A Tribute to Al and Helene Forthal, Shoreham Collies

From the San Diego Collie Club Specialty Catalog, Nov. 12, 2005
Janine Walker-Keith, Show Secretary

Long before there was record setting Ch. Shoreham Triumph Timeless, there was "DeDe." She was the bitch that opened the doors for future Collie bitches to win awards over the male specials. Al and "DeDe" were a phenomenon!

Prior to "DeDe" bitches rarely won BOV awards, let alone BOB! In 1974 at the San Diego Collie Club, Ch. Shoreham Desdemona won over 14 male specials under Barbara Schwartz. In 1971 she was BOB under Edith Levine at the San Diego Collie Club. She was BOB under Glen Twiford at Northern California Collie Club, BOV under Bob Woods at Orange Empire Kennel Club and BOB at Southern California Collie Club under Marcia Keller over an entry of 174 Collies.

Ch. Shane Mac Duff Of Koani sire of
Ch. Shoreham Desdemona. Shane finished in
1966 to become Al and Helene's first champion.

Ch. Shoreham Desdemona
A top winning bitch in the early 70's.

Al Forthal with Shoreham's Sir Toby B, winner
of the open tri class at the SCCC/CCA National
Specialty 1973.

Janine Walker - Keith
And The San Diego Collie Club

For their invaluable contribution to the Collie for 45+ years which spans the recognition of breeding the all-time top specialty winning Collie to hours of selfless guidance of fellow fanciers. Their overall influence on the Collie is vast. For every one person they have touched, 10 more people come to mind. They are teachers, coaches, friends, judges, mentors and tireless workers for the betterment of their breed...The live by the motto "do no harm".

If the Collie world had valedictorians, Al and Helene would be at the top of their class. Because we adore them, we honor them today and wish them good health, long living and continued successful contributions to our great breed, the Collie.

Glen Twiford, Wind Call Collies

Many years ago while judging a large California Collie specialty I found a beautiful entry, a lovely golden sable collie with loads of quality and sparkle. She had little trouble winning that day and after judging, her owners brought her to me; they introduced themselves as Helene and Al Forthal. I can remember thinking, "What nice people!" They were so proud of their collie, but also so very modest -- a quality that I noticed and admired over the years when their dogs won. With their assurance and the knowledge that comes from long-time experience in the breed, they always displayed that same wonderful quality of gentle modesty when discussing or presenting their dogs. I can remember many generous gestures of friendship and support over these many years. I would like to say our Collie Club of America should be especially proud of having members like Al and Helene Forthal. These are two very special people.

Elaine Goto-Tamae and Tomie Goto, Triumph Collies

As I was writing this tribute, I was trying to remember the first time we met Al and Helene, and from what I remember, it was when we were first starting out in Collies with our first show dog, CH. Landmark Rustique Triumph (“Spooky”), who went on to be #9 Hawkins System for 1979. We showed Spooky under both Al and Helene at a couple of puppy matches, and since that time, our friendship has continued and expanded to include both families – Al and Helene's son, daughters, grandkids, my mom, my dad, my husband, and more recently, my son, Stevie.

Shoreham collies are very dominant for some very important features which are hard to find and retain, including muzzle, cleanness and lack of depth in side profile, finish of underjaw, correct expression, and placement of stop. These features are evident in all of Al and Helene's collies from the past to the most recent present, and represent the vision of Shoreham Collies. One of Al's visions led them to breed “Yum-Yum,” Shoreham Cobblecreek Vexin Vixen to “Trax,” CH. Triumph's Time Trax, and the resulting litter resulted in four littermates whose accomplishments between them include multiple specialty BOB wins, an all-breed Best In Show, CCA Best of Breed, and #1 Breed ranking for 1998 and 1999. We have been most fortunate to co-own “Mocha,” CH. Shoreham Triumph Timeless with Al, and feel that she is a true representative of Al and Helene's hard work and vision. Mocha is beautiful not only in conformation aspects, but in true collie personality and temperament as well.

