Antelope Valley Stockdog Club

Antelope Valley Stockdog Club herding trial a success
May 31 - June 1, 2008
By: Pat Grannan, President

The Antelope Valley Stockdog Club sponsored AKC herding trials May 31 and June 1 at the Lucky Ewe Ranch that drew dogs from near and far to herd sheep in California's high desert. One Border Collie came to the event from Alabama and another from Minnesota. There were several dogs from Arizona and Nevada and, of course, mostly dogs from California.

Eleven breeds were represented, including the Australian Shepherd, Bearded Collie, Beauceron, Belgian Malinois, Belgian Sheepdog, Belgian Tervuren, Border Collie, Cardigan Welsh Corgi, German Shepherd, Samoyed and Standard Schnauzer.

With the High Desert being in Los Angeles County, there was naturally a television and movie dog sighting. Sandra Dubin and her Bearded Collie Teddy competed in Intermediate Course "A" on Saturday May 31. Teddy was taking a break from his featured television role in "Groomer Has It". Teddy and several other Beardies from the Greater Los Angeles Bearded Collie Club were featured as an early grooming challenge on the Animal Planet reality TV show. Teddy is also featured in the new Adam Sandler film "You Don't Mess with the Zohan." Teddy can be seen soon in theaters nationwide sporting a very non-traditional purple Mohawk. This being Los Angeles, however, Teddy was just another dog directing sheep for the weekend, despite the fact he has been featured on television and in a soon-to-be-released major motion picture.

Several competitors showed their herding star power with impressive demonstrations of control over the sheep. Robin Penland Elliott and her Border Collie Lass gave an impressive display of consistent excellence, taking three out of four High in Trial awards over the weekend. The remaining High in Trial award was claimed by Belgian Sheepdog Phoebe from Beverly Hills, owned by Gordon Armstrong and handled by Ted Ondrak. Reserve High in Trial Awards went to Border Collie Buster and his person Dorothy Dunlap for Saturday "A" course, Border Collie Merle with Sally Douglas for Saturday "B" course, Border Collie Cameo (from Minnesota) owned by Debra De Gidio and handled by Terry Kinney for Saturday "A" course, and Border Collie Winee owned by Suzanne Leroy and handled by Molly Wisecarver for Sunday "B" course. The level of the competition was uniformly high. A 92½ score on the "A" course Sunday was only able to secure a Qualifying but non-placing ribbon.

This the second event sponsored under the Antelope Valley Stockdog Club since its name change from Greater Los Angeles Stockdog Club. It was the first club event to include both "A" and "B" course competition. The "A" course is generally known as an 'arena' course where the dogs are responsible for directing the sheep through a series of obstacles inside an arena. The "B" course is more of an open field herding trial where the dogs must move the livestock over larger areas through a designated course.

The Antelope Valley Stockdog Club is the outgrowth of informal practice, training and "sheep talk" sessions by a group of herding enthusiasts who began meeting for practice and training sessions a few years ago in the Antelope Valley. The Antelope Valley Stockdog Club allows this group of enthusiasts to expand and share their love of herding and herding dogs with a wider group. The purpose of the club is to promote herding and herding activities in all herding breeds. Competitions are open to all recognized herding breeds, regardless of whether they belong to a club member. In addition to competitions, the club sponsors regular practice sessions and an occasional clinic. More information is available at the club website at www.antelopevalleystockdog.com.

Click on image for larger view.