Talking with Aled Owen
I know that I don’t need to remind you of the gravity of the situation we are facing at present with this virus. However, I think that as sheepdog enthusiasts, we are very lucky in that at least we can escape from the news into our own dog world for a while.
2001 Foot and Mouth Epidemic
So the other day when I got talking with Aled Owen,I asked him if he would tell me what it was like back in 2001 for him. That was the year that the UK and Ireland were also in a lock down type situation. The lock down that time was different in that, it was the animal movements that were controlled or stopped rather than the people. the reason for that lock-down was to control the spread of Foot & Mouth disease. For sheepdog trials it meant that, like now, all trials for the year were cancelled.
The Audio interview
Back in 1999, I remember being at the International and seeing Aled win Supreme Champion with Roy in Trawsgoed. In 2000 I saw him win the Supreme again in Armathwaite, but with Bob. (I was there this time myself, as a member of the Irish team!) Those were tremendous achievements and as we know he would go on later to add two more Supremes and two World Trials to the list. For me, I think the really interesting achievement was how he came back after the 2001 gap to win the very first World Trial in Bala in 2002.
So it was great to get talking with Aled Owen and find out what he did 2001. How did he retain his focus or did he set new goals to get through the year? I know that when I got out of the habit of trialing that I lost my focus and I left sheepdogs in 2001. I didn’t come back until 2015. (I don’t want that to happen with me this time.)
Accessing the best information
One thing that I love about our sport of sheepdog training and trialing is how easy it is to the very best people in our sport. I have spoken to Aled on a few occasions and I am always very appreciative of how open and generous he is with information regarding to dog training and handling. Here is a fellow who has won more International and World Trials than anyone else alive at the moment and yet he is willing to share what he can freely for our benefit. Thank you Aled!
Aled is talking in this youtube clip made in Away With Dogs about an interesting thing here, ‘the sweet spot’ and finding the point of balance regardless of the number of sheep.