Dez is a young, 3-year old female Border Collie with a reserved personality that Lee bought from Don and Jeanie Helsley in Idaho. She is out of Don’s champion dog, Wizard. She is easy to have around as she doesn’t get into it with any of the dogs and is always ready to do as asked. It took me a bit to figure out what was different about her looks but one ear is a bit shorter and more rounded than her other ear. Subtle but interesting! She has been fun but challenging to train as she is very fast and enthusiastic. With maturity she is smoothing out and settles her sheep better. She is also more upright in her work and has less eye than most of the other dogs I have had so that has been a learning curve for me. She is strongly bonded to me so I think we are going to make a good team. Dez has had very little experience as Covid stopped us from attending many trials during her formative nursery years. She placed 3rd at the Western Canadian Nursery Finals last fall – her 3rd trial! I moved her into Open this year and she has risen to the challenge. Her dad is the very popular Wizard who has been a finalist at Soldier Hollow. Hopefully she will follow in her fathers’ paw prints!!
Lee’s start in training stock dogs began over thirty years ago with Stirling, a five-year-old “rescue” border collie. Lee attended a sheep dog trial, was amazed by the skills the border collies showed and she knew she needed to learn how to do that with Stirling. Stirling was very forgiving of Lee in her journey to becoming a more competent handler and he managed to make it to the open level of competition. When Lee started herding, she lived on a 5 acre farm with about 2 acres of working space so she was pretty happy when we moved to our current farm with a 20 acre field to train on. Lee currently has 5 border collies – four are competing and one is retired. Lee has trained all my dogs from puppy age on and they all have taken her to top levels of competition including: Finalist in the US Finals, the Canadian Finals and the Invitational Solider Hollow Classic. In 2014 Nan and Gus were on the Canadian Team at the World Trial in Scotland. At the 2017 World Trial in the Netherlands, Gus and Lee were on the Canadian Team that placed second out of 30 countries in the World Trial team competition. Gus became the CBCA Champion in 2021 – a fitting closure to a very successful trial career for him that began when at the age of 2 1/2 years he made it to the finals at Soldier Hollow and placed 7th.