Judge Gregory Beck
4508 Stuart Avenue, Richmond, VA 23221
Videographer of the
Trial and the Relay
John Thornton of K9TV
P.O. Box 621442, Littleton, CO 80162
Photographer of the
Trial and the Relay
Kathleen Schaffer of Pup Art
PO Box 664, Downers Grove, IL 60515
It was a great joy to see so many of you at our 10th Annual Agility Trial, the largest in BCCA history. 73 Beardies were entered. 65 ran in Standard, with 20 qualifiers, and 69 in JWW, with 28 qualifiers. It's obvious that our Beardies love jumping! From all of your enthusiastic reviews, it is clear that Judge Greg Beck is a favorite for his sense of humor and fairness, but most of all for his wonderfully flowing courses, which allowed our Beardies to show their speed, gracefulness, and athleticism.
In spite of the lashing winds and morning rain, you were all great sports, helping out with everything! Sharon Prassa, Jeff Ipser, Maryann Szalka, Rosie Schroeder, Elizabeth Hayes, Karen Norteman, Mary Jo Steger, Jack Buhite, Joanne Williamson, and Pearl Stokoe are a few of the names that immediately spring to mind, but I know that there were many more of you! I especially appreciated Rosie, Elizabeth, and Karen for their good humor as the winds whipped the agility paperwork off the table and tipped the coffee onto the half-completed catalogs. Rosie patiently started over. Finally all three had to move indoors and miss all of your runs in order to record all of your scores perfectly. Fortunately many of you stopped by with words of cheer to spur them on.
Congratulations to our two Highs in Trial! Jill Scarborough and Jack, MACH OTCH O'Duinnin Oh Dat Jack B Nimble UDX2 RN, took HIT for Standard, coming in 1st out of 65 and Lori Weinberg and Rocky, Chaniam Creag, MX, MXJ, took HIT for Jumpers with Weaves, coming in 1st out of 69. Both of these Beardies are well known for their speed on the course and all were eager to see them! It takes a fine handler to direct and control that kind of speed. Kudos to Jill and Lori and to the many outstanding Teams at this trial. Agility has come a long way since our first Specialty trail in 1996.
A huge thank you to the Great Plains Bearded Collie Club for giving Sharon Prassa and me so much latitude and trust and for making sure that the agility trial was such a huge success. We both appreciate that you allowed us to go far afield to bring in such an excellent and well-respected Judge as Greg Beck. Ann Witte and Claudia McNulty did a fine job with the copper trophies and ribbons. The Highs in Trial were especially beautiful! Breakfast for the 6:30 am workers was much appreciated as were the canopies that protected us from the rains.
We have all taken home many wonderful memories! One of the high points for sheer fun and camaraderie was the skit at the Pioneer dinner! The agility, rally, herding, and conformation songs were truly funny and skillfully written, using all of the correct lingo for each sport. These were not mere ditties. Rather, their cleverness and aptness placed them solidly in the vein of Rodgers and Hammerstein! The choice of "Bali Hai" for rally had most of us falling off our chairs. In response to our overwhelming delight and demand, the GPBCC will be making a CD of the songs from the Joslyn Pioneer Dinner and campfire herding.
Many have received their agility videos from John Thornton of K9TV and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. So don't miss out. Be sure to order one! These are a great chance to be part of the trial and to see the dogs you have only read about. Each one is identified so that you can see each Beardie's style and learn about Beardie handling from several of the best Beardie handlers in the country. Six of our eleven MACH Beardies are on the tape: Karen Barratt's Jet and Bud, Sarah Halsey's Wizard, Jeff Ipser's Jax, Ann Chandoha's Arbi, and Jill Scarborough's Jack. The Photos from Kathleen Schaffer of Pup Art amazed all of us for their sheer beauty and energy.
Finally, thanks to the wonderful Beardie agility community for making each year's gathering so special! Sharon and I are looking forward to seeing you at Mount Hood in 2006!
From Judge Greg Beck
of Richmond VA:
"I was just down in Lubbock. The only Beardie was shaved so that it looked like a big fuzzy Saluki. Pretty neat what a good hair stylist can do! Regarding your trial, I greatly enjoyed it as much as I do judging all specialties. Beardies are always a welcome sight on the starting line. They always look ready to run and show off their talent on the course. In Omaha, from Novice "A" to MACH, your breed exemplified the qualities that make agility such a wonderful participation and spectator event. Though I've judged numerous national breed specialties, no other breed has shown me as much joie de vivre as the bearded collies in my ring. Special dogs usually have special handlers. And the warmth and camaraderie of the Beardie Agility Diehards deserves special mention. It was great to be associated with so many Diehards from all around the country while in Omaha. It was a distinct thrill and honor to have had the opportunity to help out at your nationals! Best regards, Greg "
From Sharon Prassa
of Sacramento CA, Agility Chair:
"Early on, Carol Sirrine, 2005 National Specialty Chairperson, began asking each of the chair people for progress reports. I was able to tell her who our judge would be, who the chief course builder was, and, eventually, who the chief ring steward would be. And, I gave her a list of some basic things we would need, not knowing anything about the site or what was there for us to use. I think I'm correct in assuming that she thought I was NUTS not being able to tie up all of the loose ends early on, but I assured her that agility people always pitch in and help so it will all be just fine. I was right. Joanne Williamson brought some items for us ALL THE WAY FROM MASSACHUSETTS. We borrowed a wicket from the local agility club. Maryann Szalka organized all of the workers like a pro. Jeff Ipser, with Jack Buhite's help, had the rings laid out and basic contact equipment placed the day before the agility trial. He had obtained what he needed from the judge a couple of weekends beforehand. Libby Myers-Buhite had all of the paper work in order. Jack Buhite, with help from Joanne Williamson and Michele Ritter, made sure we left the grounds exactly as they were when we arrived. Joyce and Hank Price had coffee and goodies ready for us in the morning at the Nebraska Humane Society. Lunches were handled for us early on, as were trophies and all of the tables and canopies. All we had to do was show up and start the fun!!!
