Well, the second year of the Collie Club of America Herding Regionals has come to a close. From the East Coast to the West Coast we saw a lot of collie herding talent and participation of some newcomers.
Michelle Shoemaker chaired the Eastern Regional at Scarlet Mills farms in Birdsboro, Pennsylvania, September 12 - 13. There were sheep, ducks and cattle providing a very full day of herding, all in rain and mud! This trial filled to capacity at 50 runs per day and was dedicated to the late Donna Rothenberger, herding enthusiast and collie lover. Michelle was very successful in procuring trophy donations and several special donations to commemorate Donna and her love of the breed.
It has also become apparent that the competition for the High Combined Award requires a dog that can go the distance, both in stamina and training, but also versatility on different courses and stock.
It was my pleasure to chair the Central Regional, held in Ponca City, Oklahoma at Ability Stockdogs. It also included Sheep, Ducks and Cattle. The cattle were Dexters, which required some push to get around the course. The Ducks were call duck crosses and worked great both on A and B course. The sheep were a little tougher but still a fair number of dogs qualified. Goats were used on the test classes providing an almost 100 percent qualifying rate. Thanks to all that helped with stock handling and the many small chores that make up a trial day. Tonya Sims, a relative newbie to herding was able to get Bissell to donate a Pet Hair vacuum for the raffle. She also talked Precise Dog Food into donating $100. Thanks for a very successful raffle, Tonya!
Western was held at Brigands Hideout, a picturesque location In Battleground Washington, a very nice Facility. Suzanne Schwab chaired this trial, which included A and B ducks and sheep. The livestock were a bit of a challenge, offering a variety of tests for dog and handler. There were a lot of HICs, providing some newcomers to herding a small taste of what their dog might do.
The Regionals are entering its third year in 2010. Bids for sites are due by October 31, 2009. It has become apparent from the success of the Regionals how many collie herders are out there. It has also become apparent that the competition for the High Combined Award requires a dog that can go the distance, both in stamina and training, but also versatility on different courses and stock.
I must end with a thank you to CCA for providing the opportunity to have Herding Regionals. Without the club's support and endorsement, this fantastic showcase of the breed's innate herding talent would not be possible.