History of the ABCA, 1982-1998



"Zac": ABCA 1

After spending several months in 1982 assessing the need and identifying support for a member-owned, democratically run Border Collie registry, the supporters decided in mid-October in Jackson, Mississippi, to establish a new registry, to be called the American Border Collie Association, Inc. Bill Dillard from Matthews, Alabama, president of the Southern Stockdog Association and editor of the Southern Stock Dog Journal, and Ralph Pulfer from Quincy, Ohio, secured commitments and financial support for the new registry from Border Collie breeders, owners, and handlers in the United States and Canada. Leroy H. Boyd of Starkville, Mississippi, prepared the draft documents containing proposed bylaws and operating procedures. Bill Ready of Meridian, Mississippi, then incorporated the registry in Delaware. Raymond MacPherson from Brampton, Cumbria, England, provided copies of the International Sheep Dog Society Stud Book for the registry s use.

The eleven charter Directors were: Bill Dillard, Alabama; Ralph Pulfer, Ohio; Leroy Boyd, Mississippi; Inez Schroeder, Arizona; Peggy Brown, South Dakota; Omar Falk, Oregon; Stan Moore, Tennessee; Guido Lomabardi, California; Edgar Gould, Massachusetts; Bob Childress, Texas; and Jim Clark, Ontario. On April 14, 1983, a Directors meeting and election of officers was held on the campus of Mississippi State University. Bill Dillard was elected President, Ralph Pulfer was elected Vice-president. Other Directors present for the meeting were Boyd, Moore, Lomabardi, Gould, and Clark. Mrs. Jerry West, Red Banks MS, Secretary of the Southern Stock Dog Association, who owned and operated a real estate business and tax service in Holly Springs, Mississippi, assumed the responsibilities of the first Secretary of the ABCA, Inc. ABCA was incorporated on June 10, 1983.

The first financial report presented by Mrs. West during that meeting makes interesting reading:


14 Lifetime members @ $50.00: $700.00
13 Annual Members @ $5.00: 65.00
117 dogs registered @ $3.50: 409.50
loan by members against credit upon registering dogs: 412.50
Total deposit $1,587.00


Applications, Certificates, Membership Cards, Seal, Folders, Stationery: $339.47

Bank Balance: $1,247.53

The members who registered the 117 dogs were from the states of Alabama, Arizona, California, Georgia, Illinois, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Wyoming and Canadian province of Ontario.

Location of Annual Meetings--Presidents Elected in that Year

1983  Meridian, MS Bill Dillard
1984  Dotham, AL (Bill Dillard): Ralph Pulfer, after
1985  Knoxville, TN Ralph Pulfer
1986  Dotham, AL Stan Moore
1987  Knoxville, TN Stan Moore
1988  Buellton, CA Leroy H. Boyd
1989  Knoxville, TN Leroy H. Boyd
1990  Conway, NH Robert Barlow
1991  Louisville, KY Robert Barlow
1992  Buellton, CA Mike Neary
1993  Louisville, KY Mike Neary
1994  Lexington, KY Herbert Holmes
1995  Buellton, CA Mike Hubbard
1996  Lexington, KY Leroy H. Boyd
1997  Klamath Falls, OR Leroy H. Boyd
1998 El Reno OK David Arnold
1999 Middletown VA David Arnold


Gleaned from the records:

One of the features of the registry is the Promotional Credit program. From the beginning, $.50 from each registration fee was set aside for use by people in the state the member lived in to further the welfare of the working Border Collie. Requests are made to the Secretary and amounts are decided by the Directors. Most of the requests have been to support sheep dog trials or eye clinics.

When Stan Moore was President, he asked the Secretary, Mrs. Jerry West, to compile data for the time required to fulfill her duties. She made this report in December, 1985:

161 certificates 80 hours 30 minutes
25 transfers 6 hours 15 minutes
38 memberships 12 hours 40 minutes
24 inquiries 8 hours
membership mailing 16 hours
4 membership list requests 1 hour
bookkeeping 6 hours
total 130 hours 25 minutes

Compensation received by Secretary:

186 certificates & transfers @ $2.00 = $372 ($2.85 per hour)

paid office worker = 104

Mrs. West showed she did not receive the minimum wage for her work as Secretary and Registrar. Also, difficulties with the computer and the program she had been using demonstrated the importance of having a reliable and functional computer program for generating registration certificates.

At the 1986 Annual Meeting, the new computer program for the registry was demonstrated. A second Canadian Director was added in 1991 as there were Canadian members in both the eastern and western Provinces. The 1990 Annual Meeting was held in the Northeast, and Robert Barlow was the first President to receive compensation for travel expenses associated with attending the meeting.

When the membership stood at around 2000, the Board undertook a survey of the people the Association served and what their needs, wants, and hopes for the breed were. Mike Neary chaired the committee which developed a voluntary plan to recognize dogs having Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) grades showing normal hip formation. For a fee that covered the cost, a notation could be put on the certificate. This set the stage for addressing genetic eye disease in the breed. Amanda Milliken chaired this committee which recommended eye testing as a first step in controlling eye problems. The first eye clinics at National Finals were instituted. Mike Neary and Herbert Holmes coordinated the Association s first joint sponsorship of the National Finals Trials with the Handlers Association. While it seems well accepted now, all of these efforts were controversial at the time.

The Canadian Government dropped a bombshell when it enacted the Animal Pedigree Act which allowed only one registry for each breed and decreed that the registry must be Canadian. Amanda Milliken made a persuasive presentation to the Minister of Agriculture that the Border Collie is an agricultural dog not suited to Canadian Kennel Club membership. She succeeded in getting a Canadian Border Collie registry designated as the one and only, but they had to defend this ruling in court. To work out the details and to get the Canadian Border Collie Association off the ground took years, a donation of money from the ABCA, and changes to the ABCA computer program so that it can produce certificates with a C before the registration number for CBCA dogs.

There were expansion years for the ABCA. New equipment for the office. Not enough money to do what was needed. Changes to the by-laws. Then, increases in popularity of the breed brought both problems and opportunity.  In 1994, the American Kennel Club announced plans to register Border Collies, angering those who depend on and value the traditional working dog. The Association urged its members to communicate their opposition to the AKC, but the AKC disregarded their views. Anticipating the problems likely to result from AKC recognition, the Association developed a set of registration requirements which exclude dogs from conformation registries and other dogs with questionable pedigrees from the ABCA stud book. David Rogers chaired a committee which developed an exacting Register on Merit program. Another protective measure was a program allowing breeders to put breeding prohibitions on the registration certificates of puppies they sell, if the buyer also agrees.

When the Border Collie breed topped the list of trainable dogs in the mid-nineties and the movie, Babe, gave the world talking sheep dogs, breed popularity exploded outside the working community. Since 1996, the office has been registering 100 dogs on each working day, compared to 161 for an entire month in 1985. What this means to the traditional working livestock breed is still being sorted out. There are as many opportunities as there are problems.  The concentration and storage of North American working border collie genealogy at ABCA is its greatest asset and will continue to increase in historical value for the breed.


For more information contact:
American Border Collie Association, Inc.
P.O. Box 100 · Cataula, GA 31804
Phone: 706-322-4400 · Fax: 706-322-4004

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