Collie Breed Magazine - Showsight

“MVC is a popular and competitive award at the National, and to be eligible A COLLIE MUST REGISTER AND PARTICIPATE IN AT LEAST THREE OF THE FOUR EVENTS OFFERED: breed, obedience/rally, agility, and herding.”

initially insisted dogs have a completed Championship. A compromise was reached in that to receive the Versatility Award a minimum of one conformation major is necessary, with additional points for a completed championship. Points must be earned in each category of conformation, performance (obedience/tracking/agility), and herding. Over the years, as titles have evolved and been added, adjustments were made. Originally designed as a Versatility Award (VA) and Versatility Excellent (VX) Award, the growth of the program was so successful, and so many Collies earned titles above and beyond the minimum requirements, the program added a new level this year, the Grand Versatility (GV). Th ese hard earned awards are presented at the CCA National Specialty every year. Typically before the Rough Specials judg- ing on the last day, recipients gather for the presentation. While dog and handler gait around the ring, a presenter reads an anec- dotal biography of their journey together. Each description conveys the pride and sense of accomplishment of dog and han- dler. Th is year, both the outgoing and incoming new president of CCA presented the awards. Group photos follow which are included in the CCA’s National Bulletin Magazine issue. Th ere, the history of our breed’s diversity, intelligence and beauty is documented for all time. From the programs inception in 1993, to this year’s recipients, CCA has bestowed a total of 175 Versatility Awards and 83 Versatility Excellent Awards. And with the

successful growth of the program, eight Grand Versatility titles were presented for the first time this year. Besides the Versatility Awards, which recognize lifetime achievements, there is also the Most Versatile Collie (MVC) award given out at the end of the CCA National Specialty show every year. Th is award is strictly based on performance events during the National Specialty. Competitors for MVC do not have to com- pete in breed or be a breed champion, but if they do, points are added to their overall scores if they chose to participate. It’s a long week for these dedicated com- petitors, beginning with two day herding trials followed by two days of agility trials. Th e next day after agility is obedience and rally competition. MVC is a popular and competitive award at the National, and to be eligible a Collie must register and participate in at least three of the four events o ff ered: breed, obedience/rally, agility, and herding. In each category a point system is assigned based on degree of success and di ffi culty. At the end of the week, the daunting task of tallying all the scores in all the venues typically falls to Jim and Judy Smotrel. If they don’t attend, another volun- teer steps up, and it’s a big job counting points and determining who is the Most Versatile Collie, along with all the Quali- fiers. Every year the number of qualifiers grows and trophies and ribbons are pre- sented the last day of the National. At the 2014 National Specialty, besides the desig-

nated Most Versatile Collie, MVC, there were 27 qualifiers! Obviously, all of these awards reflect hard work and a commitment by partici- pants of time, training, and money. It also takes planning and dedication not for a day, but months and sometimes years, to achieve these goals. What becomes apparent, whether you are a spectator or participant, is the camaraderie and sportsmanship among competitors, and the mutual support for all to succeed. While colorful rosettes stream from collars and leashes, exhibitors pose for pictures, smile and hug each other in celebration and recognition of each other’s success. It’s an elite group of handlers and Collies who achieve these titles! BIO I’ve been a breeder/exhibitor of Collies for 30 plus years and member of the Col- lie Club of America and Quarter Century Group. I’m a past District Director for CCA, past president and board member of Collie Rescue Foundation, Inc. Under the prefix Millknock, I’ve bred 25 plus Champions, with 17 of them also holding performance titles. I’m an AKC Gazette breed column writer for the Collie and the recipient of the 2013 Dog Writer Assoc. Maxwell Award for best online column. My husband and I live on a small farm in Virginia where we have sheep and ducks and the dogs get to do herding. Th is year my working farm dog, Ch Millknock’s Blue Moon CD HSAd HIAs earned the CCA Versatility Award.

“From the programs inception in 1993, to this year’s recipients, CCA has bestowed a total of 175 VERSATILITY AWARDS AND 83 VERSATILITY EXCELLENT AWARDS.” 270 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , A UGUST 2014

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