Houston Area Herding Association Herding Trial Blooms
by Karla Deithorn

Last year it was a rainbow, this year it was bluebonnets, Indian paintbrush and pink primrose that led me to the Roux Crew Farm, the site of the Houston Area Herding Association herding tests and trials. Owners Joy and Dave Hall welcomed exhibitors and spectators and provided excellent sheep for both B and A Course. There were also cooperative ducks for A Course, despite some strong winds both days.

Saturday started with the PT dogs and all 8 dogs walked away with PT legs and seven of them repeated their performances on Sunday. In HT on Saturday all but two qualified, with a repeat of it on Sunday and four titles were earned! Those who didn't qualify showed some good instinct and just need some work to make their way to qualifying scores.

Trial classes were next, starting with B Course sheep. The Started sheep proved a bit much for the started dogs but Linda Bennett's Border Collie, C-Horse Toby, HSAs pulled a first place both Saturday and Sunday to finish his title. The Intermediate dogs had a little better luck.

On Saturday the placements were:

  1. Carol Fatheree's Border Collie, Bugaboo's Le Cajun Mardi Gras, HIAsd, HSBs, AX, AXJ
  2. Felicia Whalen's Border Collie, Roy's Oliver HSAs, HSBs
  3. Carold Collins Border Collie, C-Horse River CD, HSBs

Sunday's placements were:

  1. Carol Fatheree's, Mardi
  2. Carol Collins Border Collie, C-Horse Sniper CD, HSBs
  3. Felicia Whalen's, Oliver

In the Advanced B Course class the placements Saturday were:

  1. J. Wade Campbell's Border Collie, HC Wildfire's MacCallum More, TD, CD to also earn RHIT for the day.
  2. J, Wade Campbell's Border Collie, HC Roy XI
  3. Felicia Whalen's Border Collie, OTCH, HC, MACH2 Storyteller, UDX3
  4. Felicia Whalen's Border Collie, MACH Tell's Ada HIBs HXAs

Sunday's placements were:

  1. Felicia's, Teller
  2. Wade's, Roy
  3. Felicia's, Ada
  4. Sheryl McDonald's smooth Collie, Ch. Shertoms Hardcore HSAsd, HXAs, HSBs

Next were the A Course sheep classes. There were a lot of really nice runs and first place Started on Saturday and Sunday went to Sharon Goble's Border Collie, Billies Tomboy. Intermediate Saturday was won by Linda Bennett's C-Horse Toby HSAs but no one qualified on Sunday. The Advanced class on Saturday was won by Susan Abrams' Border Collie TF Kyna and on Sunday it was Felicia Whalen's Border Collie, Roy's Oliver HSAs, HSBs.

Then came the ducks. In started on Saturday Bonnie Daley's Nirvana's Opening Night. The Advanced class on Saturday was won by Susan Abrams' TF Kyna to finish her HC title and go HIT. On Sunday it was won by J. Wade Campbell's HC Wildfire's MacCallum More TD, CD. That Sunday win by Wade's Mac set the stage for an exciting run off for HIT between Mac on ducks and Felicia Whalen's Teller on B Course sheep. Mac went first and performed an almost flawless crossdrive with the ducks. Then it was Teller's turn. His outrun was only slightly less perfect and he ended the trial RHIT with Mac winning HIT.

It was an exciting end to a lovely weekend of tests and trials. To make it more enjoyable there were generations of handlers and dogs competing. Joy and Dave Hall's son, Evan, a 14 year old Junior handler, put a final leg on the HT title of Judy & Ken & J.D Baker's German Shepherd, Ch. Bokenkamp's Katch a Falling Star. He also handled his parent's Border Collie, RC's Stealth Bomber HSAs to two legs on his Advanced title and earned a third place on Sunday in the class.

Three generations of dogs owned by Felicia Whalen successfully competed both days. Her 11 year old veteran, OTCH HC MACH3 Storyteller UDX3 not only placed in all the classes he ran in but ended the weekend RHIT. His daughter, MACH Tell's Ada HIBs, HXAs also placed in all her classes. And her son, Roy's Oliver HSAs, HSBs also placed in all his classes and earned his first and second legs in Advanced A Course sheep.

It is always nice to see young handlers and dogs coming along as they are the future of our sport. And kudos to the Houston Area Herding Association for not only putting on such nice events but for encouraging junior handlers in the events as well.

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