Directors on call:        Dale Kuhrt, Amy Coapman, Jim Swift, Gary Westbrook, Dal Kratzer, Steve Clendenin, Barb Ross, Kent Kuykendall, Vergil Holland, Dan Gill, Beverly
Lambert, Sandra Milberg, Stormy Winters, Scott Glen, Donald McCaig

Directors not on call:  Susan Carpenter, Red Oliver, Barry Moyer, Joyce Geier, Jeanne Weaver, Suzy McCallister, Kate Broadbent, Werner Reitboeck

Officers on call:         Mike Canaday, Dal Gill and Francis Raley

Guest on call:            Jo Woodbury, Chairperson of Local Committee.

 1.                    Mike Canaday called the meeting to order at 8:05. Mike called for a motion to accept the minutes. Amy said there was a problem with the number of dogs’ running back on the last day of the finals. Francis said it was a typo and she had fixed it. Stormy Winters moved to adopt the minutes seconded by Gary Westbrook. Passed unanimously.

2.                   Mike read the treasurer’s report. Currently there is  $8,148.37 in the checking account, the savings account has $33,349.95 and the livestock fund has  $3,071.2.0 for a total of $44,569.52.

3.                   The first item of old business was the finals judges. Mike said that by this time we all knew that there had been a misunderstanding when we voted on what day the judges was to judge.  We were concerned that Kent Kuykendall was doing a lot of judging and it turned out another judge had as much to do as Kent.  Everyone was aware of the email suggesting we hire a 4th judge and the response to the email was enough to hire the judge.  Francis reported that she had spoken to Alvin Kopp, the next highest vote getter on the judge’s ballot, and he was available.  Beverly Lambert moved to hire Alvin for the 4th judge. Stormy seconded. Passed unanimously. Beverly moved that Angie Coker and Alvin Kopp judge the nursery both rounds, Kent Kuykendall and Bobby Henderson judge for 150 preliminary open runs. Then Alvin and Angie judge for the 45 semi-finals runs then all four judges for the 20 double lift runs. Stormy seconded. Passed unanimously.

4.                   Mike moved on to the little hats website. Mike reported that the HA site gets quite a few hits and currently the only sites linked to the HA site are our sponsors and Rural Route Videos. Mike said that the reason we might not want to link the Little Hats site to our site is that we would then have no control over what they were subsequently linked to.  Mike said it is very important that we be very careful what we link to.  Mike said we automatically allow people to link their web sites to the HA. What we don't do is give people links off our website and that is what the organizer of the Little Hats site has asked for.  Kent agreed that once we open that door it would be difficult to decide where to shut it off. Donald McCaig reported that the site was well put together and intelligently done.  Donald said that allowing it this link makes it very important and he wasn't sure that it was although it was an excellent site.  Donald questioned if it was as big a deal as our sponsors.  He was in favor of the site but unsure if we should be actively promoting it.  Amy said she had seen the site as well and agreed with Donald about its quality but felt if we allow them a free link where do we stop?  Amy would not be in favor of allowing them a free link. Beverly suggested we might have a section of the site that allows links to related herding sites and information.  Barb wondered if we would be fair to our sponsors if we allowed the “Littlehats” link.  Mike said that this would result in our losing control of our site.  Mike suggested that while we might want to come up with a policy we should table this for now. Dan Gill moved that we table this until we have criteria in order to control the HA site. Kent seconded.  Passed unanimously.

5.                   Mike gave the floor to Jo Woodbury to tell us about the Sturgis finals.  Jo offered to expand upon the report she had sent if any one had questions.  Jo said she still wasn't happy with the web page but that there wasn't much she could do about it.  Jo reported that there is a second practice field.  Dan and Berget Perkins, #605-456-1736 will have about 40 head of sheep 350 yard outrun and be 20 miles from the trial site. Donald asked when practice fields would be available. The closer field will be open on Tuesday the 9th of September. The new field Jo didn't know. The closer one will be available all through the finals. Francis asked Jo to send her the new information.  Dale Court asked if an announcer had been selected.  Jo deferred to Mike who reported that Gene Litton had taken care of it and Mike thought it was the man who did the Rapid City stock show. Mike said the concern about the announcer had to do with our being on television with OLN, which is being worked on very hard. If the finals is on OLN the voice of the announcer will be in the background of all the video and so Mike said they had thought that they should get the most professional announcer possible.  Jim Swift asked if Paul Minor was still involved.  Jo said he was no longer with the chamber but he is still very actively involved in the committee and is the main contact person for the community and the chamber.  Gary asked Jo to elaborate on the handler access to the field.  Jo reported that the city property had no street access. The BLM property is where the trial will be. The BLM has built a road to the city property but it cuts through part of the trial field so when the trial is on you can't use it.  The Fort Meade access will be clearly marked and is a bit longer but it will be posted and people will need to come and go that way during the trial.  The Fort Meade entrance is before the BLM entrance.  Steve Clendenin said he had one concern and it was about the last handler exhausting the sheep for the next handler.  Beverly said the way it was done in TN went well. Beverly said she organized the volunteers to do the exhausting in TN and offered to organize it in Sturgis if Jo would like.  Jo asked if Mike would be there to set up.  Mike said he would try to be.