Congratulations to Al and Helene on your many years of contribution to Colliedom, and may you have many more years of continued success.

And a BIG Thank You! from the bottom of our hearts for your kindness, mentorship, friendship, and words of advice and wisdom over the years.

Dave and Darla Budworth, Three D's Collies

Wow, what can I say about Al and Helene Forthal? We met them 40 years ago when they were showing Ch. Shoreham Desdemona, (DeDe) in the Puppy classes, and winning all the Sweepstakes. We have been close friends (more like family) all these 40 years. I never showed any dogs under Al because we co-owned and co-bred dogs together.

Al made me understand what the overall picture of a collie should look like. We did not always agree on the dogs that he put up, but he could always point out to me why he liked the dog, and I had to agree with him (most of the time). Right Al?

Darla and I have had great times at the dog shows with them, and at their home, too. They are truly part of our family.

It has been an honor to have the Shoreham name along with Three Ds on all of the champions we have finished. Our first one (and probably our favorite one) was Champion Shoreham Three Ds Bridget, who was a full sister to DeDe from a repeat breeding. She loved the show ring, and was a real cut up. She showed me how to have fun in the show ring. We will always be grateful to Al and Helene for making it possible for us to have a winning and fun-to-live-with show dog.

Congratulations to Al and Helene for their many contributions to the Collie Breed. This honor from the San Diego Collie Club is richly deserved and long overdue. We know also that they have helped many young people get started in the show ring that have become very successful in their own right. That in itself is something that they can be very proud of -- and thank you from us for 40 years of memories with “The Forthals.” We feel so fortunate to have had you in our lives all these many years. You are simply the best!

John Buddie, Tartanside

It was 1973 when I met Al and Helene Forthal for the first time. It was in April of the year, and the Collie Club of America National Specialty was being held in Anaheim.

While that was the first time we would be formally introduced, I was actually introduced to them many years earlier. The very first Collie magazine I subscribed to was Collie Cues, produced by another Californian, Ken Martin. The monthly club columns, specialty spotlights, and show reports, made all of us budding Collie fanciers, quite familiar with one another. The club columns painted the Forthals as a couple who not only enjoyed their Collies, but their Collie friends and any kind of Collie Camaraderie. Those columns pretty much hit the nail on the head, and those very same qualities have remained a constant with Al and Helene throughout these many years.

As I pored over those early magazines I remember being impressed with the coat, balance and picture of one of the early stars of Shoreham – Ch. Shane Macduff of Koani. Elegant in carriage, he and Al made quite a team. Photos of the two of them always bring the word “distinguished” to mind -- for man and dog, had a certain charisma, that was easily captured through the camera lens.

A few years later, I would get to meet a very special bitch of theirs, who went by the name of Ch. Shoreham Desdemona. It was obvious that she was a favorite to both Al and Helene. The first time I asked to see her up close, I could sense the great feeling of pride in her owners. When she and Al entered the ring that day, there truly was a “vibe” – adoration perhaps, that bounced back and forth between the two.

These wonderful early pioneers of the Shoreham family would be followed by many more champions over the years -- a score of names which I am sure will appear elsewhere in this catalog, but these early ones were the ones I remember the most, for they offered me my first view of Shoreham.

Throughout the years I would visit with Al and Helene at Nationals and catch up on news. Always sparkling, Helene continues to have a funny anecdote or joke to begin our visits with a laugh each year.

Age has a funny way of changing one's perspective in life. For myself, I realize the amount of perseverance and dedication it takes for anyone to remain in dogs for long periods of time. Knowing that Al and Helene have passed the 40-year mark in dogs, one cannot help but acknowledge just how strong their commitment to this wonderful breed of ours is. It is a commitment that represents a common goal between two people who are obviously crazy about each other. A commitment that has never wavered in their quest for excellence, and a commitment which has served the rest of the fancy by being able to share not only in what they accomplished as breeders, but in the knowledge that they have been willing to share with others in the fancy.

