MEET THE JUDGES

2021 Collie Club of America National logo

Agility

LaVar Griffin

LaVar Griffin

LaVar Griffin lives in West Weber, Utah with his wife and Shelties where agility takes center stage for all of them.

LaVar was introduced to the sport of dog agility in 1998 through a friend. At that time, he did not own a dog of his own. Volunteering at dog events, sometimes as obedience ring steward but mostly as an agility course builder, gave him valuable insight into the sport that was to become such an important part of life. After several years of watching others run he decided he wanted to compete. With a borrowed Sheltie, Angel’s Mark My Word, “Markie”, he learned to train and handle and together they achieved their MACH.

In October 2000 LaVar assisted the Golden Spike Dog Obedience Club of Ogden Utah in the introduction of Agility to the Club by being the Trial Chair at their AKC A Match and the Trial Chair for their first two AKC Sanctioned Trials.

In 2005, LaVar brought home the first puppy of his own, the Sheltie “Nic”, Angel’s Trouble’s A Brewin’. Nic was a natural, they quickly formed a smooth working team, achieving MACH3. With a knack for coaching, an interest in course design and in watching teams run and analyzing handling, it’s only natural that LaVar would want to judge. In 2012 he completed the education and requirements. LaVar now judges and also still competes with his nine year old Sheltie, MACH Welglen The Nonconformist, “Gabrielle” and her puppy ‘’Emmett’’. He was one of the Judges at the 2018 AKC National Agility Championship.

LaVar also enjoys the outdoors. He especially likes fly fishing on the mountain streams of Northern Utah. He ties his own flies and goes fishing every free weekend in the summer.

He is honored to have the opportunity to judge at the 2021 AKC Collie Club of America trial and looks forward to seeing the teams having fun and doing what they love.


Conformation

Best of Variety & Intersex – Roxann Heit

Roxann Heit

What a privilege being selected to Judge Best of Variety/Breed at the 2021 CCA National Specialty Show. The assignment every specialty breeder judge dreams of. The best of the best that breeders have selected to showcase their breeding program. Words cannot express my excitement.

We all have a story and my love of the breed began as a child by chance selecting a Collie puppy, we named Tag. He loved the game but he was also very protective and somewhat of a neighborhood thief. He would bring anything he found from our neighbors porches to our house. Eventually our dad relocated him to a farm far away, as the weeks passed, we thought we’d never see him again. Miraculously Tag reappeared just as we were packing to move to another state and remained the family pet until he passed. My sister, Tracey Williams of Fairview Collies actually pushed me into showing and breeding when she gave our daughter her first Collie for Juniors while also teaching me how to groom and handle. We attended our first National in Colorado Springs CCA 1989 and I vividly remember watching in awe at all the beautiful Collies I had only seen in publications. I still have the same enthusiasm each year that brings us all together with the anticipation of seeing greatness!

Dale and I have now been involved in the Collie breed for more than half my lifetime. Our many Champions were all owner handled and we both handled professionally for a number of years before I pursued judging as another course dedicated to this beautiful breed. You really learn to appreciate correct type from all avenues, breeding, handling and judging. Through the years we created a successful breeding program, producing many National winners, Top Ten rankings and ROM producers all with the Timeless prefix. Although our breeding program has declined in litters, we are still active, just on a much smaller scale. We are extremely proud to see our family behind other families sustaining the foundation we have produced. We began the same as many before us, being fortunate to have mentors with influential success along the way to teach and guide us. It was not all glory but we were indeed blessed to have started with soundness in mind and body that allowed us to realize the importance of correct expression, overall balance, temperament, health and structure. Over time we were able to improve with each generation and maintain family traits through selection preserving the virtues we felt most important in our breed.

I am extremely flattered to be judging at the 2021 National Specialty. Thank you to all the exhibitors allowing me the opportunity to judge your accomplishments. Thank you to the Collie Club of America, the Host Club and show committees for your time and dedication. Thank you to the CCA membership for this proud moment. What a privilege and responsibility to behold.

Bitches – James Noe

James Noe

I became involved in dog shows in 1963. I was A breeder & exhibitor of Collies & also had a few other breeds Under the prefix of Two Jays Collies. I didn’t pursue the other breeds but did pursue the breeding & exhibiting of our collies. My partner’s name is James E. Frederiksen and that was how we came up with our Kennel prefix of ( Two Jays Collies ).

We produced numerous Champions of record, including many top winners and producers on the National level as well as world wide. Our dogs had a tremendous impact in a positive way of improving the Collies in the United States and abroad and still help with many of the problems that existed in the breed over the past 50 years.

I have been an AKC approved judge of Collies for over forty years & have since become a multiple group judge. I have been a member of the American Dog Show judges organization for approximately 35 plus years and have been judging dog shows for over 40 plus years.

I have also been one of the hosts for the East Tennessee judges group for 30 plus years which has normally meet our home intermittently once a month. This group was devoted to enhancing the knowledge of our member judges that were interested in learning more about all breeds of dogs in the United States and around the world.

I have been an integral part of this club for a very long time. I have had the honor of being invited to judge all over the world & have enjoyed being a part of the integrated judges panels & having the opportunity to observe the different judging around the globe. I also enjoy our Koi Fish pond & take great pleasure in watching them leisurely swimming & feeding in our 10 feet deep pond.We also keep & breed a few peafowl (Peacocks). We love watching them parade around the property. I have been a Collie Club of America member for over 50 years.

