These were very tough sheep and Stormy was quite young, but she handled the sheep with confidence. She earned the first half of her Herding Capability Test title, and received lots of praise.
Here is our team at the 2007 Mount Massive Sled Dog Race in Leadville, Colorado. This picture captured all 16 dog-feet in the air. I was very proud of all the dogs: Lightning (left lead), Moonrise (right lead), Canyon (left wheel), and Nimbus (right wheel). Lightning and Moonrise (who are siblings), celebrated their seventh birthday earlier in the year. The whole team worked as if the altitude and warm sun were of no importance. This was a fabulous race site on the highest golf course in North America. The course went out along a fairway, then wove back and forth through the forest before returning.
The two grey dogs on the far right are another team that left the starting line at the same time we did at this “dual start” race. We had never started this way before, and it went really well. As you can see, we beat the Alaskan Husky team out of the chute, and followed them closely for a mile or two.
This was one of the races that helped our team earn the SCA Top Sprint Racing award for the 2006-2007 season, as well as the 2007 OWS Sled Dog Racing award. Our dogs won these awards all three seasons they raced. Running this team was a dream come true!
Nimbus (closest) is shown with Lightning on the 5-mile scooter run that finished his title. He is an incredibly hard worker and loves to run fast!
The 2002 Samoyed Club of America National Specialty took place in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Lots of fun working events were offered, alongside the conformation show. Lightning and Nimbus hiked with nearly 20 other Samoyeds (including their brothers Loki and Draco) on the Appalachian Trail. Our boys, seen on the right, hiked in their royal blue Wolf Packs Reflector dog packs. Their brothers are next to them wearing their purple Banzai dog packs.
The picture above shows Lightning pulling 14 times his body weight in the SCA Novice Weight Pull. He worked his heart out for me, and pulled the second highest weight that day, 757 pounds! He made 12 pulls in all, increasing by 50 pounds each time. All of his pulls were under 6 seconds, with the exception of his last which was under 7 seconds. Several people commented that Lightning really lives up to his name!
Lightning also worked sheep, and completed his Junior Herding Dog (JHD) title at this event. He did a lovely job of moving three sheep around a field the size of a football field, and through several gates, in a controlled manner.
We are very proud of our boys, and even more so knowing that they are active workers with many trail miles behind (and still ahead of) them.
On May 17, 2002, Lightning earned a 5 Point Major at the Samoyed Club of San Diego Specialty! After earning 1st Place in a large Open Dog class, he was awarded Winners Dog, and then Best of Winners at the Specialty by Australian judge Lynn Harwood.
The following day, under breeder-judge Jeanne Zuver, Lightning was awarded Winners Dog for another 5 Point Major, which completed his American Championship! Lightning is our first purebred dog, and was handled by Linda (his owner) all the way. You might say we learned about dog shows together.
Lightning's grandfather, Ch Wolf River's Drumlin ROMC (a well-known and important contributor to our breed), finished his Championship at this Specialty decades earlier. It is an honor for Lightning to echo the past.
We wish to thank all of our judges for rewarding this very special dog!
Nimbus' brother, Lightning, finished his American Championship this Specialty weekend with back-to-back 5 Point Majors. It was a weekend for us to cherish.
Lightning earned his Master title in these areas:
- Excursion Sledding (includes kicksled & scooter)
- Recreational Skijoring
- Competitive Skijoring
- Special (moving logs & limbs from downed trees & to build a gate)
Lightning has traveled many miles, and is always ready for a new adventure. We are very proud of our hard-working boy!
A well-attended sanctioned Fun Match was held on the previous day, so we entered both of our boys as a way to remind all of us what to do in the conformation ring. Lightning went Best in Match, and Nimbus was the Working Group 2 winner! The boys won lots of ribbons, some mugs, and a pretty stained glass window hanging.
Later in the month, Nimbus earned his Canine Good Citizen (CGC) title, and made his debut appearance in the conformation dog show ring, receiving 1st Place in his class. He loved all of the attention and treats, and charmed everybody with his calm disposition and sweet nature.
This win earned him 3 points toward his Canadian Championship. The judge commented on Lightning's beautiful movement. We are so proud of our boy!
Lightning entered the 2001 Williamette Valley Samoyed Fanciers Specialty. A "specialty" is a dog show that focuses on a single breed. Since he has a title, he was qualified to compete in the Working Dog class, which is only occasionally offered at specialties for working breeds such as the Samoyed. Here are Linda and Lightning gaiting in the Working Dog class (we're the team in the lead).
Our boy was awarded 1st Place in the Working Dog class under breeder-judge Shirley Mangini. Next we went into the ring with the winner from the Working Bitch class. Lightning was again awarded 1st Place, to become the Best Working Samoyed at the specialty! Lightning was also awarded 1st Place in the 12-18 Month Dog class. It was all quite exhilarating, although win or lose, he's always a winner to us.
Lightning's focus has been in skijoring, excursion sledding, excursion scootering, race skijoring, and herding. He is likely among the youngest Samoyeds to earn this advanced working title. Working points are awarded by the Samoyed Club of America (with proper documentation - here is a listing of all Working Samoyed titled dogs) for adventures which meet certain criteria. Many of the rules require a distance of no less than five miles per outing. We have waited to backpack with Lightning until spring. Until recently, he was too young to carry the required 25% of his body weight over a minimum of five miles. We are sure having fun earning these titles with Lightning, and hope to continue our adventures together for many years to come!
Here are Lightning and Linda kicksledding together, cruising home from a five-mile excursion (this picture shows him completing his Working Samoyed (WS) title. The kicksled is a lightweight device, often used in Scandinavia for winter transportation. It normally is not pulled by a dog, but offers an inexpensive alternative to a racing dog sled for the single dog team. Lightning can really get it moving, and when he does, it almost feels like weightlessness when riding on the runners.
Just wait until the snow melts though, because we'll be hiking the trails again come spring!
Our puppy entered the arena with much enthusiasm for running after those sheep or play with the other dogs present. Many of the people there were surprised that an energetic northern breed non-herding group puppy could display proficiency in herding, and were surprised that he was entered in the trial.
When our turn came, the crowd's interest level spiked. Lightning walked into the arena like he owned it. Debbie Pollard, one of the judges, introduced the Samoyed breed to the audience with a nice historical reference to their reindeer herding heritage. Lightning did a perfect sit and stay, controlled the sheep with grace and style, and returned them safely to their pen. The audience applauded loudly. Lightning looked very pleased with himself, nether knowing nor caring about his new title. He just enjoyed moving those sheep!