White pants, broad jump, "all kiddies out of the pool".... less well-known about Blair Kelly is that he has been an agility judge since 2000 and has judged so far in 35 states. Blair breeds Norwich terriers and runs them in agility. He put the first MACH on a Norwich, and has earned the MACH title on two other Norwich. Blair is a strong advocate of health testing to produce healthier puppies. In his non-dog life, Blair is a retired mathematician who used to live in the Baltimore-Washington area, but now makes his home in rural North Carolina.
The family joke is that my husband married me to get my Shepard mix, Lady. We really were not looking to get another dog, but we were at a friend’s house and across the street were some cute Siberian Husky pups. We put a deposit down on one of these “Rare Red Siberians” and a few weeks later Natasha came home. We dubbed her Rotten Red, and told her that if she lived a year, she would live a long and healthy life. Soon after that we bought our second Siberian. Both of these dogs received their CDX title and introduced us to the world of sledding. In the late 70’s we moved to Illinois and bred our first “Lit”. Tonni was shown on a very limited basis, but received her CD and became my husband, Kep’s, first of many famous red lead dogs on our sled team. In the early 80’s we bought our foundation bitch, Ch. Oaklyf’s Bundle of Joy, CD, SD from Bob and Pat Lanaghan, and yes, she was black and white. Joy produced Ch. Lodgepole’s Rumpleteazer, CD, SD who when bred to Ch. Lodgepole’s Rough Ryder, and produced multi Best in Specialty winner Ch. Lodgepole’s Firecat, SD. Lodgepole is still known for its red dogs. In 2004 Ch. Lodgepole’s Broken Arrow ( a grandson of CH Stormwatch’s Montana, SDO and CH Lodgepole’s Firecat,SD) ran in the Iditarod and at that year’s National Specialty, won Best Sled Dog and retired the SHCA Traveling Sled Dog Trophy for co-owner’s Wayne and Chris Curtis, Stormwatch Siberians. Several Lodgepole dogs have run with Team Stormwatch in the Iditarod. I believe that seeing my dogs finish in Nome after a 1,100 mile race is some or my proudest moments. After 41 years, we have retired from active racing in the Midwest, but I still have dogs in Alaska running with Team Stormwatch. I am still showing my dogs in the ring, doing obedience, rally and agility. At last year’s National GCH Lodgepole’s Flintlock, BN, CD, RAE, NA, NAJ,CGCA, CGCU, received an Award of Merit.
I am honored to be judging the National Specialty Sweepstakes.
My life began on an idyllic 100 acre farm in Northwest Pennsylvania 24 miles south of Erie, PA. There with my twin sister, older brother and sister, my parents operated a dairy farm averaging 50 head of milking cows. During those years on the farm, I had been surrounded by a diversity of domestic animals to tend and care for as did each of my siblings as we had a prominent role in daily farm chores starting at 5 am each morning. I believe this is where my passion for dogs and my love for the canine spirit had its origin and has continued to this day. Flashbacking to these early days, my first experience in exhibiting an animal was not a dog but showcasing one of twin calves that my twin sister and I exhibited at a local 4-H Fair at the age of 9.
After leaving the farm environment, I pursued a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in elementary education with a minor in music. From there my life was filled with more continuing education obtaining a Masters of Science degree in teaching reading to at-risk children and securing a position as a Reading Specialist in the public school system. I continued with post graduate work taking classes at Edinboro University in NW PA and the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Co to enhance my teaching performance with children who needed additional help in reading skills. Ensuing studies had me sign on to become trained as a Reading Recovery Teacher in my school district through the Ohio State University Reading Recovery Initiative. During these years in education, I served on numerous education committees writing curriculum and presenting workshops/seminars to teachers and parents to share strategies to help their struggling students and children. While I loved my work as a public educator, my love for canines and particularly the Siberian breed had an ever growing passion. So I retired from education earlier than I had originally planned and pursued the desire to become more involved in the sport of dogs.
Subsequently, I became a member of the SHCA and the Siberian Husky Club of the Niagara Frontier. I am also an active member of the Erie Kennel Club, a local all-breed club in Erie, PA, where I serve as a member on the Board of Directors. I also serve as Show Chair for our two-day all-breed dog show, obedience & rally trials which are held annually the last weekend in January at the Bayfront Convention Center in Erie, PA. Even though I have owned Siberians for over 30 years, I had my first experience exhibiting my first show Siberian in June of 1997. Her name was “Busy”, Sierra’s Barkarian Busy Body, obtained from Barry Brunner of Barynuk Kennels. Needless to say, I became hooked and passionate about showing and breeding this beautiful, highly intelligent breed which has evolved into showcasing my own bred-by Busystar Siberians. I have bred Best in Specialty Show winners and Grand Champions and one of my greatest moments in the ring was showing “Banner”, BISS GCHB AM/CAN CH Busystar’s Enduring Promise, AOM, at Madison Square Garden in February 2012.
My past judging sweepstake assignments have been judging both the puppy and veteran sweepstakes at regional specialty clubs. But I have a most special place in my heart for the priceless veterans. I am so humbled and honored to be judging your precious veterans at the 2017 National Specialty. Thank you for this honor of allowing their presence to be in the ring with me. Every one of them in my eyes will be a glimpse of Heaven.