Question: In March 2009, I stumbled upon a dog show in Miramar at Eduardo Saborit Stadium. I’d like to find any information pertaining to this event and the Organization and/or people behind it.
Answer: In Havana, four dog shows – two national and two international – are held every year. The two national shows are in February and September. Sometimes a few dogs from other countries participate in these shows. The two international shows are in April and November, with the April show being the Exposición Internacional de Primavera (Spring International Exhibition) and the November show being the Exposición International de Otoño (Fall International Exhibition).
The exhibitions are large. For instance, the April 21-24, 2011 Spring International Exhibition has some 300 dogs registered. And the September 2011 Campeonato Nacional (National Championship) already anticipates at least 200 dogs. These are juried exhibitions, with recognized international judges coming from countries such as Mexico, Costa Rica, Peru, Japan, Colombia, Panama, Cuba, El Salvador, etc.
The dog exhibitions normally take place over four days, with each day dedicated to a different category depending on whether it’s a national or international show: Grand Championship, Central America and Caribbean Champion, Cuban beauty, young Cuban dog, etc. All exhibitions are held at the Eduardo Saborit Stadium, located in Havana’s Playa Municipality on 5th Avenue, just west of the Amusement Park at the roundabout which connects with 146th Avenue that goes up to the Convention Centre. (With these references, you should be able to locate it easily.) All competitions use internationally recognized and established standards.
All dog shows in Havana are organized by the Federación Cinologica de Cuba (FCC or the Cuban Dog Breeders Federation). Founded in 1987, the main objective of the FCC is the genetic study of different dog breeds with the aim of their development and reproduction.
The FCC is a member of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI or World Canine Organization), which was founded in May 1911 and which, in May 2008, had 84 member countries, with one member per country. Each member country regulates its own breed clubs and stud books, and trains its own judges. However, the FCI acts as an international coordinating body, making sure that pedigrees and judges are internationally recognized.
Although the FCC doesn’t yet have a website, you can contact the president – Miguel Calvo Cartaya – either by phone or email. Below are his references:
However, the FCI website – located at www.fci.be – provides a calendar of shows and working trials held in each member country, including Cuba. It also provides a link to the World Dog Show 2011 site at http://www.worlddogshow2011.fr , which is another source for information about exhibitions.
In Cuba, as of 2010, there were some 14 Canine or Breeding Clubs including Collies, Pointers and Sighthounds, Poodles, Dalmations, and the Bichon Havanese, among others. Cuba claims one national breed – the Bichon Havanese or Bichon Habanero – which originated from an earlier breed known as Blanquito de la Habana – also called Havanese Silk Dog, a now extinct breed. The earlier breed is thought to have arrived in Cuba sometime during the 16th and 17th centuries, when ship captains transported this small dog – believed to have originated in the Western Mediterranean region – from continent to continent. In the 19th century, European immigrants – French, Belgian and German – began to arrive with their Poodles, and Cubans crossed the Blanquito with their Poodles to create today’s Bichon Havanese.
In 1987, when the FCC was founded, an interest in this national breed was reborn. In 1991, the Bichon Habanero Club was established to study the island’s remaining indigenous dogs to ascertain their purebred status, and to introduce a closely supervised breeding program using a foundation stock of some 15 dogs. In 1996, the first Havanese made its debut in a show organized by the American Kennel Club and, in 2000, in the Westminster Toy Category. In 1997 the first Havanese was exported from Cuba to the Netherlands.