The Trial

The History

The history of the Kentucky Border Collie Association is inseparable from the history of the Bluegrass Classic trial.  We know that the tradition of border collie trialing in central Kentucky goes back at least as far as 1960, as documented in a Texas newspaper article about a local handler named Weldon Harrell, who ran at the “American International Kentucky Blue Grass Championship Sheep Dog Trials, at Walnut Hall Farms, Donerail, Ky.” This newspaper was preserved by the heirs of the renowned handler Ray Parker, who won the trial five times between 1960 and 1969.  The trials were among the most famous in the country, and most longtime residents of Lexington can tell you that they remember the legendary “dog trials at Walnut Hall,” continuing annually through 1983. After being held at Walnut Hall Farm for many years, the Bluegrass Classic has been a favorite event at the Kentucky Horse Park, and then in Masterson Station Park since 1996.

The KBCA’s Bluegrass Classic has flourished since 1994, drawing in new handlers and finding its permanent home on the rolling hills of Masterson Station Park’s Ruffian Field.  Today, the Bluegrass Classic trial is recognized as the trial with the most entries in the nation, as the top stock dog event east of the Rocky Mountains, as the only Eastern trial that offers the tough challenge of Western range sheep, and as the trial that sets the standard for efficiency, hospitality, and sportsmanship.  The KBCA is proud to continue the tradition of sheepdog trials in the Bluegrass.

This event involves fabulous opportunities for photography involving dogs, sheep, people, and horses, all in the picturesque setting of Masterson Station Park. As a non-profit event, we offer free admission to all, and we appreciate all forms of publicity that will make the community aware of the opportunity to watch these wonderful dogs at work.

Families and spectators are invited to bring their own dogs. Bring lawn chairs or picnic blankets, and enjoy the outdoors! The event runs continuously from dawn until dusk and there are spectator raffles, silent auctions, lunchtime concessions, numerous vendors and cold drinks available.

For more information on the Bluegrass Classic, contact Marianna Schreeder at mcs@theashcroftgroup.com