After a bit of inclement weather (bad for us, terrific for the beardies!!), we were off to a roaring start that didn't end until mid-afternoon with the relay races.
I cannot begin to thank everybody for pitching in and making the 2005 national specialty agility trial one of the most fun yet. And, I think we made a believer out of Carol, that the agility community takes care of each other and always pitches in where needed. 2006 HERE WE COME!!"
From Maryann Szalka - Leonard MI, Chief Ring Steward: "First and foremost, I would like to thank all the people who volunteered to work in Omaha this year. Without you, the trial would not have been possible. We had several "over achievers" who worked multiple jobs in multiple classes, and your efforts were very much appreciated. I would be remiss if I didn't mention a forgotten group of individuals that I like to call the ABM (Agility by Marriage) Club, sometimes referred to as unpaid kennel help. These are the men that are married to the women who run agility. Their wives volunteered these men to work, and work they did! They carried crates, exercised dogs, built courses, set bars, timed, kept score, put away equipment and did whatever else was asked of them. You guys deserve a round of applause! I would also like to acknowledge Libby Myers-Buhite, Jack Buhite, Jeff Ipser and Sharon Prassa who each had a vital role in making sure this trial ran so smoothly.
Greg Beck was delightful, and his sense of humor was a perfect match for our Beardies. The handlers and dogs seemed to enjoy his flowing courses even when they didn't Q. Our personal motto, "Run fast, bark loud!" This was a very rewarding experience for me, as I had a great time forming new friendships and rekindling some old ones. Who knew being BAD, could be so much fun!"
From Jill Scarborough
of Jonesboro AR:
"Just wanted to say I thought that the specialty agility went great. You did a wonderful job of getting it all together and it ran smoothly. I had a great time! The relay was so much fun and I still laugh when I think back on it. Thanks for all your hard work."
From Karen Barratt
of Galveston TX:
"The specialty this year was a wonderful get away for me. I didn't realize how much I needed the change of pace. (Because of Hurricane Rita), it took me several days to get my house back in order. I spent most of Tuesday taking down shutters and moving plants, outside furniture and agility equipment out of my house. It was a mess but I'm just so thankful that I had a house to come back to."
From Tamara Duvell
of Winnipeg MB:
"I have to say we had a great time at our first AKC trial. The judge was so nice and all the people were extremely friendly. I can't even complain about the weather! We were considering taking a break from agility, but after the fun we had in Omaha, we will definitely continue :)"
From Sarah Halsey of
"Even though the agility day was the only "bad" weather day of the whole Specialty it was hardly noticeable because it was all just so fabulous and so much fun! For me it truly was the best ever, just to be there, to run with my beloved Wizzie, and to be with a wonderful group of friends, all of whom have in common their love for Beardies. A special tribute to Maryann Szalka who not only organized the trial workers before and during, but ran 4 (!!!!) Beardies, too. And kept a big smile on her face, was so nice to all, making it fun to help out. Maryann was truly the best Chief Ring Steward. My husband Doug said he has never been thanked so many times just for doing something so easy and fun to do! Judge Greg Beck was delightful as always, and designed flowing courses lovely for Beardies to stretch out on and to use their speed."
From Wade Pelton of
"The specialty tape is wonderful. It is really nice each dog and handler are identified both in the trial and the relay. When my 4 year old grand niece arrived from daycare to watch the agility, her mom said go find Dallas. She looked at all the beardies and said they are all Dallas."
From Bobbie Raguse
of Lebanon IN:
"Hi, Libby, thanks for all your work at the Specialty and special thanks to Sharon for chairing a really fun event. The Bearded Collie agility community is certainly unique in its support of each other and Kira and I are happy to be part of this special group. Greg Beck was a real treat as a judge and while I wasn't wild about the weather, Kira LOVED the wind and the coolness! Kinda like Scotland??"
From Laurie Lo and
Spunk of Saint Louis MO:
"Congratulations Jill and Jack, Lori and Rocky! This is quite exciting, as these two teams have been my inspirations for bringing a beardie into my home. I met Jill and Jack at an agility trial in Sullivan, Missouri when I started in the sport. I'd never seen a beardie before. I remember asking Jill "what type of dog is he?" Lori Weinberg is my agility instructor and Rocky is a full brother to Spunk! What more can I say?"
From David Williamson
of Pearland TX:
"I got to watch the tape that was made, and it sure looked like lots of fun. Wade stayed with us this weekend for a show, and we all watched it Saturday night. Gee, but Caper's quick! There seem to be quite a few new, fast Beardies. It's really great to see the breed doing so well."
For those of you who are history buffs, you can find accounts of our nine earlier trials along with scores and pictures at:
BCCA Agility Awards - 2004
BCCA Agility Awards - 2003
BCCA Agility Awards - 2002
BCCA Agility Awards - 2001
BCCA Agility Awards - 2000
BCCA Agility Awards - 1999
BCCA Agility Awards - 1998
BCCA Agility Awards - 1997
BCCA Agility Awards - 1996
Off to a BAD Start
Email Libby with an update