September 24-26, 2010
The seventh International Ragdoll Congress (IRC) would present new challenges and require some changes to the format, as it would be the first IRC ever held in CFA and some of the rules were different than in TICA, where the previous IRC’s had been held. The site chosen was Denver Colorado, the same site as the 2002 IRC, only this time it would be held in conjunction with a CFA cat club rather than a TICA club. What made this such an attractive choice was that we would be able to use the same show hotel and facilities as we had used for the 2002 IRC.
What was even better was that the IRC Committee would be working with the same show manger JaNeil Cillessen that they had worked with in 2002. JaNeil was a member of the CFA club that was putting on the show the “Foot of the Rockies Cat Club.” JaNeil had done a fantastic job in the 2002 IRC and the IRC Committee was sure that she would do another outstanding job in 2010. The Ragdoll of America Group and the Ragdoll Breed Club agreed to be the co-host with the Foot of the Rockies Cat Club and represent the interest of the IRC Committee.
In 2010 the CFA Board had liberalized their formats as to how many rings a club could have for show. JaNeil and her CFA club were able to get permission from the CFA Board to hold a 10 All Breed show with a 225 limit on cats. Our next project was to contract two speakers for the Educational Seminar. I tried to get Susan Little for the congress but she was already booked on that date. JaNeil however was able to sign two Vet’s from Colorado State University to speak at the seminar. Craig B. Webb, PhD, DVM, DACVIM, spoke on gastrointestinal diseases and Jessica M. Quimby spoke on Kidney diseases. Isabelle Bellavance gave us an excellent Breed Seminar. This was the first time that the CFA Ragdoll Breed Standard had ever been given at an IRC, and I think that everyone learn something to take home from it.
The star of the 7th IRC however was Denny Dayton who flew in from California to attend his first ever International Ragdoll Congress. This was the first time that Denny had seen any Ragdolls in over 10 years. He was so thrilled to see that the Ragdoll breeders had not forgotten who he was and the many contributions that he and Laura had contributed to the Ragdoll breed. The one thing that every Ragdoll person at the show will always remember from this congress, is the HUG they got from Denny. It was wonderful how the CFA judges treated Denny. Judge Kim Everett-Hirsch presentation of Denny Dayton to the crowd that had gathered at her ring was magical, it brought tears to many eyes and to hear her tell that she had been on the CFA Board in 1981 when Denny had made the first presentation for acceptance of the Ragdolls into CFA, and that she remembered him was awesome. Kim told the audience how special it was to have Denny at this show, and how seldom breeds pay homage to their founders.
On Saturday evening at the Banquet Denny was deeply touched as he watched the CD “A Stroll Down Memory Lane.” It brought back so may wonderful memories that he and Laura had experienced during the years of breeding and showing they had shared together. It was exciting for Denny who got to meet so many of the International Ragdoll breeders who attended the congress. We had Andrea and Lucia Botto from Brazil, Ivo Huisman and his wife Traci from South Africa, Monika Koc and her son from Poland, and Maggie from Hong Kong, and Tina Testen and Tomaz from Slovenia.
I was deeply honored to receive the second Humanitarian Award donated by Linda Kauffman and presented to me by Sue Shorey who had been the recipient at the previous IRC. Denny Dayton was presented with the Denny & Laura Dayton Appreciation Award for their many contributions that they had made to the Ragdoll Breed. It contained the names of 72 people who had contributed to the Congress either financially or by working on it.
This was as near a perfect IRC as I have ever been involved in. The Foot of the Rockies Cat Club was a wonderful club to work with, JaNeil and her CFA club went out of their way to make sure we had everything that we needed to make this a great IRC. You who were there can look back in later years and realize that you were the pioneers that opened the eyes of CFA concerning the Ragdoll Breed. In the Kitten class the judges got to see just about every color and pattern that we have in the Ragdolls Breed. Some comments that were posted by some of the CFA judges that judged the show.
It’s wonderful when clubs and exhibitors come together in such an important way for such worthwhile cause. Congratulations to all. It was a pleasure to have been one of the 10 judges to judge this well run and well attended show. I will be thinking of Ragdolls for many weeks (80+entered) and some outstanding examples from far and wide.
Thank you and all the members of the Foot of the Rockies Cat Club for having me judge your outstanding show this past weekend, it was a pleasure and a true education on Ragdolls. I believe every time I judge I see or learn something new and seeing as many Ragdolls at one show with all the different patterns can’t help but make one see how wonderful this breed is. I truly hope to see many more Ragdolls at future shows I judge.
Foot of the Rockies did an outstanding job hosting the 7th International Ragdoll Congress. JaNeil and her team, especially Cheryl Thieler, are to be congratulated on the excellent production of the show. The highlight of the IRC was the attendance of Denny Dayton. Denny and his wife Laura who had sadly passed away earlier in 2010, were the first people to buy a breeding pair of Ragdolls from Ann Baker. It was very moving to see Denny light up and beam in his love of the Ragdoll breed.
These congresses are made possible by sponsorships and donations from the Ragdoll breeders. Focusing on education of the Ragdoll Standard, good cattery management, and camaraderie of the breeders. The International Ragdoll Congress was an event that I was impressed and honored to have been a part of. My most sincere appreciation goes to all involved, but most notably, JaNeil, Cheryl and Wain! Thank you for including me in your “Top Ten” list of judges.
JaNeil summed up the 7th IRC best when she wrote:
Entering a cat show $100
Flying to the cat show $300
Visiting with Denny Dayton one on one……PRICELESS!!!!!!!!