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Terra Norté - Where the wind is long, the water is scarce and the dogs are exceptional


Hold your herding event at Terra Norte!


Session Schedule & Description|Faculty Bios| Registration Form| Hotel & Nearby Attractions

Rancho Terra Norté is blessed with the number of herding professionals who give their time and expertise to our program. The faculty set to present at this year’s Summer Symposium are truly some of the most gifted instructors & judges in the county who have agreed to share their knowledge with our students.

Laura De La Cruz:  




 An international best-selling author of herding and dog training books and journals and host of the Leash Up Podcast,  Laura has been herding for 12 years and has trained, trialed and/or titled a variety of dogs.

She is both an AKC Herding Judge and an AHBA Herding Judge and approved to judge A, B and C courses in AKC (and has judged them all).
She owns (trained, trialed and titled) the first Herding Champions in the El Paso/Las Cruces area, the first Double-Herding Champions in the area, and the first dog to earn an AKC Herding Excellent title in the area.  Her dogs have earned AKC Excellent titles in all stock on A course, and ducks and sheep on B course.  Her Border Collie, Star, was the subject of an article in the BCSA "Borderlines" magazine in 2012.  Her older Border Collie, Joker, was featured in the Aug/Sept 2013 Veterans edition of the “Borderlines” when Joker earned his second HX at the age of 11 in 2013.

She also trains and competes in Obedience, Rally and Barn Hunt.  In addition, she is a CGC Evaluator for AKC.

Laura lives in Chaparral, NM, between Las Cruces and El Paso, TX where she owns and operates Take Pen Herding and is the founder of the Leash Up® dog training program.  Laura is owned by a Briard, 3 Border Collies, 5 Aussies, 1 Kelpie and 2 Livestock Guardian Dogs (an Anatolian Shepherd and a Karakachan).  She is currently working on her next herding and dog training books and journals.

Carol Lucero:

Anita Ramsey:

Linda Holloway:
Susan Sullivan:    


 Susan W. Sullivan started in dog sports in the early 1980's after showing hunters and jumpers on the "A" circuit in high school and college.  She first exhibited German Shepherd Dogs in breed and obedience successfully.  In 1988 she moved to Connecticut.  In 1989, she sold a puppy to Carol Weigand from Norwich, CT as a herding prospect. Bear became the first AKC herding trial champion German Shepherd Dog as well as the first dog of any breed to earn its championship by competing on C Course.

Susan  started taking lessons from Weigand and campaigned two male GSDs to their championships, HC Jazzman O'Firethorn and HC Indian Ledge Lex O'Firethorn.  In 1994, Susan met and trialed under Ulf Kintzel, a transplanted shepherd from Germany.  She also took some lessons from him at that time.  The  next year, Susan and a few other New England tenders went to Germany for the National Herding trial for German Shepherd Dogs and spent time with one of the most successful shepherds in competition history, Karl Fuller.  In 1997, Susan competed in the first German tending trial (HGH) in this country winning first and second place with Luther and Jazz as well as best dog handler earning scores in the high eighties.  Susan, a life-long learner, attributes much of her success to both Weigand and Kintzel.

She also learned a great deal about dog training and reading livestock from Bob Vest, who mentored her at her first German Shepherd Dog National herding trial and later encouraged her to teach and share her learning through clinics and seminars. From those first wonderful dogs, Susan has worked tirelessly to promote tending.  While she has been competes with German Shepherd Dogs exclusively, many of her students have many different tending breeds.  Therefore, she has experience with the unique working and training differences within and across breeds.  She has travelled extensively to compete, judge and to give clinics in the United States, Canada and Australia.  

Susan became an AKC judges for all three courses in 2001, but limits her judging to one or two weekends annually due to time constraints.  A sixth grade teacher for the past 12 years, Susan brings her education background into her lessons and clinics, helping students develop highly skilled tending dogs and learn to handle sheep.  As a result, her students have been successful at all levels of tending competitions with many different dogs.  She focuses on teaching tending skills to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of their dogs and improve the relationship they have with the dog, the sheep and themselves.

