28 May 2024

Euro OES Show 2024 Hämenlinna/Finland

At the Euro OES Show 2023 in France, I was finally able to persuade Chris van Beirendonk to allow Belgium to apply to host the EURO OES Show 2026. We were able to win Johan Wulteputte for our idea. My dear husband Paul had the idea to bring Johan on board. We then took action and found an ideal hotel in Blankenberge.  Of course, everything in strict secrecy. That’s why it was clear that we had to travel to Finland in May 2024. It would be announced there who would be allowed to host the show in 2026. Mr. Wullteputte deceided in June 2024 not to be a part anymore of the Euro OES Show 2026.

However, Finland is not around the corner. 1600 km to Stockholm then the 24 hour ferry. Or the 36 hour ferry from Travemünde to Helsinki. Cost of the ferry: 1600 euros. Another option was to travel overland to Estonia 2500km and then take the ferry for 1 hour.  Everything is very expensive and takes too much time to travel.

That’s why Chris and I decided to fly. Amsterdam to Helsinki in 2 hours and 30 minutes. But without a dog it’s boring. So we booked the dogs on our flight long, long before the exhibition at Pentecost 2024. Our ticket is affordable, around 200 euros. However, it costs 400 euros there and back per dog. In Finland we had to rent a transporter so we could transport the flight boxes and dogs. The exhibition was in Hämeenlinna, which is an hour and 10 minutes drive from Helsinki airport

So far everything is good, dogs registered (I have “Caro” in the intermediate class and Chris the “Winnetou” in the puppy class), booked a hotel, registered for a celebration evening and a BBQ evening.

A week before the exhibition we made a list of what we would take with us: grooming and showproducts for the dogs, food, etc. 23 kg per person and 12 kg of hand luggage are allowed. That was needed too.

Thursday our“Caro” was washed and brushed. In the evening around 6 p.m. we drove to Amsterdam to spend the night in the hotel.

Here’s the summary of what went wrong:

On Wednesday Chris discovered that her flight cage was far too small for  “Winnetou”. He had grown up a lot. She needed a box at least 1m high.

It was a challenge to find a new crate within 24 hours.

I called  Animal to Fly in Amsterdam. They send animals all over the world. They have a suitable airport cage, but close on Thursday at 6 p.m.

My dear friend Piet van Laere who lives just around the corner from Schiphol had to be in charge, to help us. He picked up the cage on Thursday afternoon and put it together. Picked up from Piet around 9 p.m.

We arrived at the Ibis Schiphol at 10pm, I showed the booking and realized I had booked for Thursday 9th May instead of 17th May. 145 € gone. The hotel was fully booked, had no rooms and we ended up in the Ibis Budget next door. If you’ve ever stayed at this budget hotel, you know how big these tiny rooms are. With all our luggage and two dogs the room was full.

I woke up at five, did a little laundry, brushed my teeth, then packed the dogs and all the luggage into the car. I forgot the room key inside and needed help to open the door.

Chris was responsible for the flights and boarding passes. She forgot to save or print the boarding passes. She tried to fix the problem for 30 minutes. She forgot to charge her phone and ran out of power.

What happened next;

The phone number for the driver who was supposed to pick up my car to park didn’t work.

I finally made contact via another number

I had to wait 25 minutes and Chris was standing in the departure hall with his dog and luggage.

Luckily there weren’t long lines, but check-in took 35 minutes with the dogs.

What did Chris forget????!!! She needed two bowls for water and food in the flight cage for “Winnetou”.

She left them in my car.

This time luck was on our side and the charming KLM employee agreed that the dog would survive if he made it through 2.5 hours without water or food.

The security check went smoothly; The dogs were  now ready for boarding.

I went to security and later discovered that I had lost my boarding pass.

I needed a  coffee and a break.

I found the KLM helpdesk and got a new Borading pass.

Now finally coffee which unfortunately had very little taste.

The story continues……

Caro and Winnetou were loaded onto the plane


There were two boarding passes for Conny, but none for Chris. Luckily they were able to change it during boarding so that Chris got on the plane too.

Winnteou’s large flight cage was a problem! It took the staff 20 minutes to get him onto the plane.

We landed safely in Helsinki, but……

Winnetou’s flight cage had to be put on its side to get him out and was put back up. This is actually strictly forbidden. We hoped that the 7 month old boy was still clean and happy.

Now we were waiting for the suitcases and our dogs

Thursday lunchtime: Caro is ready for take off

Checking in Amsterdam at 7am

Around 3 p.m. at the hotel in Hämeenlinna

Caro and Winnetou made themselves comfortable in our room

Saturday morning we went for a long walk with the dog by the lake

Sunday was the EURO OES show. The judge was the breed specialist and all-rounder Ms. B. Müller from Switzerland. Breeder of the “Pennylane” OES. There were 88 OES registered, 32 of them in the freestyle classes.

The Laminger family was also there. They came from Burgenland in Austria with “Wild West from the Elbe-Urstromtal” and “Vivian Westwood from the Elbe-Urstromtal”.

Chris was in the Puppy class with 4 others including his brother “Wild West”, who came 2nd.

“Winnetou from the Elbe-Urstromtal” won his class and became Best Puppy in Show. Owner Chris van Beirendonk


“Caro” had strong competition in the intermediate class. Conny happy, “Caro” took 1st place


“Vorbildlich aus dem Elbe-Urstromtal” wird Res- Beste Hündin auf der EURO Show 2024 und erhälte das CAC und den Titel “Finischer Champion”


Conny and Caro are happy

Team Belgium: Conny, Chris, Caro and Winnetou                                                         Caro’s rosettes


At the celebration evening, the EURO OES Show 2026 was awarded to Belgium. Chris and I were happy.

I had the logo made by Charlotte van Wouw in 2023 ( Copyright)


After a wonderful evening of celebration, we left our hotel on Monday lunchtime and went to the airport.


Checking in Helsinki on Monday afternoon

We landed gently in Amsterdam. But then the trouble started!!!

1 hour and 30 minutes and we were still waiting for our dogs. The KLM service is a disaster. Get really angry!

Update on what went wrong on our return trip:
It took an hour and 40 minutes until we found our dogs again. KLM the most terrible service ever!!!
The valet cannot take my car to the airport because they only have one driver. We were so late.
I have to take a taxi to get to the car park 15km away and go back to the airport to pick up Chris and the dogs

Here at baggage belt 7 we stood and waited for the dogs for over an hour. A call came asking when we would pick up the dogs… WHERE PLEASE!!! At baggage belt 16, that’s where they’ve been for the entire time. KLM Helpdesk sent us to the wrong belt. I walked 13,000 steps during this time of waiting and searching.


I’m finally back home at midnight.
The problems are still not over!!!!!
Chris took the wrong suitcase from the baggage carousel. Same colour. Label of  Air India
I’m afraid I have to go back to the airport. Hopefully they found my suitcase.
Update: The incorrect suitcase must be returned to the location where it was found within 24 hours. Otherwise it is a theft

Finally!!!! Baggage change at Schiphol Airport. Thank you, Chris and Jan, for making this time-consuming trip today on Tuesday.

Impressions of our exciting trip. The landscape in Finland is beautiful. It was a very harmonious and successful EURO OES Show 2024. Met a lot of very nice people and laughed and celebrated a lot.