By Monique Henriet
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Jean Louis Audejean is responsible for the training of judges at the French Federation of Canine Sports and Recreation, he will be present at the Jura’Chien Trophy in Bellecin. He explains his background and his missions.
“My wife was president of the federation eight years ago,” explains Jean-Louis Audejean. “For my part, I do cani mountain bike and I was rather interested in the role of judge, whose primary mission is to pay attention to the well-being of the dog“.
For three years, Mr. Audejean has been responsible for the judges’ division at the federation. ” To be a (volunteer) judge, you have to follow a five-day field training course based on a hundred-page regulation.s”.
Veterinary checks, equipment compliance, etc.
To be concrete, the judge intervenes before, during and after the race. “Before the race, you have to check the age of the dogs, which must be at least 18 months old for racing and mountain biking, 24 months old for long distances. At this age, cartilage formation is considered complete.
“We also need to make sure that the vaccination records are up to date and check whether or not the dogs involved are mentioned in the consignment book. Thus, dogs that have more aggressive behaviors are mentioned and must wear a specific muzzle. This allows the dog to easily drink and fan“.
Before the events, the judge must run the course and check that there are no incidents or dangerous areas. On the day of the race, it must be ensured that the veterinary checks have been made and check that the equipment is compliant so as not to injure the dog.
Five judges and two apprentices will be present
During the race, a judge is at the start to check the conformity of the whole; the same upon arrival. Other judges are distributed on the course, mainly on the water points.
“The dog does not sweat. His only way to cool him down is to give him a drink and wet his paws.
And then it is a question of checking that the competitors are correct with the other competitors and their dogs; if necessary, penalties can be applied. For the Jura’chien Trophy, five judges will be present (including a principal to coordinate everything and be the interlocutor with the organizers and the timekeeper) as well as two apprentices.
” The judges will be spread over the race and will rotate during the four days on the different points“, continues Mr. Audejean who will be assistant judge during this test to be able to supervise the apprentices. To do this, he will ride an electric mountain bike.
A hundred judges in France
The French Federation currently has about a hundred judges and 30 are in training.
“Canicross and all the other disciplines (cani-mountain biking, skijoring) are booming. The number of licensees has increased from 2,000 five years ago to 4,250 at the end of April 2023, so it is important to have more judges”
“The French Federation has been approved since 2022. We are therefore carrying out a lot of structuring work, with the appointment of a DTN (National Technical Director, and the organization of the sports sections, leisure and disability“, he concludes.
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