1st IRC

Secaucus, New Jersey
April 3-5, 1998

As showtime for the first International Ragdoll Congress approached, the International Ragdoll Congress (IRC) Committee was encouraged by the large number of Ragdolls that were being entered.

The final count was:
Alters—————- —21
NBC (Lynx & Reds)-  –22
Total      109

Arriving in Secaucus it was exciting to see so many International Ragdoll Breeders from other countries.  Karin Hughes-Dentler had brought a large group from Germany, we had two ladies from Japan, and several breeders from England as well as other European countries.  It was a privilege meeting so many of our overseas Ragdoll breeders.
Excitement filled the show hall as the judging began on Friday afternoon, you might say their were wall to wall Ragdolls.  The size of some of these Ragdolls was breath taking.  There was one magnificent 32 lb neutered Ragdoll that was just gorgeous.  It was awesome to see the size of some of the older Ragdolls, as size is very important, as it typifies our breed.  Many of our new breeders today have never seen the size of many of the early Ragdolls.  A lot of the size of our Ragdolls was lost as a result of the outcrossing to smaller breeds in the early 90’s in order to bring in the new colors.  The IRC Committee encouraged the Ragdoll breeders who were working with the new colors to bring them to the congress and enter them as NBC’s so that other breeders could see how they were conforming to the Ragdoll standard.  As a result there were 22 NBC’s in the show.  Rosemary Howarth was showing “Villaroyal Maggie Mae of Dandendong” a seal tortie point bicolor who was best of breed in 8 0f 15 rings.  She was in my view a very nice representative of the Ragdoll breed.

And The Winners of The 1st International Ragdoll Congress Were:

Championship—-Furreal Zapata  O/B Cliff & Mary Riddell

Alters———-Furreal Sir Lancelot  O. Florence Mason B. Cliff & Mary Riddell

Kittens———Proud Goma of Carol Collection  O. Tsuyoshi/Hiromi Osada B. Nasaru/Satomi Kanda

NBC———–Villaroyal Maggie Mae of Dandendong  O. Rosemary Howarth B. Eileen Picket

The 1st International Ragdoll Congress was a learning experience for everyone, as a congress of this magnitude had never been tried before.  The IRC Committee learned what worked and what didn’t.  The IRC Committee tries to learn from each congress and eliminate what doesn’t work, and to make what does work even better for each succeeding congress.  The committee found that the Banquet was a wonderful way to bring everyone together where they could share experiences, talk about their Ragdolls, and make new friends.

Both the Educational & Breed Seminars have proved to be well received and supported by the Ragdoll community.  Having a Hospitality Room not only provides a place for the Ragdoll people to gather but also helps reduce some of the expenses for them, as they can come and have a snack and drink coffee, tea or soft drinks for free.  The fact that we are now approaching the 8th IRC testifies to the success the IRC’s have been.

Over the years I have learned that it is one thing to talk about putting on a International Ragdoll Congress, it’s a whole different thing to actually plan organize and put one on.  What began as only a dream in Chicago in 1996, became a reality and a hugh success in Secaucus in 1998, due to the hard work of the IRC Committee and the strong support of the worldwide Ragdoll community.