Kyle Fakhoury:

Kyle Fakhoury



Alice Baker-Meutin, DVM, CAC, CVA:

Alice Baker

Dr. Alice is a veterinarian who specializes in Chiropractic and Acupuncture/Chinese Medicine for performance dogs and horses.  She grew up on a small farm in Western North Carolina with her first Border Collie, Nellie.  Through her experiences growing up on a farm and working on a large sustainable farm during her college years at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, NC, she decided to become a veterinarian.  She received her veterinary degree from North Carolina State University in 2007 and has since been in a variety of veterinary practices from ruminant to equine to mixed animal rural practice and is now practicing alternative medicine.  She moved to Colorado in June of 2012 with her husband who is also a veterinarian and is doing his PhD at CSU.  She and her husband live east of Wellington with their horses, donkey, 4 cats, and a Border Collie and Border Collie/Australian Cattle Dog cross who have been teaching her to herd for the past year or two.  Dr. Alice loves to work with working animals and their people and has found that beyond her training as a veterinarian and through Chiropractic and Acupuncture, she has been able to help performance animals have longer careers as well as help them achieve their fullest potential.


Julie Degen



Julie Degen started herding in 1989 with her first German Shepherd. She has taught and competed in all three AKC courses from Washington State to Florida, California to Massachusetts, and many places in between. Julie is currently campaigning two German Shepherds for their Herding Championships on C Course and has competed and finished Herding Championships with her Border Collies off A & B Courses, both sheep and ducks. She and her husband currently reside on a small farm in Virginia with several German Shepherds, a couple of Border Collies, and a token Papillon who rules the farm. Besides herding, Julie competes in agility, tracking, conformation, obedience, and rally.

Samantha Lieurance:

Aloha, my name is Samantha Lieurance. I have been teaching yoga sense 2007. My classes focus on the breath, mind and body connection. In class I hope to help students find equanimity. Yoga comes from the word yoke. A yoke is a tool that connects animal to a plow or allows that animal to carry heavy loads. Just as yoga connects the mind, body and breath. When our breathing is labored due to stress created from the body or mind yoga can help us learn how to come back into a more relaxed breathe. In turn we find our center.

Practicing yoga one morning my new pup, Tenzing a black mouth cur, laid across my mat. Just as her predecessors have done (Buddy and Lady). Being a puppy I was still working on her basic obedience commands. I needed her to move so I started to tell her to go here and sit, then to go over to another corner of my mat and lay down. She did wonderfully! Later that day during our second obedience session she was nothing but obedient and I was not centered, but a little flustered as well as tired from my busy day. So I scrapped the session, rolled out my yoga mat and started working on letting go of stress through some pranayama (a yogic method of breathing that helps reduce stress). Tenzing followed suite laying in front of me and with a big sigh we let go of our day.

One of my passions in life is my dog. I am always looking for ways to deepen my relationship with Tenzing. We started herding and found that staying centered when my communication with my dog was off caused the sheep/goats to not respond to me in a manner I wanted. Remembering the story above I have used some yoga poses and breathing techniques to help with performance anxiety and staying calm in the ring. If you would like to learn some ways to find that connection between your breath, mind and body please join me at the summer symposium!

For more information on Sam Lieurance you can check out the her website: www.yaylifeyoga.com
Patty Schniedmiller:


Pat has always been firmly anchored in the dog show & performance world. In the 70’s Pat was active as a junior showman with her Labrador, Peaches while her mom Sandy started showing dogs in conformation. In 1988 Rottweilers entered the household. Pat & Sandy both caught the herding bug in 1996 and soon were taking lessons from Dave Witherspoon, trialing and learning how to set stock.

Since those early days, Pat and her dogs have competed successfully in a variety of herding venues including ASCA, AHBA, AKC, CKC and most recently USBCA (yes, with Rotts) on sheep, cattle and ducks. This success includes several High In Trial awards at both AKC and CKC events.

In addition to herding – Pat is a licensed Carting judge and competes in carting, rally, obedience and conformation events. Helping new people to work with their dogs is a special joy for Pat. We are pleased to have her teaching our Intro to the Bubble classes and Stock Handling Classes.   

