Posted Date: October 21, 2008
Our second international judge tells us a little about himself. Interview by Brenna Fender
Francisco Alegre, commonly known as Paco, lives in Teruel, a city of 35,000 citizens in northeast Spain. Paco shares his home with his wife of 16 years, Ester, 15-year-old daughter Ana, 11-year-old daughter Maria, and two eight-year-old Spanish Waterdogs, Mushu and Lanas. When not competing, judging, or training agility, Paco is a supervisor of the Department of Radiology at the General Hospital of Teruel. Paco has judged many international events over the last few years: PAWC (Paragility World Cup) in Spain (2003), World Agility Championships of IFCS in Spain (2004), World Cynosport Games in Scottsdale (2004), and World Agility Championships of IFCS in Belgium (2008).
BF: Describe your involvement in agility in Spain.
PA: I judge in the Regional and National Championships of FEAEC (Federación Española de Agility y Educación Canina). I am competing with my dog Mushu in these Championships too in the Performance Program (Mushu has no left femoral head - he was operated two years ago) and I am teaching agility and canine basic education in a little club of Teruel.
BF: Do you have any hobbies outside of agility?
PA: To read (especially novels) and to play clarinet.
BF: Can you tell us a little more about Spanish Waterdogs? We don't see them in the U.S. very much.
PA: Spanish Waterdogs have ancient origins in Spain and their most dense populations are in two regions: Andalucia (in the south) and Cantabria (in the north). He is a rustic dog of medium size (40 to 50 cm, 14 to 22 kg), robust but agile and healthy, with well-developed muscles and very expressive eyes. His hair is always curly and of a woolly texture, curly when short and it forms cords when is long. It is solid or bicolor - white, black, or brown in their different shades when he is solid and white and black or white and brown when he is bicolor.
The Spanish Waterdog is a very intelligent dog and he adapts to all situations and conditions. He is faithful, obedient, and hard working, but of suspicious temperament with strangers. The Spanish Waterdog is used as a shepherd dog, a hunting dog (especially in marsh regions), as an assistant to the fishermen, and in rescue work.
BF: What are your expectations for handlers competing on your courses at the USDAA Nationals?
PA: I think that an agility course must be for handlers a problem of physics (with velocities, angles, and distances); a problem that handlers must to resolve. So, I think the course must be first, interesting for handlers and tempting for them to resolve it, and second, very fun because agility is fun. I think courses must be very fun for the public because agility is for spectators too.
BF: Are you preparing in any way for judging at the big event?
PA: Yes, walking (a little physical training), looking at videos, and reviewing some designs, rules, and regulations.
BF: Do you have any comments on your upcoming judging experience?
PA: I think this event is a great event (the biggest event of agility I think, really) and I think all judges can learn very much there and acquire good experiences. In this year, 2008, I hope at least repeat my good experiences of 2004.
Photo courtesy of Franciso Allegre