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Talking with Dave Grubel

Deborah Davidson Harpur continues interviewing the 2010 Cynosport World Games judges.

Name: Dave Grubel
Hometown: Pleasant Hill, California
Years active in agility: 12

Deborah Davidson Harpur (DDH): Have you judged for the Cynosport Games in the past?

Dave Grubel (DG): Nope.

DDH: What classes are you judging at the Games?

DG: European Standard, Team Gamblers, Steeplechase Quarterfinals, Team Snooker, Junior Handlers, Grand Prix Finals.

DDH: Are you doing anything in particular to prepare for judging the games?

DG: Running and cycling.

DDH: Do you find that designing courses for Cynosport is different than designing courses for a trial for a local or regional event?

DG: Other than taking into account ring dimensions, I tried to keep the course designs similar to what I would design for a local trial.

DDH: What breeds of dogs do you currently have and do they compete in agility?

DG: My wife and I have three Aussies and one Border Collie; one Aussie and the BC are the active agility competitors. Two of the Aussies are pups in training.

DDH: Why did you become an USDAA judge?

DG: Enjoy course design and building. Also, it's a great way to give back to the sport.

DDH: What do you think are the qualities that make a good agility judge?

DG: Detail oriented, friendly, ambassador, creative, analytical, patient.

DDH: What is the biggest challenge in judging that you have experienced?

DG: Rain at Fair Hill every time I judged.

DDH: In terms of judging generally, not just at the Cynosport Games, what do you see as the role of the judge in terms of our sport?

DG: The judge besides observing and scoring a dog's performance, a judge must design a fair and equitable playing field where dog and handlers may compete. The judge must also be a diplomat.

DDH: How would you describe your style of course design?

DG: Good flow. Keep the dog moving and the handler running. Big finish!

DDH: What advice can you share with competitors who hope to come through with a clean run on one of your courses?

DG: You made it to Kentucky! Let rip! Go for it!

DDH: What do you enjoy most about USDAA agility?

DG: Course design philosophy, Steeplechase, non-standard game classes, competitors.

Thanks, Dave! Check back tomorrow to learn more about another Cynosport judge.

Deborah Davidson Harpur has been active in dog agility since 1998. Before that she raced karts, was a nationally ranked driver, and was a writer/editor of Karter News Magazine, a national publication.  Since her move from racing on the track to running different breeds of dogs on the agility course, she and her dogs have really embraced all that agility offers. More about her team at

Photo courtesy of Erika Maurer.


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