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Register of Merit

When the database of champions is updated in 2001, two dogs are poised to join the illustrious ranks of the Collie Club of America's Register of Merit (ROM) -- Ch. Marnus Golden Ruler ("Piper"), owned by Ron and Marcia Keller of Lockport, New York, and Tartanside Preview ("Phillip"), owned by John Buddie of Pottstown, Pennsylvania.

The requirement for a dog to be included in the CCA ROM is 20 champion offspring for sires, and 7 champion offspring for dams. In addition, to receive a ROM certificicate, the dog's owner may send a ROM request form to the ROM Statistician, Gayle Kaye, who not only verifies the achievement, but also undertakes the arduous task of maintaining the database of champions.

The ROM certificate, which is for Collie Club of America members only, is produced by Jim and Judy Smotrel of Lynchburg, Virginia, and signed by CCA President, Mike Esch.

And though they won't officially be added to the list until 2001, both dogs have apparently met the ROM requirement of 20 champion offspring.

Piper's 20th champion offspring was Ch. Oak Knolls Pennylane Gold,
out of Ch. Highcroft Oak Knoll's Vanity, bred by Brian Elwell and Amy
Ross and owned by
Peggy Melton. As of
this writing, Piper has
22 champion offspring.

From the ROM Class of 2001:
Ch. Marnus Golden Ruler.



Phillip's 20th champion offspring came in November when the sable and white dog, Breezy Acre Blockbuster, bred
and owned by Patricia Ortiz, won his final major.

Tartanside Preview is the ninth ROM for John Buddie, who has bred more ROM recipients than anyone in CCA history.


Also, of considerable note is that Phillip, who at 12 1/2 years of age, is Tartanside's and John Buddie's record ninth to achieve the prestigious ROM monogram. Other Tartanside ROM sires include, Ch. Tartanside Th' Critics Choice, who with 80 champions sits atop the prestigious list, three-time CCA National Specialty winner, Ch. Tartanside The Gladiator with 49, Ch. Tartanside Apparently with 31, and Ch. Tartanside Heir Apparent with 22 champion offspring.

Not to be outdone, Ch. Tartanside Animation, who with 10 champion offspring is tied for second among ROM dams. Just behind her are Ch. Tartanside Fairwind Fantasy and Ch. Tartanside Imagination, both with nine, and Ch. Tartanside Ballerina with seven champion offspring.

Inclusion in the Register of Merit is one of the breed's highest and most difficult to achieve honors. Consider that while the database of champions, which spans the years from 1884 through 1999, boasts more than 10,000 Collies, this represents only a small number compared to the total number of Collies that are AKC registered.

From this massive talent pool there are only 117 ROM Collies, including 34 ROM rough sires, 28 ROM rough dams, 6 ROM smooth sires, and 49 ROM smooth dams. Indeed, this is an exclusive group of dogs. Piper and Phillip will increase the number of ROM Collies to 119 and rough sires to 36 in 2001.

Kaye, who is also a Collie Club of America Archivist, says that there are a variety of reasons that contribute to a dog's ability to achieve ROM status. "I think it ultimately depends on many factors," says Kaye, "how much breeding is done, how many puppies end up in show homes, the quality of the progeny, the area of the country, the type of shows, the point scale, etc."

"Someone who seldom does any breeding and does little showing, has little chance of ever owning a ROM dog or bitch. Some dogs and bitches rise above all factors. Ch. Black Hawk of Kasan is a good example. He was such a prepotent sire and it didn't matter which part of the country his kids were shown in, as they finished from coast to coast, with novice and experienced people alike," says Kaye.

Kaye has been overseeing ROM record keeping since 1997 when the list became official. However, the first suggestion for a CCA Register of Merit came in the 1970s when Bill Brokken and Janet Wilcox put together the first proposal for such a list.

The original intent of the CCA ROM was to enhance the club's record keeping capabilities and to honor the achievement of sires and dams who have produced significant numbers of champion offspring.

Kaye says the feedback she has received indicates that the list is a success. "People are very proud of their ROM dogs and bitches and it's a way of paying tribute to our best. Additionally, it has really helped in the area of research and keeping track of the records of various dogs and bitches. Prior to the establishment of the ROM, CCA had no system of keeping records of the top sires or dams. For the first time ever we have a complete champion database and all the records can be assessed and evaluated at a moments notice."

To see the complete list of ROM sires and dams, please visit the Collie Club of America web site or CCA Archivist and ROM Statistician Gayle Kaye's web site.