An Interview with COL
8. Do you compete at the National Specialty in any performance events? If so, how does competing at the National Specialty compare to other venues.
Carol Lariviere: I competed at the National Specialty in 2012 and in 2009. It's very different competing at our National. First of all, I love seeing all the Collies! Secondly, it's really nice to be able to run and think that I can actually get a placement. At all-breed agility trials, the Border Collies, Aussies or Golden Retrievers often win in the jump heights my dogs run at. And lastly, it's fun to see how my Collies compare to those from other parts of the country. Oh and the Collie comaraderie is fantastic! We have a lot of that in the Northeast.
Noreen Bennett: Yes we competed in everything at the National Specialty this year. For one thing, it can be very expensive. Entry fees from $30-$50 depending on the sport, multiple days, multiple sports and multiple dogs really adds up. Many of us "cram" for the National – trying hard to get a dog ready to compete. I also think many of us want to do well at the National and we put more pressure on ourselves and our dogs. As a result, we have some very nervous handlers and dogs wondering
what happened to their owner that makes their voice high pitched and squeaky and their
Barbara Corriveau: I have competed at the National in some performance events, but for the most part, I find it too stressful to try to do too much. I like to work and spectate at the performance events. I usually focus on conformation at the National.
Michelle Shoemaker: Yes, we compete at the National Specialty most years. I enjoy the National because I get to see the other Collies work. Watching the other teams can inspire you to be better or try a new sport.
Judy Belluomini: I have competed at the National Specialty since 1984. I have missed a few over the years, but I always look forward to seeing fellow exhibitors that have the same interests in performance as I do. I am really pleased that so many of the lovely working Collies are also breed champions. Placing at the National to me is something in which to be proud. In 2003 and 2004, because my collies did well in conformation, obedience, and herding -- those memories I will always cherish.
Erin Gorney: Yes, and I love it and look forward to it every year! There are not many Collies shown in performance even in my area, so, for me, it's awesome seeing such wonderful working Collie teams all gathered in one place! It's also a time to pick other's brains on how they deal with particular training/trialing issues with Collies. So many knowledgable people that are willing to help out others all gathered in one place, is just priceless.
Marilyn Clayton: I've competed in herding, agility, obedience, rally and conformation. At the National Specialty (and Regional events) I find other competitors appreciate my Collie's abilities and capabilities whether we Q or not. It's a friendlier atmosphere and a lot of fun!