Association History

By Francis Raley on Nov. 25, 2018 at 12:04 PM

My son, Berry a new director returned home from a planned TSDA board of directors meeting reporting that due to a disagreement all of the directors resigned leaving the Association in total limbo. This was 1980. 

Soon after that, a sheep dog trial was held at Clifton, Texas on a very hot Saturday which caused shutting down of the event as the sheep got too hot and sometimes lay down...

A membership  meeting had been planned in conjunction with the Clifton trial at which I was elected President and Francis  was elected secretary-treasurer. 
Inasmuch as my sales career was gaining momentum with the recent addition of New Mexico and Arizona along with all of Texas. I had accepted the job as salesman to the huge Texas poultry industry only-new duties however, included marketing to animal health distributors  and the swine industry.  About this time, my original company sold to a huge Belgium company who continued the commission program along with addition of a travel budget to increase salesmen’s chances of being”Kings of the Road” It worked!!!

From Clifton we headed to Phoenix (only about 1200 miles) so as to be ready for work on Monday.  Due to my recovering from a recent heart attack Francis travelled with me to assist with driving. On the way, I began writing the first membership newsletter to present events that had taken place and my vision for the future of the Association.  
Soon thereafter, new directors were in place.  Recall is not good enough to remember names, however, some were H. J. Cannon, Pope Roberson, Bob  Childress, Eddie Hale, Loy Miller, Jim Varnon, Jim Olson and Berry Raley. 

New by-laws were established along with trial rules all within a year or two. There were three classes, Ranch, Open Ranch and Open.  Each of these defined competitors and eligible dogs. In the beginning annual awards were very simple. Example- Dog of Year was awarded to dogs who had won the most trials in each class. I visited sheepdog trials and competitors in Great Britain to get beneficial ideas in the nation where sheep dog trials originated. At the end of trial season, 1981, the first annual championship trial was held on the HOT fairgrounds, Waco, Texas. A trailer load of our sheep supplied enough for the 10-15 total trial entries.  There may have been total of 20 members at that time.  I began to search for towns that would sponsor trials and the annual championship event including sheep and prizes.  From these events interest in sheep dog trials and new competitors gained momentum.

Having been formed in 1965 at San Saba, Texas Sheep Dog Association by a small group of Border Collie handlers whose interest may have been limited to a small area and  promoting use of working ranch dogs on ranches. 
To be continued!   E. B. Raley.