Rigel earned his AHBA Herding Trial Championship by completing his 10th Advanced Level trial with an 80 percent or better score at the French-style Trial held in Pescadero, California, on September 22, 1996.
Rigel is a Belgian Shepherd Dog of the Tervuren variety. In the United States, the Tervuren, Groenendael and Malinois varieties are defined as separate breeds. Since Rigel's parents were both of the Groenendael variety (black longhair) known as "Belgian Sheepdogs" he is considered a Belgian Sheepdog by the American Kennel Club. This has caused some confusion as his color does not fit the "breed standard." It has not seemed to bother Rigel, however. He is also the AKC's First Belgian Sheepdog Herding Champion. He has won numerous High in Trial awards while competing in AHBA, ASCA and AKC herding events, and for the last two years has been the High in Trial herding winner at the Belgian Sheepdog National Breed Specialty on sheep and ducks.
Rigel has proved that beauty and brains can go together. In addition to his trialing career, Rigel is the first Belgian UKC Champion and has twice won Best in Show. He also has titles in obedience and agility and is an active Therapy Dog. More importantly than any title though, Rigel's drive and desire to work epitomizes the Belgian's natural instinct and ability to herd livestock. He is never happier than when in his own field helping to do chores. He is a valuable and wonderful companion and an excellent work partner.
Thank you everyone who helped and guided us along the way.
-- Alison Ruhe