Dear readers,

During my recent visit to the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), I was able to see with genuine pleasure how the Mayor of the city of Thuin, Mr Paul Furlan, kept the promise he had made to mark the opening of our new offices, to label the city as “Thuin, the World's Capital of Dogs”.

As a result of this initiative, the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), with the aid of Thuin Tourist Office, organised a successful walk through historic medieval part of the city.

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Rafael de Santiago
President of the FCI
Genesis of the FCI
Fred Denayer, Belgium,
Former President of the SRSH, 2004-2011
based on the minutes of the different meetings that took place during this period.
PART 3/4

The definitive Congress in Paris, 22 May 1911

Definitive congress, 1911, Paris, minutes
Definitive congress, 1911, Paris, minutes

The following countries were present:

  • Germany, represented by Baron de Plato and Baron de Rodde (Delegierten Kommission), and by Mr Georg Obreen (Kartell);
  • Austria, represented by Baron de Plato;
  • Belgium, represented by Mr G. De Buck, Mr G. van Muylem and Mr J. Lévita;
  • The Netherlands, represented by Dr A.J.J. Kloppert and Jhr P. N. Quarles van Ufford;
  • France, represented by Mr Gramont, the Duke of Lesparre, Count J. Clary and Baron Jaubert.

Count Bagneux, vice-president of the Société Centrale pour l’Amélioration des Races de Chiens en France, welcomes the Federation’s delegates from abroad. At the suggestion of Dr Kloppert, the Duke of Lesparre is nominated as the provisional president. The minutes of the previous meeting in Brussels on 7 March 1911 are read out by Dr Kloppert and subsequently adopted.

The president goes on to read out the statutes proposed and approved in Brussels.
At this juncture, Baron Jaubert informs the delegates of a proposal coming from the American Kennel Club (AKC), an association representing 116 clubs. Its delegate, Mr Goldenberg, is requesting that the AKC also becomes a member of the Federation. Though the examination of this request for affiliation is postponed till a later date, it triggers a discussion which leads to the term “European” in the Federation’s title being substituted by “International”: the Federation would from now on be known as the “Fédération Cynologique Internationale”. It is also decided that the general committee could only be chosen by associations with their registered offices in Europe and that, indicative of the apparent success of the Federation, a deputy-secretary would also belong to the general committee, acting as assistant to the secretary-treasurer.

With no further comments coming from members, the president puts the adoption of the statutes as currently drafted to the vote. Following their unanimous adoption, the president declares the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) constituted!

The next item on the agenda is the appointment of the general committee for 1911. The following are appointed by a show of hands to form the FCI’s first ever general committee:

  • President: the Duke of Lesparre (France),
  • Vice-president: Freiherr von Plato (Germany),
  • Secretary-treasurer: Dr Kloppert (The Netherlands),
  • Deputy secretary: Mr Obreen (Germany)

During the discussions, the assembly makes major decisions for the FCI: the creation of the title of “Champion International de Beauté” (CIB title) as well the award called “Certificat d'Aptitude au Championnat International de Beauté” (CACIB). These awards are mentioned in the very first version of the FCI Statutes and FCI Regulations. Another major principle, still applied today and on which our federating system is based, is approved: the mutual recognition, by the FCI members, of the kennel names.

First FCI Statutes, 1911
First FCI Statutes, 1911

1911 therefore is the year in which the FCI was founded. Its establishment is the result of the efforts of experienced and perseverant cynologists and cynophiles from Germany, Austria, Belgium, France and The Netherlands. The economic situation at that time – often referred to as the “Belle Epoque” – is favourable for that.

Between the date of its creation and the dramatic WWI, the FCI holds different General Assemblies. The first conference to take place after the FCI is founded is in Amsterdam, in 1912, under the presidency of the Duke of Lesparre. In his opening speech, he refers to the mistrust of the different kennel clubs that see the FCI as a possible threat against their authority and independence. The Duke of Lesparre's motto is “Ni conquérants, ni conspirateurs” (“neither conquerors, nor conspirators”).

The very first CACIB show ever conducted is organised in Brussels on 6-7-8 April 1912 followed by others in France (Paris and Lyon) and in the Netherlands (Amsterdam). Simultaneously, the very first CACIT trials take place in Belgium (Beuzet) and France (Sandricourt)

6-7-8 April 1912, Brussels dog show, CACIB winners

In Amsterdam, Dr Kloppert reports on the first financial accounts of the FCI (as of end 1911). They show a loss of 163 Dutch Florins (80 €) which Dr Kloppert has paid himself!

The national canine organisations of Spain (Real Sociedad Canina en España), Italy (Kennel Club Italiano) and the United States of America (American Kennel Club) are accepted as FCI members, the latter under different conditions still to be worked out.

Another important decision is made and worth a mention: the elected president’s mandate starts at the end of the General Assembly. He then manages the work and chairs the next General Assembly that will take place in his country.

The following year, in March 1913, the third General Assembly is celebrated in Berlin (Germany) under the FCI President, Lieutenant-Colonel Rausch. The financial situation (as of end of 1912) has improved with a credit of 3.12 Dutch Florins (1.6 €)!!

The Baron W. del Marmol (BE) is elected President. However, for health reasons, he cannot carry out his function and the presidency is taken over by Mr Victor Du Pré.