Dogs In Review Magazine October 2016 - Page 37

An Interview with Espen Engh Part I: Judging BY ANNA SZABÓ P robably the world’s most widely traveled dog judge, Espen Engh of Oslo, Norway, combines judging with being an active and highly successful breeder and exhibitor. Born into the dog world, he started breeding in 1975 with his mother, the late Kari Engh, and so began their kennel’s decades of international success. The Jet’s Greyhounds have left and continue to leave an invaluable impact on the breed worldwide. Espen’s judging is defined by dedication, passion and a deep love of dog history and tradition. In this interview, the secrets to his success as a judge are uncovered by sighthound owner and photojournalist Anna Szabó. Anna Szabó: You certainly have carved your name into the dog sport’s history by becoming one of the world’s top breeders of all time. Your judging career, however, has been just as much a master stroke. What attracted you to judging to begin with and what did you want to accomplish by becoming a dog show judge? Espen Engh: I recently read an interview with Aksel Lund Svindal, the famous downhill skier. When asked what other sports he would contemplate being active in, he answered, “Just not one that depends on the subjective assessment of any judge.” Our sport very much depends on good judges, and I do not think we have enough of them. I have been active in the dog sport all my life. I have bred, owned and handled a lot of very good dogs. I have invested a lot in this sport, and others have invested in me. Perhaps I was being naive, but I thought I could contribute something positive to the sport by becoming a judge. I started in my early 20s and found that I enjoyed it a lot. First of all, I very much enjoy connecting with dogs in and out of the show ring. Just laying my hands on them and looking CONTINUED ON PAGE 38 34