Suzanne Yehle:

Suzanne has been knitting since she was 7, continuing a family tradition of fiber work. Spinning came later and is still an evolving skill. Suzanne is also RTN's resident quilter who has graciously shared her passion and skill in the beautiful applicaqued wall hangings, pillows and hotholders donated as High in Trial and Reserve High in Trial prizes.

Along with fiber work, Suzanne is also a successful herding trialer. With her Australian Shepherd Queej, Suzanne has competed and titled in AKC, ASCA and AHBA on sheep & ducks at advanced levels.

Julia Priest:

Julia has been training dogs for more than 40 years. Always a lover of German shepherd dogs, she acquired her first “real” dog— with “papers” in 1975 and recognized right away that training was essential, so started with basic obedience classes. She later discovered the challenges of Obedience competition, then IPO (Schutzhund,) Tracking, and then Herding. Julia trained, titled and competed with her dogs in National and International venues and began to appreciate the synchrony that makes up true partnership with a dog. Whether in the sport field, obedience ring, or backyard livestock management, real obedience is about communication and response and trust. Its nice to have perfect retrieves and flashy finishes, but that doesn't help if you need a solid “Stop!” Sit” or “Lie Down!” I have always believed you can have both.

Julia is a retired police K9 handler, and a professional trainer helping people with obedience and behavior problems for more than 20 years. A few of her dogs’ accomplishments include

* GSDCA’s Performance Award of Merit (“PAM”)
* PAM Lark SchH3 FH FH2 UDTX PT FCI IPOFH US World Team to Germany 2004
* PAM Nick SchH3 IPO3 WD3 UDT PT North American SchH2 Champion, Northwest Region USCA SchH3 Champion multi AKC HIT Obedience
* PAM Ira FH IPO3 CDX TD North American FHCh ADRK Regional FH Ch *PAM Finch TDX CD JHD PT RLF1 ( 1 leg so far!) and Zeffe von Sontausen HCT JHD PT
* Sonja SchH1 CD
* Police K9 Bolo Bh
* Betsie von der Yohaus SchH 3 FH UD
* Hannah von Sontausen SchH1

I am still a novice herder after only 6 years in the sport, but I do keep my own stock ( sheep and goats) and use my dogs every day to manage them.

Mary Jean Pope:

Mary Jean Pope (Estes Park, CO) was drawn to wool felting through meeting sheep owners while she learned to herd sheep with her Australian Shepherd, "Montana."  Since then, she can be spotted around sheep barns begging for sheared wool fleeces each spring and early summer. 

     Her first love, wool felted toys for dogs, inspired her business name, "Shepherds Play." She also makes wool felt shoulder bags & computer sleeves,  cat beds, brightly colored containers and wool lanterns. 

     Fascinated by the locking of fine wool fibers into fabric, she uses the natural wool colors for background and ornaments them with bits of dyed roving. 

     Join MJ Pope at the RTN July symposium to make a fun felt dog toy or breed specific wool lantern!

Val Manning:

Doug & Val with dogs


Val's interest in herding started when working as a Pet Food Specialist for Farmland Industries in the late 80's and early 90's. During this time, Farmland was the official Pet Food of The Meeker Classic, The National Western Stock Show and other trials in Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas. At that time - very few people were trialing with upright dogs, and fewer with German Shepherds. In 1995, Val finished her first conformation champion - CH Hickory Hill's Excalibur "Magic" and decided that the next goal would be to compete in herding. She and Magic started working with Jerry Rowe that June, and started trialing in October. Since that time, Terra Norte' GSD's have been both conformation champions and herding dogs. In 2004 with the help of Hildy Morgan, Jerry Rowe and others - Val started Rancho Terra Norte' and the Northern Colorado Herding Cooperative was established.

Working with beginning students and their dogs is highly rewarding. While most trainers can take a dog and trial successfully, it takes a Coach to teach the owner how to herd and build on the relationship between dog & handler. Diversity is what builds a better mousetrap - Val has been successful in helping GSD's, Aussies, BCs, Rotties, Giant Schnauzers, Briards, and Cattledogs and their owners herd proficiently and achieve success in the herding arena or field.