I find it hard to believe that it has been more than 10 years since my last visit to the West Coast – but it is a trip I will cherish for many years to come. I was out there to do a Collie seminar, and the next day I got to judge a puppy match. When a little 3- or 4-month-old bitch puppy with the most glorious head and expression entered the ring, I got goosebumps. This one was so very, very special. This was her first show and I gave her Best in Match. My gut told me that this one was destined for greatness. I watched her grow . . . and go . . . and show over the ensuing years. She carried the Shoreham prefix . . . and after nearly 35 years of being familiar with that family, it was clear that she, like her predecessors, was chosen for her intrinsic beauty. This puppy became Ch. Shoreham Triumph Timeless.

Mike and Debbie, Cobblecreek Collies

We would like to thank Janine for asking us to be part of this VERY SPECIAL day honoring Al and Helene Forthal.

Our friendship with Al and Helene Forthal started with a phone call in the spring of 1974 inquiring about breeding our bitch to Ch. Shoreham Sir Toby B. During our conversation and explaining what we felt our bitch needed, Al was already starting to teach us about Collies and breeding. He suggested we breed to Ch. Shoreham Kailyn Of The Hills, who was quite old at that time but still producing. He thought this would be a better breeding for our bitch and of course he was right as our first champion came from the litter, Ch. Rosecrest's Cobblecreek Cara.

After this we became part of the Forthal Family. Al and Helene, you are as close to being our parents as any two people could be. Yyou have always been there to answer question we have had and teach us the right way to do things, and to tell me if I would shut up, I might learn something. Al, I've always been jealous that you like Debbie better, but she is a very special Lady -- I can't blame you.

We wish we could be there today to honor you both but I'm Judging in Washington and Debbie is home with a litter of pups. The one regret we have is not living closer to you and being able to learn more from you both.

Cobblecreek Collies, Debbie and I, wouldn't be what we are today if we hadn't known you both; we are better people because of you. We love you both.

Kathy Parker

Where have the 37 years gone? I miss the time when I was a very young teen and spent just about every weekend with you. You know you have been much more than mentors to me.

What I needed most you so freely gave to me: a father, mother and child relationship I so desperately needed. Thank you for taking me under your wing and unofficially adopting me.

I could not have made it through some very difficult times in my life without your love, guidance, and support and for sending me my recovery dog, BIS, BISS, Ch. Shoreham With Gusto, CGC, and also, my sweet Shoreham A Heavenly Brew.

Words can never describe my love for you. Thank you for always being there.

Denise Greskoviak, Shannon Collies

Art, Kristen and I met Al and Helene while we were walking around the corner from our house to Beeman Avenue sometime in the late 60's.

I don't recall how we learned about their collies initially (probably saw one or two of them hanging over the gate), but were immediately taken by their beauty.  When I was five months expectant with Kimberly in the summer of 1970, we asked them about a collie puppy.  The litter they had at the time was spoken for so we asked about another collie breeder who would have a companion puppy for our family.  They introduced me to Patsy Ferbache.

We were immediately smitten with Frolic and brought her home. She became Kristen's constant companion.

In 1973, Al had a litter from Ch. Tartanside the Gladiator and because he shared the only bitch in the litter of seven, my career was launched.  I will always be grateful to Al And Helene for sharing so much with me/us and assisting me with my start.

It soon became quite apparent to me how revered they were by collie breeders and exhibitors.  We remember, Shane, Lani, Brigitte, Puff, DeDe, Toby and Phoebe playing in the backyard of their home; and the many other daughters and sons of Shane and Lani we met those long years ago and their owners who became close and dear friends.
It has been our honor to know Al and Helene, to learn from them, and to share their love of the Collies.

Congratulations on 45+ years!

Judie Evans, Clarion Collies

I doubt if Al and Helene are aware that they contributed so many years ago to what today makes up my "ideal picture" of a beautiful collie. I was a young novice, studying the breed and searching to give reality to the mental image of what I wanted my own collies to exemplify. At a Southern California show nearly 40 years ago, I turned around to see a handsome young man standing on a small knoll with a beautiful, elegant mahogany sable dog. The man was Al and the dog, Ch. Shane McDuff of Koani. Shane personified the beauty and presence I was hoping to see in the flesh.
Al and Helene have gone on to mentor many new fanciers, but the picture is still in my mind of the man and the dog on the hill.

