National Cattledog Finals Judge 2016

Sonia Craig, Champion, NE, and Larry Burch, Butler, MO

Sonia Craig

I grew up in Idaho on a family ranch We used stock dogs to move and work cattle. They were the usual crossbred dogs that worked well for the job at hand. In the mid 1990's I purchased my first Border Collie and so the journey began. I currently live in Nebraska with my husband. We run about 200 head of Dorper cross ewes and calve out around 150 to 200 head of cows a year. We also grow crops in the summer.

While my dogs are primarily trial dogs, I also expect them to be able to do a day's work. I have set sheep at many trials with them including the Sheepdog Finals and will do so again this year. I have also set cattle at two Cattledog Finals. I have judged both sheep and cattledog trials. I have also kept score, time, and points at cattledog trials, as the clerk/judge/timer, etc. I believe there is no greater enjoyment than watching or being beside a good working dog doing what they love to do.

Larry Burch

Larry has been involved in training, using and trialing border collies for 40 years. When he was young, watching his grandfather use a border collie to herd cattle, as well as helping train horses, cultivated his passion and feel for working with animals. After a family trip to California where his uncle used border collies to gather large herds of dairy cattle to A.I., Larry felt his farm could use one and purchased his first in 1975. Both sire and dam of Larry's first puppy were dogs that came from Arthur Allen, and then began his appreciation of pedigrees and the dogs' history.

Larry has used border collies on his cattle and sheep farm in Butler, Missouri for many years. While maintaining around 100 head of ewes and up to 250 head of commercial cattle over the years, he has learned that the border collie is the best help a man can buy. Here at the farm in Butler, Larry continued to breed and grow his blood lines to a high level containing several imported dogs and dogs that he raised and trained himself.

Over the years Larry has won top sheep and cattle dog titles several different times in three different associations. These along with competing in both cattle and sheep national finals are some of his proudest trialing accomplishments. Although he thoroughly enjoys trialing dogs, it is just as gratifying to Larry to watch and train his dogs through everyday use on the farm.

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