Abby (Finnshavn’s Abby LeHave CGN HT RA AGNS AGNJS) and Nelly (Finnshavn Ffiery Ffairie CGN RA HT AGN), owned by Don and Sandie Ellicott and trained and handled by Sandie were both awarded the Versatility Cardigan (VC) award in May 2011.
Abby was the first dog that Sandie had trained and first Cardigan in her life. Abby’s athleticism, work ethic, enthusiasm and plain attitude opened the door to dog performance sports and events, first agility, then herding and finally as a retirement project when she could no longer compete in agility and herding, she took on the rally obedience ring at the age of 10, bringing the same animated attitude that caused several judges to remark,”I just love your dog.”
Her performances are always memorable and some even spectacular, despite an inexperienced handler. She earned both her Agility Novice and Agility Novice Jumpers titles with High in class and overall high in trial at the 2007 Belgian Shepherd Specialty out of a large field.. She went on that same weekend to an AAC agility event where she won the money Snooker prize and the Judge’s Choice Award for the weekend, one of many over the years.
Nelly has received the benefit of better more experienced training and handling, Larger and more powerful than Abby she has struggled with leaving bars up in agility. However she too has had her share of success. She is masterful at distance work (like Gamblers in AAC). She recently had the fastest time in a field of 37 in a Steeplechase competition. A friend describes Nelly in agility as like “driving a Ferrari.” Nelly seems like a quiet girl but when the switch goes on to go to work she is all drive whether it is agility, herding or a game of fetch. She completed her Excellent Rally title recently, qualifying at every attempt from Novice to Excellent and with several High in Class awards. Nelly also has a great nose and would likely thrive on tracking.
But these girls’ versatility goes far beyond performance events and awards: they accompany Sandie to her work as therapist and are out front at reception at Don’s clinic. They are quiet companions when needed and energetic comrades on a swim, a hike or a walk at the beach or playing with the grandchildren. In short they are wonderful examples of the Cardigan breed.