Dedicated to maintaining the border collie as a working stockdog

BFF Benefit Sheepdog Trial

Black Forest Fire Benefit Sheepdog TrialBlackForestShirt_Final

As many of you know, the community of Black Forest, Colorado, suffered a devastating blow last month. The forest fire, which has now been contained, burned a swath across the community taking more than 500 homes in its path. Lise Andersen and Terry Murray are a couple of dog trialers who wanted to make a difference. Their respective homes flanked opposite sides of the burn area and Lise’s equine vet clinic had to be evacuated (along with her 80 sheep), but both were fortunate to come out of this with everyone and everything accounted for.  They hosted the Black Forest Fire Benefit SDT with all proceeds to be distributed to fire victims and their animals through Tri-Lakes Cares based in Monument, CO. Dan Korf of Akron, CO, one of many generous people in our BC community, graciously donated the use of his sheep for this benefit.

As we hoped, the event succeeded in bringing the community together in a spirit of hope and rebuilding. Many of those who were unable to join us, took part through the “In Spirit” donation. They sent in an entry, spiritually “running” any dog they wished to compete at a dog trial! This trial was for anyone interested in supporting the fire victims—one did not have to be a border collie handler to run a dog in spirit at the Benefit! They just had to download the Black Forest Fire Benefit SDT entry form, fill out their information, add the name of the in spirit dog, and send the donation to Terry Murray, whose address is listed on the entry form. In return, Tri-Lakes Cares will send you a receipt for your tax-deductible donation.

The trial was held on Sunday, July 7, 2013, at the Tabletop trial field in Colorado Springs, Colorado. All classes were run (Novice-Novice, Pro-Novice, Open Ranch, and Open). The trial was USBCHA sanctioned, MPBCA sanctioned, and points accrued for the District 2 Dog of the Year Award.

It has been a couple of weeks now since the benefit trial held for fire victims in Black Forest, CO. Except for the thunder and lightening at the very end, it was a lovely day for a dog trial. We probably had between 100-200 people attend the event throughout the day, including some fire fighters from the Tri-Lakes Fire Dept. in Monument. We can’t thank everyone enough for their support and contributions. We raised $8,500, which will be distributed through Tri-Lakes Cares to victims who really need help getting back on their feet. Tri-Lakes Cares spent the day with us at the benefit, talking to folks and educating us on their mission. We are very lucky to have such a dedicated group of people serving our community.

Tammy Hammond, our graphic artist and intrepid photographer, stayed all day snapping photos of the event. She is still uploading the last snaps but she did a great job bringing the event to life:

*            *            *            *            *            *            *            *            *            *            *            *             *            *            *            *


This was a terrific trial, with tough sheep and a challenging course. The sheep were a great test of the dogs, and only those who could keep well off them kept control. The weather was nice and cool in the morning for the open runs, before turning quite hot for the open ranch and pro-novice runs. A thunder storm rolled in right after the first couple of dogs ran in the novice class, which unnerved the sheep, the dogs, and probably some of the handlers. We were able to finish the trial, with all competitors able to run before the worst of it hit, but those novice dogs and handlers toughed it out well and these scores don’t reflect their hard work, dedication, or impressive potential! Thanks to everyone who supported this benefit trial in any way they could!

Open.  15 dogs.  Judge: Carol Lucero
          Lise Andersen    Piper    93
          Terry Murray    Jick    84
          Melinda Brenimer    Finn    83
          Terry Murray    Jess    68
          Lise Andersen    Mack    66
          Tina LePlatt    Tess    64
          Mindy Bower    Griz    58
          Dan Korf    Tater    50
          Nancy Penley    Hobbs    49
          Cathy Balliu    Hank    32
          Larry Adams    Raid    RT
          Melinda Brenimer    Nell    RT
          Larry Adams    Mick    RT
          Mindy Bower    Possum    RT
          Larry Adams    Mirk    RT
Open Ranch.  12 dogs.  Judge:  Melinda Brenimer
          Mindy Bower
          Ray Masse
          Lise Andersen
          Kathleen Holland
          Laura Esterman
          Mike Lupow
          Dan Korf
          Carol Lucero
          Cathy Balliu
          Terry Murray
          Tina LePlatt
          Tina LePlatt
Pro-Novice (one drive leg).  4 dogs.  Judge:  Mike Lupow
          Pam Bruns
          Skye Stevens
          Carol Lucero
   N/C 34
          Lise Anderson
Novice-Novice.  9 dogs.  Judge:  Cathy Balliu
          Sam Arbogast
          Tammy Merriman
          Anita Ramsey
          Katy Fitzgerald
          Lou Fine
          Monica Agnew-Kinnaman
          Paula Morgan
          Sam Arbogast
          Ray Masse

