Posted Date: October 9, 2015
Meet the 2015 Cynosport World Games "Judge of the Day!"
The 2015 Cynosport World Games are just a few weeks away! The event begins on Wednesday, October 21 and ends on Sunday, October 25 in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Visit the Cynosport website for more details. Judges Wim Bekendam, Francisco Berjon, Sandra Katzen, Carol Kramer and Eric Quirouet will be presiding. We're going to take some time before the event to get know each of our judges better and will be featuring profiles over the next few weeks. Today meet Wim Bekendam!
Where are you located?
I live in Nieuw-Vennep, a small village close to Amsterdam in the Netherlands.
Tell us about your experience competing in agility?
I have competed in agility since 1993. This started when the dog school I attended for training and socializing my first dog at that time began its first agility classes. As my dog was a Border Collie, the group insisted I try this too. Soon we competed in Dutch national agility events. But it took me seven years to reach the highest class with him.
Unfortunately my next two dogs both had health issues so agility only could be done at lower levels.
In this time I was asked to start judging in agility. I found this to be as much good fun as competing in this great sport.
Today I train and compete in agility with one dog.
Do you participate in any other dog sports or training with your dogs?
My dogs bring me to sheepherding training and trials. And we also practice hunting-sports (only using dummies).
What types of dogs do you have and what are their names, ages, and any titles?
My dogs are Border Collies. Djingels (born just before Christmas) will become nine this year and Toyah (my favorite soft-punk singer in my younger years) has just turned six.
Tell us something unique or that you love about your dog(s).
Before dogs came into my life, because my wife wanted this very much, I preferred cats much more. We wanted to train our dog as well as friends had trained their dog. At first my wife started puppy class. When she was ill, I temporarily took over her classes. From then on I realized how fantastic working with dogs is for me.
What do you do in your other non-agility life?
I am a surveyor working as a civil servant for a coastal village, taking care for its land properties and geographical information.
What events will you be judging at Cynosport?
The judges schedule has not be send to me yet at this time. I have designed courses for three classes: Biathlon Standard, Grand Prix and Steeplechase.
But I will also judge classes the other judges have sent in.
Do you do anything special to prepare yourself for your judging duties at Cynosport?
Not really, but I will try to get to Murfreesburo as relaxed as possible. That is why we planned a vacation in the USA before Cynosport starts.
What expectations to you have for judging at Cynosport? Do you anticipate any challenges?
Remembering judging at Cynosports in Louisville in 2010 and 2011, I think I will have a great time. And I look forward to judging so many top-level agility competitors. As judging days will be long, I must be healthy and fit. So eating vitamins and getting sleep must be part of daily routine in advance.
When you are designing a course for Cynosport, do you have any goals and/or concerns?
When such an important competition is at stake, any course will show who has the strongest nerves. I do not intend to make extra difficult handling needed. Running the course should be a challenge in a sporting way.
Have you competed at Cynosport in the past?
No, I only was honored to be judging here. I do not consider myself to be as good as needed to cause any serious threat to your competitors.
Do you have any tips or advice for Cynosport competitors?
Wear something orange if you think it helps to please a Dutch judge ;-).
Do you have any advice for competitors thinking about doing competing, either at Cynosport or local/regional trials, but are intimidated?
All agility lovers are great. They will help and advise you in every way they can to help you to become one of their toughest competitors.
What's your favorite dog-themed book or movie?
Babe, the movie about a pig who wants to become a useful member of the farm instead of ending up as dinner by learning how to herd sheep from his friend who is a Border Collie.