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Congratulation to Our New USDAA Judges!

It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to become a USDAA judge. By Andy Hartman

Over the four days of July 16-19, judges and potential judges interested in learning more about USDAA agility attended the USDAA Course Design and Rules clinic in Millersville, Maryland, hosted by Janet Gauntt and Hog Dog Productions. Instructors Dave Hanson (lead) and Andy Hartman (assistant) with help from Janet Gauntt and Ryan Arnold lead the participants through the ins and outs of USDAA agility. 

As with most judging clinics, the biggest challenge for the participants was knowing and remembering the different challenges needed at each level, (Starters/PI, Advanced/PII, Masters/PIII and Challenge classes.)

Each judging clinic improves upon the previous one and something new for this clinic was the creation of a closed Facebook Group for participants. Members could ask questions for everyone to see plus get the answers to those questions. It was also a great place to share files, documents and various links to USDAA's rules and regulations.

Attendees also had open and closed book tests as well as a practical test. The open book test was also new for this clinic. The reason to allow the open book test was to see if the participants knew where to look for the resources available to them. If they knew where to find it in the rule book, they would know where to look for it later when they need it.

The open book test also reduces the need to memorize some aspects of the rules and regulations. Typically, the first judging assignment comes about six months after attending (and passing) the clinic, so memorizing information for the test isn't as practical as knowing where to find it, when they need it.

One of the biggest benefits of participating in a judging clinic is the bond created by sharing the love of agility with others from around the country. Like every clinic so far, these folks helped each other through the rough spots in the class, supported and encouraged one another and developed friendships that will last a lifetime.

It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to become a USDAA judge. Congratulations to the following judges for advancing to the Masters level (under supervision):

- Val Reiner
- Bill Pinder
- Jeanne Dinkle
- Elise Carpenter
- Sally Josselyn

Congratulations to the following new judges who will judge Starters and Advanced (under supervision):

- Dale Mahoney
- Lauren Hansen                
- Megan Shepter                              
- Teri Thompson

Thanks to Janet Gauntt and Hog Dog Productions for hosting the clinic. Good luck to our new and advancing judges in their new endeavors!

Dave Hanson also contributed to this article.
Photos by Andy Hartman.


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