History of the Border Collie Classic
In 2005, a bunch of crazy Dutch ladies thought it would be a nice idea to organize an international agility competition, just for Border Collies, the most common breed in agility.
We decided that in the middle of the summer, the week after the European Open 2006 would be a nice timing. So we started with finding a suitable venue, with enough space to have a camping, because in the high-season, no commercial camping is waiting for a bunch of people with lots of dogs. We had no idea how many competitors to expect.
We ended up in an outdoor center in a small village called "De Heen" in the south-west of The Netherlands. The owner had no idea what to expect (he never hosted a dog-event on his facility) but was very cooperative.
So on 7-9 August 2006, the first Border Collie Classic was a fact. On Friday 51 Grade 1 dogs competed, on Saturday and Sunday we had 2 rings with 166 Grade 2&3 dogs from 14 different European countries and 1 dog/handler from Japan (!) fighting for the Border Collie Classic Champion title. Judges were from Liechtenstein, Belgium and Netherlands.
After the event was over, we were so dead tired that we vowed never to do this again. But after some time, when we thought back of the great atmosphere with only border collie people, we did it again. 2007 was skipped, but in 2008 we organized the second Border Collie Classic. Unfortunaly the outdoor center in "De Heen" was turned into a golf course in the mean time, so we had to find another venue. This time we went to a big dogschool in Bemmel. The owners had organized multiple dog events before , so they knew a little bit what to expect however the BCC was a bit bigger than their previous events. This time we had 66 Grade 1 dogs on Friday and 235 Grade 2&3 dogs from 16 European countries plus 1 dog/handler from the USA on Saturday and Sunday. This time judges were from UK, Denmark and Netherlands.
After 2008, several international people got so enthousiastic about the format that they wanted to bring it to their country. So in 2009, BCC went to Luxembourg and after that to Hungary, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Slovakia, Luxembourg again, to be back 10 years later in The Netherlands in 2016, organized again by the same team that started the whole thing in 2006.
The format has stayed the same in all these years, but the biggest challenge was the number of registrations that kept on growing. Unfortunaly the maximum amount of participants is limited by the maximum number of competitors one judge can have in 1 day. All participants have to be equally judged on the same course by the same judge to have a fair competition. Lots of people were very dispapointed every year that they could not participate because the maximum number of competitors was reached in no time. Therefore as of 2017 we have decided to split the 2nd and 3rd grade to be able to accommodate more participants.
Hopefully the BCC will continue to be the biggest agility event for border collie enthousiasts for a long time to come. The good thing is that until now, always enough countries have been interested in organizing, so for the near future, we will all be able to enjoy this special competition every year the week after the European Open.
Team BCC 2016: Annemieke Bolderman, Miriam Vriens, Ank Knuvers, Ardie Spoorenberg, Caroline Verlijl-Bolwijn
Team 2006/2008: Cora Jansen, Katie Mc Donald