My name is Jiřina Máčková. My journey through this beautiful sport, agility, began in 1994, when I saw it at a dog show. My first agility dog was Ajša, a Groenendael. She was a lovely lady and she was 4 years old when we started our training. She ran with slow elegance and we mastered slalom only when I was at her left side. Agility was much easier back then and had its magic. It still does, but it is incredible to see how this sport evolves, how it gets more precise, professional and way quicker. Over those years I have competed with my other dogs – Shelties Dean Lady, Witch, Aninka and Shani and border collie Paige. Nowadays I run with my mini aussies Masha and Silver.
My agility judge career started in 1998, when I passed the exams. I have become an international judge in 2001 and since then, I’ve judged many competitions in the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Austria, Latvia, Slovakia, Switzerland, Croatia, Denmark, Belgium, Germany, Norway, Finland and Chile. I judged the Americas & Caribe de Agility 2012, World Championship in 2012 in Liberec, FMBB World Championship 2014, B.A.C.K. 2014, Norwegian Open 2016, European Open 2018. I was at many World Championships as a visitor. I was the Czech team leader in 2003 and 2004. In 2001 I launched the tradition of International Junior Championship, which I consider as one of my big successes in the agility field, since I like working with kids and juniors and I think even agility must educate and raise its future champions. This competition was followed by EOJ, which later became JOAWC.
In my opinion, all that experience helps me be a better judge and is a big fountain of my inspiration. I’m trying to make my courses interesting in the way that I would like to run them too. My highest priority is the dog’s and handler’s safety, I combine technical sequences with fast parts. I enjoy when handlers consider my courses challenging, but still wonderful to run.
It’s a great honor for me to judge JOAWC and I am looking forward to meeting the best junior teams in the world in Southam. I wish you good luck and enjoy your runs!
Kurt Ove Steinset
FCI Judge from Norway
My name is Kurt Ove Steinset. I am from Norway, where I live together with my partner Mona and our three dogs (two Border Collies and one small Pinsher) in a small village 40 km south / east of Oslo.
I started with agility in 1991. I’ve had a lot of fun for many years in higher classes with several different Border Collies, which have resulted in several medals in the Norwegian Team Championship.
I have an instructor education and have held many courses in agility.
In 2015, I became a judge. As this takes a lot of time, I only compete with my own dogs for fun. I want to focus on the judging task, which I find very fun (I love it). I have also trained new judges here in Norway.
I have judged a lot of competitions in Norway:
Dogs for All 2019
Norwegian Open 2018
The Norwegian Championship 2018, 2021
Judged 22320 dogs in competitions all over Norway since 2016
Nordic Championship August 2021
Judging in: Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Austria.
My style of courses: I try to get the best out of every team by building fluent courses with a lot of speed. The difficulty of the course must be felt by the handler but should be easy on the dog. I like to challenge the teams by giving them many choices on my courses.
I hope to see you at a competition.
Agility: UK – Competed for 23 years. Competed at Olympia with 6 dogs (Reserve in 2011, and 3rd place 2017). Competed at Crufts with 5 dogs over 15 separate years. Competed for 15 years, won major finals and CC’s, currently running BC at G7 level and G4 level. Have ran all my own dogs (8) at Championship level (the highest level in UK). International – WAO Silver Medal Pentathlon 2016 overall. 5th overall Games 2017. FCI AWC 2011 (team silver jumping) and 2016 EO 2008 (team bronze overall), 2011 and 2012 (individual final), 2016 (Individual final and team final), 2017 (team GB). Current GB Squad member. Crufts team winner 2018. KCI 2018 Championship winner, Scunthorpe/Hinckley Int CC Winner 2022. Competitor at Crufts 2019, 2023. Small Discover Dogs Winner 2021.
UK – Judged for 22 years.
Olympia 2016, Crufts 2015 and 2008, Championship Judge (judged all major finals in UK).
International – WAO 2011 and 2022,
UKI Nationals 2013 (South Carolina).
International FCI – Germany (Border Collie Classic 2019), Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Estonia, Japan, South Africa, Spain, Italy, Czech Republic, Ireland, Singapore (UKI), Poland, Canada, Australia, Ireland, Finland, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Holland, South Korea.
Part of GJP (Global Judging Program) instructing globally.
Agility Seminars: Norway, Sweden, Finland, Austria, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy, Czech Republic, Poland, Ireland, South Africa, Singapore, Japan, Israel, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea.
Natalie studied Animal Behaviour and Welfare at The University of the West of England and currently lives in Gloucestershire with her three dogs.
Natalie has been involved with the sport of agility for over 15 years and has taken part in most of the major UK finals. She was a member of the Team GB squad in 2015 with her Shetland Sheepdog, Agility Champion Quiksilver Shooting Star.
Natalie became a police officer in 2020 and has since retired from competing, however as an approved Kennel Club championship judge she still actively accepts appointments across the UK and abroad.