25 Years And Growing

— Submitted by RMBCC Charter Member Mike Tupa

It's always interesting to think back about how something starts. First it starts with a lot of curiosity about a topic, then group discussions, then actual meetings and then something more formal. For RMBCC curiosity started in 1986. Beardie lovers gathered around grooming tables at local dog shows to learn more and as the discussion expanded so did the topics, the group size, and the purpose. We all began to realize that we shared more in common than just our love for our dogs and that something more was in order.

So in 1986 Beardie lovers from the Colorado Front Range communities gathered to look at ways they could share dog care, training, showing, and their love of the breed. At an informal gathering less than a dozen future members outlined what they wanted to do with a dog club and how it should be structured. Using established Beardie club rules and code of ethics the Rocky Mountain Bearded Collie Connection formed its charter and began hosting scheduled meetings, educational events, fun activities and an active newsletter.

The early club started with nearly a dozen members and within only a few years rounded up most of the regional Beardie owners to join the club and with a group of over 2 dozen members actively explored herding, show ring, grooming, health issues, agility, breed standards, genetics, Beardie Rescue, brags, and Aunt Beardie suggestions. All of this with the purpose of sharing some fun together while learning about the breed.

Since that time RMBCC has been an important regional promoter of the Bearded Collie Breed through BCCA sponsored and AKC Licensed events. Beardie puppies are celebrated, dog show events continue to be RMBCC touch points around the grooming tables, and the competition in the show ring continues. Herding, Obedience, and Agility events are also actively supported with entry, training sessions and club workshops to help members build skill and have fun with their dogs. Ongoing workshops on health issues and therapy dog testing continue to bring in new members. The annual RMBCC picnic continues to amaze everyone about how a couple dozen dogs can run, play, chase Frisbee, and act foolish without even a glimpse of aggression among the group. Very much like the members of this club. When playing, learning, and competing RMBCC reflects the temperament and character of the Bearded Collie.

Even in those early years RMBCC saw its mission of providing an education to members and the community at large. Events throughout the years included:

  • 1990 AKC Licensed Herding Test and Trial (one of the first clubs nationally to accomplish this) 1991, 2004, and 2010 RMBCC hosted the Bearded Collie Club of America National Specialty
  • Participants at the Scottish Highland's Annual Festival in Estes Park, CO
  • "Meet the Breeds" participants
  • Annual Herding Instinct Tests
  • Conformation Supported Entries were hosted