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
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.