Surprisingly, although I did not know who Alasdair was until 2004, Bear and Max were both his kind.
Max was bred by Dr. David Grinstead. He is by Vergil Holland’s old Scot (Alasdair’s Jim x Herbert Holmes Jan), a dog that Vergil purchased from Alasdair. Alasdair was 8th with Scot at the Nursery Final in 2002.
Max’s great grandfather on the top is Macgregor’s Mirk, a litter brother to Alasdair’s Nan; thus back to Alasdair’s Auld Mirk.
Max’s great grandfather on the dam’s side is Alasdair’s Elwy Glen. Alasdair won 6 open trials with Glen his first year out in Scotland and was 4th at the International the year he won with Nan.
Serendipitous circumstance lead to Vergil Holland purchasing Max when he was 16 months old. I was at Vergil’s farm the day after Max arrived and although he had yet to work sheep, he struck me as special. Two days after Vergil purchased him I took Max home and began a remarkable partnership.
Max trained quickly and in 2004 I moved him to open. I qualified for the nursery and open National that year and every year following. He was a tremendous partner winning numerous open trials and double lifts. Although I was very inexperienced, Max allowed us to be competitive. Max was in the top 3 in the final of every major trial he competed, including the US National, Bluegrass Classic, WWSDA Labor Day trial and Free to Be Classic. It is a testament to his ability, given my inexperience and he was up against Alasdair with Star and Nap on almost every occasion.
Max was exceptional at turning back and shedding with outstanding stamina and athleticism. Perhaps most admirably he had tremendous heart and has always punched above his weight. He was still winning trials at 12years old and although we lost Max to cancer in December 2013, he lives everyday in our heart. Alasdair often told me how fortunate I was to have Bear and Max. He also correctly predicted they would be the standard for which I would measure all other dogs.