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MEET THE JUDGE: LES CANAVAN

I started in Collies in high school, after amassing enough money for my first collie, an older bitch with a dubious breeding record. I bred her to Ch Sterling Starmist, and have been in collies ever since.

I joined Verna Allen in the late '50s and became a part of Royal Rock. We have since bred some 40 Collie "Champions" -- some 6 English Setter "Champions" and an unknown number of Norwich Terrier "Champions," including the leading sire of all time in the breed.

Some of our outstanding collies were Ch. Royal Rock Gamblin' Man, Ch. Royal Rock Minstrel Boy, Ch. Royal Rock Brass Tacks, Ch. Royal Rock Bayberry Hi Flyer.

I spent 20 years as a professional handler, was a PHA member and as such had the opportunity to influence the breed, handling such outstanding collies as Ch. Noranda Daily Double and Ch Black Hawk of Kasan to both BIS all-breed and National Specialty wins to mention a few. I have since retired to get back to showing and handling our own dogs, who necessarily were on a "back burner" during my handling days.

I have been judging since 1986 and thoroughly enjoy the opportunity and privilege of seeing the best our breed has to offer.

Why did you become a judge?
I felt that after a career both breeding and handling collies that my opinion would be of value to other breeders and judging offers me the chance to see many of the beautiful collies around the country.

What is the measure of a successful judge?
A successful judge is one who can evaluate the dogs brought to her/him and appreciate their values while recognizing their fault, not being influenced by personal predjudices.

What dog have you seen that comes/came closest to embodying your vision of the Standard?
There have been quite a few dogs, who in the context of their time and space seemed to be the perfect collie, but as I and they progressed they are replaced. Comparisons fueled by memories are questionable at best.

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