An Interview with COL
1. How does this year fit it in with your journey in performance?
Michelle Shoemaker (Wyndham Collies): This year, as every year, I set goals that I would like to achieve on a personal level as a trainer and competitor and goals that mark those successes. Each year I aim to teach and compete at a level or in a sport I have not done before. This year Scooter and I embarked on a journey to win Most Versatile Collie at the National Specialty. We had to train and maintain a level of performance to win at the advanced levels in all venues. It was a lot of work but well worth the end result - Scooter did win!
Barbara Corriveau (Crispin Collies): This year I met a major goal in completing the requirements for a Versatility Award and my third Register of Merit -- Performance (ROM-P). All this happened on one very exciting weekend when Faith (GCH Crsipin Faithful OAJ, HT) and two of her sons got herding titles. We had all put in a great deal of time preparing for that weekend and were very proud of our success.
Jolene McCuaig: Kort and I participate in numerous performance events so we pick only a couple of venues each year to go to. This year was Agility and Scenthurdle.
Noreen Bennett: This past year is a mix of reaching two goals that we have worked hard for (Agility Championship and Intermediate herding title with Suede) and two pleasant surprises (Versatility Excellent with my veteran, Maestro, and High In Trial Ducks at the National Specialty for my youngest dog, Peyton). Just goes to show you, good things can happen when you work hard AND when you least
Judy Belluomini (St. Germaine Collies) : I would call my journey this year to be totally relaxing. With retirement and only doing substitute teaching in my school district, I find much more time to enjoy the venues in obedience which includes tracking and also herding. This year, for the first time, I pulled my Special's Collie from breed competition to commit to the performance training. I let his father do the specialing while Brett enjoys the performance schedule. He is very active in his TDX and VST tracking work, and we are looking ahead to enter some tests. Where I have noticed the biggest change is his demeanor in herding. That too could be in part to his maturity. My journey took an amazing twist during the National Specialty this year. I spent the week with a puppy that I co-own with Leslie and Don Jeszewski. His attitude absolutely amazed me! He came home to me at the end of May. He is nearly finished in Breed; and the first time out with sheep, he earned his HIC with the Collie Club of America. So now he enjoys a full performance schedule.
Erin Gorney (Aidan Collies): Although much of the year has already passed, for Ellie and I, it is only really just beginning because she took some time out of her performance career to whelp a healthy litter of six in March. While Ellie was ready to work soon afterwards, other than running in a couple of flyball tournaments, we didn't get serious about starting back at our training routine until late summer. Last Fall, we had just started trialing in different venues so this year will almost be like a second start for us.
Marilyn Clayton (Woodruff Collies):
Zephyr is my seventh performance Collie but the one I've done the most with, partially due to his drive and work ethic, but also because I had the money, time, energy and opportunity to do more with him than the others – plus there are more activities these days.
This was a pre-retirement year for Zephyr (now 9 ½ years old) so we cut way back on the number of activities, as well as the number of trials within each activity we did. We focused on earning the last two points for his CKC Herding Championship, which he completed in grand style, making him the first Collie (rough or smooth) to do so. Then we switched to agility with Zephyr making the podium (for the second time) at the British Columbia/Yukon Regional Agility Championships and qualified him for the Canadian Agility Nationals. Zephyr and his rough son, Trip, were the only two Collies to run the Nationals, with Zephyr placing in both of his jumpers runs. Although it has been an exciting year, there's also been a sadness to it, knowing our performance career together is coming to a close. But, with luck, we'll have some fun with less physically demanding activities such as nosework and tracking as long as he wants "to do." When he's ready to rest on his laurels, we'll simply enjoy our walks and hang out together!
Carol Lariviere (Foreccast Collies): This year has been a dream year! Soleil and I received our Master Agility Championship (MACH) in July, something that I had hoped to achieve since we started competing. She also received her Versatility Excellent Award at the National Specialty, something that I never dreamed was possible! Splash has exceeded my expectations! The National was our first ever herding trial! He qualified twice in ducks and twice in sheep with three placements, including a duck run that was one point less than the High in Trial on Ducks run! That was very exciting!! At the end of May he got his third leg in ducks, which completed his Started A Duck title!! Agility has been our main focus and he's done wonderfully. He has his MX and his MXJ along with five QQs. And to top it off, Splash received his Versatility Award at the National Specialty where he was a qualifier for Most Versatile Collie. I can't wait to see where next year brings us!