Whose a good girl? ABC Rose is. A very good girl.
The three-year-old, red and white border collie bred and trained by partners Mandi Post and Jimmy Zollman of Wallowa just broke the sales record at the Red Bluff Bull and Gelding Sale in California, selling for a whopping $30,000 in the stock dog auction.
Red Bluff is the “granddaddy of them all” event, having been in operation as a premiere bull sale for 70 years. Making it into the sales book is a big deal, and entries compete against the top dogs in the nation.
Working stock dogs work three times on fresh cattle during the dog trials; once indoors and twice outdoors. Dogs are scored according to their confident contact with cattle, quick response to commands and swiftness in completing tasks.
Rose didn’t make vhampion –– she came in third –– but it seems as if she had other qualities that bidders decided were worth a bit more than the judges could calculate on their checklists.
The champion dog, BC Gurdy handled by Jeff Clausen of Melba, Idaho, broke the sales record, selling for $30,000. The Reserve Champion dog, Lonerideroakie handled by Sheri Jo Prose of Williams, Ore, brought in $6,000.
At that point, Mandi and Jimmy figured Rose would go for near that. The previous year Rose’s full brother, “Gus,” had taken reserve at the Red Bluff event and sold for $6,500.
“I was thinking, that’s pretty realistic,” said Post.
But they were in for a surprise. The bidding on Rose went quickly to $12,000 and then stalled there for a moment while a couple of bidders did a gut check and decided that they knew record-breaking good when they saw it.
Bidding surged again, and Rose matched the just-set record, bringing in $30,000.
She’s at Lazy T Ranch in Ten Sleep, Wyo., now and flies in a private plane to other properties owned by her people. Rose was selected not only for her amazing talent working cattle but because of her personality, Post said.
“They bought her as a personal dog and she hangs out with them and works when they go out, but doesn’t go out with the hired hands,” Post said. “When they fly to other locations, Rose flies with them.”
It hasn’t taken the Zollman/Post team long to rise to the top with their stock dogs. Since purchasing Rose’s parents, Lazy D Batman and Jun ADC approximately six years ago, the couple has sold working cattle dogs all over two nations: from Oklahoma, Texas, and Missouri as well as provinces in Canada.
“Facebook is a wonderful thing,” Post said.
She never ships her dogs by air, instead relying on a land transport service she has used many times.
Breeding a top working dog is like breeding a top performance horse in that working ability is what counts. Border Collies were registered based on performance alone for many years and the American Border Collie Association is no place for beauty queens with no real work experience. If a dog from an ABCA background wins an AKC (confirmation) championship, it is delisted by ABCA.
Post and Zollman breed working dogs, ABCA dogs. Post used Batman and Jun daily on ASM Ranch out of Lostine until both dogs were retired to stud.
“We’d never think of breeding them until we saw how they worked.” Post said.
There is plenty of work for young dogs to do on the ranch. Post has been employed on ASM Ranch with Art Brock since Art swapped her a heifer for pipe-moving labor 20 years ago. Post and Brock work an 840-acre operation that supports 120 mother cows.
Zollman, a farrier, is the primary trainer for the cattle dogs and takes the dogs to several well-regarded trials and auctions.
Post’s two children, Montana, 12, and Ryggin, 3, help out with the dog training as well by loving those puppies and socializing them.
Will next year at Red Bluff be the time and place when a Wallowa County dog takes Champion and breaks the record?
“You’re always looking for the next superstar,” Post admits. “We plan to take a new dog out of a different cross next year.”