As a child I loved dogs.
All dogs, any dogs along with ponies but was allowed neither for many years.
The dogs we did eventually have were much loved by me, but stayed only briefly, various mongrels, a Corgi, Cocker Spaniel and a jack Russell.
Plus many neighbours dogs which I "borrowed"!
After I married I saw two Rough Collies in a Cricket Club frequented by my father - in - law one afternoon, a tri colour and a sable & white.
I knew then I wanted a Rough collie.
My very first was a sable and white bitch by Champion Sangreat Something Special in 1982.
By 1983 I had started to show a bitch by Cramer Gold Accolade owned by Duna Jones out of Sylcroft Saucy Nancy, a Chips daughter
bred by Sylvia Pinchbeck and soon became friends with the now late Sylvia who bred and made up Champion Sylcroft Sorcerer.
Through Sylvia I met and became friends with Duna Jones of Erjon Collies who made up quite a number of Champions over the years
including Arranbrook Mr Chips full sister Ch Polly Peachum and also had the most beautiful
Tri dog Eyecatcher , pictured above, who did not like the show ring but adored Duna.
I had a gorgeous daughter of his, Sylcroft Sorceress of exactly the same ilk!!!
I only ever had three male dogs in total, a blue merle early on Lavinloc Blue Peter by Dameral Aristedies, Sylcroft Simon Templar
a heartbreak dog by Mr Chip's full brother Champion Arranbrook Summerwind at Camanna. He never did carry a full jacket.
Sylcroft Simon Templar
The Best Rough Collie I had was a beautiful Champion S Sorcerer son, another by S Saucy Nancy . Luke, Sylcroft Spitting Image won well for me and gained his Stud book Number under Lisa Burtenshaw of Pelido collies in a huge class of over 30 dogs but I can't now remember where.
Looking around the Rough Collie ring today I still think Spitting Image could do well!
Sylcroft Spitting Image
In those days exhibitors went to the local Open shows as well as Championship shows and I remember many happy days with all of us taking food for lunch sat in deck chairs, no one in any real rush to get home if the sun was shining. Often they would be myself, Sylvia, Sheila and Gordon Smith with their Daughter Nicola from Billingham, sometimes Moira Hart with David of Akdeniz Collies, the Mather's with their Rubec Collies,( Champion's Rubec Blue Peter and then Snow Symphony often travelled in the same car when being campaigned to their titles ) and Anne Hassock with her Champion Pied Piper of Aberhill at Rixown.
I particularly liked the Brettonpark Collies of Gordon and Thelma Duncan's and remember a number of visits along with Sylvia to use their Stud dogs or just have supper.
Old Wooley (Champion Brettonpark Whatzizname) was still around as was Country Tweed, a lovely dog but his ears were a little heavy.
The sable Shellina Mr Sandman and young B Keep it Dark, a Tri dog.
The Big winning kennels during this time were the Pelido, Abbestone, Myberns, Lynways and the Sandiacre Kennels. The Lynaire kennels were also a force to be reckoned with. Huge classes, especially Puppies of 20 or even 30 were the order of the day and nothing less than a First Qualified for Crufts!
I always liked to look at the Top winning dogs of other breeds and well remember watching the Boxer, Ch Marbleton Dressed to Kill move around the ring one day, his legs moving like pistons. I adored him.
I also much admired Mary Gatheral's Shetland sheepdog Champion Herriot of Herds.
I soon found myself following the Smooth Collies and really wanted one but my timing was not good as I then went through a divorce.
While I did keep all my Rough Collies, my showing and certainly adding any more dogs was curtailed for many years.
I owned Rough Collies for almost 30 years in total. Still having one today.
Camanna Cissy Speck
It actually took me 15 years to return to the ring but meanwhile an assortment of dogs came and only ever left when they went over to Rainbow Bridge.
The Smooths I well remember and admired were Champion Sylbecq Fleur De Lys owned by Messer's Vincent amd Baker, Foxearth's Flourish, Frappant, and Jubilant the latter owned By Geoff Duffield.
The Mitchell's Blue Movie and Newarp Silver Moonbeam.
In 2005 I came across an advert in the Dog press for a litter of Smooth Collies which were of all Trevor and Birgit's Foxearth breeding but bred in Lancashire..........
At last I had my first Smooth Collie!
By now I had built up a successful Herd of rare Miniature Mediterranean Donkeys and was busy showing them and am now an A list DBS judge.
I owned the Top winning Miniature Donkey Stud in Europe with a number of Champions have bred Champion & show winning stock and was the only stud with many exports into Europe. I have now closed the Donkey stud in order to concentrate on the Smooth Collies. My first Smooth Collie became a UK Champion quickly followed by a second Champion. I have now bred CC, Rcc and Best Puppy at Crufts winners including for other owners and sent puppies to America, Norway and Ireland.
I have to say that dog showing is very much a welcome day out for me and certainly never have as much fun and laughter as I do with the Rough & Smooth Collie Folk!
To anyone reading this and toying with the idea of having a Smooth Collie, you will never regret it unless you see them as a money making exercise which could not be further from the truth as puppies can be difficult to sell due to the Breed being overshadowed by more well known Breeds.