Bob Childress

By Linda Spindor on May. 24, 2021 at 01:37 PM

Bob Childress was the very first TSDA Open Champion! 

What you may not know is that he was also a founder of the USBCHA, which is the sanctioning body for sheep and cattledog trials trials throughout the United States and Canada. Mr. Childress was also a charter Director of the ABCA, founded in 1983, and a TSDA Director in 1980.  I spoke with him from his home in Ozona yesterday and he graciously shared some information about himself and his dogs.

Mr. Childress traveled around Great Britain in the early 1980’s to compete in trials as the first American to do so.  At that time, he had two great dogs, Nan and Lyn.
Nan was a dog he purchased from Pope Roberson in Elgin. She won 27 open trials.  Lyn was a dog he imported from Northern England when she was one and he trained her himself.  She also had a great trial career winning 26 open trials and placing second in another 25. 
Later, his dog, Fly, whom he described as being “very mechanical” won the National Championship in 1984.

Speaking of which, the very first USBCHA National Championship was actually a timed trial and was held in Dallas, Texas.  E.B. and Francis Raley were the judges and according to Francis, it rained all day!  Jack Knox was the winner.  After a couple of years, it was determined that the members did not like the timed trials so the championship became a traditional judged field trial.  Peter Hetherington was brought over from Scotland to judge it.

Back in Texas, Francis Raley recalled traveling to Childress’ Seven U Ranch for many trials.  Apparently, a small tree had been planted on what was the fetch line.  A small brick ledge surrounded the tree to help hold in the water.  They were trialing on Angora goats and during E.B.’s run, one of the goats climbed up on the ledge circling the tree and refusing to continue on the fetch!  Good times!

When asked if he had any words of wisdom or advice to share, Mr. Childress replied, “Practice makes perfect”!  He also added that “while you may think you know it all, you don’t” and advised finding someone to help you.

Many thanks to Bob Childress for being such a great ambassador for TSDA and the border collie!

If anyone has any stories or memories to share about the early days of the Finals, we’d love to hear them.