Show Border Collie Passes Herding Test With Flying Colours

A three year old Border Collie called Eric has passed his Show Border Collie Herding Test.

Sheltysham So Esoteric, otherwise known as Eric, owned by Diane Whiting from Shepperton, Middlesex passed the test in October following the Thanet Sheep Dog Society Open Trial in Kent. Eric is no stranger to success, having qualified for the show ring at Crufts every year since he was puppy. In addition to this, Eric's half-sister is the pet of the Crown Prince and Princess of Denmark.

The purpose of the Show Border Collie Herding Test, which is a limited version of a sheepdog trial, is to safeguard the future development of Border Collies which compete at dog shows by emphasising the importance of the breed's natural herding abilities.

Diane commented: "Eric's father, Ghostland Copper Charm was a super show and working trials dog. However, he was afraid of sheep and his mother, Sheltysham So Real, was successful in the show ring but was never worked so I always wanted to find out if the herding instinct was still there with Eric."

Eric was introduced to sheep at an early age to gauge his interest before starting formal lessons about 18 months ago. After months of training, Diane applied for Eric to take the Show Border Collie Herding Test. Chairman of the Midlands Border Collie Club, Robert Tunnicliff arranged for the test to be held after the conclusion of Thanet Sheep Dog Society Open Trial in Kent on October 13, when sheep, venue and judges would be available.

Diane continued: "The Kennel Club Show Border Collie Herding Test was something we wanted to aim for and the lessons were a highlight of the week for Eric as his natural instincts came alive. On the day of the test it was difficult for novices like Eric and me to adjust to working with more challenging sheep in a strange venue, but everyone was so encouraging and the real shepherds remarked how handsome Eric was, which was lovely."

Kennel Club Secretary, Caroline Kisko said: "The Show Border Collie Herding Test ties in with the Kennel Club's 'Fit for Function: Fit for Life' campaign, which aims to ensure that dogs are bred to be fit for their original function and to enjoy their lives to the full.

"Congratulations to Eric and Diane on their wonderful achievement in passing the test and proving Eric's versatility."

Eric has now earned the right to use the SBCHT after his Kennel Club show name, alongside his working trials titles, CDex and UDex.

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