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#1 twinpines

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 11:05 PM

Below is a some information about the National Cattledog Association, a new organization that is currently asking the USBCHA board to end sanctioning of cattledog trials. If you have any questions about our organization I would be more than happy to answer them here.

NATIONAL CATTLEDOG ASSOCIATION
What is the National Cattledog Association (NCA)?
The NCA is a non-profit organization of cattledog users, handlers, trialers and enthusiasts and is
dedicated to encouraging the use of cattledogs on the farm and ranch. The NCA will also sanction
cattledog trials and sponsor the National Cattledog Finals. The NCA expects to become a
501©(3), which will allow it to accept tax deductible donations.
The NCA was conceived and incorporated in December of 2011.
The headquarters of the NCA is located at:
1175 58th Ave. Suite 100
Greeley, CO 80634
The NCA phone number is 970 224-2437. The NCA website is nationalcattledog.com.
The Executive Secretary of the NCA is Tresea Briggs.
The NCA office is open 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday thru Friday.
The initial NCA Board of Directors includes representatives from across the country:
Juan Reyes, WY President
Tim Gifford, NE Vice President
Bob Wagner, CO Secretary/Treasurer
Jeff Mundorf, IA
Jimmy Walker, TX
Lyle East, MO
Dan Gill, MS
Loren Holmes, CA
Robin Nuffer, ID
Elections for Directors will be held next year.
The NCA Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws are available on the website: nationalcattledog.com
Why should the NCA assume responsibility for cattledog trials from the USBCHA?
The USBCHA was founded in 1979 and held the first National Sheepdog Finals the same year.
Sheepdog trialing has a long history and a solid tradition, going all the way back to 1867. Most of
the USBCHA's 800+ members are sheepdog enthusiasts and most of the sanctioned USBCHA
trials are sheepdog trials.
Cattledog trialing is a much more recent development and the USBCHA only began sanctioning
cattledog trials in 2001. Cattledog trialing has much less tradition than sheepdog trialing and is, in
fact, still early in its development and evolution. Unlike in sheepdog trialing, there is little
consensus regarding the conduct of cattledog trials (judged vs time and points, nature of obstacles,
etc.). It seems most reasonable that such issues should be dealt with by the participants. A body of
representatives drawn from the population of cattledog handlers would seem the logical group to
make such decisions and to conduct the “experiments” necessary to determine the future of
cattledog trialing. Therein lies the problem with the USBCHA. The vast majority of USBCHA
members are sheepdog enthusiasts and the USBCHA Bylaws do not allow for a committee to be
elected by a subset of the members, as a cattledog committee would need to be in order to be truly
representative. The idea for the formation of the NCA actually came about as a result of
discussions including Directors and officers of the USBCHA, who suggested that a separate
organization might be the best way to ensure the continued survival and growth of cattledog
trialing.
The NCA has provisions in its Bylaws (see nationalcattledog.com) for the election of cattledog
handlers from districts encompassing the entire country to serve as officers and Directors. All
Directors must be active cattledog trialers, as must all voting members. It is the intent of the Board
to establish guidelines and suggestions, but no strict rules restricting conduct of sanctioned trials
(other than ages of dogs allowed in Nursery classes). The rules for the National Cattledog Finals
will be established and reexamined yearly by a committee comprised of both Directors and other
members. Directors and officers are term limited by the Bylaws to encourage involvement of as
many members of as many viewpoints as possible. It is the overriding intent of the NCA to allow
cattledog trialing to continue to grow, evolve and develop its own traditions.
How will the NCA be funded?
The main sources of funding will be member dues, sanctioning fees and donations. As indicated
above, the NCA plans to become a 501©(3) non-profit, which will allow donations to be tax
deductible.
What about the ABCA support of the National Cattledog Finals?
The ABCA has been a very strong supporter of the National Cattledog Finals and the NCA
sincerely hopes and expects to continue to receive their support for upcoming National Cattledog
Finals. One of the key reasons for having a friendly separation from the USBCHA and for
avoiding any competition with the USBCHA is to ensure continuation of this funding.




Jeff Mundorf

#2 juliepoudrier

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 12:21 AM

The initial NCA Board of Directors includes representatives from across the country:
Juan Reyes, WY President
Tim Gifford, NE Vice President
Bob Wagner, CO Secretary/Treasurer
Jeff Mundorf, IA
Jimmy Walker, TX
Lyle East, MO
Dan Gill, MS
Loren Holmes, CA
Robin Nuffer, ID


"Across the country" seems to be a rather generous description of a BOD that contains just one member located east (barely) of the Mississippi. I'm pretty sure there are some east coast cattledog handlers. Just sayin'.

J.

