Why “Brafferton” - the name “Brafferton” was the name over the gate of my Grandparents home. They came originally from Yorkshire, England, arriving in Melbourne, Australia in 1911.   On living in a few locations, they eventually settled in Mentone and the name Brafferton was errected over the top of the gate.   My mother was born in that home and my Grand-parents died there too.   Although their home was later sold, I decided to keep the name going so it would not be lost, as it is a part of my families personal history.

During our married life whilst our 4 sons were growing up we had German Shepherds as family companions, one of which my husband trialled to CDX level.  My involvement in the Collie breed commenced in January 2001 with the purchase of  two males, a Tri-colour, who my sons  named ‘Thunder’ – “Vimtar Thunder Lord” and a Sable they named ‘Lightning’ – “Vimtar Lightning Flash”.  (The breeder Mrs Rose Demanuele, kindly incorporated the names into the registered names for my sons).  This was to be the commencement of a wonderful Journey in finding things that the dogs would really enjoy.   We tried obedience, agility and had a look at herding but then we discovered Tracking. Also during this time, the breeder of our boys, convinced me to have a go at the show ring.   She suggested we start off with an open show with ‘Thunder’.  He won his very first show and hence that got me involved in showing and eventually I went on to become a member of the Collie Club of Victoria as well as doing a number of years on the committee.

I continued to Show, but was more involved in the Dog Sports Fields especially the Tracking, becoming a member of the Tracking Club of Victoria.  As we climbed higher in our achievements in the Tracking world, we purchased another Collie, a Sable bitch this time for my youngest son Glenn.   I helped him to train her, as well as assisting other Collie owners that wanted to do Tracking and this kept me out of the show ring for a while.   Glenn handled ‘Star’ – “Calstead Starryeyes”, in her earlier Tracking Titles, her Herding instinct Test as well as showing her for a bit.  I later took over ‘Star’s’ training and handling when my son joined the Navy.  ‘Thunder’, ‘Lightning’ and ‘Star all went onto achieve their Tracking Champion Titles, with ‘Thunder’ being the first Collie in Australia to achieve this followed by ‘Lightning’ and  ‘Star’ 3rd and she also became the first Collie Rough Bitch to achieve this Title.

As I hate to leave things unfinished, I made the decision to put ‘Thunder’ back into the show ring in December 2009, at which point he had 46 points.   He needed 100 for his Australian Champion Title. He achieved this in just 4 weeks of showing, gaining his Title in January 2010 at the age of 9 years 3 months.  As he was already a Tracking Champion this made him the first Dual Champion (Tracking) Collie Rough in Australia.   I then returned to Herding and am still a member of the Victorian Herding Association of Victoria.  All three Collies did their Instinct Test and their Herding Test. Track and Search came into being in 2011 so these 3 started training again and all 3 became the first 3 Collie Roughs in Australia to gain their TSDX - Track and Search Dog Excellent Collies. That was the then highest achievement in that field.

After 10 years of researching Collies Rough and Smooth, past and present, training the breed and then being actively involved in the Collie Club of Victoria, I decided to take the next step and Breed a litter which became the fulfilment of a very long awaited dream.  

I was kindly leased a Blue Smooth Bitch by Janice Cook of Foxbell Collies.  As the Health and Temperament of the breed are extremely important to me also,  ‘Minnie’ - “Ch Foxbell Miss Finland” ticked all the boxes and thus became our Foundation Bitch and the Sire was ‘Thunder’. On the 17th March 2011 this mating  produced 8 healthy pups being 3 Smooth and 5 Roughs. Ironically this was 100 years after my Grandparents came to Australia and was so fitting under the Brafferton prefix.  7 of this litter have gone on and achieved in various fields being Tracking, Track and Search, Nose Scent Work, Herding, Obedience, Rally and/or Show Ring.  3 of the girls have since had a litter then were neutered. The off spring from these 3 litters are currently out there performing and/or showing. Some of the offspring have had litters also and some of these too are out there performing and/orshowing, as well as being in loving homes.  I am still actively involved in Dog Sports as well as currently out Showing.

During our Journery with this wonderful versatile breed we have made many friendships and seen many people achieve goals of their own with some of the Braffertons and no doubt will still meet many more.  I thank all the people for the loving family homes they have given our Brafferton pups along the way, be they performance, show or just wonderful loving companion family homes.


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