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MEET THE JUDGE: GRACE KOSUB

My interest and love of Collies has filled my life since I first read Lad A Dog, as a child. However, I did not start showing and breeding until the late 60s. It took more than a few years of trial and error before I began to have some success in the show ring and with a very limited "breeding program."

Those who have been around for more than a few years might remember the blue bitch litter mates that made a name for themselves in the late 70s and early 80s -- Ch. Vanity Blu Blu Daze and Ch. Windcrest Vanity Fair. Both were big winners at specialties, as well as at the all-breed shows.

Vanity Fair became the dam of Ch. Windcrest All's Fair, who in turn was the dam of five champions, including the all-breed Best In Show winning, Ch. Windcrest Sundown Sensation.

Several more champions followed over the next decade or two. The two most recent are the littermates, Ch. Vanity Monogram Zip Code and Ch. Vanity Bethany's Revelation who is the sire of the 1996 CCA Best of Breed, Smooth dog, Ch. Bethany's Preacher Man.

Certainly a most important part of my Collie career was being fortunate enough to co-own Ch. Tartanside Spellbound with John Buddie. Spellbound had a fabulous career, winning numerous specialties and placing in the Herding Group several times. In the few short years he was with me, he became the sire of 19 American and 1 international champion.

I have always enjoyed working with stud dogs and have spoken at seminars all over the United States, including Hawaii, on "Canine Reproduction and Stud Dog Management." I became a Collie judge in 1991 and have been fortunate to judge many wonderful shows and have my hands on some really beautiful dogs. I recently became approved to judge Shelties and hope to add a few more breeds over the next few years.

I believe that a good judge must first and foremost be true to the breed standard. Judging is gratifying, fulfilling, challenging, and full of learning experiences. And it certainly demands compromises. I believe you must judge the whole dog -- focus on virtues, and not faults, and never forget to put the emphasis in your judging, where the authors of our standard put the emphasis.

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