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#3 red russel

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 02:07 AM

I can understand why a group of individuals might want to start their own organization. Still having a hard time understanding why the request for the USBCHA to cease and desist. The NCA can choose their own direction and destiny independent of what the USBCHA might or might not do. Given the appearance that Cow Dog associations can be short-lived why should the USBCHA stop sanctioning trials?

Additional question... It is clear that the USBCHA is all about the Border Collie, betterment of the breed as well as challenging and showcasing their strengths. After reading the bylaws of the NCA I found no mention of Border Collies at all. Again, help me understand why the USBCHA would align themselves with the NCA and support them in their efforts?

Dave

#4 Sue R

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 06:32 AM

Thank you for posting this here, Jeff.

Some of the questions raised by Julie and Dave are things that I wondered, also. I do realize that looking at the list of officers, it appears that this will be a Border Collie-centric organization, but I don't see that stated anywhere.

I think that with this group of people "breaking away" from USBCHA (which appears to already be the case and not just a proposition), that takes a lot of the cattledog program movers and shakers from the HA, which might seem to doom that program already. I doubt two cattledog programs could coexist if only because of numbers of participants being somewhat relatively low and distances between events being pretty long.

I'm just not able to wrap my mind around the NCA forming and then "telling" the HA to stop sanctioning trials and National Finals, or at least that's how I read the letter that Geri posted on FB. I see that what you posted says that there was knowledge of this, and even encouragement, from within the HA. How widespread was that among the officers of the HA? How widespread is that among the body of people who trial on cattle?

If NCA does become the Border Collie cattledog sanctioning organization, I hope it is for the good of the program and the future of the dogs but as Dave said, organizations come and go, should the HA (and others involved in the cattledog program) just roll over and go with it?

Is the NCA going to sanction points/time only, arena trials, partly-judged trials? Are the trials going to emphasize what I'd call "traditional Border Collie attributes" like gathers and distance work, or just close-in work?

I don't have any vested interest in this because while we only have cattle not sheep, I don't trial and don't intend to trial. I am concerned about the future of the cattledog program, no matter who administers it, because it is part of the future of the working Border Collie.
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#5 juliepoudrier

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 07:55 AM

I didn't understand the "cease and desist" thing either. Sounds like NCA doesn't want competition, which is understandable, but I did wonder at the approach taken. Of course none of us knows what's going on behind the scenes, and maybe there was encouragement from within USBCHA for the cattledog folks to split off. I also don't trial on cattle, largely because I don't raise them and trials are few and far between, but I too hope that the goals of the new organization are in line with maintaining a superior working standard for border collies (and other cattle working dogs?). It would be interesting to have the folks at NCA contrast how their trials will be run compared to, say, other arena trialing organizations like AHBA, ASCA, and AKC, all of which offer arena cattle trials.

J.

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#6 toney

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 09:37 AM

The only reason I can imagine for the request to break away ompletely from the USBCHA and become the only cattledog trial association is because the new group may want to use the term " National Cattledog Finals" Champion- which is what the USBCHA now bestows? Is this the main reason? And it was a very good point made about cattledog trial associations coming and going- Lone Star Futurity, Red River Cattledog Association, Gulf Coast Cattledog Assoociation, Mississippi Cattledog Association...all defunct. The only one who has lasted is the USBCHA program, Sundowner has done okay in Oklahoma, Red Bluff, which is a single trial and sale mostly, and the Klamath Falls rodear, which is also more of a trial than an association. I would imagine there are more that have survived, but these are the ones that come to mind.

#7 Laurae

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 09:39 AM

It looks to me like this paragraph

The ABCA has been a very strong supporter of the National Cattledog Finals and the NCA
sincerely hopes and expects to continue to receive their support for upcoming National Cattledog
Finals. One of the key reasons for having a friendly separation from the USBCHA and for
avoiding any competition with the USBCHA is to ensure continuation of this funding.


explains why the NCA would like the USBCHA to stop sanctioning cowdog trials and no longer put on a cattledog finals. The NCA would like the ABCA to help fund its finals, and I imagine the ABCA would be less inclined to do so while supporting a finals put on by the USBCHA. This seems particularly important since the lack of border collie specificity in the language of the NCA's bylaws might make ABCA funding less immediately appropriate.

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#8 Pam Wolf

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 10:02 AM

My only concerns are the wellfare of the breed as a working dog primarily. Those traits that 'DEFINE' the Border Collie and the preservation of those traits, including balance, outrunning ability (which is not found in most other breeds), biddability etc. as you know, Jeff, I do not like a mechanical dog but biddability is necessary for good work. Without the preservation of these I'd hate to see the breed further split into cow dogs that can just 'move' cattle and dogs that can be useful versatile farm dogs for a wide variety of stock and conditions. And as you know I have been for a truely judged cattle program for years.
I'd rather be a shepherd than a sheepdogger

#9 juliepoudrier

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 12:02 PM

Laura,
That makes sense, though as you point out, it could be a hard sell to ABCA if the trials aren't specifically promoting the working border collie.

