Denmark Hosts the World

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International dog shows can be compared to jewels of many colors. For Americans, the amethyst and gold of a Westminster Kennel Club BIS rosette is the stuff of dreams, while those in the U.K. look to the emerald ribbons and silver loving cups of The Kennel Club and its crowning glory, Crufts. Yet still more awaits exhibitors striving to reach the treasure chests of the Federation Cynologique Internationale, for if the FCI has one hallmark gem in its staff that refracts and reflects all the experiences one can imagine, that challenge would be the annual World Dog Show.

Hosting the 2010 event was the town of Herning, Denmark. Located roughly 30 minutes from Billund International Airport, Herning appeared on the surface to offer few enticements for hard-core dog fanciers. Formerly best known for its textile production, Herning and her population of 46,000 residents is nestled in the heart of the Danish midlands, surrounded by pristine fields and postcard-perfect farms. What is not immediately obvious is the area is also home to the largest convention and exhibition center in Scandinavia — MCH Messecenter, a broad collection of halls and buildings resting just outside the township on a direct highway route. The grounds are more than capable of handling pretty much any conceivable event and — as I was to happily discover — can provide an exceptionally high degree of comfort and services. As a result, even starting a year prior I found hotel bookings appeared few and far between, prompting lengthy searches for short-term rental properties or rooms in private homes. Blessedly, this proved much easier than it sounded; superb accommodation was plentiful, and in most cases not much more than a half hour’s drive out. Danish roads are well-kept and well-marked; directions to all important landmarks and visitor sites are easy to find, thanks in no small part to the user-friendly handouts and maps provided by helpful staff at the countless information kiosks located throughout airports, bus terminals and prominent city centers. 

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