Judge Bios

 Our Judge for the July 2017 Trial is Bob Washer  

Bob has always been an animal lover, growing up in New Jersey he showed sheep in 4H and bought his first  horse with his championship winnings.

He joined the Air Force at 18 and spent almost 12 years in service to our country. During that time he continued to own and show horses. He moved to Kentucky in 1981 to manage a Thoroughbred farm and went on to work in that industry for 30 years, mostly working with breeding stallions.

Version 2In 1993 he was seated beside Vergil Holland at the wedding reception of a mutual friend. Vergil asked if Bob’s new BC/Aussie mix puppy might have any herding ability. Although she didn’t progress very far as a herding dog, Bob became addicted. He bought his first BC puppy from Vergil and managed to get her qualified for the Nursery finals and later won a few Open trials with her.

 In 2002 he had two dogs in the Open finals, one of which was also a Nursery dog. That dog, Bree, went on to place 7th in the Nursery Finals and in 2007 she was 10th in the Open finals. Since those early days, Bob has won or placed well in many large trials. He has been asked to judge several prestigious trials such as Long Shot in Maryland, Fetch Gate in NY, Lacamas Valley in WA, Soldier Hollow, the Texas state finals and the Bluegrass Classic to name a few.

He currently has a Nursery dog qualified for the 2017 finals as well as a youngster coming up. He had to retire his experienced Open dogs, Clare and Briggs, so he’s in a rebuilding phase of his training.  

Bob  and Bobbie, his wife of almost 30 years, live in Versailles, Ky with 9 border collies, 2 LGD’s and 1 worthless Jack Russell terrier. When he isn’t training dogs or going to trials, he loves to ride his Harley. He and Bobbie enjoy traveling with their fellow Harley enthusiasts and have gotten to see a lot of our beautiful country from that vantage point. Bob has a daughter and grandson who live in Alabama.


Our Judge for the 2016 trial is Gordon Watt

Gordon Watt was born in Ireland in 1964, to a family of shepherds.  His father is William Watt, a legend in sheepdogs.  At an early age Gordon became interested in all aspects of sheep care and sheepdog training.  When he was 15, Gordon and his first dog, Chum, won second in the Irish Nationals and it was on from there.  In 1999, he was Irish National Champion, and in 2005, Gordon became World Champion, after also winning the English National Championship with his dog, York.

Gordon’s current main trial dogs are Huthwaite Storm and Huthwaite Moss.  With Storm Gordon has won Northumberland League Nursery, numerous Open trials, and was fourth at the English Nationals in 2015.  Moss has won many Open trials, and was 3rd in the English National in 2014 and on the English team in 2014.
Gordon has maintained his York line in Flo and Reba.  Flo goes back to York’s mother and Reba is Flo’s daughter.  Storm and Moss are outcrosses.  Their pedigrees can be seen on his website.
When choosing a sheepdog Gordon likes to see “an ability to work sheep properly”.  By that he means a dog that uses its brain.  Also, the nature, the personality of the dog has to be very good.  “Power” is not the dog that scares sheep, but rather the dog sheep trust and can move them.
He likes to show young dogs sheep at about 8 months.  At this time he feels it is possible to evaluate an individual training program for a dog.
Look at the calendar on his website for training availability, upcoming events and lessons at Nippersink Hall Farm.  Lake Geneva Wisconsin is located near the major metropolitan areas of Chicago,, Illinois (O’Hare airport) and Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Mitchell Field), as well as the interstates 90 and 94.  Gordon is also booked for clinics in the Midwest and elsewhere in the upcoming months.


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