Posted Date: October 17, 2013
The last in a series of interviews with judges from the upcoming 2013 Cynosport World Games.
The 2013 Cynosport World Games will be running Wednesday, October 23, through Sunday, October 27 at the Tennesee Miller Coliseum in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The event will be judged by four judges from the United States (Scott Chamberlain, Scott Lovelis, Adrienne Lynch, and Evelyn Robertson) and two international judges (Francisco Berjon from Mexico and Bob Griffin from England). These judges will each design courses for the event but they will judge a variety of courses that are not necessarily their own.
Over the last few weeks, we will be interviewing the judges for the big event and posting some of their courses too for you to check out. The judges have shared courses with us as well so that you can see their design style. The spotlight today is on Scott Chamberlain.
Photo by Michael Godsil of Godsil Photography.
Brenna Fender: What breeds of dogs do you currently have and do they compete in agility?
Scott Chamberlain: Currently I do not have an dogs. I'm too busy with work and out judging, but I used to run an Aussie.
How did you get involved in the sport of agility?
I can't remember how I got started in agility but I have been involved for over 20 years and I have been a USDAA judge for 18 years.
Have you judged for the Cynosport Games in the past? When you were asked to judge, was it hard to say "yes"?
This will be my fifth time judging the Cynosports (2001, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2013). I have judged the finals three times. This is the most prestigious agility event in the US. I would judge this event anytime so it wasn't hard to say yes to judging again.
Have you ever participated in the Cynosport World Games as a competitor?
I competed in the USDAA Nationals (before it became Cynosports) back in the 90s. I have run in the finals with my Aussie, Focus.
Do you find that your experience at the event gives you any special insight into judging the event?
Having been a top competitor, I feel is does make me a better judge. I know what is expected of a good judge and that all judging be consistent and fair by the rules.
What courses did you design for this year's Games?
This year I designed Team Gamblers, a Team Jumpers, a Steeplechase, and a Grand Prix.
Do you find that designing courses for Cynosport is different than designing courses for a trial for a local or regional event?
Designing these courses is no different than any USDAA trial. They must adhere to all the rules for the class and level of competition.
I judge all trials, whether they are a small local trial, a Regional or the Cynosports, the same. I view the local trial runs (maybe for a Q, just to try to get that last leg for a title, or just to have time with your dog) just as important as running in the finals.
How would you describe your style of course design?
I design my courses so the handler cannot let up anywhere on the course. One misstep or take your attention away from your dog for even a split second will cost you in time , off-course, or refusal.
What advice can you share with competitors who hope to come through with a clean run on one of your courses, at Cynosport or elsewhere?
The advice I would give someone preparing to run one of my courses is concentrate, give your undivided attention to your dog and the course for 30-40 seconds, don't ever take your eye off your dog, don't let up until your dog has cleared the last jump, and don't worry about making a mistake. I once told a good friend before they were to go in the Performance Grand Prix finals, "You never thought you would make it this far and here you are in the finals. It doesn't matter if you knock a bar or go off course ,just run all out." She did and won. It was extra special because I was the judge at her first trial with the dog. In her first run, let's just say she had over 40 faults but placed third. You never know what can happen on any given day.
Check out some of Judge Chamberlain's courses from other events: