It all started in 2005, when Carmen Mayer took her 3-year-old beagle to a Canine Freestyle competition in Winterthur, Switzerland. Without ever having seen this sport live or being trained by an experienced handler, “Lou” and Carmen danced to “I just can’t wait to be king” and since then, she had absolutely fallen for the sport.
Countless competitions followed and probably even more seminars. Carmen couldn’t stop learning more and it was not only because of her university studies that she lived in England for a year. There, besides completing a clicker trainer programme, she could learn from what she thinks are among the best heelwork to music handlers in Europe and is still grateful for that!
In 2006, she went through a very detailed judges’ education in Germany and has since judged there, as well as in Austria and Switzerland. During her time in England, she was able to take part in a judges’ workshop there as well, led by Kath Hardman – so now she feels very honoured to be asked to judge alongside her.
Carmen is a founding member of ‘Dogdance International’, a club that promotes the sport throughout Europe, especially making sure that non-pedigree-dogs can take part as well. This is why she’s absolutely in awe to be asked to judge the OEC.
She was judging the German Open 2012 – the German championship, and the Austrian Open 2012 – the Austrian championship, so the OEC will be the icing on the cake this year.
Carmen’s own dogs are two beagle boys who are sometimes very creative in spontaneously changing choreographies, so you can be sure that she has a good sense of humour. Her 10-year-old-dog Lou is currently competing in the Senior class due to arthritis. Her youngster, Darwin, has only just started his dancing career based on his broad training in also agility and obedience.
Carmen wishes the competitors, the organizers and the judges a wonderful OEC in the amazing city of Prague, feel honoured to be part of this event, have fun and always think of your dog first!
With the best wishes from Germany!
Carmen, Lou & Darwin