1997 ASSA Award of Merit
A year following completion of an apprenticeship with Guy & Thelma Mauldin (Kismet Shelties), and a few months after developing a relationship with Tom & Nioma Coen (Macdega Shelties) at the 1997 CCA National in Reno, Nevada, Matt traveled to Chicago, Illinois for the 1997 ASSA National Specialty. Fortunately, a suit was packed and Matt found himself in the ring with a beautiful sable bitch, Ch. Brownlee Carosel. As Nioma piloted the legendary Ch. Cindahope Golden Girl to 1997 ASSA Best of Breed from the Veteran Class, and surrounded by notable specials like Ch. Homewood Hurricane and Ch. Suncrest Senora, this bitch took an Award of Merit under respected judge Linda More. It was an exciting moment for Matt in the ring filled with quality & history.