From the 6th to the 8th of September the delegates of 11 IHF member countries came together in Hurdal near Oslo for their annual meeting. This year the Norsk Hovawart Klubb celebrated its 30th birthday so they had invited the IHF to hold its meeting in Norway. We stayed in a beautiful hotel situated on a big lake surrounded by a forest – that´s what comes to your mind when you think of Norwegian countryside. In addition to that we had blue sky and sunshine, so from the start everybody felt good.
On Friday afternoon we discussed general issues concerning the IHF and on Saturday the main focus was on breeding.
The first very important decision on Friday was the unanimous vote for full membership of the Hovawart Club of North America (HCNA) in the IHF. The HCNA represents Hovawart breeders in the USA and Canada; it came into being in 2008 from the merger of two Hovawart clubs and has now 108 members and 318 registrated dogs. We heartily welcome the HCNA and John Rutkowski, the President, and Beatrice Holder, the Breeding Director, who have for some years regularly attended our meetings.
Another discussion dealt with the subject of how important it is for the Hovawart breed to have a broad basis of Hovawart dogs, and for each club to preserve the positive characteristics of their dogs through careful planning. All participants agreed that more than one club per country can be a member of the IHF, provided they belong to the FCI and they commit themselves to IHF regulations.
On Saturday the Dutch and the Czech representatives reported in detail on Hovawart breeding in their clubs. The other delegates summed up noteworthy happenings concerning the Hovawart in their countries. Then we got information on the status quo of the electronic data collection within the IHF and Sigrid Darting-Entenmann offered extensive training in the use of our data bank. Thank you very much, Sigrid!
But of course the weekend was not ALL work: The Norwegian Hovawart club had planned two very entertaining evenings for us. Friday night we sat together in a rustic round tent with an open fire in the middle – very “gemuetlich”, and on Saturday night there was a festive dinner in the hotel, and entertainment from three musicians who played Norwegian folk music for us.
We would like to thank the Norsk Hovawart Klubb very much for all the work and effort of its members to let us have such a wonderful meeting! Special thanks go to the President, Børre Lien Hansen, and to the IHF delegate and breeding director, Marion Olsen, for their warm welcome and perfect organization!