Interview with Stefan Sinko
The convening of the extraordinary assembly on 1 June last year was the first step towards normalizing the situation at the Cynological Association of Slovenia. In accordance with the resolutions of this Assembly, an election committee was called within the legal deadline to call new elections, and thus the Cynological Association of Slovenia elected a new president on May 5th, 2019.
Mr. Stefan Sinko is not a new face in the field of cynology, but we also know him as its president, but his current work will certainly be much different than in his first term. It is a very critical time for the Cynological Association of Slovenia to take over the Association, and it can be said with the full expectation that the future of the Cynological Association of Slovenia depends on the work of the current management. You can find out what goals the new president has set and what his contribution to cynology has been so far.
The cynology public knows you primarily as a distinguished international judge. Your current candidacy for president of CAS is not entirely surprising since you were previously the president of CAS. When was this and how did the work of the president of the CAS work at that time?
In fact, I was the first democratically elected president immediately after independence in 1992. At that time, there were two candidates, Mr Marjan Ahlin from hunting cynology, who I personally value very much and have cooperated on numerous occasions in the past, even though we were competitors at the time. The statute was then simpler and more operative, even though it was not mandated and the members of the board were directly elected by the proposals of assembly! Times were different and so were working methods!
There are probably some similarities in the presidency then and today, and there are certainly some differences. In what, do you think the current governance of the CAS will be the most different from the past?
The current management, of course, is different, because the CAS is a very open organization internally, with many individuals who are great experts but are interconnected and unwilling to participate! In addition, we are burdened by the short past, which has brought us an enormous financial burden, which we will have a hard time getting rid of!
Even after the presidency of the CAS, as a judge, you have been actively monitoring the work of the CCS and the developments related to the Association. What other functions did you then perform?
I was a founding member of as many as three breeding clubs and also their first president. However, I also represented the CAS at the FCI for some time as the Vice President of the Judges Commission!
Why have you decided to run for president right now?
The current situation has called for all well-meaning cynologists to unite in order to preserve our Association as a social organization and to enforce the regulating law for associations, not as a company owned by individuals!
What are the highlights of your program?
Among the most important points in my program is financial consolidation of the Association, regulation of the legal framework, ensuring transparency and publicity of the project, the European Dog Show 2020 and bringing the cynology industry closer to the end-users, make it dog friendly and environmentally friendly.
Which of the following do you most want to accomplish with the CAS Board of Directors and what do you consider most important for the further development and existence of Slovenian cynology?
Certainly, the first prerequisite for existence and continuation is financial consolidation, but much will need to be done on interpersonal relationships that have broken down for a good time and hindered the normal functioning of the Association!
Which tasks will you start with first or what areas do you think is necessary to make some changes first?
Certainly finance and the legal framework. There is a list of priorities that we are already facing. Namely, the Association must be restored to its legal state as it was some time ago.
As we mentioned at the beginning, we now know you primarily as a cynology judge. How did your cynology journey begin? What and when did it put you on that path?
This journey began in my childhood, about the fifth grade of primary school when I adopted a homeless German Shepherd!
What have you been doing as a cynologist since you started to be active in this field?
When my generation became active, there were no computers and no internet, so we had to take our own initiative to provide education. I tried to learn from older, experienced cynologists and the literature available at the time.
You are also the chairman of the breeding committee for the Terriers - is this the breed that is closest to your heart?
It sort of just happened that my first pedigree dog was an Airedale Terrier, so I was a founding member of this club and its president, and later for many years the chairman of the breeding committee for the Terriers.
You are an international judge for all breeds. What attracted you to the decision to become a cynology judge?
When I was younger, I enjoyed exhibitions as an exhibitor. With my Bulldogs, I have achieved top results, from European to World champions. And these results were with the dogs from my kennel and my breeding. Today, this is no longer a challenge for me, and I prefer to go to shows, which is a great pleasure, especially if I am lucky and can judge top dogs from the top breeders!
Assessing the dogs of all ten FCI groups requires a great deal of knowledge and experience. Does it ever happen to you to check the requirements for a particular breed before the show? Do the requirements for dog breeds change through the years?
Of course, every judge must be "Up to Date", which means that the profession must be constantly monitored!
Considering that you have been a judge for many years, you probably have almost no parts of the world where you haven’t judged. Can you single out exhibitions and visits to the countries that have a special place in your heart and those that you have not yet judged but would like to?
In fact, I've really judged on every continent, together in 71 different countries in the world! I experienced beautiful and less pleasant moments everywhere, but I would not point out any!
Your wife, Olga Kupriyanova, is also an international cynology judge. Do two different opinions ever collide? How do they resolve the disagreement in the assessment?
After all, evaluation is quite subjective, despite the set rules. Slovenians have a nice saying for this, saying that “each eye has its own malar”. Of course, we sometimes have diametrical views, but in most cases, we agree or just try to convince one another.
In the year 2020 the CAS is waiting for a very demanding event, the European Dog Show, which will attract a lot of dog exhibitors, spectators and all those who are inseparable from them (different providers, companies…). How are the preparations going?
Preparations for this project are intensively underway. The Extended Composition Committee has already met. It will take a lot of effort and energy to successfully execute, but in 2010 we proved that we know and that we can, and so will we in 2020!
Finally, we would like to ask you for a concluding thought. What would you like or what would you expect from every Slovenian cynologist individually and consequently society, a club, a breeding committee ...? How should they work so that activities are directed towards the common good and contribute to the successful work of the Slovenian Cynology Association? -Above all, I think more tolerance would be needed, even if we have different views on professional matters. Many times we lose precious time and energy, and ultimately money when we try to resolve unproductive disputes, which then end up in the courts!
Source: Kinološka Zveza Slovenije
World Dog Finder team