*            *            *            *            *            *            *            *            *            *            *            *             *            *            *            *

Benefit Trial Updates:

  • We have confirmed our judges for the trial:
    Open: Carol Lucero
    Open Ranch: Melinda Brenimer
    Pro-Novice: Mike Lupow
    Novice-Novice: Cathy Balliu
  • Mario with Harvest Market will be the concessionaire.
  • We’ll have an online auction for a gorgeous handmade shepherd’s crook crafted by Bill Hall.
  • We’re also auctioning off a gorgeous table runner and set of placemats quilted by Cindi Galt donated by Jack and Cindi Galt.
  • This will be a very family-friendly event with horse and pony rides!
  • We will be raffling off two halves of a lamb generously donated by Flying M Lamb and Black Forest Shepherds! Buy a ticket for just $5.00 and you may be one of two lucky people to win. Download the raffle ticket here: Lamb Raffle.
  • Roundup Riders of the Rockies to do the flag ceremony down the trial field.
  • We will have t-shirts, caps, and sunglasses for sale.



The t-shirts have been ordered and they should arrive to everyone who ordered one around the first week of August. Thank you again for your support!









 Ball Caps


With thanks to our friends Emily Kitching of Eclectic Horseman magazine and Mindy Moller of Prairie Edge Design, these ball caps were available at the trial at a cost of $20. Another HUGE thanks to Tammy Hammond for working tirelessly on short notice to create the graphics for the shirt and hat. What a great group of people to work with! Your commitment to the task at hand is commendable!




Our friends at Maxx Sunglasses, a family based business out of Monument, CO, graciously donated sunglasses with the Colorado Strong logo imprinted on them!  They were on sale at the benefit on Sunday for a $20 donation (sugg. retail is $29.99). Check out MAXX Sunglasses:





*            *            *            *            *            *            *            *            *            *            *            *             *            *            *            *


crookYou can bid on a handmade shepherd’s crook from a local artisan! Award-winning sculptor Bill Hall of Elizabeth, CO, has generously donated a crook to help raise funds for the Black Forest Fire victims and their animals. The winning bid will also get a beautiful book detailing, in photographs, the gorgeous sculptures that Bill has created out of a single piece of wood.

The crook stands 48” high. The shaft is made of oak, and the tip is hand-turned water buffalo horn. The ram’s head is carved from synthetic ivory, so it is very hard and durable, and the crook handle is carved from myrtle wood.

We will start the bidding at $150. If you would like to bid on the crook and book, simply email your bid and your contact information to Laura Esterman (, and we will keep a ticker running on this page as to the latest bid. The auction will close at 10 pm mountain time on Saturday, July 6, 2013.

The crook is beautiful and would make a lovely gift for someone (or for yourself) while supporting a very good cause. Good luck and thanks again for your support!

After an intense bidding war, the final bid of $400 was the winner! Congratulations to Jason from Pueblo, Colorado! 

*            *            *            *            *            *            *            *            *            *            *            *             *            *            *            *



Jack and Cindi Galt, of Crawford NE, have generously donated a gorgeous table runner with placemats that Cindi has quilted.  We will start the bid at $75 online and then continue the bidding at the trial field. If you’d like to bid on this item, email your bid and your contact information to Laura Esterman (, and we will keep a ticker running on this page on the latest bid as well (though it won’t be updated on the day of the trial). If you bid online, we can keep you up to speed on the bidding during the day on Sunday so you can stay in the mix.

Congratulations to Pam from New Jersey, whose $100 bid won her these beautiful table runner and placemats!

Also, special thanks to Christine Koval, who very generously offered a beautiful item to be auctioned, but unfortunately we could not take her up on it due to the prohibitive cost of shipping it across the country. We so appreciate the kind gesture, Christine!

*            *            *            *            *            *            *            *            *            *            *            *             *            *            *            *

In Spirit Entries Received—Thank You!

