I came from a horse riding background like many of my fellow dog exhibitors. My father put me on a pony at the age of three and as they say ‘the rest is history’.
My childhood, teenage and young adult years were filled with pony clubs, eventing, showing and breeding horses…..I lived and breathed them as did my younger sister.
Self preservation kicked in after I had my children and after a series of ‘not too nice’ falls I decided that my horse riding days were over, it was around this time I became friends with a dog exhibitor and so it began…..
I had always had dogs, and had in fact trialled my German Shepherd bitch to her CD title. I began going to shows with my friend, helping her with her dogs and watching what went on.
I decided that I would like to ‘have a go’ at this dog showing ‘hobby’ so began looking for a suitable dog.
Why a Beardie?
I knew I wanted a dog that was excellent with children and other animals, was intelligent and easy to train and would be able to fit in with our busy and often noisy household.
I had also decided that I didn’t mind a bit of grooming and therefore a long coated breed would be suitable…. I loved the glamour of the long coated breeds in the showring.
At this point I had never actually set eyes on a Beardie and in fact came upon one by accident when I was on holiday in Queensland.
After meeting him, I devoured every piece of reading material I could source about Bearded Collies and decided that this was the breed I had been looking for.
In the Beginning
After researching breeders in Australia, I decided to approach the most successful show kennel in Australia ~ Burnhardt Bearded Collies ~ owned by Joan and David Smith.
After months of talking and convincing them that I was prepared for a Beardie, I was lucky enough to finally own one of their beautiful puppies.
Toby (Ch Burnhardt Logans Legend) joined our family in 1996, and so began my love affair with this wonderful breed.
I am so grateful for the advice, support and guidance that Joan and Dave have extended to me over the years, but more importantly I am so grateful for their friendship.
Needless to say, nowadays showing and breeding Bearded Collies is not so much a ‘hobby’ as a ‘way of life’.
So why do I show my dogs?
Showing my dogs against competition allows me to compare my dogs with others and confirms to me that I am on the ‘right track’ with my breeding program.
This is important. Many dogs look good at home and only when they are compared with other good dogs can you see if they are in fact equal or better.
Comparison is the material of which dogs shows are made. It also gives me a chance to ‘showcase’ my dogs to other breeders who may be interested in certain ‘lines’.
Breeding: Having large numbers of dogs ‘titled’ that carry my prefix is NOT my motivation for breeding.
I only breed when I am planning my future show prospect and I only allow those dogs who I believe are worthy of a Championship Title to enter the show ring ‘Quality not Quantity!’
If I wouldn’t be happy to show the dog myself, then it doesn’t go in the show ring…end of story!