Judges and Secretaries

Chief judge Ida Lindgren

I live in Helsingborg, Skåne. My life is almost all about dogs. I run three companies, Vi2 Hundcenter – a dog training center, Ziridas Kennel for English Springer spaniel and HUNDra% AB – a publishing house where I publish my books. I train and compete my four Springer Spaniels in rally obedience. I also work with advanced special search of drugs, explosives and gas leaks. In addition, my dogs are my ”colleagues” in working with education.

Rally experience: I started with rally obedience in 2005 with my Rhodesian Ridgeback Norton, which both he and I loved. My dogs, Ziri & Alva, are Rally Obedience Champions and have both qualified for SM several times. Inez has a Rally Master Diploma, she mostly works with advanced special search. My youngest bitch June is trained in both advanced special search and rally obedience, where we are currently working our way up to the Nordic class.

Judging experience: I have judged rally obedience since 2008, many handlers and dogs has passed through a course of mine throughout the years. I have judged both District and Swedish Championships and I was a Secretary at the Nordic Championship in Denmark 2019. Through my 13 years as a judge, I have seen 4 correct 100 point rounds. Judging rally is wonderful, I get to see so many crews who shows that rally obedience is all about cooperation and joy. To be able to communicate freely during a course, and at the same time excel in finesse without compromise, is for me what makes the sport so fantastic.

Judge Paul Lysholdt

I live in Solrød Strand 30 kilometers south of Copenhagen with my wife and our two border terriers Max (10 years) and Otto (2 years). Border terriers have been part of our life since 1995. I have trained and competed in dog sports more than 30 years, the latest 17 years in Obedience, Nose Work, Heelwork to music, Freestyle and of course Rally obedience.

Rally experience: I started training rally obedience in 2006 with my English springer spaniel Megan, just for fun besides the “serious” competitions in Obedience, but that changed 😊  With Megan, Norwich Terrier Lille Bjørn, Max and Otto I have participated in close to 600 official competitions. Megan was the second English springer spaniel becoming a Rally champion in Denmark, Lille Bjørn the first Norwich terrier and Max the second Border terrier. Max was the first Border terrier becoming a Rally super champion in Denmark. At the Danish championship 28th August 2021 Max became no. 11 in champion class, Otto no. 12 in beginner’s class.

Judging experience: I have been judging rally obedience since 2013. I judged at the first Nordic championships in Denmark 2019. I really have enjoyed following Rally from a sport, that was not taken very seriously to a sport accepted as an independent discipline on its own terms. A sport where you can see an enormous variety of breeds. A sport for the width and the top. A sport where you easily get started and where it gradually becomes more challenging and demanding, so the ambitious and nerdy have something to work with and train towards, with the Nordic championships and in a few years hopefully international championships as the biggest goals.

Photo © Grafiko.dk

Judge Taru Leskinen

I live in Nastola, which is the Lahti district, together with my husband, son and our English cocker spaniels Lilli and Luna. Lilli is my first own dog and Luna is her daughter. I am training Lilli in rally obedience and agility. I teach rally obedience. I also love hiking and camping on the woods with my dogs.

Rally experience:  I started with rally obedience 2013 with Lilli. I went to get to know the sport, and that’s the road I stayed on. Lilli and I have competed a few races, but I don’t like competing, even though I like rally obedience immensely. In addition, I have competed and trained with loan dogs, for example, with a Spanish water dog and a Scottish Shepherd Dog.

Judging experience: I have judged rally obedience since 2016 and judged in several Finnish championships in different classes and once been a judge in the final and I was a Secretary at the Nordic Championship in Denmark 2019. I really love judging rally obedience, which is reflected in the annual judging volumes. I like that rally obedience is suitable for all dogs without looking at the breed, as well as for all handlers and yet this is also one of the most difficult dog sports to judge because the referee needs to see so many things and be attentive all the time.

Judge Maria Syltebø Opstad

I live just outside Oslo with my husband Andreas, my six year old labrador Saga and my adorable cat Storm. Saga is trained in both obedience and rally obedience in addition to retriever training and working dog tracking.  

Rally experience: I started training rally obedience with my first dog Frøya in 2012 and we competed in elite/master class. My second dog Saga became Norwegian Rally Obedience Champion when she was 3 years old.

Judging experience: I have been judging rally obedience since 2015. I have judged the National Championship twice and will be judging it again in 2022. I was also secretary in the Nordic Championship in Denmark in 2019.