Jane Dixon, Singing Hills Collies

To The Years

Dear Al and Helene,

What a wonderful 45 years and with so many great Collies. Seems like only yesterday that we were in the ring together competing for that top award or the points. Then the time came when we were judging each others Collies. To tell the truth I've had fun and enjoyed those shows. Helene we have enjoyed many jokes, laughs and cries.

I want to take this opportunity to let you know this past weekend at Southern California Collie Club Specialty I was overjoyed to find out I had given you winners dog and you were both in attendance. So the beat goes on!

Please take care and enjoy each day with each other and those precious Collies. I love counting you as my special friends.

Doc Greathouse, Captain USN Ret.

I have known and admired Al and Helene Forthal's expertise in breeding and showing Collies for 45-plus years. They are fine members of CCA and Al judged the National Specialty here in Louisville in 2001. They always showed Collies under me in California since I started in 1959 --collies with beautiful headpieces -- skull and stop right where they should be and a beautiful almond shaped eye. None of these little shoe-button squinty eyes I see so often in the ring today. If they left the breeding of collies to Al and Helene Forthal they would still be beautiful instead of what we are seeing today!

A great meritorious service medal is hereby awarded to you both.

Bill and Jidge Holbrook

Ah yes: "Four-thal"

We met Al and Helene when they had a collie they called "Shane" -- grandson of a beloved collie of ours, Ch. Blazer of Buffington, CDX.

Al was just getting his feet wet in the show ring, handling Shane . . . his first few shows garnered some white ribbons and Shane became Shane "Four-thal"

Then Al began picking everyone's brains in his intellectual way and pretty soon, Shane became Shane "Third-al."

The next thing we knew, it was Shane "Second-al."

And lo and behold, the ribbons turned blue and Shane "First-al" came to the forefront.

The blue ribbons were soon accompanied by purples, and Champion Shane McDuff of Koani was strutting his stuff in the ring alongside a very professional-looking Al, who was still Forthal.

We cherish our fun times with you, Al and Helene.

Karen Jordan, Candle Haven Collies

For the better part of five decades Al has brought honor and integrity to his pursuit of excellence in the breed. His abiding passion for beauty and elegance gives me great pride to have been a part of his selection of our smooth bitch, Ch. Caledonia By Candle Light as his Best of Breed when he judged the 2001 Collie Club of America National Specialty in Louisville. It is an honor that means so much to me coming from the breeder of Ch. Shoreham Triumph Timeless, one of the greatest Collies I have ever seen. I will be forever grateful to have had the opportunity to exhibit a dog I believed in with all my heart to a man for whom I have total and absolute respect.

Dan Cardoza, Countryview Collies

It is a distinct privilege to extend my warmest congratulations to Al and Helene Forthal. In our world, the Shoreham name has been synonymous with the breeding of extraordinary, beautiful collies for over 45 years, and I personally had the honor of judging their Champion Shoreham Triumph Timeless, which they co-owned with the Gotos, on two separate occasions. Al and Helene, your stellar careers are legendary -- I wish you many more years of success and look forward to seeing and judging the future award-winner that you are sure to bring to our rings.

Kelly Roche

As I was growing up in Southern California, I will always remember my mother Jean speaking so fondly of your lovely "DeDe" after seeing her at the shows.  I have greatly admired your beautiful dogs throughout my years in Collies.  I am honored to judge the sweepstakes today at a show celebrating your long-time dedication to our breed.  I wish you all the best today and in the years to come!

Barbara Schwartz, Impromptu Collies

One warm sunny day on Mission Bay at the San Diego Collie Club show in 1974, our friendship began. This awesome event is commemorated by a picture hanging on your wall. It depicts a glowing Al, young and dapper, a beautiful Ch. Shoreham Desdemona and her ribbons and trophies and a younger and slimmer me.

