American Belgian Malinois Club

American Belgian Malinois Inaugurate New Kansas Herding Facility

  by Carol Delsman

Second Wind Farm, of Valley Falls, Kansas, was the site for the American Belgian Malinois Club National Specialty Herding Trial March 14th and 15, 2006. Located on 80 acres north of Lancaster, Kansas, this rolling hills farm lends itself to all three AKC courses and test. While still in its infancy, there is plenty of potential for cattle, sheep and duck trials.

Tuesday morning dawned cool and crisp with members putting the finishing touches on this annual event. Weekend tornadoes kept workers off the field any earlier but storm conditions moved east much to the relief of trial chair, Jane Rothert.

The entries were small but mighty. This is not unusual for a mid week event. The dogs were a superb example of selective breeding for herding ability. Regardless of the level of training and competition, the dogs paced themselves and showed quiet, confident control of livestock.

Exhibitors did not sacrifice conformation for working ability. As you scan the catalog, all of the advanced class entrants were also breed champions with one also being a nearly 12 year old breed champion. DC Avonlea Queen Anne's Lace CDX HX, AX AXJ managed to take two Reserve High in Trial awards and one High in Trial Award. It was hard for owner Jane Rothert to be too disappointed by the results however. The two dogs that aced her out of the top position were for Trial 1, "Lacie's" niece and for Trial 3, her son.

While the entrants and judges broke ground for this new facility on Tuesday, it was breeder judge, Sue Haase who had the pleasure of seeing how far her breed has come since the onset of the AKC Herding Program. With the jitters of a national worn off the previous day, competitors were more on their game and gave each other some friendly competition.

Under the watchful eye of club president, Barbara Peach, these Malinois did a wonderful job of showing just what they were made of. Even as the afternoon winds began to howl, blowing dust and debris, the dogs kept up their restrained and even pace. When the sheep were less than cooperative, the dogs remained calm and followed their owners' commands.

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For more information on the American Belgian Malinois Club, please visit their website .