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Some historic Sheepdog trial questions..

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I have googled to not much avail..so Im hoping someone might be a history buff..

 

This is for research..what is the "biggest", most prestigous sheepdog trial in England or Scotland? How long as this trial been in exisitence?

 

When did women first start being "accepted" as handlers in sheepdog trials???

 

Thanks for the answers!

 

Sarah

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...When did women first start being "accepted" as handlers in sheepdog trials???

 

Thanks for the answers!

 

Sarah

 

I spent a few minutes Googling the question, and similarly, couldn't find a definitive answer. Women and girls have been tending flocks, no doubt since time immemorial. Artists for hundreds of years have painted beautiful pastoral scenes of shepherdesses, sometimes with dogs. Here is a link to an assortment of paintings/drawings gathered by Google, some quite old.

 

http://www.google.com/search?q=shepherdess&hl=en&qscrl=1&nord=1&rlz=1T4SNNT_en___US360&prmd=imvnse&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=fXpnT-zVF9DaiQK2-_DoBg&sqi=2&ved=0CFEQsAQ&biw=1194&bih=567

 

It's an interesting question. Albion Urdank (his screen name), a member of this Board, is a scholar, historian, and sheepdog herding enthusiast. Perhaps he and/or others may be able to shed light on your exact question. -- Kind Regards, TEC

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Eric Halsall touches on women in sheepdog trialing in his book, Sheepdogs, My Faithful Friends. He has just a very short section in a chapter about outstanding women handlers but, since I don't have the book here, I can't give you a more complete reference. I could try and look it up this evening if I have time.

 

I believe Viv Billingham was one of the early, if not first, women members of a national team. Julie Hill was the first (and only) woman winner of the Supreme, I think.

 

Donald McCaig discusses how Viv was received here in the US when she came over some years ago to judge, and some of the "good old boys" didn't think a woman's place was on the trial field, much less in the judging booth. At least one found out that that was definitely not true. Maybe he will chime in with some better information.

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thanks for the link..some of those paintings are beautiful, I think I need to find some prints of afew of them. :)..

 

Any other info is appreciated!

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thanks for the link..some of those paintings are beautiful, I think I need to find some prints of afew of them. :)..

 

Any other info is appreciated!

 

You're welcome. Check your BC Board messages. I forwarded a link to video of 1932 British trial, showing a shot of competitors/dogs, one a woman. -- TEC

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I believe Penny Tose, also a board member, has done research on early trials (maybe only here in the US?). If you search her in the member list, you can send her a PM to ask.

 

J.

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Andrew, in a recent issue of Sheepdog News,has a piece that includes a picture of a young woman in the late 19th century or maybe very early 20th, who may have entered a trial or two. She was the daughter of someone never noted for his skill but the color lithograph of her with dog is terrific. I have a few records of women trialing from the early 1900s in Great Britain, not much, and one from the 1800s. Andrew is the person to ask.

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You know, Viv is on facebook and is a great Gal, you could talk to her there.

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Thanks, I will try and find her..

 

Let me make my question abit more specific..in the late 1800's-early 1900's (into the 30's I guess) women I assume were generally not common as handlers in trials..am I correct, in this assumption?

 

Penny, I would have loved to see that picture..

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This is for research..what is the "biggest", most prestigous sheepdog trial in England or Scotland? How long as this trial been in exisitence?

Sarah

 

 

History of trialing here in the UK -

 

http://www.isds.org.uk/society/function_purpose/history.html

 

Major trials -

 

http://www.isds.org.uk/trials/index.html

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Dear Doggers,

In this country, Betty Levin was probably the first woman handler (late 1970's?) followed closely by Inez Schroeder,Lena Bailey. Ada Karrasch and Ethel Conrad. There are other lady's names in the 82-83 Southern Stockdog but those I've mentioned were getting placements.

 

It wasn't easy - Betty told me that Lewis Pence was the only Big Hat who was polite to her and when Ethel Conrad hired Viv Billingham to judge her Blue Ridge Trial, Viv gave a clinic (might have been the first Brit clinic in the US) because, contrary to custom, other southeast trial hosts wouldn't hire a woman to judge (and thus share the expense). Inez and Lena were judging in the west. I always admired Ada Karrasch's attitude. Since the Big Hats wore - er - BIG hats and western wear, Ada wore a gaudy red western pants suit with matching red Texas hat.

 

A few Good Old Boys swallowed their chaw when Ada walked onto the course.

 

Donald McCaig

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Bringing back memories, Donald! When I started beating the good old boys I got some respect-that was with Pi and Sweep. Out here though there were more cattle trials than sheep trials and I had some good teachers on handling cattle-old dog men like Gene Estes among others

 

And I suppose Jack Knox was an a citizen by the time we saw him at Ethel's. There might have been one or two other Brits before Viv but she was the first Woman for sure (I wanted so bad to go to her clinic but alas money/time)

 

I think Jeanne Joy may have been trialing in the Aussie world about that time. Later in the 1980's saw more women on the scene for sure. Out here Sharon Allen, Shelly Gray and I went to a few demo trials around the area. And Kathy Conner came on the scene around the latter half of the 80's.

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Great info folks..thank you..so it seems like..really prior to the 70's..women handlers were NOT common in the slightest..

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I was going through some old files in the archive and thought some of you may be interested. This is when my family first became acquainted with Lewis Pence:

 

https://stockdogsavvy.wordpress.com/2016/06/16/1967-open-sheepdog-trials-and-a-cowhogdog-exhibition/

 

There were very few women handling dogs when we got started.

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