January 12, 2019

Sheepdog Finals Judging Nominees 2019

Sheep Finals Judge Nominations 2019

Last updated Jan 12, 2019


Bill Berhow

Bio Pending


Andrew Dickman

Andrew and his wife Frances have been married for almost 45 years , they live 25 miles south of Edinburgh in the beautiful Lauderdale Region of the Scottish Borders.

They have 2 children, seven grandchildren and a year old great granddaughter. Their son Craig has 4 children, aged 17 to 24, he is a Head Gamekeeper on a nearby estate owned by The Duke of Northumberland. Daughter Karen and husband Neil live on his family farm, 35 miles away, at the foot of the Cheviot Hills. They have 3 children (8-16) who all like to be involved with the running of their cattle and sheep operation.

Andrew has lived, all his life, within a radius of 5 miles from the farm where he was born. He was born into a family of shepherds. His late great uncle, Tom Watson, an Internationalist and renowned judge, encouraged Andrew from an early age. Andrew followed the tradition from the age of 15 until 20 years ago when he began procuring sheep and cattle for a local livestock auctioneering company. Andrew and Frances celebrated/commiserated him reaching retirement age in November 2018 by holidaying in Barbados. He has, from 1st January this year taken semi -retirement, continuing to work around 20 hours each week with his Company.

He and his dogs will continue to do two lambings from mid March to mid May. Before and after lambing time he will utilise the rest of the week training his dogs. To facilitate the training of his dogs, he keeps around 60 Suffolk-cross ewe lambs on a local farm, they will be sold on as gimmers and replacement lambs bought. Andrew loves training young dogs and has competed at the Scottish Nursery Finals many times. Some of his nursery dogs have been very successful in the USA for their new owners, Soldier Hollow Gold Medalist 2012- Jack Knox’s Jim being one. Andrew has represented Scotland at the International Sheepdog Trial on 4 occasions.

He has judged trials in Missouri and Kansas numerous times. He judged Meeker in 2012 and is judging there this year again. In 2016, before judging The American National Finals in Carbondale, he competed with his dog, Scott, at Soldier Hollow , this being one to tick off his bucket list. As well as judging trials in South Africa, Scotland (including the Scottish National) and North England, he was honoured to be one of the judges of the 2017 World Trial in Holland .

Andrew and his wife were both involved in the organising and running of the 2006 Centenary International, the 2011 and 2014 Scottish National and the 2012 Scottish Nursery Finals all held in the Scottish Borders. He is a past Director of the ISDS and is presently secretary of the Borders Nursery League.


Paddy Fanning

Paddy worked as sheep-farmer on the family farm where the family ran a flock of 2000 ewes. Paddy started training and trialling dog in 1997 but stopped again in 2000/01 as a result of Foot and Mouth disease breaking out in UK and restricting sheep movement and sheepdog trialling in Ireland for 2001. Paddy was qualified to run in the very first World Trial in 2002 but by such time he had stopped trialling dogs and changed careers away from farming altogether and so passed up the opportunity.

In 2015 Paddy decided to return to sheepdog training and trialling. While he has come back in more of a hobby capacity this time, and only running a small flock of 50 cheviot ewes and followers, he still grazes them for 7 months of the year on the open mountain along with helping his brother run his flock of 250 Blackie ewes, so this makes for tremendous working opportunity to train dogs out fully for trialling.

Paddy has run dogs in four Irish nationals, finishing 7th on one occasion and 3rd on another, qualifying him to run in the international both times for the Irish team. In 2018, Paddy and his dog Bruce also won the Irish Driving Championship. Paddy has not managed to qualify to run in the International Supreme Final yet but he assures me it won’t be long until he does! Paddy is eagerly awaiting another opportunity to run in his first World Trial. He says that he is primarily a trainer and enjoys very much watching for dogs’ potential and that, judging allows him the opportunity to study the working and the workmanship.

Paddy is currently a director of the ISDS and is on the ISDS List of Approved Judges. 
Paddy has judged European Continental Championship qualifiers in Poland and Denmark in 2017 and 2018. 
He has judged trials in the US in Oregon and Texas in 2018. The Texas State Finals included a double lift final. In 2018, Paddy also judged the North of Ireland Championship which was a double lift competition also. 
In 2019 Paddy is booked to judge the Zamora Trial in California and is on the shortlist pending approval as one of the judges for BlueGrass.

More information about Paddy Fanning can be found on his website – Churchmountsheepdogs.com


Russell McCord

I was raised on a quarter horse ranch one hour east of Dallas in Leonard, Texas, and grew up working and showing Cutting Horses. I later became a Cutting Horse Judge in 1985 and have been now for over 33 years. I was an NCHA Monitor/Instant Replay Supervisor for 27 years, and for the past 18 years have served as NCHA’s Director of Judges. My wife and I currently reside in Fort Worth, Texas and own a small ranch in south Texas.

Although I am currently employed by the National Cutting Horse Association, my passion has always been working Border Collies. I first developed my interest in Border Collies in 1980 while training and showing Cutting Horses. I used the Border Collies to help gather and turnback cattle, and discovered that I enjoyed working with them. I quickly realized and respected their intelligence and willingness to work.

My interest continued to accelerate and developed into owning and operating my own successful training and breeding facility – McCord Border Collies. This led to my first Sheepdog trial in 1988 in Fort Worth, Texas. However, in 2001, I was offered and accepted a full-time position with the National Cutting Horse Association (Fort Worth, Texas) as the Director of Judges. Due to the demanding schedule and travel requirements, my love for sheepdog trials and training was put on hold. Now, as my NCHA retirement date approaches in the summer of 2019, I am looking forward to returning full-time to my dogs and sheepdog trials. I am excited to see what the future holds.

With 33 years of “battled-tested” professional judging experience (both with cutting horses and sheepdogs), I believe the most important characteristics of a great judge are 1.) integrity, 2.) know and follow the rules and, 3.) show no favoritism. I believe a judge should judge each run for what they are worth – that day, at that time; NOT for what has been accomplished in the past. These are the standards that I have held NCHA judges to and I believe are the most important characteristics for any competition to be judged successfully. Each and every contestant should have the same opportunity to compete and win at any level. These qualifications have been tested and proven, as I have held myself and all the NCHA judges accountable for the past 27 years.

It would be my honor and privilege to be considered to judge the 2019 National Sheepdog Final and would be a wonderful way to “give back” to the sport I love. I assure you that if chosen, each handler would be given an equal opportunity to showcase their handling skills and their dog’s abilities.

Thank you for your consideration.