J|rgen Burkhardt, a 48-year-old photographer from Leinfelden, Germany, competes in the freestyle-mustache category at international beard and mustache championships. Burkhardt used to compete in the imperial-mustache category, one of 17 officially recognized styles. He switched to the freestyle class after a 2004 rule change barred closed-loop whiskers from the imperial-mustache category.
International whisker competitions are a relatively new phenomenon. The first World Beard and Moustache Championship took place in 1991 in Höfen-Enz, Germany, and was organized by a local beard and mustache club. Contestants are judged by their whiskers, costumes, and overall presentations by a seven-member jury.