J.

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#10 Cynthia P

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 12:16 PM

Although I don't trial on cattle, I do work our cattle with our border collies. I have only watched the videos of the USBCHA cattle dog finals. I have always supported the notion of judged and time/point trial for cattle. My concern is that it will go to strictly time/points and that the best features of a border collie, outrun, biddability, patience etc will go by the wayside.

What I've found interesting on my cattle, is that the dog has to be quite a bit further off of the cattle than he ever is with sheep. he may initially have to be very close and provide a bit of a grip on the hock or nose, but after that, way off and clean flanks!

Cynthia

#11 twinpines

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 02:29 PM

Thank you for your questions, I will do my best to answer them.

First, I will address the question of why as succinctly as I can, this is my personal opinion and motivation for being a part of this move.

In any organization you have authority to make decisions, and responsibility for getting things done. It is always best if the same group holds both authority and responsibility within an organization. If authority and responsibility are not held by a single group, it tends to make for a very dysfunctional organization dynamic, those in authority usually see no problem, while those with responsibility get frustrated because they are powerless to effect change outside of politicking those in authority. I believe that this dynamic is a fair characterization of the USBCHA Cattledog program. The authority and responsibility are split, the program is plagued with inherent dysfunction, and we are offering this as a solution. I do not believe that the USBCHA program will persist as it is. The goal of the NCA formation is so that the cattledog handlers who shoulder the responsibility making the program work are empowered with the authority to make decisions.

In regards to the location of directors, they are not evenly spread across the country, but neither are the cattledog trials. I do not have the information to say for sure, but I do believe that the majority of the cattle trials are in the central US, and are therefore funding the current program. Even if the current directors are inequitably concentrated, the NCA elections should deal with this inequity in 2013. NCA BOD structure is designed with 9 directors, 6 from geographic districts that will include all parts of the country, and 3 which will be at large directors elected by the county as a whole. If the east coast cattledog handlers outnumber other areas they will have 1 or 2 set district directors and elect 3 at large directors and run the association. That will be decided by the membership of the NCA as it evolves.

As to why the NCA asked the USBCHA to turn the cattledog program over to the NCA, that is pretty simple. The USBCHA cattledog program has struggled for years, and has only survived on the backs of a very small minority of handlers who have done all the work and have only advisory input about how things get done. The cattledog pie is not big enough to split. If this happens a game of chicken will ensue to see who can garner the most sanctioning money and afford to put on a finals. Possibly to the destruction of both.

It has not yet been decided, or even discussed among the NCA BOD what the 2013 finals format will be, so I don't think that it is fair to make assumptions about the effect upon the dogs at this point. The NCA has no intention of telling individual trial hosts how to run their trial, just like the USBCHA policy now. We will have no approved judges, etc, so I think it is safe to say that the NCA trials will be just like the USBCHA trials now, and have nothing in common with the other organizations mentioned. I personally feel though, that there is no way that it will be an arena trial Finals. But there may be more variety in the course design than a standard ISDS course. And I think that would be a great thing for the dogs.

Jeff

#12 DeltaBluez Tess

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 04:38 PM

Jeff

A couple of questions.

I have heard and don't know if it fact or rumors.

  • Is the drive going away? As a judge drive?
  • will the cattle be dog broke and if so, how much
  • Is the sorter not using a dog? How is the sort going to be? I heard it would not involve a dog?
  • How much of the trial is judge and how much is time/point?
  • Will the handler/horse be at a post until the outwork is complete?
  • How much will be arena and field work?

I don't know if these are rumors or facts but it would sure clear up a bunch of confusion?

I know it maybe up to the trial host but what if they all are arena trials? How will that showcase the dog at the Finals? Before I support a new organization, I would like to see the criteria for trials and the Finals?
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#13 Amelia

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 07:44 PM

Well said Jeff. Good luck to you...

#14 twinpines

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 08:54 PM

Thank you for the questions Diane, I really appreciate the opportunity to address these rumors. It seems that they are flying fast and furious, which may in part be our fault for failing in the PR department.

I will begin by saying that no discussions have ensued regarding specific finals courses, but they are on the agenda and will be dealt with soon. I will nonetheless offer my personal opinion which I believe is fairly representative of the group. I expect our sanctioning policy to be the same as current USBCHA policy of allowing trial hosts to determine their own formats completely. We will sanction fully judged, points and time, open field, and arena trials and any combination thereof.

