Central Florida Herding Club Host AKC Herding Seminar
by Carol Delsman, Executive Field Representative

Just an hour SE of Orlando, Florida there is a herding community that is alive and well. More and more training sites are being developed while the old ones continue to improve. Members are finishing their advanced titles and working to become AKC herding judges. One way they are continuing in their quest for quality herding events is through education.

January 24th found 26 eager enthusiasts attending an AKC herding seminar at Brevard Community College, Palm Bay Campus. It was a mixed crowd with experience ranging from seasoned judges needing to update their eligibility to newcomers who wanted to know more about the program and what it had to offer them. There was also a spattering of trial chairs, secretaries, livestock handlers, and support staff there to find out how to better run their events. All showed a great love and devotion to their sport and their dogs.

What's new at AKC was followed with the mechanics behind the hosting of a herding test and trial. Committee positions and responsibilities were discussed at length ending with procedures for Dealing with Misconduct. Members acquired a better understanding of how to deal with situations that can interrupt the flow of their well planned event and the importance of reporting their resolutions to AKC.

After a short break, it was on to the AKC Test program. Some confusions over the newest member of the test program, Instinct Testing, was clarified and participants became excited on how using this tool, they can bring more people into their circle.

Herding Test and Pre-Trail Test seemed to be well understood by this group as most of them are at the trial level. The club used the lunch break to go outside in the warm Florida sun. During a quick club meeting, members divulged in all you can eat pizza. Fresh air and good food refreshed participants for an afternoon of discussion on the AKC Herding Trial program.

Using a new format, presenter Carol Delsman, lead discussion with participants on the skills required to qualify for the different levels of three separate trial courses. Judges added their views and comments. Most of them where there when the program started and commented on how much the program has grown in the 15 years it has been in existence.

The end of the day found four current judges and three judge applicants taking the open book test which they passed with flying colors.

"The AKC seminar hosted by Central Florida Herding Club was the most informative judging and handlers seminar that we have ever attended. Carol Delsman did a superb job of conveying the necessary requirements required to successfully trial or to judge and AKC Trial." Bob & Rachel Vest

"Your seminar was interesting, informative and enjoyable, truly first rate. Your observation of the 'off contact' dog made a lasting impression on me...Your explanation of not deducting points for an error made by a handler is actually taking away points from the handler that isn't making the error was perfect." Barbara Lockard

Clubs should consider hosting a Herding seminar in their own area. This not only helps add new judges and recertifies currently approved judges, it is also an excellent way for those who enter trials and tests to learn how the events are run and judged. Many people attend the seminar to get those little added suggestions that may help improve their scores at future trials. For information about hosting a Herding seminar, contact the Performance Events Department of AKC or e-mail Herding@akc.org.