2017 World Sheepdog Trials
MESSAGE FROM ISDS 2017 WORLD TRIAL CHAIRMAN ERIK GROOT
I've got a passion for herding sheep!
It hit me as soon as I bought my very first pup and learned about sheepherding. I was sold right away. That day, my passion for sheepherding was born! Now, over two decades later, I could not imagine my life without it.
I participated in my first trial in 1996 and it was only two years later, in 1998, when I started organising sheepherding competitions in the Netherlands. This has evolved into the 'Pre-Continental', a successful concept which combines the competitive trials with the 'Buitenfair', a large number of market stalls where our visitors can find anything from local food products to sheepherding items. Our once simple idea has grown into a successful annual event.
This year, I'll be facing an exciting new challenge. The ISDS has trusted me with the responsibility of organising the World Sheep Dog Trials, giving me the unique opportunity to host this event in the Netherlands for the first time.
The preparations for this competition are in full motion already. What is key for an event like this, is for the participants to be able to trust both the organisation and the locations of the trials. To ensure that there are no (dis)advantages for any of the handlers competing in the 2017 World Trials, we have decided to no longer allow any sheepherding competitions to take place in our usual locations. Together with the fields' owners, we have agreed to stop using those fields until the start of the World Trials.
Unfortunately, this also meant that we had to say goodbye to the 'Pre-Continental' and the 'Buitenfair'. I would like to use this opportunity to give my thanks to any- and everyone who has contributed to these events in the past. With your incredible amount of help and support, we have been able to really put the Netherlands on the map as a true sheepherding country.
We hope to see you all at the 2017 World Trials. With the trust of the ISDS and the support of many passionate and professional people from several countries, I am looking forward to doing my very best to make these World Trials an unforgettable experience for both the participants and the visitors!
We will keep you posted via the ISDS, our Facebook page and the website www.worldsheepdogtrials.nl. There, you can also sign up for our newsletter.
I look forward to seeing you at the World Trials.