Lesley Freeman ~ Groups 1, 2, 3
I was born in New Zealand and immigrated to Australia in 1968, where I completed my university education. I currently hold Certificate IV in Training & Assessment and Certificate IV in Disability Studies (as well as Level II First Aid.
My recreational interests for the past have been mainly dominated by the breeding and showing of pedigree cats. Initially I started with Siamese and added a few Burmese along the way (prefix Tokiwi). However, the hobby really developed into an obsession when I encountered Colin and Di McKenzie and their beautiful Birmans, (prefix Khadine). I commenced breeding Birmans under the Eldorato prefix with my first litter being born 10 days after my last baby. The gene pool was very small within Australia at the time, and importation was difficult and expensive. Fortunately, breeders were very generous with sharing their lines and the breed has now built up to where it is today. I am very proud to have been part of this evolution and count myself very fortunate in the friends that I have made along the way.
I undertook my Group 1 (all longhair) Judges licence in 1998 and completed my Group 3 (all shorthair except Siamese), in 2002. I became an All Breeds Judge in January 2006 ,after passing Group 2.
I have judged in New Zealand, Kuala Lumpur, Portland, Oregon, Brasil, Johannesburg & Cape Town (South Africa).
In addition, I am still actively breeding and showing Birmans. Initially I started with seal and blue breeding only, but then added in the chocolate gene.
Eldorato has been GCCFV Group 1 Breeder of the Year for many years. My husband, Kevin, shares this interest with me and we are very fortunate to have achieved a great deal of success in the last decade, winning 4 Cat of the Year awards, 1 kitten of the Year, and Breeder of the Year many times. I am currently President of The Birman, Ragdoll & Associated Breeds Club Society Inc and Secretary of the GCCFV Judges’ Association.
In addition to our cat breeding and showing, my life is shared with 3 children and 4 grandchildren. I also enjoy reading, travel, watching sport, (rugby is my passion).