news - 01/05/2012 Interview with Lisbeth Mach - Switzerland
by Karl DonvilINTERVIEW by ALICHE VARCHI
Dear Lisbeth, would you like to make a brief introduction of yourself?
Horses and dogs have been a part of my life since my youth. It was not far to seek that I, being involved in Thoroughbred sports, also participated in sporting events with my brown Poodle bitch “Cilla vom Elfenblick” and the Borzoi “Orlow’s Kafkas”.
So I attended dog shows, sighthound races and with the Poodle I passed companion and protection dog exams. Being fascinated by the show atmosphere I began to go the long way to become an all round judge as the youngest judge in Switzerland.
After my marriage I had the time and space to raise my first Poodle litter. Under the prefix “Superstar” 65 international champions and 23 World and European Winners as well as many BIS winners were born.
Today I only have one Toypoodle litter every two years because of my occupation as a judge.
And it is also because of this interesting but also very responsible hobby that I could travel half the world, make new friends with like-minded dog people and get to know the quality of different breeds in various countries.
I think the dog world is like a virus which you cannot get rid of and amazes me always anew when I am in the ring. One of my masters, the well-known judge Dr. Tibor Brody from Hungary, once said to me “You cannot learn how to judge, you have to be born to do it!”.
You are a very famous Junior Handling Judge. How long ago did you start judging this kind of competitions and in which countries have you judged till now?
About 15 years ago Mr. Joseph Joller, Member oft he Swiss Kennel Club, and I decided to introduce the Junior Handling in Switzerlad. We set basic rules, offered weekly training and much more. I judge Junior Handling Competitions in all European countries; I judged Finals in Switzerland, France, Austria, Germany, almost every year in Monaco as well as a Junior Handling Presentation at the FCI Champion of Champions Show in Basel 2001.
This year you had the honor of Judging the World Junior Handling Final in Paris. How did you feel when you have been invited to the Main Ring for this hard assignment?
Just on Sunday morning the organization told me that I would have judged the World Junior Handling Final later in the main ring. I didn’t had much time to make up my mind as I had to judge 117 poodles till 2 pm. So I was a little bit busy.
There were 35 competitors coming from all over the World. Which method you used to select the 5 finalists on such a huge number of Junior Handlers?
It was a great pleasure for me, and surely for all spectaculars, to watch those 35 Junior Handlers entering the big main ring. Of course all tried to do their very best. Sadly I didn’t had enough time to look for all details. But as I like to judge Junior Handling and got very experienced during the years, I concentrate on the most important facts, like don’t walk to close, not to be overdresses, the teamwork between Jr. Handler and dog. It truly wasn’t an easy decision as there were more than 5 to be placed.
What did you asked and what were you looking for in them?
Later on my 5 finalists entered again in the mainring. Until then they didn’t knew any placement. I asked them for different figures, like L, T, triangle. And I asked them several questions about their dog, “in which group that dog compete… etc”
For which reasons you have placed the three winners?
My winner was a girl from Finland with a Pharao Hound. Runner Up was a polish girl with her polish hunting dog. They were both really fantastic; they were dressed moderate but elegant and the teamwork between handler and dog was just great. Even with their swap-dogs they did an amazing job. I couldn’t take my eyes off them.
Please, give some suggestions to all young exhibitors. On your opinion what is the most important skill of being a good Junior Handler?
I would like to remind the Junior Handlers to stay natural in their hobby and to show the love to the dog. It is very important to practice a lot and to try different breeds, so that the Juniors get used to every breeds specific presentation. Also keep the sportsmanship, fairness up. Every judge has it s own point of view. But without practicing no trophies. I´d like to thank SCC for their trust and the great pleasure to judge the Junior Handling Final at the WDS in Paris 2011. It was one of the highlights in my cynologic career.
Thank you so much for your kind disposal!
Translation from German to English by Kati Wilke and Tim Haren. Thank you Kati and Tim!