6.                   Mike thanked Jo for being on call and answering questions from the Directors.  Jo disconnected from call.

7.                    Mike reported that Dan had been working on the finals.  Dan said the Standing Stone Cutlery knives were done. The knives were numbered 1-20 with the first place dog-getting number 1 and so on down.  The buckles will be done August 20 and ready to ship.  Montana Silversmith will do them.  We have asked Tractor Supply to pay for them.  If not we have another wholesaler who will work with us on the cost. Dan said that there has been a lot of good work with OLN.  He couldn't say yet that it would work but we are closer then we have ever been.  The program director is putting together a package.  They have looked over the TN tapes and working out what they want to do.  They are trying to see what they can drop on their roster so their film crew can come to Sturgis.  Colorado Natural produces products for dogs. Larry Jones working with Tractor Supply has arranged for the Colorado Natural people to give $10,000 to HA through Tractor Supply.  With TSC and Colorado Natural we have $15,000 it may be $20,000 if OLN comes through. If OLN comes through then TSC will be asking all of their product people to come through with additional money.  Mike said we needed to give Dan Gill and Larry Jones a lot of credit for putting this whole deal together especially with Colorado Natural.

8.                   Francis said some people want to have the names of the people entered in the National Finals available on web site. She said that after the first of August she would put the cut off on breaking news.  She wants to put the points up and not the name of the dogs or people to avoid confusion.

9.                   Kent said that he and Beverly had been talking about how only posting the total score and not the breakdowns helps to keep things fairer and improves the atmosphere of the trial.  Francis reported that the information is all ready to go and is made available as soon as the last dog runs.  Donald said he thought that Beverly was exactly right that we have all seen handlers using the scores to determine how to handle their dogs.  Dan moved that only total scores to post after each runs and total breakdown posted after the final run, seconded by Donald.  Stormy said that the scores should still be announced.  Barb Ross said that she has been working on a new score posting board and it will be left up until the next dog runs. Passed unanimously.

                                                                            New Business

10.                Sanctioning of the regional finals--Gary Westbrook reported that he was asked by the Midwest Regional to see if he could get their regional sanctioned.  Gary suggested that if the regional will compromise a little and we could compromise a little and come up with something fair.  As a compromise Gary suggested that if the regional rules were that a dog had to compete in a HA sanctioned trial and place in the top 20% to qualify for the regional and that any dog no matter where they resided could enter the regional then that might be something we could sanction.  The handler would have to go to that district to qualify a dog for that regional. Gary said he thought it would help promote regional trials because it would encourage more people to attend.  Amy said that she didn't think we needed to change our regional rules.  Scott Glen asked if the next thing wouldn't be giving points for the Finals?  Amy asked what compromise we would have to make?  Gary said it would be very little compromise for the HA.  Dal Kratzer said it would be sanctioning a trial that was limited to who could enter by the people who had qualified for it in a certain district.  Steve and Beverly said that they thought that most regions would not be interested in this, as they want their regional trial for their region.  Sandra said she felt the regional trials should be for residents of that region.  Considerable more discussion followed.  Beverly said she thought it might be time to call the question.  Mike asked for a motion to table. Barb Ross so moved and Dale Kuhrt seconded that it be tabled.  Passed unanimously.

11.               Gary reported that we brought up at the last ABCA meeting if we eye tested dogs at the Cattle Finals. He said that he thought it was time to start testing if we could get the same vet to do both sheep and cattle dogs.  As these finals get more important more and more people are going to be breeding to the winners.  Mike asked how the genetic mapping was going.  Donald said that the last he had heard was that he was going to publish this fall.  Amy said that she was on the committee and that there has been a question about the whole concept of the "go normals" and the assumptions they had made about them.  Amy said the research was well along but they need to get through this go normal thing and Amy would try and get a report from the doctor at the clinic at the Finals.  Gary said there was some discussion about the ABCA paying for it at the first finals’ eye testing.  Gary moved and Donald seconded that we require that the dogs be eye tested at the next Cattle Finals and that the ABCA be asked to pay for it.  Donald said we should be careful with this and do some explaining and make sure that while we, the sheep handlers, are 8 or 10 years down this road with the eye testing we need to do some serious educating on this with the cattle people.  Passed unanimously.