Jolie Clark with Meg from Colorado
Patti Sumner with Beka from Wisconsin
Larry Adams with Shep from Colorado
Amanda Milliken with Dorey from Ontario, Canada
Amanda Milliken with Monty from Ontario, Canada
Carol Benjamin with Kellie from Colorado
Russ Torgerson with Hub from Oregon
Amelia Smith with Taddymoor Mirk from California
Jim Swift with Spike from Colorado
Terri Warner with Megan from Colorado
Denice Rackley with Blu from Indiana
Teresa Gurth with Bella from Colorado
Kay Mills with Sammie from Texas
Jason Chambers with Fly from Colorado
Tammy Hammond with Kona from Colorado
Rita Snodgrass with Skits from Wyoming
Barb Ross with Trim from Wyoming
Sharon Northrup with Glenn from Colorado
Sharon Northrup with Claire from Colorado
Sharon Northrup with Oso from Colorado
Judith Gigliotti with Pippa from Colorado
Judith Gigliotti with Maggie from Colorado
Sue Noll with Lew from North Dakota
Sue Noll with Lucy form North Dakota
Sue Noll with Slinky the weenie dog from North Dakota
Konrad Norstog with Widge from North Dakota
Sharon Norstog with Tess from North Dakota
Sharon Norstog with Whip from North Dakota
Sharon Norstog with Clare from North Dakota
Sharon Norstog with a brace of border terriers: Heidi Ho and Sosi Su
Sharon Norstog with four more ghost dogs!
Victoria Long with Nessa from Colorado
Victoria Long with Nighinn from Colorado
Rusin Concrete with Dale from Colorado
Ray Masse with Jack from Colorado
Ray Masse with Jiggs from Colorado
Laura Hanley with Wren from Kentucky
Mike Hanley with Gin from Kentucky
Shirley Murray with Dorie from Florida
Shari Clark with Fern from Colorado
Nancy Beers with Thunder from Colorado
Irene Stoller with Meg from Colorado
Bob Stoller with Kate from Colorado
Eleanor and Elif Anderson with Tippen from NV
Karla King with Floss from Maryland
Littleton Equine Medical Center with Jake from Colorado
Littleton Equine Medical Center with Jessie from Colorado
Don Heckel with Chipper from Colorado
Don Heckel with Jake from Colorado
Don Heckel with Maybs from Colorado
Don Heckel with Ava from Colorado
Dan Keeton from Colorado with three ghost entries!
Rene LaBree with Nap from Montana
Gary Payne with Chig from Texas
Claudia and Ralph Nelson with Ryan from Colorado
Claudia and Ralph Nelson with Jamie from Colorado
Claudia and Ralph Nelson with Hope from Colorado
Claudia and Ralph Nelson with Keli from Colorado
Marilyn Volpe with Hemp from Idaho
Eric & Molly Johnson with The Outlaw Josie Wales from Colorado
Pat Wentz with Stover Hire from Colorado
Jill Crotty with Pawn from Colorado
Kjaeren Rutland with Dixie from Colorado
Sean Bateman with Ian McConan from Colorado
Lynn and Greg Helseth with Wiston Cap from Arizona
Kathryn Howse with Gabriel from Colorado
Brent Mirchandani with one ghost dog from Colorado
Ron Burkey with two ghost dogs from Texas
Suzanne Gansky with Cap from Pennsylvania
Lauren Puglia with Gumbo from New Mexico
Joni Tietjen with Sweep from Wyoming
Art and Jeanne Irvin with two ghost dogs from Missouri
Anonymous donated $1,000 in memory of Charco, who was a gift to so many people

*            *            *            *            *            *            *            *            *            *            *            *             *            *            *            *

This trial wouldn’t be possible without the help and support of our sponsors:

** Lise Andersen and the staff at Rocky Mountain Equine 719-481-2749
** Terry Murray & Mike Lupow at Flying M Lamb 719-749-2833
** Dan Korf of Hawk Stockdogs
** Rockin’ B Feed and Supply 719-495-3463
** Tri-Lakes Printing 719-488-2544
** Table Rock Quarter Horses 719-495-9674
** Hunter Run Farms 719-337-7619
** Hartford Training Stables 719-351-5098
** Clarity with Horses 719-351-0987
** Tammy Hammond
** Bill Hall
** Laura Esterman
** Pam Bruns
** Mountain and Plains Border Collie Association
** Eclectic Horseman Communications, Inc.
** Nature’s Select of Southern Colorado
** Chuck & Shirley Bauer Family
** 3R Riders
** H2 Stables and Bed & Breakfast 719-495-2338
** S & B Porta-Bowl Restrooms 303-732-6262
** Boy Scout Troop 217
** Carol Lucero
** Melinda Brenimer
** Cathy Balliu
** Nancy Penley
** Maureen Robinson of Dogworks Photography
** Dumpster donated by Waste Connections 719-591-5000
** Elaine Wood
** Scott Peck from First Baptist Church of Black Forest
** Nancy Milner and the staff at Maxx Sunglasses
** Sandra Besseghini