Foundation of the FCI: Paris – May 22nd, 1911 – part II

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 Holland. 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 first World War, 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).  Simultaneoulsy, the very first CACIT trials take place in Belgium (Beuzet) and France (Sandricourt).

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.

The 1914 General Assembly takes place in Brussels, on March 30.  Mr Du Pré praises the deceased President and informs, regretfully, that Dr Kloppert, who has been the cement of the FCI foundation, has decided to retire.  The Baron Houtart (Belgium) is given the post of “Secretary-Treasurer” for a 3-year period

Every (federated) member provides the FCI with the list of their national breeds and their standards.  They will have to be respected by all of them and any amendment has to be communicated to the FCI.  In addition, it is agreed that the FCI will take the necessary steps to establish an international directory of kennel names.

The Netherlands should have been entrusted with the organisation of the 1915 General Assembly under the presidency of the Baron F.W.C.H. van Tuyl van Serooskerken.  However, while the President Du Pré had stated in March 1914: “it is a must for us to make sure that our favourite sport can expand and develop better.  We shall comply with our task, whatever the circumstances”, the murder on June 28, 1914 of the Archduke François-Ferdinand (Austria) in Sarajevo will drag Europe into the first World War.  All the efforts towards globalisation are ruined by this cataclysm that will hit Europe and kill 4,000,000 people between 1914 and 1918.  The new-born Federation will not survive either.