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Who's Who in Scottsdale

Say hello to the agility judges for this year's Cynosport Games.  By B. Fender, L. Hellesvig, T.Chadwick, S. Harvey and K. Krauter.

Every year, USDAA brings amazing judges to the Cynosport Games.  This year is no exception!  Meet them now:

Nadia Calabria

Nadia is from the French-speaking Lausanne, Switzerland.  She started agility in 1989 with her Belgian Malinois mix, Lady.  Nadia was only 10 years old at the time, but the two went on to become Junior Swiss Champion in 1991 and went up to Class 2 (before Class 3 was created) in Switzerland.  Her current dog, Vick, is also a Malinois and is not yet competing. 

Nadia has been a Swiss judge since 2000 and has been judging internationally since 2003.  She has judged in Italy and at the 5th FCI Americas and Caribbean Agility Championships in Guatemala.  In her "non-dog life" she is preparing to become a lawyer. 

Mark Wirant

Mark Wirant has been involved in the sport of dog agility for 16 years and has been judging for 14.  He currently competes with a Jack Russell Terrier, Killick, but began in the sport with a Labrador Retriever, Winston.  Mark and Winston were 1997 Grand Prix finalists.  He is a practicing dentist whose life outside of work is taken up mostly with the sport of agility - judging, course reviewing, supervising judges, and building agility equipment.   Mark even met his wife Sharon through the sport of agility; they were competitors in the 30' class together.  Currently, Mark and Sharon reside in Westmoreland, New Hampshire with five dogs.  This is Mark's third time judging at the USDAA Nationals.

Patty Drom

Patty holds a degree in biology and she worked as a project manager for retail point-of-sale systems for 20 years.  Patty started dog agility training in 1986 when a small local group named DAWG invited her to play.  She left her corporate job and in 1995 opened Dallas Dog Sports, a dog training facility located in Wylie, Texas.  She is the owner/operator and serves as the Training Director.  Patty has competed in obedience and agility with two Springers (Scooter and Max) and two Border Collies (Jessie and Buzz), earning 24 titles in all.  ADCH Buzz, who is nine years old, is currently competing in the Performance Division.  Her young BC-in-training, Dewley, will be making his agility debut later this year. This will by Patty's fifth appearance as a judge at the USDAA Nationals.

Gert Siekmans

Gert is a married father of two children that he and his wife adopted from China. He lives on the east side of the Netherlands in the city of Hardenberg.  He has been judging for Federation Dogsports of the Netherlands for 11 years.  He has judged several Dutch championships in agility and in May 2006 he was one of the judges of the World Agility Championship in Holland.  Gert's "day job" is managing and teaching in a vocational training school which educates assistants in primary schools and schools for special education.  He judged at last year's Cynosport Games as well.

Scott Chamberlain

Scott has judged USDAA agility for 12 years.  He also judges agility for the AKC and flyball for the North American Flyball Association.  He lives in York, Pennsylvania and makes a living managing a computer network for a large engineering firm.  He has a 9-year-old Border Collie. He judged at the Cynosport World Games each of the past two years and the Team and Steeplechase championships in New Orleans in 2002. 

Martin Gatsby

Martin has been doing agility for 12 years and judging for the last five.  He and his wife, Lisa Brownschidle, currently are competing with two Shetland Sheepdogs and two Jack Russell terriers, although Martin's previous dog was a Malinois. Agility has taken over Martin's life since he got hooked on it; prior to agility he and his wife's hobby was ballroom dancing.  His "day job" is as a research technician in the field of agriculture. He is very excited about his first nationals judging assignment ever and he wonders if the other judges will be giving him a ribbing! 

David Hanson

David is originally from Hessle in the Yorkshire area of Northern England.  He immigrated to the United States in 1983 to marry Caroline and to live near Dallas.  In 1988, Dave saw his first exhibition of dog agility at a benefit for the Dallas SPCA.  His Golden Retriever, Airlie Morning Lover, was about six months old.  David was inspired to begin her training and joined Dallas Working Agility Group (DAWG).
David has served for many years as a USDAA judge and is now semi-retired from his Civil Engineering work.  He is a course reviewer for regular competitions and tournament courses.  He and Caroline live with three dogs, five cats and numerous wild critters that enjoy their Kerrville property.  They also manage their small ranch stocked with exotic game.

Tim Laubach

Tim, who lives in San Antonio, Texas, has been a USDAA judge for 15 years and has been course reviewing for five.  His favorite agility accomplishments include earning a MAD title and winning a 22" local Qualifier both with a Shiba Inu and placing third in a Grand Prix final with an Australian Cattle Dog.  He currently owns a Boxer, a Labrador Retriever, a Shiba Inu, and a Border Collie. In "real life" he is a tile contractor.  

David Hanson and Tim Laubach are the official course reviewers for the 2007 Cynosport World Games Dog Agility Championships and will oversee course construction, including coordination of the building of the courses so that when the same course is run in different rings it is built the same.  They will also assist judges and perform various other functions, including IFCS measurements and as members of the grievance committee.

Subscribers should watch for in-depth interviews with our judges over the next few weeks.



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