The 11th Open European Taxidermy Championships® 2018 Salzburg, Austria
From February 18 – 25, 2018 the European Taxidermy Championships® took place in Salzburg and for the first time in Austria.
This 11th edition, embedded in the “Hohe Jagd & Fischerei®” Trade Fair, went into the ETC® books of history. All records of the past were broken and we also set a new world record for participating nations! More than 250 participants out of 34 nations enjoyed their time in Salzburg, listened to the seminars and 153 of them were competing in the different divisions and live contest with 351 entries. Including the different animal groups we had 408 single mounts to be judged + about 30 not judged prey animals. Separated into the divisions, we had 45 entries in the Novice Division, 200 in the Professional Division, 55 in the Master Division and 23 in the Collective Artists Division which were judged by an international judges’ team. In addition, 8 entries competed in the Division of Excellence. The winners of this division were chosen by all competitors. 20 entries in the ETC® Live Contest completed the field of possibilities for competing.
For the first time the ETC® was produced by the young, now independent European Taxidermy Championships® organization in cooperation with the Reed Messe Salzburg. The time was a great challenge for the host Reed Messe Salzburg as well as for the very small ETC® team as organizers and the team of volunteers consisting of Austrian, German and Finnish taxidermists .
For better planning the 11th ETC®, Matthias Fahrni (ETC® Chairman) and Berend Koch (ETC® Competition Chairman) decided to establish an important novelty. From now on, it will be only possible to pre-register. Registrations on place are history. Also the ETC® Rules & Regulations and the ETC® Species Lists were again supplemented – again one step further to more professionalism.
The outstanding work of the international volunteer team around Stephan Weigl (ETC® Vice-Competition Chairman) together with the generous support of Hannes Klippl and Andrea Theyer (Reed Messe Salzburg) made this ETC® very successful. Our welcome team checked all the entries, the chosen categories and divisions and the documents while the team at the check-in desk kept the lists updated and was always supporting the participants before a Reed Messe team handed out the participation documents and show passes. After grooming, the entries were all single pictured by our photographer team. The setting team was responsible for the very smooth arranging of the entries in the exhibition after photographing.
Because education is the main goal of every ETC®, from Monday morning until Saturday noon there was offered a program with 14 world class seminars, held by talented competitors and international experts from around the world. One in the row was a three and a half day super seminar. Travis de Villiers from South Africa showed the complete mounting procedure of a huge Siberian Tiger (out of a zoo) while our 12 + 3 judges did an outstanding job in judging 408 single mounts, reproductions and models . Also our 8 suppliers (KL-Glasaugen (DE), Hauser Formen (DE), Bouten Taxidermy Supply (NL), Schwarz Taxidermy Supply (AT), TK-Baltic Taxidermy Supply (LV), Agnes Polgar artificial plants (HU), Mark Buhagiar bird forms (MT) and Payer Eyes (USA) had a great time on place.
260 guests enjoyed the award banquet with the price giving ceremony which took place on Saturday evening at Arena City Hotel opposite of the fair center. Between the award for Best of Categories, Best of Europe and Excellence and the special awards’ block, which were given out to the competitors together with the acknowledgements to the officials and helpers, a delicious buffet was served. In the frame of this great evening, well known Austrian taxidermy legend Franz Schwarz received his lifetime achievement award from the Austrian chamber of economy, and from the German taxidermist Roland Kaiser he received a beautiful mounted white Gyrfalcon.
On Sunday evening, the participants packed their entries safe in boxes and most of them started their trip home.
For us as the ETC® organization and the Reed Messe Salzburg as well, the 11th open European Taxidermy Championships® were a great success and also a big challenge to make nearly all participants satisfied. Because of the urgent need for a break for the ETC® team as well as for the competitors, there is currently no new location for the 12th edition of the ETC® fixed.
ETC®, Berend Koch, March 2018