MEET THE JUDGE: SANDY THOMPSON
I started raising and showing collies in 1972, just two years
after I graduated from high school and one year after I got
married to Ken. My first collie was a combination of Parader, Cul-Mor,
and Arrowhill by way of Sunnyhill. It took me two shows to realize
that she was not show quality and I immediately quit showing
her. I did breed her though and she produced my first champion
male and my foundation bitch. She was then placed in a pet home
where she would be the main attraction.
I have finished several champions over the years but I remain
a very small kennel. I have taken pride in the fact that I have
bred two Best in Show winners who did a lot of specialty winning
as well. All of our dogs have been able to compete at both levels.
I think my proudest accomplishment was to produce Ch. Kendras
Hearthrob!, ROM, who has produced nine champions.
Why did you become a judge?
To me it just seemed to be a natural cycle of my life in dogs.
Since I had been breeding and showing collies since I was 20
years of age, had a measure of success myself, had handled,
and taught others, I felt that it was time to give back to the
sport that has been so fulfilling to me. I loved judging sweeps
and matches and I loved the thought of being able to go over
MANY different dogs from various parts of the country.
I felt this would be a great opportunity to learn more about
what virtues are found where. Fact of the matter is, when you
are exhibiting there isn't enough time to actually go over all
the dogs. When you are judging you are able to see and feel
so much more, thereby learning so much more than you can as
What is the measure of a successful judge?
I think one thing is when you are able to leave the show and
in honesty know that you did what was right for the breed. If
you go home having second thoughts about your choices then you
probably made the wrong one or made your decision based on something
other than the quality of the dogs. . .
What dog have you seen that comes/came closest to embodying
your vision of the Standard?
There are many that I have judged, both rough and smooth, that
embody my vision of the standard. However, since I think it
would be unwise to mention the names of dogs still living, due
to the fact that some may be showing under me in the future,
I will only mention dogs from the past.
Two bitches that really stand out in my mind are Ch. Starr's
Blue Jeans and Ch. Lee Air's Amazing Grace. They were both balanced
from every angle, had neck, coat, body, movement, bone, and
were impeccably conditioned. A male that was one of my own personal
favorites was Ch. Kendras Double Attraction. Again, beautiful
coat, neck, bone, balance and his movement was amazing. Even
had he not been mine he would have taken my breath away.
As time passes it has become much easier for people to combine
their lines and come out with great ones. Some people say that
the days of GREAT ones are gone, but I totally disagree. I think
that the competition has increased and the quality has improved
tremendously, and that has lessened the gap that there was when
I first started. I know that I have seen some wonderful collies
who are living today and am certain that there will be many
more in the future.