we arrived in the village as directed by the Garmin only to be unable to find our group. We stopped at a store and asked for help only to find we were twenty kilometers from where we were suppose to be – Thanks Rob. We reset the Garmin and off we went. Thankfully, we had left early enough so we could backtrack and arrive just before the group was off to the field. With our position in the line of cars secured we headed to the field. Our thoughts now shifted to would Bessi be sound enough to perform adequately in the IKP.
The weather was cold but very nice. The fields in the revere we were assigned to were great and thankfully game was present. In the morning field works Bessi did well and we were encouraged that she would be able to complete the examination. The review by the judges of her field work indicated that she had done excellent and we were off to the next stop.
We anticipated we were headed to the water but instead we were lead to a hunting lodge owned by a Klub member for lunch and it was very special. This was a labor of love by some who had time, energy, and resources. There was a nice cabin-patio area, massive grass area, and fish/training pond. We enjoyed food, drink, and the opportunity to visit with the members of our group.
Next it was off to the assigned water to complete the IKP. When we arrived we were informed we would be using part of the Hitler Canal (it appeared to be a back wash) for the water work. When we approached the water it looked like one of the Great Lakes, it was huge. I thought to myself if a dog searches this entire body of water they will drown. Thankfully the Richters used only one end of the water. One by one the dogs went to the water and completed their task. Each of the dogs in our group were successful at the water and had passed the IKP with a Prize 1.
While we were with our group the six vom Riverwoods dogs in the IKP were going about their task. When the day was over the results were as follows: Dixie vom Riverwoods(Julie Griswold) Prize 1, Quattro vom Riverwoods (Holger Hansel) Prize 1, Quaxi vom Riverwoods(Martin Hackmann) Prize 1, Quinn vom Riverwoods (Jens Stahl) Prize 1, Scout vom Riverwoods (Robert Engelking) Prize 1, only Tilla vom Riverwoods (Edith Gräf) failed to prize. In all vom Riverwoods had six dogs entered in the IKP, five received Prize 1, and the group included Scout vom Riverwoods who was the V1 Rüden at the 2011 IKP. I would say that was a pretty good week for any zwinger (kennel). Putting vom Riverwoods accomplishments into perspective consider 190 dogs had entered the IKP, 168 dogs were tested, from 96 zwingers, 3 zwingers had six dogs tested, 1 zwinger had five dogs tested, and 3 zwingers had four dogs tested. There were 37 Klubs represented from around the world and of the 168 dogs tested 119 received a Prize 1 and 28 received a Prize 2.
Congratulations to vom Riverwoods for having a memorable IKP and being awarded the trophy for the Most Successful Zwinger at the 2011 IKP. The Engelking family is to be congratulated for an unparallel accomplishment by a North America Zwinger at an international DK Prüfung. On Saturday, evening during the IKP Awards Dinner when I congratulated Rob on this achievement he was quick to point out “none of this would have been possible had it not been for the dedication and hard work of the Team Riverwoods leaders (handlers).” Congratulations to each of the vom Riverwoods leaders on a job well done.
There was one other person who enjoyed the best seat in the house to watch the fruit of his life’s work excel and be duly recognized. Can you imagine the pleasure Willie had watching the events of the 2011 IKP play out?