September 23, 2010

2010 National Sheepdog Finals

Now with live streaming video of the 40 semi-final runs on Saturday and the double-lift final on Sunday! Awesome.

Jenny Glen is providing great play-by play here, and Heather Nadelman is doing yeoman's work and much more here. Check out additional reports from top competitors Bev Lambert and Robin French.

Have I mentioned that the splendid border collies at the National Finals are the best working sheepdogs in North America? Slick-coated, rough-coated, wire-faced [Polly Matzinger's James ran in the Finals on Wednesday] — yet for all their diversity in appearance, how similar they are in their aptitude for the work! Eileen Stein explains:
[Border collies] are like Alaskan Huskies in that they are bred to a working standard rather than an appearance standard, and they are a breed rather than a type in that they have been bred to that working standard long enough that they almost always meet that working standard better than any other kind of dog[...] Alaskan Huskies don't have a registry and border collies do -- that's the only significant difference.
[As you can imagine, this sort of talk gives conformation breeders apoplexy.]

Here's a lovely sheepdog trial photo, though there are no sheep in sight: this is Dennis Birchall with Mossie and Flash, the 2009 International Brace Champions. Yes, those are border collies. How I love slick-coats:

Dennis Birchall has won the Irish National six times, and is one of four most excellent judges at Belle Grove for our 2010 National Finals. Dennis, Mossie and Flash represented Ireland again this year at the International Supreme Championship in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, a county whose motto, fittingly enough, is "Through trial to triumph," but the triumph in brace this time went to Richard Hutchinson with Roy and Sweep. Michael Gallagher and Cap were 2010 International Supreme Champions — you can find more results at the ISDS website here.

Yes, I am insanely jealous of all the handlers, dog bloggers and others attending the Finals at Belle Grove. Thank god for that streaming video, is all I can say.

Great read: The Dog Wars by Donald McCaig
Zamora Hills [and some dog show]
This is not herding.


Anonymous said...

Any idea where one could get a copy of that wonderful poster?

Luisa said...

Janeen, the National Finals website sez: "The online store is officially closed for business, but you can still buy t-shirts and other merchandise on site at the Finals. See you all in Middletown!"

Is Heather H. there? Probably the best bet at this point is to get someone who's at the trials to pick up a poster or two for you. [Great poster, isn't it? I'd love a copy, myself.]

Back to the streaming vid and Amanda Milliken and Clive!

Heather Houlahan said...

Shit Janeen, if you'd called I'd have gotten you one.

Anonymous said...

Double Shit. I looked elsewhere and it said they were sold out. Or I would have called.

Anonymous said...

Update - a large white tube arrived in the mail Monday holding a wonderful surprise. A thoughtful friend apparently read these comments and found a way to get me a copy of the poster.

Christmas came early! (Thanks D ;0)

Andrew Campbell said...


Is Dennis carrying a leg crook? That's one sweet-looking stick he's carrying. (The dogs are lovely, too.)