I consider it an honor to be invited once again to be a part of the Collie Club of America’s prestigious judging panel in 2021. Looking forward with great enthusiasm to seeing all the beautiful Collies & meeting new friends & also seeing so many of my old friends

Dogs – Lynn Butler

Judge Lynn Butler

I have been loving my collies and breeding them since my pre college days in the late 1960s. I now work as a journalist and photographer, and I’ve traveled throughout the world to document the precarious situation of our planet and the preservation of our natural world . Lotta Hedman joined Milas Collies in 1988 .she has helped raise , breed and show the dogs to their best potential and the partnership permitted me to be able to travel and continue this work and document the places that needed protection or people that had their land being taken advantage of or their rights put in peril. I have published 5 books about the environment and also worked with a Holocaust survivor on a book documenting her story about hiding from the Nazis in France.

My first collies were Windcall, Debhill, and Vi-Lee breeding. Lilah Bates of Heathfield Collies, who had a mixture of Bellhaven and English dogs, became my first mentor. On a visit to her kennel, I saw the beautiful Crufts Winner, CH Bririch Gold Emblem. that she had brought back from England and fell in love with him. However, after breeding my Debhill bitch to him, I found that there was little in this country that matched the phenotype of the puppies I wanted to breed from. I had formulated my concept of the ideal collie and knew that I appreciated the virtues of the Windcall/Tokalon and Brandwyne type and needed a dog that had these characteristics. I chose Judie Evans CH Clarion’s Nightrider who came from that Tokalon/Brandwyne background. He had the outline and the expression I loved and I bred my half English bitch to him, and her littermate, ch Milas Natural High to his son.

From that breeding came CH Milas Formal Sneakers who sired 14 champions and became the foundation sire of Milas Collies. Later, with a combination of the Lakefield Collies of Alexander de Carvalho of Brazil. I was able to get a puppy back from the dogs that both Judie Evans and I had exported, CH Windhaven Stranger In Paradise ROM He was a combination of that Milas/ Lakefield/Windhaven breeding crossed with the Nightrider son, Brazilian CH. Clarion All Night Long, who was exported there in the 1970s

In Macho’s first litter came two BIS winning sons, International grandCH Milas Latin Fever, and grand CH Milas Latin Lover, and a daughter, CH. Milas Latin Dancer who went BOW at CCA, a multiple BOB winner, and her sister CH Milas Latin Diva. All these dogs went on to produce champions for us and are the background of what Milas is today. We are proud of the Champions that we have sold to Europe ,South America and Australia and the dogs that have taken top honors in recent years at our National Specialties.

I so appreciate the honor to be invited to judge this National and I hope and pray we will see each other in California and continue to admire our wonderful breed which brings so much joy to so many people.

4 to 6 Month Beginner Puppy Classes- Phyllis Autrey

Phyllis Autrey

I grew up with a love for my Aunt’s farm Collie and obtained my first Collie in late 1963. After joining the Mason-Dixon Collie Club in 1964, I joined the Collie Club of America in 1965 and attended my first CCA Specialty in Columbus, Ohio in 1966. Under the kennel prefix of Random Acres, I’ve enjoyed breeding, owning and showing this wonderful breed. Other Collie club memberships have included Collie Club of Western Pennsylvania, North Texas Collie Club and Piedmont Collie Club, the latter two of which I am currently a member and in which I’ve held offices. I am presently Corresponding Secretary for Piedmont Collie Club.
I served as CCA District Director of North Texas for many years, have served on the CCA Ethics and Trophy Committees as well as serving as Vendor Chairman at many CCA National Specialties. I currently serve on the Judges Education Committee.
I have been judging Collies since 1978. Assignments have included four times judging at the CCA National: Bitches in 1991, Dogs in 1999, Bitches in 2005 and Bitches in 2012. Other assignments have taken me all over the United States and Canada. I’ve been privileged to examine and judge many beautiful Collies over the years and I’ve enjoyed meeting some truly wonderful people.

Junior Showmanship – Maci Hass

I’m pleased and humbled to judge the 2021 CCA Junior Showmanship Competition. Thank you to the CCA Judges Committee for this prestigious honor. It’s a dream come true and I feel so blessed to give back to the sport that has taught me so much.

I started competing in dog sports when I was 10 years old. I received my first collie from collie mentor and friend Phyllis Bozarth of Chestry Collies. It was love at first sight and I’ve been in the breed ever since. Besides competing with my collies in Junior showmanship, I competed in obedience, rally, and agility and the breed ring. While competing with my collies in Juniors I was honored to receive several scholarships, including the Tuff Quest scholarship, and achieved numerous national rankings in collies and all-breed.cI was honored to win Best Junior Handler twice consecutively at the Collie Club of America Nationals in 2010 and 2011. Thank you Robette Johns and Joe Esch for those special wins, they are still some of my fondest memories.

Since aging out of Juniors in 2011 I have continued my journey in collies. I have raised several litters and experienced many of the ups and downs of breeding dogs. I have finished two bred-by champions, become active in my local collie club and attended seminars and workshops with the goal of learning all I can about this amazing breed. I love this breed inside and out. Each collie I have known is their own individual and I’m so privileged to share my life with them.

I’m looking forward to judging this year’s Junior Showmanship competition. When I look at Juniors, I don’t just see young handlers, I see the future collie breeders, owners, handlers and peers. I am honored to have a voice in their journey.


Herding

Obedience & Rally

Pat Maynard

Pat Maynard

I’m Pat Maynard and I have been judging obedience and rally since 1989.  And for those of you who think your breed is difficult to train. . . my original Utility Title was on a male Akita!

I really enjoy watching teams having fun doing the exercises in the obedience and rally rings.  The teamwork and special bond created is very rewarding to see.  I see small successes for every team; and it is great when all the training comes together for a qualifying score or even a placement!

I live in Longmont, Colorado, with my significant other (Jeff), a Golden Retriever and an Australian Terrier. I compete in conformation, obedience, rally, tracking, barn hunt, and agility.  I also enjoy yoga, hiking, travel, and Tai Chi.