On October 16th and 17th our third and now definitely annual HGH herding competition took place. It was again a Schutzhund USA sanctioned event and this time it was hosted by Hunde Arbeits Verein SchH Club. SV herding judge Herr Hans Chifflard - a well known and respected judge from Germany - evaluated this event according to the SV’s herding regulations. Mrs. Stephanie Dunion was again chairperson and at the same time the translator for our judge. Whether it was pure luck or we deserved it: for the third time we had the most beautiful weather for our competition which helped each competitor to bring the flock of 210 sheep smoothly through the course. The flock was again, of course, provided free of charge by Beth Johnson and Ulf Kintzel, White Clover Sheep Farm. The course was set up at a closed 4H camp owned by Rutgers University - also provided free of charge. This way we had a course most suitable for such a competition with a real bridge, a real narrow road and a real road to do the traffic. On Saturday the judge, chairperson and the 8 competitors walked the course. Mr. Hans Chifflard encouraged the handlers to ask as many questions about the course as possible. It was very much appreciated by the competitors.
One Belgian Sheepdog, one Briard, and 6 German Shepherd Dogs were shown. Out of the 8 competing handlers 7 received a qualifying score. (A qualifying score would be above 60 points, 100 points is the maximum available.)
After the competition the defense or protection drive (Verteidigungstrieb) was tested. 4 dogs showed it "Pronounced", the other 4 showed it "Existing". Since statements that were simply wrong have been previously made by other authors I would like to take the time and explain this part a bit more.
This part is a traditional exercise for the dog coming from previous times when the shepherd also needed the dog to protect him. During this test the dog has to show that it would protect the handler if needed. The dog does not have to bite, only upon request of the handler. The scores are put into words and they are "Pronounced", "Existing", and "Not Existing". If a dog does not show this drive it will certainly not lead to failure. Although occasionally emphasized by a handler it is not the most important part of this sheep herding competition.
The winner of this year’s competition is Michael Perna from Wurtsboro, NY with 88 points and the grade "Very Good". This score is the highest yet received by an American competitor. He improved from last year’s 81 points.
Dog: Willi, German Shepherd Dog, HGH, Registration: 44398, DOB: 03/30/96. Sire: Alf vom Fafnerhaus. Dam: Cora. Owner: Michael Perna. Breeder: Ulf Kintzel.
Vice winner with 83 points and the grade "Very Good" is "veteran" Susan Sopranzi from Augusta, NJ. She competed for the third time with the same dog and has improved from 69 points the first year to 75 the second time to 83 points.
Dog: Chatelaine’s Ace of Spades, German Shepherd Dog, HGH, Registration: DL 49444607, DOB: 08/24/93. Sire: Mo-Jo’s Icon Corbeau. Dam: Almhar’s Caliquen Treasure. Owner: Susan Sopranzi. Breeder: William Susan Hood.
Third place with 78 points and the grade "Good" is last year’s winner Victoria Brown from Englishtown, NJ. Although she didn’t score quite as high as last year she showed a very consistent performance with her pregnant bitch.
Dog: Reba vom Marinik, German Shepherd Dog, HGH, Registration: DL 53664805, DOB: 06/08/94. Sire: Bacchus vom der Gute Maedchen. Dam: Tracy vom Greenfield. Owner: Victoria Brown. Breeder: Anthony Irving.
Fourth place with 76 points and the grade "Good" is Dorit van der Wilden, Roslyn, NY. Her new dog was the youngest qualifying dog of this competition.
Dog: Benno, German Shepherd Dog, HGH, Registration: 45110, DOB: 02/03/97. Sire: Sage. Dam: Bea vom Dolderbrunnen. Owner: Dorit van der Wilden. Breeder: Ulf Kintzel.
Fifth place with 74 points and the grade "Good" is Lynn Eckhardt, Livingston, NJ. Her dog is the first Belgian Sheepdog in the USA ever to qualify in a German herding trial and to earn the HGH title.
Dog: Nordost Ifi Couldbelike Mike, Belgian Sheepdog, HGH, Registration: DL 56743601, DOB: 02/09/95. Sire: Nordost’s Fin Herre. Dam: Nordost’s Valkyrie. Owner: Lynn Eckhardt. Breeder: D. Johnson R. Thatcher.
Sixth place with 72 points and the grade "Good" is Lee Carney, Coatesville, PA. Despite training for a relatively short time with a dog of somewhat advanced age, she showed a good performance.
Dog: Aramis Rex Annabi, German Shepherd Dog, HGH, Registration: DL 46387907, DOB: 12/24/92. Sire: Von Hornberger’s Donner. Dam: Von Hornberger’s Lady Bear. Owner: Lee Carney. Breeder: K. Cunningham, M. Dreibelbis.
Seventh place with 69 points and the grade "Satisfactory" is Karen Lessig, Milford, NJ. Although competing without any trial experience she tried her luck and succeeded.
Dog: McKay’s Majestic Caber, German Shepherd Dog, HGH, Registration: DL 64157401, DOB: 05/21/96. Sire: Brix vom Bar Berg. Dam: Hawks Hunt’s Anacostia. Owner Breeder: Karen Scott Lessig.
Eighth place with 47 points and the grade "Unsatisfactory" is Gerard Baudet, Saunderstown, RI. His young Briard was not well tolerated by the sheep. Unfortunately, he didn’t qualify.
Dog: Ninon de Lindeau et de Lutece, Briard, HGH, Registration: DL 69241803, DOB: 03/25/97. Sire: Gilera Blaireau del Nebbioso. Dam: Chapeau-Lindea. Owner: Gerard Baudet. Breeder: R. Ferber, L. Wells, and L. Bullard.
THE FOURTH ANNUAL HGH HERDING COMPETITION WILL BE ON OCTOBER 14TH AND 15TH, 2000 AGAIN AT WHITE CLOVER SHEEP FARM IN SUSSEX, NJ.
Thanks: Thanks to the handlers for competing. Thanks to the judge Hans Chifflard for a fair judging. Thanks to chairperson Stephanie Dunion, to the hosting club "Hunde Arbeits Verein SchH Club", to our numerous helpers, to our photographer Diane Leville. Thanks to all sponsors and donors, including Beth Johnson, "Total Pet Care", "Dog Works...Canine Form Function", and Pro-Plan.
For more information about the German HGH herding title contact Ulf Kintzel at White Clover Sheep Farm. PH: (973) 875-7427, e-mail: Ulf Kintzel.
Ceremony: From left to right: Winner Michael Perna holding the challenge trophy (with his GSD Willi), initiator and flock owner Ulf Kintzel, SV herding judge Hans Chifflard, chairperson Stephanie Dunion.
The competitors from left to right: Karen Lessig with GSD Caber, Lee Carney with GSD Rex, Lynn Eckhardt with BSD Jordan, Dorit van der Wilden With GSD Benno, Victoria Brown with GSD Reba, Susan Sopranzi with GSD Ace, Michael Perna with GSD Willi. (Unfortunately, Gerard Baudet with Briard Nicki is not in the picture. He could only join us on Saturday.)