Judge Beatrice Palm

I live in Dalby, a small village outside Lund in Skåne, together with my husband and our samoyed Nelly. I bought my first samoyed 1994 and Nelly is my fourth dog. Besides training Nelly in different dog sports I teach both rally obedience and nose work. I also love dog sledding but my knees are now – unfortunately – getting too old for that sport. 

Rally experience: I started with rally obedience 2006 when my first samoyed was to old to compete in agility, which he loved. Rally obedience became his retirement fun. I have continued with the sport ever since. My current dog, Nelly, is both a swedish and danish rally obedience champion and our next goal is the danish super rally championship. With Nellys grandmother, Stella, I participated in the first national rally obedience championships in Sweden 2012.

Judging experience: I have been judging rally obedience since 2010 and have judged both national championships and the first Nordic championships in Denmark 2019. I really love judging this sport since it allows the handler to praise the dog during the course and since it isn´t as strict as obedience. I like the almost endless possibilities we as judges have to vary our courses and the variation of breeds we meet when judging. But it is also one of the hardest dog sports to judge and you really have to be on your toes all the time.

Beatrice serves as judge at the competition for Team Reserves.

Secretary Helle Gadeberg

I live on the countryside – just 20 km north of Aarhus in Jutland with my husband Lars and our pack of miniature schnauzers and border collies. We got our first miniature schnauzer in ’90 and for the next decade we competed in agility and the show ring. I still do a bit of agility, a little hoopers and dog shows, but rally absolutely plays a major role in my life!

Rally experience: I have been a part og the rally family since 2006 – teaching and training teams at all levels. Back in 2006 I started training rally with my mini Toffefee, the plan was to do rally until she was old enough to compete in agility, BUT.. we both got hooked on rally, and never got to do much agility. She was the first miniature schnauzer to become rally champion.

Judging experience: In 2013 I judges my first official rally competition.  I have judged the national championship several times. First time in 2013 – last time in 2019. And.. I admit it… I am addicted to rally. Rally is my sport, and is a significant part of my life as it has been for more than 15 years. I just love to see a rally team grow. From the first shaky steps in Novice Class to the full blown and experienced teams in the Nordic Class.

Secretary Merete Kristensen

I live in Svinndal with my boyfriend and our three dogs. I spend almost all my life on dog related activities, and I love it! 
Rally Experience: I went to my first rally course in 2007 with my tervueren Gaya, and then never left the sport! I am an instructor as well, and I mainly do rally courses.
Judging experience: I became a judge in 2012, and have been judging a great deal since. I also have judged the national championship three times.

Secretary Karin Holst

I live in Seglora, between Borås and Gothenburg, with my husband, two boys and my Bedlington terrier Ida. I´ve been into several sports like freestyle, heelwork to music, agility, nose work, obedience and tracking, but I´m most experienced in rally obedience.

Rally experience: I began competing rally in 2008, the year I also got my trainer´s certificate. Unfortunately my dog Ida didn´t really care for rally, so I started competing friends´dogs instead. With my sister´s Border Collie Spike I competed in the Swedish Championships in 2013 – the last competition before he retired. Other breeds I´ve competed are for example German Sheperd and Miniature Pinscher.

Judging experience: In 2009 I became a rally obedience judge, and since then I´ve judged many competitions. Amongst them are the Swedish Championships in 2012. I recently became a judge for the Nordic Class, an experience I value greatly. There have been many changes throughout the years, but the love for the sport remains! Rally obedience shows such a variety in both dogs and handlers, and it´s always a joy to see the teams take on the challenges of the course.

Secretary Tytti Lintenhofer

I am a teacher in a vocational school were students are studying to become animal attendants (kennels sector and breeding of domestic animals) or animal trainers. My free time I spend with my golden retriever girls Neva and Nia and work as a dog trainer and coach.  I value a good human-dog relationship and for me one of the most important things are the joy of working with dogs and the joy of dogsports.

Rally experience: The first acquaintance with rally obedience I had 2006 when i was still living in Austria. Around 2012, I started active training and competing in rally obedience. Developing Rally Obedience has always been close to my heart and I`m the chairperson of the Finish Rally Obedience committee and a member of the Nordic and FCI Rally Obedience committee. 

Judging experience: I have been an official Rally Obedience judge since 2014. Although my judging experience goes way back to the time rally obedience was not an official sport in Finland. From the judge’s point of view, rally obedience is a versatile and interesting sport full of possibilities. I love the variation of breeds that we have in rally obedience and the good atmosphere that we share at competitions. 

I´m looking forward to seeing you all at the Nordic Rally Obedience Championship in Stockholm!