Over the ensuing years this friendship has grown into a relationship built on respect, enjoyment and mutual values. Thank you for all of the love and care you have shown Martin and myself. May this day be as happy for you as the day we met. May you both continue to have love, health, happiness and humor.

Lynda (Buckels) Powers, Cherokee Collies

It was the summer of 1974 and Al Forthal was set to judge the Ventura DFA Show. I was so excited that a Collie breeder would be judging (I believe it was one of his first provisional assignments). It was hard to find good judges at summer all-breed shows, let alone a respected Collie breeder such as Mr. Shoreham Collies. I drove up to that show with Pat Burnett. There were 12 in the Open Sable Dog Class. In those days there were so many in competition you were happy to even place in the big classes. Al gave me first place and by the time the Winners Class was ready to go in, I was so nervous and excited that I didn't think I could go in and show adequately. How would I be able to follow Al's directions? In order to finish my dog I needed to go Best of Winners. Lee Hall (Runnels-Bergmann) kept telling me I could do it; she told me just go in there and do it -- Al won't bite! Al gave us the nod for Best of Winners and Best of Breed, over Specials, to finish my Ch. Misty Valley Cherokee. Most people probably don't know that our win and Al's judgment were protested by another exhibitor -- a new provisional judge putting the class dog over specials -- who did this Forthal guy think he was anyway? But Al's knowledge of the breed and explanation more than satisfied the AKC representative; years later we all had a good laugh over it. Al went on with his judging and judged many prestigious shows including the CCA National Specialty. Cherokee went on to be a truly great collie in the West and the sire of Ch. Skyline Wooden Horse (one of the top winning smooths of his day) and other beautiful champions. Al and his gracious and dynamic wife, Helene, have always been breeders that you can talk to for good sound, knowledgeable advice and comments on the breed.

Judy Bryant, Dea Haven Collies

Al and Helene have been an asset to the Collie world and especially to the Collie people. They were always helpful to everyone in the grooming area. The first time I remember meeting them was at a show, Mom and I were grooming Ch. Dea Haven's Golden Chipalea (when she was a puppy), Al came right over introduced himself and started spraying and line brushing her (My first grooming lesson). She was Winners Bitch that day and finished soon after. They were both always extremely pleasant to my Mom and myself. Later when he got his license he pointed Ch. Sharlindemar Miss Adventure. I remember Lee Wallot saying to me why do you have her here, she isn't in coat? Well, Al got past the coat issue and gave her Winners Bitch. Later he also pointed Ch. Dea Haven's Cadence In Bue. They are one of the couples that I miss a lot after I moved from the area. The Forthals are definitely a plus to the Collie world.

Lee Runnels-Bergmann, Kimberee Collies

I have known the Forthals since the earliest years of both of our beginnings in Collies and have always enjoyed the friendship and the competition with them.  I salute them and all of their fine Collies and wish them the best always.

Joyce and Svend Jensen, Valley Hi Collies

It was back in the 60's that al came to us to get a puppy by our Ch. Valley Hi Party Line. That started a friendship that has now lasted more than 40 years, and still growing.

We join in this salute to Al and Helene -- a great couple -- whose contribution to the Collie world is well known.

Pat and Jim Martin, Wonderland Collies

To be able to let the two of you know what it has meant to us to be your friends for the past 40 years is quite an undertaking and not something that we can possibly put into words. Watching our kids grow, the weddings, and then their babies, the parties we went to when we were all members of the Southern California Collie Club, and the CCA parties we went to when we were young and could still hold our liquor. Ha ha . . . Remember our Championship party for Tux. Shane had finished right before that. But we were also together for the not so good moments, Al's heart surgery when he was just a young whippersnapper, my historical pregnancy with Jimmy, and all of the other crisis points in our lives. You held up the breeding end of our era with your wonderful collies. You have worked so very hard to bring out the best in our breed. And you have accomplished that and should be so very proud. Jim and I have always felt that because we never had any siblings, God blessed us with friends like you . . .

