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Meet Carol Voelker!

An interview with another of the Cynosport 2008 judges.

Carol Voelker hails from rural Little Falls, Minnesota, a town of about 8,000 and the childhood home of Charles Lindberg.  She shares her home with 10-year-old Nystka (Border Collie/Blue Heeler/Sheltie mix), six-year-old Kinetic (Border Collie), one-and-one-half-year-old Zyme (Border Collie/Blue Heeler mix), and 16-year-old Myra (Border Collie mix).  Carol misses her Pomeranian Chetyre, Denizen (Golden Retriever/Border Collie cross) and PJ (Border Collie wannabe), all at the Rainbow Bridge.  In her non-agility life, Carol is an elementary school teacher, substituting in several local schools.  Prior to returning to teaching, Carol served five years as the director of the local humane society.

Photo by Chris Everson

LH: How long have you been involved in agility?

CV: Since 1993, and judging since 1997.

LH: What clubs and training schools are you involved with?

CV: My business is "Tails in Motion," a dog training school that offers agility and "good manners" obedience classes.  Tails in Motion holds USDAA trials as well.  I am a member of Canine Agility of Central Minnesota and Minnesota Agility Club as well.

LH: Is this your first time judging at USDAA's Cynosport event?

CV: I judged Cynosport in 2005, 2006, and now again in 2008.

LH: What do you like most about judging National events?

CV: Seeing the dogs and handlers you see around the country throughout the year all at one place.  I don't mind the fact that you don't have to change the course throughout the day.

LH: What is the most rewarding thing about judging?

CV: Watching dogs and handlers having fun and being successful.  Sometimes success is just finishing the course, or overcoming a specific problem they have been having.

LH: What advice would you give a first time handler at Cynosport?

CV: Relax and have fun.  My first Nationals helped me to get over the local show nerves I used to experience!

LH: What is your course design philosophy for a National event, and is it any different than for a local trial?

CV: It isn't different at all.  I want to design a fun, fast course with some challenge in it.

LH: What is your most embarrassing agility moment?

CV: Forgetting the baton in Pairs Relay at a trial in Kansas City.  No one will let me forget that, because I am a judge.

LH: Are there any brags you would like to share?

CV: Nystka has her LAA Silver.  Chetyre (Pomeranian) was second place in the Veterans Grand Prix the first year it was held in Dallas.


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