Page 19 - 2013 Le Mag 4th Qtr
P. 19
Remembrance by Barbara Lynch

Fall 2013 has seen the loss of two well-known and day due to ill health but happily noted that later in the
respected All-breed judges and one very popular professional month she had rallied to complete a later assignment in
handler; all were well-known in Briard circles. California.
Lawrence ‘Skip’ Stanbridge of Ontario Canada was For this writer, my personal experience with both
a frequent judge on both sides of the border. Skip’s breed, judges, who passed away about a week apart, was not in
Belgian Sheepdogs, started him off in the Working, (and later Briards so much, although I showed my Briards to both,
Herding) Groups. A few years later he added Schipperkes. but rather with my Norwich Terriers. I never was able
He often drew a fair size entry in Briards, and was respected to show a Briard that Ms. Billings seemed to like well
as a fair, knowledgeable and friendly judge, with a good enough to make Winners, although they placed well. I
sense of humor. He was active with the Canadian Kennel fared a bit better under Mr. Stanbridge with the Briards.
Club, known for working for judges’ education projects. However, both gave my top ranked Norwich Bests in
Show wins and at Westminster, Ms.
Billings pulled him 5 in the Terrier Group
which was very exciting. That same year,
Mr. Stanbridge came by our benching area
and wished us luck, all the while playing
with the Norwich in question. It was a nice
thing for him to do and we were very
appreciative for his support.

Judge Skip Stanbridge awarding a
Best in Show to Ch Chalk Hill’s
Rainbow Warrior owned and handled
by Barbe Lynch in 1991.

Fred Olson was a long time
professional dog handler who began with
German Shepherd Dogs. Freddie was
a very nice guy, always ready with a smile
and a great comeback remark. From the
1960s through the early 2000s, Fred was
Michele ‘Mike’ Billings of Florida was formerly a a common ixture in the Briard rings in the
Northeast. He showed for a number of
professional handler who led her charges to many notable Briard breeders and owners. His two most successful
wins. Her breeds were Beagles and German Shepherd Dogs. client Briards were probably Ch Pythias Chez Phydeau
Once she hung up her leads, she quickly climbed the ranks to owned by Cece Collins of Chateaubriard, and Ch Nestor
become an All-rounder. Ms. Billings judged the 2000 Briard de l’Eminence who belonged to the Shews of CT. Some
National. She had impecable taste in clothes, which led to other Briard clients Fred showed dogs for include the
many a would-be judges to shop for similar styles in their Blooms (L’Ourson), Lynn Bernard (Eastbay), Diane
own wardrobes. She was known as a kind but no-nonsense Reid (‘Fedora’), the Casci’s (‘The’odore’), Sharon Wise
judge and in the National assignment she was very much (Glendrover), Janis Charbonneau (Beardsanbrow),
so, having been very aware of a loud and unpleasant display Pamela Ambriscoe (‘Lincoln’), and he was my handler
of poor sportsmanship at a previous Briard National at the for a number of years as well, (Bigtree). At one point
same site, she made it very clear from the outset that certain I remember joking with Fred that he had shown 5-6
behaviors would not be tolerated. It was probably one of the generations of Briards, ticking off the dogs’ names on my
quietest ringsides at a National we have ever seen. ingers. He responded by telling stories about all of them,
Briard breeder-judge Alice Bixler stewarded for Ms. including my own.
Billings in Florida. Alice reported that Ms. Billings was
unable to fully complete her judging assignment on that

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