Anne Cross, Shadowmont Collies

I learned this story after the fact, but always loved to retell it on Al.

I was judging the San Diego Collie Club, and during my dog judging, apparently Al had an epiphany!

He told Helene, “Oh my God, I brought the wrong bitch!” The story goes . . . he entered two bitches, but for some reason which I can't recall, left one of them at home.

As he watched me work my way through dogs, he apparently saw a pattern of what I was looking for, and realized that the bitch he left at home was more likely to be the one I would appreciate.

SO, he raced home and then returned with the other bitch, groomed her madly and showed her. Her name escapes me now.

She was my choice for Reserve Winners Bitch that day, after MUCH deliberation between her and my ultimate winner.

How many times I have thought of that when I have found myself in similar situations! Like “Why did I enter this dog (or bitch) under this judge. I should have entered (enter name here)!”

You just can't call it right every time . . .

This endeared Al to me forever . . . that he thought enough of me to go back for the other bitch!

Add to that the fact that two more gracious Collie people can't be found . . . you have served your breed well, dear friends, and I love, respect and admire you as so many others who have had the privilege to know you.

Roz Durham, Rosslane Collies

To Al and Helene . . . friends for more years than I can remember. Congratulations on this lovely tribute to you. We were members of the Southern California Collie Club together showing our collies, I remember Desdemona (Dee-Dee), as well as enjoying many social occasions together. We shared top moments in Collies at CCA Specialties, I as a handler winning the Breed with Ch. Robel's Jason and Al and Helene with the great bitch they co-bred and co-own, Ch. Shoreham Triumph Timeless. Al and I became members of the judging community. We both were honored with unforgettable assignments, mine in 1994 and Al's in 2001. May further success and joy with your collies continue. I only wish I could be there in person to help celebrate your 45-plus years of collies. Happy Anniversary.

Martha Ramer, Society Collies

I first met the Forthal's in 1973 at the Collie Club of America's National specialty held at Disneyland, California. They were definitely people that a novice would want to meet. Right from the beginning, they were friendly, helpful and always supportive of the new person. In 1974 or '75, I showed for the first time to Al. I believe he was provisional. This was at the Ventura Dog Fanciers Association. I believe I had finally stopped showing in the Novice Class (this was long before the 12-18 Class) and was in Open Sable Dog and then I had a bitch in Open Tri. Once I knew the Forthal's better, I knew exactly why Al didn't like my dog . . . the stop. However, my Tri bitch was Reserve Winners Bitch -- to a sable named “Missy Hammond,” a MacD daughter (the sire of the times in California). I was soooo exited to even get Reserve -- and a major Reserve. Al spoke to me after that assignment and started teaching me things I didn't understand or value.

In the early eighties, the Forthals bred to a dog that I had bred to, that was owned by Terrie Parker, Ch. Cinderella's Hit the Road. In 1987, her co-owner and myself agreed to breed Ch. Society Elite Daytime Star to Ch. Shoreham Kailyn of the Hills. Two beautiful sable boys resulted from that breeding. I kept one and the Forthals and the co-owner shared the other. Both boys did a lot of winning and some very nice siring. Our friendship was sealed from there if it hadn't already been. I have enjoyed so many “heated discussions” with both Al and Helene over the years . . . Especially Al. he is so knowledgeable on the genetics and breeding theories that you could talk all night. I love to “pick his brain” and here him reminisce about so many wonderful dogs. They have never gotten into the back biting and gossiping that so many people do. They just like people, therefore people like them.

Another thing about Al is that he has been the most consistent judge to follow that I know. Once you know what is important to him, it's easy.

I wish both Al and Helene a wonderful day and hope there will be many more times to share with them. It's been a privilege to call them friends.

Pam and Lou Durrazzano, Starr Collies

Congratulations on your special salute and your years of breeding of top Collies for all of us to enjoy!

