Meet the 2016 Trial Committee...

Bridget Strang

Not really in charge of anything except the idea to bring the finals to Carbondale..... and a couple other things.

I was born and raised here on the Strang Ranch.  My father liked to call me “a Home Bred”.  At the time we were breeding a lot of Thoroughbred horses and Herford cattle.  We have refined it down a bit and now have a small herd of young warmblood horses, Herford and Lowline cattle, as well as a small flock of Suffolk, Cheviot and recently Katahdin sheep providing natural meat to the local restaurants and ski areas.     
I spent several years competing and working in the show and race horse industry on the East Coast.  I was lucky to have a homebred horse that took me to the international level in the sport of three-day eventing.  That led me to a wonderful opportunity at the United States Equestrian Team in Hamilton, Massachusetts, as the "rider in residence" for two years.
After my time at the USET and working as a barn manager and professional rider, I returned home to Colorado.  Now I manage the horse business at the ranch.  I teach riding lessons, train and show young horses, and host numerous Hunter Jumper shows and clinics throughout the year.
I came to sheepdog trialing through the influence of my cousin, Ellen Nieslanik, who managed The Meeker Classic for many years. My first dog Lucy was a tremendous help moving cattle in the brush, but she did not work anything like the dogs I watched at Meeker.  I got a puppy from Jim Swift and at 3 months Rose and I went to see about moving the sheep.   I said "look SHEEP!" and she ran out in a perfect pear shaped ourtun, brought the sheep to my feet, lay down and looked to me for further instruction.  I was hooked!!  
We hosted our first trial on the ranch in 2009.  We now host two a year, and they are growing in popularity. Rosie is my right hand, and continues to teach me about moving sheep.  I now have three open dogs that we started as puppies or bred ourselves and hope to have a home raised dog in the nursery as well. 


Terry Murray

Terry Murray grew up in Wisconsin and graduated from UW-Madison.  She and her husband Mike Lupow were stationed all over the country - from Cape Cod to Kodiak Island - during his 26-year Coast Guard career.  She got her first Border Collie in 2005, moved to Colorado in 2009, and now runs Flying M Lamb, a custom operation supplying all natural, pasture raised lamb on the Front Range.  This will be her third National Finals.

 Nancy Penley

I was born in Dallas Texas, moved to Colorado in 1973 and have been married to Kurt Penley for 32 years. We have two married children and two grandkids. I’ve been involved in one way or another with border collies since about 1991.   After raising my kids, I got more involved with putting on and working at dog trials in various capacities. I’m looking forward to doing more trialing in the near future, but am enjoying helping with this year’s National Finals .

Melissa Sumera 

In charge of the beautiful program and the info booth.

I was only recently exposed to trialing, in the last three or four years and as a suburban girl from outside Portland, Oregon, was pretty shocked and impressed by the whole thing. The dogs, already with their natural inclination and ability, the handlers with their wordless control, and the beautiful scenic pastures where you get to hang out and watch. Seemed like a pretty cool thing though I would not have been involved were it not for the generosity of the Strang family. In hosting the 2011 national finals, the Strangs selected Aspen Valley Land Trust to be the recipient of the trials proceeds. I’ve worked for the land trust for over 8 years and though I do a variety of duties, few of them get me out on the land. My background is as a professional photographer but now I do mostly event planning, accounting and graphic design. Every day my 15 year old wolf/husky/german shepherd mix Nelle and I head to work after a round at the Carbondale dog park and she snores loudly while the rest of us try to conserve land from future development. It is a great job that I can go home feeling really good about and I get to meet awesome people like Mike, Kit, Lathrop and Bridget Strang.