I would not support getting rid of driving. Last year at the finals we did take the drive out the first day because we had serious concerns about the ability to get the cattle back if you made a long drive out toward the setout alot of sets would have taken off. We made a more difficult sort obstacle where you had to have the dog do a lot of the work and another at hand obstacle instead, few handlers lost their cattle, and I did not hear any complaints. The drive was implemented the second day of qualifying and for the final day as usual. The USBCHA cattledog program does not currently have a judged drive, and I do not expect an NCA finals to have one either.

I would expect the cattle to be broke, I like them to know what a dog is but not be dead broke to the point that they do not test the dogs. There is a point between disaster and a cakewalk, I believe we will find that balance for Finals cattle.

Sorting-- there is no set plan for what type of sorting will be done at an NCA finals, but I know the group well enough that there will be an big emphasis placed upon maximizing the quality of the dog work and minimizing handler influence.

Judged vs. points and time is yet to be decided, but it will not surprise me if it goes toward the point and time side. There is room for either to occur, but what will evolve over time is a scoring system that is supported by the majority of NCA members.

I am pretty sure that the handler will be restricted during all outwork. Even in arena trials in the midwest that I have been involved with running, I like to put the handler in the pen which is the final obstacle, and make the dog run the whole course without the handler influencing the cattle at all, the handler can only come out of the pen to put the cattle in.

The balance of arena/field is yet to be determined, but I can almost guarantee that we will work hard to make both very demanding.

In summation, if you here anything regarding a finals course, it is a rumor. I also heard a rumor that I was pulling out of the 2012 finals, from a handler on the west coast. This is also completely untrue, I fully intend on doing everything I can to make the 2012 USBCHA Cattledog Finals a success.

I understand your concerns, and we are currently working on these issues, as well as a site for the 2013 NCA Finals.

Jeff

PS Thanks Amelia, did you ever think we would agree on a cattledog issue? :)

#15 red russel

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 11:01 PM

Jeff,

I am still unclear about the focus of the NCA regarding the dogs. Cowdogs come in many shapes, sizes, and breeds. From the language in your bylaws it seems that the NCA is not Border Collie centric. Help me understand the NCA's position and views regarding the Border Collie.

Dave

#16 Eileen Stein

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 12:00 AM

The NCA expects to become a
501©(3), which will allow it to accept tax deductible donations.


Jeff, I think it would be a mistake to count on this. I don't think the NCA can qualify as a charitable organization under Sec. 501( c )(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

#17 twinpines

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 07:03 AM

The NCA trials will be open trials to all breeds, just like the USBCHA trials are now. The work required at finals will be such, just like the USBCHA finals now that it will emphasize the working traits of the border collie. Every single member of the board has only border collies that they use on cattle. No crosses, no other breeds. We will not exclude other breeds from participating, but I believe that border collies are sufficiently superior in their working ability that they will remain dominant. This really is no different than the current USBCHA system now, minus some border collie language.

Eileen, you may be right about the 501c3, that is more Bob Wagner's department than mine. He is working with his attorney on this, and his wife has recently formed a nonprofit. We are going to give it a shot.

Jeff

#18 toney

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 08:38 AM

Jeff says (bold emphasis mine)-"The NCA trials will be open trials to all breeds, just like the USBCHA trials are now. The work required at finals will be such, just like the USBCHA finals now that it will emphasize the working traits of the border collie. Every single member of the board has only border collies that they use on cattle. No crosses, no other breeds. We will not exclude other breeds from participating, but I believe that border collies are sufficiently superior in their working ability that they will remain dominant. This really is no different than the current USBCHA system now, minus some border collie language. "

While I am not against a new organization forming, in fact I do not think any organization can be everything to everybody, these statements seem to back up the idea that the USBCHA cattledog program is working, useful to the membership that trials under the USBCHA cattledog group and worthy of being replicating by an entirely new organization. Therefore, in my mind, at least, it should remain under the control of the USBCHA.

I will probably join the NCA as well, but like most organizations, it should build its membership based upon its own attributes, not request the dissolution of a working organization that it is trying to replicate in most, if not all, ways.

#19 Fly Away

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 10:05 AM

I like the idea of a national cattledog Assoc, however I feel it's a bit elitist club, catering to BC's. It would be nice to see the association set up to welcome all breeds that work cattle.

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#20 toney

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 10:24 AM

Any breed, even unregistered dogs, are welcome at USBCHA trials already. This new organization will, according to my interpretation of Jeff's words, obviously follow USBCHA protocol and welcome any breed of cattle working dog. I just don't see the need for the USBCHA to stop sanctioning cattle trials simply because a new organization is being formed. Unless you mean maybe offering "Aussie only" classes as well? I'm not sure what you mean, Chris.


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