Helga Kane, Kanebriar Collies

I first met Al and Helene in the mid 60's when they were showing their Shane McDuff of Koani. Soon after, we enjoyed some friendly competition in the Open Sable Bitch Class with their Lady Anne and our Halloo. Shows were always more fun when the Forthals were there to visit with. Helene always knew the best jokes, and still does. Discovering that Helene was a very talented interior decorator, I soon made use of her expertise and the ensuing contacts we had were the start of a long and treasured friendship. I have long admired the beautiful Shoreham dogs -- they all have such pretty faces and excellent temperaments. Al and Helene are quite a team; they are a credit to the Collie breed as gifted breeders and gracious exhibitors. And, they are a credit to each other as an example of true love and mutual respect. I offer my sincere congratulations on this 45th anniversary for all their wonderful accomplishments.

Debbie Blundell (Falk), Aurealis Collies

I purchased my first Collie from the Forthal's through an advertisement that my Dad found in a newsletter at work in Los Angeles in the mid 70's. I was just a baby of course! The dam was Shoreham Jaquenetta and the sire was Ch. Tartanside The Gladiator. This all came about by chance!

Al and Helene took me under their wing and spent countless hours with me on their lawn watching and studying puppies. I learned so much from them! I also left with a beautiful sable bitch, Aurealis Mariposa O'Shoreham, my foundation bitch. I soon thereafter left for Nursing School in Seattle, but we kept in close contact. In my spare time I insisted on showing her and she became a Canadian champion. A future breeding to Ch. Shoreham Three D's Grenadier led to 1979 CCA BOB with Ch. Rio Bravo Achilles. I had their guidance all the way! The Shoreham line remains dominant in the show ring today with multiple BIS and CCA winners to their record.

Thank you, Al and Helene for your patience, generosity, perfectionism, dedication to the Collie breed and most of all your friendship and support over all of the years. You taught me a life lesson to hold true to your ideals and not to be persuaded by trends.

Meet the Judge
Dr. William K. Brokken ~ Foremost Collies
San Diego Collie Club Conformation Classes

It is a real pleasure to judge this show for a number of reasons. First of all, I had my first judging assignment in this town, San Diego, in 1967. I have judged the San Diego Specialty once before in the 1970's and it is special to be asked to do it again; two mentors, Milt and LaVerne Walker of San Lori, were founding members of this club and lastly this show is honoring one of my favorite people in dogs, Mr. Al Forthal.

I met Al for the first time in 1966. I was interning not far from here at the San Diego General Hospital and Al was showing his Collie, Shane MacDuff of Koani. He was a beautifully headed sable who finished the next year and became the foundation for the Shoreham Collies and probably played a key role in the Forthal's concept of correct collie type.

Flash forward twenty years and you would find Bill Brokken breeding a bitch to Ch. Shoreham To B Reckoned With - a Shane ancestor. Bandit's grandmother, Smarty Pants of Foremost, was in that litter.

Countless others have tapped into the Shoreham line to capture virtues consistently found in their collies. Today I will sort out entries that most certainly will have plenty of Shoreham in their pedigrees...this will make my job much easier as any judge will tell you that it is easier to choose among good dogs than mediocre ones and if there is Shoreham in the blood, the dog is likely to be very, very good!

A specific Shoreham collie deserves special mention. I tried to buy her when I saw her in the 6-9 class at our Los Padres Specialty..."not for sale." Bandit's mother finished at the show where this beautiful pup went Reserve. I awarded her BOS at the 1998 National Specialty in Virginia Beach and felt it would be only a matter of time before she pulled off the big one which she did two years later. She certainly must hold the record among all breeds for Specialty Best wins, the great Shoreham bitch: Ch. Shoreham Triumph Timeless (a.k.a. "Mocha")

So my hat is off to you, Al and your fabulous wife, Helene. I am a lucky man to have you both as friends.

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The Collie presents an impressive, proud picture of true balance, each part being in harmonious proportion to every other part and to the whole.

– from the AKC Collie Breed Standard

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