Collie Club of America
March 16-17, 2008 - Genoa City, Wisconsin

Herding events are not usually held this early in the year in Wisconsin for a reason - the weather. It's been a particularly harsh winter here this year, but that didn't stop the Collie Club of America from hosting two days of successful trials and tests at the Dead Oak Trial Grounds. There was a lot of work to be done to get the site ready. Shannon Wolfe explained that they used a disc to chop ice several inches thick on the A course and then used a front-end loader to scoop it out of the arena and over the fences. There were some snow banks and piles of ice on the grounds, but the site was ready. These two days of herding were the kickoff for the club's week of national events, including Conformation, Obedience, Rally and Agility.

Twenty-two Collies of both the rough and smooth varieties came to Wisconsin with their intrepid owners and were treated to two days of well-run herding events. Exhibitors came mainly from other cold-climate states, such as Montana, North Dakota and Minnesota, as well as the locals from Wisconsin and Illinois. There were a few brave souls from more temperate states, such as Kentucky and Oklahoma. Sunday started off with the ground fairly frozen. But, as the sun climbed (despite temperatures still in the 30s), the earth thawed, and mud became the nemesis. It didn't slow anyone down too much, and everyone was watching all the runs and cheering on their fellow exhibitors. Both days offered a sheep trial and a duck trial (with A and B courses). Herding Tested and Pre-Trial were also offered. The committee, chaired by Dorothy Schmidt, offered great hospitality. The trophy table each day was wonderful.

After a Sunday dinner get-together, everyone was ready for another day of great herding on Monday. The sun stayed away, and that made mud less of a problem. It was still quite chilly, as the bundled-up exhibitors make obvious in the photos. It didn't dampen spirits any, however, as they had another fun day of working with their dogs ahead of them. The Sunday events went along at a bit of a quicker pace in order to get everyone off to LaCrosse for the rest of the national events before a predicted storm.

Click on image for caption and larger view.

For more information on the National Club, please visit collieclubofamerica.org .