One of the most prestigious events in the glamorous world of show dogs took place at the weekend in Long Beach, California on 12th & 13th December, hosted by the AKC/Eukanuba National Championships at their 125th Special Anniversary Show. 40 Top winning, accomplished international dogs intensely competed for the highly prized Eukanuba World Challenge Champion title along with the $10,000 prize money awarded by the distinguished worldwide judge, Mr Frank Sabella from America. The newly crowned Eukanuba World Challenge Champion 2009 is a Bracco Italiano, Multi BIS & Multi Ch Axel del Monte Alago, owned by Salvatore Tripoli & Bitte Ahrens. Bitte, who was clearly overwhelmed by the win said, “We are so proud to have represented our country and won over these other amazing dogs. This win, awarded by an American judge is truly a once in a lifetime achievement for us and Axel. We were delighted with our World Show BIS however this was something extra special, something we will treasure forever”.

The runner up was Nicklas & Ingunn Erikson’s Saluki Ch Shiraz Califorinia Dreaming was awarded $3,000 and the first runner up Victor Malzoni’s Wire Fox Terrier Ch Sanherping Arepa was awarded $2,000.

Frank Sabella says of his winner “This dog captured my attention and that of the appreciative spectators as he entered the ring. Watching him go around made the hair on my arms stand up. Having gone over him, he fitted his breed standard to perfection. He was selected from an excellent line up of dogs, he was absolutely outstanding in type”

Richard Learwood, Eukanuba Global Marketing Director said, “It’s great to see this magnificent Italian bred dog representing his country and winning among such extraordinary top class competition. The Eukanuba World Challenge goes from strength to strength, and continues to grow in prestige and has fast become one of the most coveted events in the dog show calendar. It is great to work with the American Kennel Club and the FCI to continue this high level of success.”