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North American Sheepdog Championships


CJK

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History was made both on the field and off at the First Annual North American Sheepdog Championship (NASC) in Lebec, CA. Organized by Ted Thompson Ondrak and Janna Duncan Ondrak under their Drummond Ranch banner, the NASC held its inaugural trial June 7-10, 2001, at the landmark Tejon Ranch, drawing nearly 2,000 competitors, participants and spectators to the Southern California venue. The event's spectacular success has quickly established the NASC as a must-go-to, must-see annual trial.

 

 

On the field, Judge Alasdair MacRae said, "This was top quality competition at a top quality venue. The sheep were tough, but the dogs and handlers were expert." MacRae was especially effusive about Grand Champion Candy Kennedy and her dog Moss, whose performance in the Finals scored 133 points out of a possible 170, which included a double lift and international shed. Said MacRae, "Candy was a worthy winner indeed. You will not see better shedding anywhere in the world than that. I've been judging this sort of competition nearly 20 years and I can count on one hand the number of times I've given a perfect score on an international shed--and Candy's was one of them."

 

In fact, Kennedy/Moss was the only team to complete the difficult course within the allotted 25 minutes. After two 400-yard outruns for the double lift, the fetch around the post, drive to the panels and cross-drive, competitors faced a shed of five marked sheep from the flock of 20. Though many were agonizingly close to succeeding, this so-called Circle of Pain stymied nearly every participant, with time called on 13 of them. Kennedy's shed and final penning of the five received a much deserved standing ovation from an enthusiastic audience.

 

Reserve Grand Champion was awarded to Terry Parrish and Driftin, the only other team to finish the shed. Third place was taken by Mike Canaday and Smut, and fourth by George Grist and Roy. In the Elimination Rounds, Grist and Roy were also winners of the Dakota Spirit Award for High Combined Score as well as awards for first place on Friday and Saturday, and High Scoring Dog from California. Mike Canaday, president of the United States Border Collie Handlers Association (USBCHA) through which the event was sanctioned, came in first on the Elimination Rounds on Thursday. The Elimination Rounds took place Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with between 57 and 60 dogs each day competing for the 15 spots in the

Sunday Finals.

 

Staged in conjunction with the NASC, which was presented in association with Sweet Iron Quarter Horses (Terry and Sonya Blomberg), was the Wild West Cow Dog Classic, sanctioned by the USBCHA and Western Cow Dog Association. The three-day competition in an adjacent indoor arena saw each handler on horseback herding cattle with their dog, and the bleachers filled with spectators illustrated that event's popularity.

 

Off the field, the NASC was an enormously entertaining place to be too. Starring on the main stage were Celtic favorites The Browne Sisters & George Cavanaugh, who debuted "A Silent Field," a song about the effects the foot-and-mouth epidemic has had on U.K. farmers. (Proceeds from the NASC are set to be donated to S.H.E.E.P., Sheepdog Handlers Emergency Economic Program.) Entertainment was also provided by the well received Nicholson Pipes & Drums bagpipe band, solo bagpiper John McLean Allan, singer Sara Grey, and dance troupe Celtic Fire. A Scottish Festival featured athletic demonstrations and numerous vendors.

 

Scotland met the American West at the NASC. And it also met the peculiarities of Southern California as the NASC made history as well by being the first such competition with a masseuse providing complimentary neck and back massages to the competitors courtesy of Drummond Ranch.

 

Both on the field and off, next year's NASC is sure to reach a greater following and will no doubt make history once again.

 

 

Sunday Finals - Double Lift/International Shed

1. Candy Kennedy Moss 133

2. Terry Parrish Driftin 126

3. Mike Canaday Smut 122

4. George Grist Roy 108

5. Terry Parrish Jane 105

6. Mike Canaday May 105

7. Loren Holmes Puzzle 100

8. Ablion Urdank Maeve 93

9. Albion Urdank Bruin 83

10. Jan Canaday Tess 76

11. Joy Thayer Jess 75

12. Judy Loflin Gail 73

13. Robin Penland Pat 69

14. Terri Pelkey Ben 67

15. Mike Canaday Ben RT

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