12.               Cattle Dog Committee Report--Dan Gill.  Dan reported that the 2004 National Cattle Dog Finals will be in Green Forest, Arkansas. Green Forest is in the heart of the Ozarks about 30 miles south of Branson, Missouri the high spot of the US and 18 miles from Eureka Springs, a major resort area. Mr. Kirk Powell will host the trial.  It has been very widely advertised and a lot of people have come on board.  They will be using all local cattle.  The dates tentatively are the last week in March.  This was the preferred date for the local people. The trial field is about 300 yards square.  Hopefully Tractor Supply will be a major player here also since this is very near one of their major distributors. The event organizers have been putting on cattle trials in this area for over 15 years and know how to do it and are real easy to work with.  Amy asked how much money we were talking about.  Mike said it would be about the same as the other finals.  The initial bid was $12,600 but there have been some adjustments.  He asked if there was a decision yet on the judging of the outrun and lift?  Mike said that there is a committee working on this now but they aren't ready yet to make their recommendation.  There are people on the Committee from the time and points people and from the judged outrun people so we will get everyone's input on this.  We also surveyed everyone who qualified for the last two finals.  Of the 150 surveyed 60 responded and 11 more people wanted the judging then wanted time/points.  Mike said he didn't expect a report from the committee until they have had a few more chances to meet.  This committee is starting from scratch, as there isn't any where like Scotland where they can look for guidance on cattle trials.  They need to think outside the box and come up with new ideas.  Sandra Milberg asked if we would have any input on if it were a judged outrun.  Mike said that we will vote on the committee recommendation; need to wait until the committee report is available.

13.               It was bought to the attention of the Directors that the Cattledog Committee really needs to understand we will have to start working cattle in a workmanlike manner. There are organizations in the US that could cause the Handler’s Association some problems.  Agreed that a competent judge should call off handlers who are not handling cattle/sheep properly.  Considerable discussion followed as to whether this problem was a result of not requiring judging of the outruns and lifts.  Beverly said at HA sanctioned trials there should be someone responsible for getting handler/dogs off the field that are abusing cattle/sheep.  Sandra and Mike agreed.  Mike said if the trial is judged or point/time trials there needs to be someone in charge to protect the animals.  Sandra felt that in order to be a sanctioned HA trial we should require a course director.  Beverly said the HA needs to be more action with the Associations/hosts to make it clear that they will not be allowed to abuse the livestock, weather it be a judge or time/point trial.  Kent said the issue is how do we stop the abuse, not about the judging.  Mike said we already have a system in place to deal with abuse.  If people have seen this kind of abuse and have not reported it then there isn't anything we can do about it.   Mike said that if anyone sees this again they needs to report it and let the HA deal with it.  Mike said that most of the time we can deal with the complaint without making a big deal out of it.  Amy asked how we could make this easier.  Usually a call from the president can deal with the problem without taking it any further.  Mike explained that the HA does not want to get anyone in trouble; they just want the abuse stopped.  Amy suggested maybe not using unbroken cattle at a trial; cattle that are accustomed to being worked by dogs make for a better trial.  Could address in a publication or web site   Mike disagreed that only dog broke cattle should be used and a discussion followed.  Getting back on the subject of abuse, Barb said we need to get out in front with this more, back it up more fully, put the rules out to the public and make it clear that we will not stand for this kind of abuse.  Beverly suggested that someone from the cattle committee talking to the trial organizers could handle it informally.  Mike said perhaps a statement to sanctioned trial host/associations on animal abuse would help.  Mike explained that we need to work with all the cattle/sheep handlers on this matter.  Kent said that local handlers could also help solve the problem, by explaining to competitors that abuse is unacceptable.  Amy asked how to handle the problem of dogs that continues to abuse stock in sanctioned trials.  Mike said anyone might refuse an entry to their trial if they know the dog has been abusive at other trials.  Should the competitor and trial host not come to an agreement, then the handler may go to their Director or HA.  With a valid reason a trial host may deny an entry, then it is up to the HA to sort out the problem. 

14.               Amy moved to accept the Arkansas bid for the 2004 National Cattledog Finals, Dan seconded.  Passed unanimously. 

15.               Dan moved the date of March 25-28, 2004 for the 2004 National Cattledog Finals, Gary seconded.  Passed unanimously.

16.               Mike reported that there were no director nominations for district 9 and district 5.  He said ballots would go out to those districts for write in votes.

17.              Francis said the mailing would go out by Aug. 1st.  Dal asked about entries for the Finals.  Francis reported they weren't coning in as fast as usual.  She reported that currently we have 146 entries in open and 74 in nursery.

18.               Jim Swift ask if maybe it wasn’t time to raise the qualifying fee for cattle trial to $2.00.  Mike said he did not think it was time yet. 

19.                Beverly moved to adjourn.

20.                Meeting was adjourned at 10:05.

 Francis Raley, July 29, 2003