Set against a background of dwindling entries and interest in the years immediately following the first world-war a group of senior fanciers from the principal Collie Clubs of the period discussed the possibility of amalgamating their resources. Agreement was reached by January 1924 and after Kennel Club approval the British Collie Club combined ‘The Collie Club’, founded 1881, the ‘Northern Collie Club’ and the ‘Rough Coated Blue Merle Club’ into one national society dedicated to promoting the Collie.
FIRST CHAMPIONSHIP SHOW
The British Collie Club prospered under the guiding hands of Messrs James Russell, W. Schofield and W. Grimshaw, president, secretary and treasurer respectively. Official Kennel Club recognition was swift with Championship status granted in 1925 when Mr W. Houghton awarded Best in Show, and with it the world famous ‘Collie Club Challenge Trophy’ to Ch Thane of Athelney. Championship status continued until registration figures fell below 750 per year, at which point the Kennel Club deemed interest was insufficient to sustain any Breed Club Championship Shows, and the club was reduced to organising Open Shows.
Dog and bitch Challenge Certificate winners at the first British Collie Club Championship Show February 1925
where Mr W. Houghton awarded the Challenge Certificates to:
Dog CC and Best in Show
Ch Thane of Athelney winning the 4th of his eleven Challenge Certificates.
Detail from Reuben Ward Binks’ painting Image donated by
Mrs Iris Combe courtesy of Rough Collie Archive
Ch Eden Enrapture winning her 4th of eight Challenge Certificate
Image donated by Mrs Joan Parker courtesy of Rough Collie Archive
Interestingly these two Collies repeated this win in 1926 when Breed Specialist Mr Hugo Ainscough ‘Parbold’ was the officiating judge
POST WAR REVIVAL
It was 1950 before Championship Status returned to the British Collie Club, when Mr Fred Robson ‘Eden’, owner/breeder of Ch Eden Enrapture, the bitch Challenge Certificate winner at the first British Collie Club Championship Show, stood centre ring awarding the Challenge Certificates to Heightlyn Firefly and Hallmarsh Bloom, but there is no record of which went Best in Show. Since 1950 the British Collie Club Championship Show has become a popular annual event attracting exhibitors and spectators from around the world, who marvel at a trophy table which includes many famous pieces from their original founding clubs.
BRITISH COLLIE HANDBOOK
It had been sixteen years since Rough Collie owners, breeders or exhibitors could boast of a breed club supported year or hand book when the British Collie Club launched its own Handbook at its Championship show in 1994. General acceptance was initially slow and not enhanced by a succession of editorial changes during its first five years. This all changed when the then club treasurer, Mr Alan Staniland ‘Tashadon’ added the post of editor to his other duties before the publication of the 1999 edition. It was Alan who standardised the front cover which has since this date featured the world famous Collie Club Challenge Trophy, now presented to Best In Show at the British Collie Club’s annual Championship Show, reserving the back cover for a colour image of the previous year’s Best In Show winner. Today this popular handbook, largely reproduced in colour, is eagerly awaited throughout the Collie World.
Ever mindful of its slogan ‘With the Breed at Heart – The Exhibitor in Mind’ the British Collie Club is today the only National Sub-Group Collie Club supporting both Rough and Smooth Collies. Its current aims and objectives being:
To promote and encourage the breeding and exhibiting of pure bred Rough and Smooth Collies in accordance with relevant standards for Collies issued by the Kennel Club.
To support and organise exhibitions of Collies in addition to giving prizes these events.
To promote, protect and advance in every legitimate way the interests of the Collie and of the Members of the British Collie Club.
The function or activities of the Club shall be for the benefit of and the further education of its members in management, training, exhibiting, breeding and every aspect pertaining to Rough and Smooth Collies.
Collie Club Challenge Trophy first awarded to
Ch Rutland in 1886
FEBRUARY - Rough Collie of the Year — an invitational social event including an element of friendly competition between Challenge Certificate and Reserve Challenge Certificate winners from the previous year, and culminating with a buffet and dance. To he held at Thistle Hotel at East Midlands Airport, Castle Donnington, DE74 2SH for the first time in 2008.
MARCH - Benched Championship Show for Rough and Smooth Collies with Champions Parade and presentation of the Ladypark Trophy to the previous year’s Top Puppy winner — currently held at the Sports Connexion, Ryton on Dunsmore, Coventry, CV8 3FL. Usually held the weekend prior to Cruft’s, its trophy table, including the ‘Collie Club Challenge Trophy’ awarded to the Best In Show, has become a magnet for exhibitors and spectators alike. Publication of the British Collie Club Handbook, with its Roll of Honour of previous year’s Challenge Certificate winners complete with four generation pedigrees. Available at the British Collie Club Championship Show and from the British Collie Club Stand at Cruft’s.
Cruft’s British Collie Club Stand offering a variety of Collie related merchandise. Annual General Meeting — currently held at the Walton Inn, Stone, Staffordshire, ST15 0NB.
JUNE - Summer Open Show for Rough and Smooth Collies, with judging outside if weather permits. Currently held at Overseal Village Hall, DE12 6LU
NOVEMBER - Discover Dogs – London — Earls Court 2, Warwick Road, London, SW5 9TA — the only Kennel Club recognised canine event to be held in London, where visitors may discuss the traits and advantages of any recognised breed with acknowledged experts from each. The Rough Collie area supported by a regular team from the British Collie Club’s ranks.
DECEMBER - Popular Christmas Open Show for Rough and Smooth Collies with its unique relaxed festive atmosphere — to be held at Overseal Village Hall, DE12 6LU.
The British Collie Club is managed by five officers assisted by a Committee of up to fourteen members.
In line with Kennel Club directives the British Collie Club has
appointed Ms Gwen Beaden as its Health Co-ordinator
Membership including Overseas Membership is open to all. For more details about what the British Collie Club has to offer, including shows, dates, and results contact the Secretary.
Mrs Duna Jones High Farm • Girrick • Moorsholm • Saltburn • Cleveland TS12 3LW tel/fax: 01 287 660 773
or visit their website.