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Performance Week 2011 -- Breed Champions Emerge into Performance World


St. Germaine herding pictures taken at Magic's Legacy, Genoa City,
Wisconsin, home of CCA Central Region Herding Trial

By Judy Belluomini, St. Germaine Collies

In 1980, I met a wonderful lady, Jeanne Sikora from Wales, Wisconsin. Jeanne sold me my first collie, and I came home with a well-balanced collie puppy, "Maggie." Jeanne was very honest and encouraged me to start obedience training rather than pursue conformation. We did go on to enjoy a wonderful obedience career. Maggie was shown for six years earning a UDT and Canadian CDX. She retired at our 100th anniversary show earning two OTCH points on that day. As Jeanne stated, "Maggie was a shining example of what a collie could do if given the chance." Jeanne was a wonderful mentor, because she knew so much about soundness and its relationship to performance.


Maggie was Judy Belluomini's first Collie. She earned a UDT and
Canadian CDX.


My journey continued in the mid 80's with my second mentor, Joyce Weinmann of Vennessee. My conversation with Joyce was long, as I wanted a puppy with conformation qualities as well as soundness for performance. Upon visiting her kennel, she led me to a spunky tri-color male which was later named "Primo." He not only became my first breed champion but also earned a CDX and TDX. In Canada he earned a CD and TD. Joyce was most adept at seeing good structure that transferred to solid movement.


Judy's first breed champion "Primo" also earned a CDX and TDX.


In 1992, the third mentor, Leslie Jeszewski, entered my life not only as a collie breeder with a wealth of knowledge, but a dear personal friend. Most people in the breed are not aware that Leslie began her career in obedience. She competed in a Gaines Regional tournament scoring a most respectable 196.


Leslie Jeszewski with CH Highcroft Bourne Supremacy, a sable dog she and her husband Don co-own with Judy Belluomini.


For me personally, I noticed that performance people also are in sync in keeping their collies well groomed and being true ambassadors of the breed. There is nothing finer than to have a judge, no matter what the performance venue, remark, "Gee that is a beautiful collie."

To this day, we talk as much about structure, and movement as well as head pieces. Don and Leslie have the property and use multi pastures to exercise their collies and keep them in fine condition. My first collie from Highcroft, "Reni," raised the bar for my own standard. He was my first American/Canadian champion; American CD, TDX, and Canadian CD. He remained in the top ten in all systems for five consecutive years.


"Reni" was Judy's first collie from Highcroft. He was her first AM/CAN Champion; American CD, TDX, and Canadian CD.


The performance theme this year is "Collies Can Do It All." They sure can and then some. Since beginning in 1980, I see such a wonderful working relationship among breeders and performance people. They enjoy a partnership and work together as a team. I think performance people expect more from their collies. In speaking recently with Jan Shields, a very well respected breeder and performance person, she remarked that she remembers competing at the Collie Club of America National Specialty and having the only breed champion in obedience. A friend of Jan's and fellow Californian, Sue Larsen, enjoys a wonderful partnership with breeders in her quest toward performance excellence.

The popularity of agility has greatly increased the numbers of collies performing. Although many of these numbers are duplicates, at the 2011 National Specialty, 23 champions were entered in obedience, 29 in rally and 39 in agility.

My personal gratitude extends to the many breeders who take the time to breed with the intention of not only a lovely head piece, but proper gait and structure. You create the partnership of respect and inspiration.

For me personally, I noticed that performance people also are in sync in keeping their collies well groomed and being true ambassadors of the breed. There is nothing finer than to have a judge, no matter what the performance venue, remark, "Gee that is a beautiful collie."

My personal gratitude extends to the many breeders who take the time to breed with the intention of not only a lovely head piece, but proper gait and structure. You create the partnership of respect and inspiration.

Finally, I want to mention a lady in our breed whom I have admired since my beginning in collies. I have respected and enjoyed Peg Vohr of Mariner Collies for years; she is a true lady of our breed who seems to enjoy her obedience participation as well as winning Best of Breed at the National Specialty in 1998. She recently mentioned to me that the titles at the end of the name are just as important as those in front. I first saw Peg in Woodstock on a very hot summer day showing CH Shamont Stormalong. It's funny how a first impression lasts forever. I'm sure Peg will be participating at the obedience-rally area at the next National Specialty. I'm sure it will be another great National, where we will see "Collies Doing it All."


Peg Vohr with her CH Mariner's Mermaid Summer (a daughter of CH
Fantasy's Mariner Anchorman, CCA Best of Breed, 1998 in Virgina Beach.

COLLIE QUOTE
The Collie presents an impressive, proud picture of true balance, each part being in harmonious proportion to every other part and to the whole.

– from the AKC Collie Breed Standard

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