This page charts the development of the ‘Herding Beardies & Friends’ herding group in North Yorkshire from its beginnings in 1995 to the present day. The attached sub page is dedicated to Jetta & Maureen Sale her owner, who were such an inspiration to us.
How did it all begin - our involvement with herding? Well, it began in the early 1990’s when several of us, fellow exhibitors, became interested in the history & particularly the herding heritage of our Breed. We strongly believed that a Kennel Club registered Beardie should still be a dog that could do a day's work - not just an attractive ‘show dog’!
Encouraged by Maureen & Jetta’s (Trechol Star Trekker) unique achievement - the Midland Border Collie Club’s Utility Certificate (see Jetta’s page ) which included passing the Border Collie Herding Test, we hoped it would be possible to find a sheepdog trainer willing to work with us to test for & maintain the working instinct of our Breed. During our discussions we discovered that Liz (Talraz Beardies) had a friend who trained sheepdogs & who might be interested in helping us. Her friend agreed that she would host a Beardie Herding Instinct day - that was the beginning of our long association with Jacky Goulder in North Yorkshire.
Interest in herding amongst the show fraternity grew & several other Herding Days were organised. All together as I remember about 40 or so Beardies & their owners travelled up to Kirby Misperton for herding days . Most Beardies who took part showed some instinct – only the trained obedience dogs & adolescent males with their minds on ‘other things’ ignored the sheep.
About the same time, Lynn Dumbrell & Trish Poole in the south of England organised several popular & well attended Herding Days hosted by SCBCC.
Hugh & I (Raefell Beardies) were so pleased to find that we had potential ‘sheepdogs’ in our Rosie (Ch Charncroft Copper Rose) & her young son, our home bred Bob (Raefell’s Firecracker) that we arranged for lessons at holiday times, & travelled up to Jackie’s for several years.
Liz lives near to Jacky & was able to keep up more frequent training with her dogs especially Lulu (Talraz Tutti Frutti) . Sadly, Lulu became ill & her herding training stopped. Unfortunately for all of us, around this time Jacky’s circumstances changed & it was not possible for her to continue with regular training. Only one more herding day was held in 1998 with Bob used as demonstration dog, until 2007, when Jacky entering an exciting new phase in her life was once again able to offer us training facilities. So it was with great delight that we began herding again with Liz now training Diva (Talraz Indiana) Lulu’s great grand daughter & Hugh training Nell (Mollyfleck Fire ‘n Light) Bob’s daughter.
Later in 2007 Jackie invited Calle Borgstrom the well known Swedish Beardie herding instructor to Yorkshire to organise a Herding Weekend.This was such a success that Calle came over twice more (see Past Events Archive). In 2009 Jacky organised the first All Breeds clinic tutored by Gianni Canopoli, (see Past Events Archive) this proved to be an important turning point in the fortunes of the herding group.
Jacky, intrigued by the different herding styles of the various breeds taking part in the Clinic decided to provide a facility not just for Beardies but for all herding breeds. 'All Breeds 'herding is popular in the USA but new for the UK, however, her group has gone from strength to strength. Jackie now holds regular training sessions with such diverse breeds as GSDs, Boxers & Vallhunds (see her website for more info) but still keeps her involvement with Beardies, working her own Mirk, (Talraz Supertramp), Liz’s new generation of youngsters & holding Beardie Instinct Days.
Interest in herding has taken off in the last year or two, there are now four more sheepdog trainers (see Sheepdog Trainers page) who are happy to work with Beardies which is a great news & a considerable help to us ‘Hobby Herders’ who are not able to keep our own sheep & who live the other side of the country to Jacky. Beardie herding is definitely alive & well 16 years on – thanks to Jacky who realised that Beardies are not just hairy fools but possess a brain & the instinct to still do a days work!!