Return to NC ES Gathering

2014 Gathering

North Carolina English Shepherd Gathering (held October 2014)

Picture link:  NC ES GATHERING PHOTOS

Maple Grove Farm has hosted the NC ES Gathering for the last 9 years.  For the last five years, the event has spanned 3 days and held traditionally on Columbus Day weekend.  We began this year on Friday, October 10th, with a English Shepherd Herding Dog Clinic.

Friday’s herding clinic was instructed by: Mary Peaslee from Oregon, Marianne Dwight from Massachusetts, and myself, Kay Keziah. We had a wonderful turn out on Friday, the largest to date!   There were 28 runs and many dogs had never seen sheep before.  We had young dogs about 6 months old up and I believe Ellie was the oldest at 12 years young!  All the dogs performed well.

We had a great time and by the end of the day were very tired…dogs, handlers and instructors! I want to thank all the participants and their good dogs! I also want to thank Mary Peaslee, Marianne Dwight, my husband Les, Merijeanne and Andy Hollingsworth, Jan Masters and Tosha Hunt for all their help and hard work on Friday.

Friday evening we had dinner at a local Mexican Restaurant, now a tradition. Lots of fun ’round the table discussing the day’s work and how to improve next year’s herding clinic!  Saturday morning came early and as usual we had good help!  The day was warm with lots of sun.  There were 98 people and 68 dogs in attendance!

We were treated to Vivian Flynt’s talk on the History of the English Shepherd Breed. What an amazing history lesson!  If you ever have the opportunity to hear Vivian speak, do not miss it!
Les cooked his now famous Barbecued Chicken for lunch (secret recipe).  We had so many side dishes and my favorite…desserts!  English Shepherd people can cook!  The tables were full!

Following lunch, we held our annual Raffle and Live Auction. In years past, the money raised was donated to NESR (National English Shepherd Rescue).  This year our proceeds benefited Laree Shulman, who is awaiting a heart transplant due to a virus that attacked her heart muscle back in the summer.  We are so thankful to the English Shepherd Community for their support of Laree.

Amount Raised at the NC ES Gathering:
Raffle proceeds ……………………………………………………………………………..$      693.00
Live Auction proceeds …………………………………………………………………….$   1,955.00
Herding Clinic proceeds ………………………………………………………………….$      625.00
Total Presented to Laree Shulman from the NC ES Gathering………$   3,273.00 *

*  [PLEASE NOTE: This amount does not include proceeds donated by the Northeast Gathering, the 2015 NC ES Gathering Calendar sales, Cloud Rise donations nor the T-shirt and Sweatshirt Campaigns.  That information will be available once the calendars are all sold and we close out the fundraising held outside of the NC ES Gathering.]

Expenses for the NC ES Gathering:
Chicken…………………………………………………………………………………………………$    327.00
Charcoal, tinfoil, paper products, oil, vinegar, spices for chicken marinade……$    186.74
Liability Insurance…………………………………………………………………………………..$    677.28  **
Total NC ES Gathering Costs…………………………………………………………………..$ 1,191.02

 **  [Liability Insurance was a huge expense this year.  In years past, the ESC Board has approved the 3-day NC ES Gathering (and other ES events) to use ESC insurance by purchasing a $50 insurance rider.  Three days before our Gathering this year, the ESC Board denied coverage for our 3-day event advertised for months on their website, opting to allow coverage for Saturday only.  We then purchased our own insurance to cover the event, thus the increase from the normal $50 to $677.28.]

There were so many beautiful items donated for the Raffle and Live Auction!  Here is a partial list of donations and donors:

  • 2 Beautiful Handmade Quits with carrying bags by Sylvia Snell
  • Beautiful handmade wooden bird house and bowl by the Browns (in Canada)
  • Beautiful handmade Paracord  Dog Collars and Leash by Savannah Curtis
  • Portrait of your dog donated by Marianne Magin
  • Portrait of your dog donated by Barbara Brice
  • 2-night stay in a beautiful Mountain Cabin donated by Wes Correll
  • T-shirts and Dog stickers donated by Gail Hafley and Chris Merrill
  • 2 Beautiful Quilted Table Runners donated by Andy and Merijeanne Hollingsworth
  • Hand knit Mittens donated by Chris Turcotte
  • ESC Necklace/Earrings donated by Sylvia Snell
  • Alpaca Vest and Sweater donated by Sue Hammer and Judy Howe
  • Tea lights Center Piece Vivian Flynt and Bill Woods
  • Handmade Dog Bowl donated by Karen Albrecht
  • Cards by Martha Cristy-Couch

We had DVDs, Books of all kinds, 1953 Farm Journal, Soap, handspun wool, Dog treats, Dog toys, Frisbees, horse and sheep socks, wool socks, treat bag, large basket packed with all sorts of wonders, and many more items!

Many thanks to EVERYONE for their donations and their participation in purchase of tickets and in the live auction bidding!  WOW!  You all ROCK!

After the Auction we had the Oak Tree Boys playing Blue Grass music in the Maple Grove and it added a special feeling to the day!  Old-time dogs (English Shepherds) down on the farm, country living and food, good friends (old and new), sheep and bells in the distance, laughter, and good old-time music. Could it get any better than this?  What an awesome afternoon!

We ended our 3-day event on Sunday with a Round Table Discussion attended by about 30 people. Some were breeders, some owners, some looking at the English Shepherd breed for a future therapy dog. We had lots of interesting discussion on many topics including breeding, health and genetics of the breed, living with the breed and sharing of concerns for the future of the breed.

Without volunteers and help from all sorts of people doing all kinds of things, the NC ES Gathering would not happen!  It is a TEAM EFFORT!  Many thanks to the following for their help (if I’ve missed someone, I apologize):

Maria Dwight                                                  Jan Masters
Vivian Flynt                                                     The Oak Tree Boys
Merijeanne and Andy Hollingsworth               Regan Parrish
Ashlyn Hunt                                                    Mary Peaslee
Tosha Hunt                                                     Peggy Rogers
Les Keziah                                                     Sylvia Snell

It takes a Village! To everyone who helped, thank you,
Kay Keziah