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New Herding Test For Border Collies
Aims To Increase Numbers Achieving Full Champion Status

Kennel Club Bulletin 05-Nov-07
Reproduced here with their kind permission

The Working Test which Show Champion Border Collies must pass to gain promotion to the title of Champion is to be replaced by a re-designed Herding Test from next year [2008].

The introduction of the Herding Test aims to increase the number of Border Collies that achieve full Champion status. Like the original Working Test, which was introduced in 1992, the Herding Test is a limited version of a sheepdog trial. Its purpose is to safeguard the future development of the Border Collie by emphasising the importance of the breedís natural herding abilities.

The new test will come into force from 1st January 2008, and interest is already being expressed by a number of owners. The test will consist of five principal elements Ė Outrun, Lift, Bring/Fetch, Inspection and Drive. The requirement to work sheep into a pen has been replaced by driving the sheep through a gate in the boundary of the test field. Distances have been reduced compared with the old Working Test, and dogs are not required to lie down between the Outrun and the Lift sections. The time limit remains at 12 minutes. Dogs must now be at least 12 months old at the time of application for the test.

With the agreement of the International Sheep Dog Society, Herding Test judges will be appointed by the Kennel Club rather than from among ISDS Sheepdog Trial judges. Two judges will officiate at each trial, and the first three official judges approved by the Kennel Club are Marion Turner, Ann Jordan and Mike Conde, all of whom are active in showing Border Collies as well as in Sheepdog Trials.

Caroline Kisko, Secretary of the Kennel Club, said: "The Kennel Club is pleased to be able to respond to the requests of Border Collie owners by introducing a Test which will help to ensure the breedís herding instincts continue to be valued."

Norman Lorton, Chief Executive of the International Sheep Dog Society, commented: "The International Sheep Dog Society welcomes the introduction of the revised Kennel Club Herding Test for Border Collies that are to demonstrate their sheepdog skills. Maintaining the innate behaviour that make this dog what it is - the most intelligent and capable worker in the dog world - is most commendable, and owners and dogs will have enormous fun doing it!"

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