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motion before the HA board


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I was made aware that the HA has a motion that has been seconded before the board to abolish

all time and points trials for sanctioning for both sheep and cattle



I have written the following letter to the board expressing my concern about such a move, and I would encourage other HA members with opinions on all side to let their voice be heard.


To the USBCHA board, my HA dist 1 rep made me aware of a motion to before the board to stop sanctioning points and time arena trials for sheep and cattle. I am a USBCHA member who competes in both open sheep and cattle trials. I have competed in 3 CattleDog finals and will compete in my 4th at the end of the month. My dog Blue has made the top 20 for the last 2 years. I also plan to compete in the sheepdog finals this year with the same dog I have competed in all of the cattle finals with.


I have written to the board in the past with my support of judging the cattle finals and I have been a strong supporter and participant in judged field trials held in large fields. My dog Kell finished 5th over all in the BoxR cattle trials in 2005. The BoxR is 3 points and time arena trials AND 3 fully judged field trials combined over a 3 day period. At the same time I also compete in arena trials like the Klamath Bull sale, and this year Kell won the preliminary round over 54 dogs and Blue was 4th.


Many cattle trial in the US and most certainly on the west coast are points and time arena trials. Many of the dogs and handlers that compete in these arena trials often go on do well at large field trials like the BoxR and the national finals. Loren Holmes, John Doyle and Annie Guthrie to name a few. The dogs that can fake it in an arena won?t make the trip to the finals and if they do they won?t make it past the 1st round.


Right now there are 24 sanctioned cow trials on the USBCHA site and I would bet that most are points and time arena trials. That is an AMAZING amount of revenue for the HA. If the HA does not sanction points and time arena trials I think the USBCHA cattle program will die. This move by the HA will alienate so many cattle dog handlers and make it difficult for most of us to acquire points for the finals.


IN the past 3 years the cattle finals have been held on a small field with most of the obstacles close to the handler?s area. There has been a knock down drag out fight to allow just the outrun and lift to be judged. In my opinion the USBCHA cattle program has made very small steps each year to raise the bar of the cattle finals. I had a long conversation at last year?s cattle finals with HA President Mr. Holmes about the need for change in the cattle program. I am grateful for Mr. Holmes leadership in this area and I respect his idea that change must happen slowly so we build a strong cattle program without alienating many who helped get the program started.


I would encourage board member to contact HA members in there dist who compete in cattle trials. While I don?t see this decision having much affect the sheepdog handlers i do think it will be a crushing blow to the cattle handlers and I think they deserve the respect to have a say on this decision.


Respectfully; Lana Mockler Rowley

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The only cattledog trials within a reasonable drive from where I live are time and points arena trials. That is the recently-formed Buckeye Cow Dog Association, and this would be a very large blow to their trial program. I believe that all their trials so far have been time and points (no judging), although they have added a couple of other venues and I don't know if they will also be time and points, but at least one of them is listed as being sanctioned.


The jury is out for me in terms of points and time, and arena trials but I know some people have very strong feelings against them.


I have two major thoughts on the subject. The first is that arena trials do reflect some very real-world working conditions for cattle and sheep dogs, although they are not the traditional ISDS-style trial. Does/did ISDS ever put on cattledog trials? If not, then the USBCHA would be "free" to determine what is a reasonable cattledog trial without the benefit or restriction of "tradition".


Secondly, cattle don't work like sheep although that doesn't preclude a trial from being judged. What is more important to me is the question of whether a points and time trial (arena or field) encourages working stock in a manner that is too quick (and not good stockmanship) without rewarding good, calm stockwork. Without judging, a points and time class could be won by the handler/dog team that was simply the fastest with the most points, and not the one that did the "nicest" job but took longer or missed a few points.


That said, my experience in this matter (as in other stockdog venues) is extremely limited. I will be very interested to see other, more experienced opinions on this subject.

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I am a die-hard judged trial person BUT after running ina few cowdogs trials I have to agree with Lana.


It would be the kiss of death. It can be changed but in small steps...they are accepting now of judged outrun and lift....that is a huge step in itself.


I'll back Lana all the back to the ranch on this one


Diane Pagel

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