Posted Date: October 4, 2011
This is the first in a series of interviews with the judges of the upcoming Cynosport World Games. By Deborah Davidson Harpur
Name: David Bozak
Hometown/Country: Oswego, New York
Years active in agility: 13 years
What breeds of dogs do you currently have and do they compete in agility?
My wife Esther and I have four rescues: three Border Collies and a miniature American Eskimo. Our oldest BC, Jemma, retired a year ago at 13 years. Ryder, our youngest, is an 18-month-old BC that has just competed in his first agility trial. The middle BC, Chad, doesn't compete, though he enjoys agility. Pearl, the Eskie, competes with my wife.
Have you ever participated in the Cynosport games as a competitor?
No. While Jemma qualified each year she actively competed, we never traveled to Dallas or Phoenix. I did officiate high school soccer championships in the Syracuse Dome, which provided me with experience in judging fast, high level performances. I found that background was an asset in judging at Cynosport.
So you have judged the Cynosport World Games before, right?
Yes, I was privileged to judge at last year's Cynosport Games.
Are you doing anything in particular to prepare for judging the Games?
No, I'm just trying to stay healthy and rested so I can enjoy watching (and keeping up with) the great dogs that will compete in Louisville. Wait! I did get new white sneakers!
Do you find that designing courses for Cynosport is different than designing courses for a trial for a local or regional event?
No, not really too different. But I included something special in each course.
How would you describe your style of course design?
Jemma was born in our local animal shelter. As a result she craves novelty over everything else and her favorite courses were those with unexpected challenges. Those are my favorite courses as well, so I try to create flowing courses with a surprise here and there that keeps the dog (and handler) on their toes.
If you could invent a new game to be played at Cynosport, what would it be and how would it be played?
My first thought is something involving juggling hot dogs...but actually, since Snooker is the perfect game, I'm coming up empty right now.
What advice can you share with competitors who hope to come through with a clean run on one of your courses?
Relax, have fun, and stay connected with your canine partner. Enjoy the experience.
Deborah Davidson Harpur has been competing in agility since 1998. She currently handles 16 dogs of various breeds including Rat Terriers, All Americans, French Bull Dogs, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, a Shetland Sheepdog, a Border Collie and more. She enjoys competing in USDAA agility and is the proud mom of USDAA roving reporter Rickie Roo. Her dogs are all proud canine ambassadors for the Active Care line of dog food by Breeder's Choice and for ilovedogs.com, tj.la, and ilovedogsdiamonds.com. You can learn more about Deborah and her dogs at pm2dogagility.com.
Photo courtesy of Barry Rosen.