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Sergio Velez

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My Story

I was born in Lisbon and raised in a little town called Sintra in Portugal.  Being a country that is heavily rooted in bird dog and equine culture, it became a passion of mine at a very early age.  It all started as early as I can remember, hunting and training bird and rabbit dogs (shorthairs and pointers) with my father and grandfather.  At five years of age while visiting family members at an equestrian facility in Lisbon, a barn hand sat me on a horse and I was in love.  I quickly began to build a naturally strong connection and understanding with the animals. 


In Portugal horses were an integral element of the history of the country dating back as early as the 12th century.  I became immersed in that culture with a thirst to learn and master the art of riding.  I spent most of my time outside of school either chasing birds with our bird dogs or going from barn to barn to be around the horses.  Once I finished high school I was working with the horses and attending a 2 year program at Centro Militar De Educacao Fisica e Desportos in Mafra Portugal, which was a program supported by the FEI (Federation Equestrian International), in order to become a worldwide recognized riding instructor.  In 1999 I completed the program and received my diploma. 


After working for a year and teaching students from all over the world I was asked to go teach a clinic in America.  Through a series of events I ended up going back to the USA as the opportunities provided a better living and I was able to spend more time competing in Dressage. After 2 years in the Idaho and the Seattle area I moved to Vancouver Island Canada and continued working and competing full time as a horse trainer/riding instructor for approximately 15 years.  


During my first year in Canada I acquired a German Shorthair puppy which led me to join the Vancouver Island Pointing Dog Club at its resurrection.  I developed her and then ran her in field trials  as well as bird hunting her in the off season.  I then acquired another GSP puppy and obtained CKC Derby Dog of the Year with him.  A void needed to be filled as time went by and two English Pointers were acquired within another year.  At the end of that year, with these three dogs, I was able to achieve with CKC, Amateur Shooting Dog, Derby Dog, and Puppy of the year.  To say that my competitive drive was being fulfilled would be an understatement.  


From the very beginning of my hunting days in Portugal, Chukar hunting was always my biggest obsession. I was very fortunate to have landed in the only territory of Canada that happened to have chukar, so any opportunity I could take to get out on those hills was taken and I will continue that passion until the end of my days. 


In 2010 I became burnt out with the Horse training industry and decided to take on a full time position working for the government of BC as a foreman for the pest control department of BC Housing. I was then able to spend more time focusing on the dogs.  Horseback trials became my next goal as it brought together my two passions in one competitive venue.   


In 2013 I met my wife Sharon and in that same year bred my first litter of GSP’s. Within the next year we had put a deposit on another female GSP from the USA as I wanted to breed to a more suitable line for horseback trials.  On that same weekend we were at a mock trial in Princeton BC and there was a litter of 3 month old English Pointers of which the owner was unable to find homes for.  Feeling bad that the outcome for those pups would be euthanasia, I hesitantly decided to bring one home with me.  The deposit for the GSP was put aside and thus Boss Kennels was born with what turned out to be one exceptional Pointer, Fastforwards BK Gunner.   


Gunner became the only dog in CKC history to date to become a field trial champion before turning one year of age.  He proved to be not only an exceptional competitor, but an outstanding contribution for the breed as a producer.  Over the years I slowly made the transition from walking field trials to the horseback American Field Venue competing in Saskatchewan and Alberta Canada, as well as Northwestern USA with many of Gunners offspring. 


In 2020 when covid hit, everything came to a halt as field trials were cancelled and the border to US trialing was closed for the next 2 years.  I had always been asked to train dogs for people but had always declined as I didn’t want to give up my amateur competition status.  By 2022, after not trialing for so long, it no longer seemed to make sense and we began taking in a few dogs for training.  Between breeding, developing and training, competing and hunting, as well as both of us working full time outside of the home it started to become too much.  Through a series of events we both felt the timing was right for us to give up both of our jobs and move from the lower mainland to the Interior of BC to start our own business with Boss Kennels as a full time boarding and training facility, settling in Kamloops where there was more access to wild birds for training.  

My greatest pride and joy has become the development of our young stock that requires a great amount of thought and methodical pairing from our matrons and stud dogs.  I really enjoy the process of starting our young dogs, the beauty of good strong genetics fascinates and excites me. I love watching their natural abilities develop and then carefully shaping them through their own individual characteristics to become exciting prospects. 

Bird dogs are my passion until the end of my days ~ always have been and always will be. It is my desire to see this timeless sport carried on and enjoyed by others as well.

I am blessed to be able to do what I do. 

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