|Thad's Molly (photo taken by Cindy Lowry)|
I did not attend the Cattle dog Final this year but Alasdair judged. Thad Flemming and his entire family worked tirelessly to deliver a first class event. Congratulations to all the winners especially Champions Dwight Parker with Craig and Nursery Champions Ron Enzeroth with Mick. Below Alasdair reflects on the four day competition in his (mostly:-)) own words,,,
I’d like to commend The Fleming family for hosting a very professional and well run USBCHA National Cattle dog Final. The weather was unusually harsh for the first week in May with several inches of snow and freezing wind. Event organizers, volunteers, competitors and spectators were put through a ‘cowboy up’ test and all passed with flying colors.
The efficiency with which the cattle were set was impressive and after a few initial problems with exhausting, that too became seamless. The stick-to-itiveness of all the riders, on Thursday and Friday especially, was nothing short of heroic.
The cattle were ideal for the most prestigious award in the cattle dog trial calendar. They were testing but workable and as even a bunch as one could wish for; a credit to the Salmon family who donated them free of charge.
A very benevolent gift, it can only be appreciated fully by those who have put on trials where they had to lease the livestock. It is an expense which can sometimes make the books unsustainable and result in no payback or even cancellation. Although just judging, I would like to express my thanks to Bob and his family for their above and beyond generosity.
The Lions club came through for the event in exceptional form. They not only made their parking facility available but also provided a tractor, flat bed, straw bales and ferried everyone to and from the field.
Black Gold Premium Dog Food once again showed tremendous support for the Border collie community with a significant cash donation as a Judge's Sponsor . These are just a few of the many contributions that were significant in the four day trial running like a well-oiled machine.
The conditions returned to seasonal, beautiful Missouri spring weather for Sunday with some impressive dogs and exciting competition. The cattle were worked with respect and authority in the main and we crowned well-deserved champions.
Congratulations to 2013 Open winners Dwight Parker and Craig and Reserve, Bill Reed with Ann; also Ron Enzeroth and Mick, Nursery Champions and Missouri natives Larry Painter with Troy taking the reserve Buckle.
Finally, congratulations to Kelly and Thad. You said that you could put on a first class Cattle dog final that would be a credit to Leeton, Missouri and the USBCHA and that is exactly what you did.