Directors Meeting to Address Coronavirus Pandemic – Updated MAY 18TH 2020


Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, USBCHA has canceled the 2020 National Sheepdog Finals scheduled for October 6-11 at Belle Grove Plantation in Middletown, Virginia.  The uncertain trajectory of infections over the coming months, competitor safety, availability of the venue if social restrictions persist, travel restrictions, and sponsorship loss due to economic conditions were among the many factors the Board of Directors considered in coming to its decision.  Related to this, USBCHA has extended the withholding of sanctioning of both sheepdog and cattledog trials until July 31, with further reviews scheduled on a monthly basis.  A decision on the 2020 National Cattledog Finals has been deferred to mid-June. 

The Board has requested the 2020 National Sheepdog Finals Committee to update its 2020 proposal to an October 2021 Finals at Belle Grove, and has tasked its internal committees to provide continuing guidance on the disease’s epidemiological outlook, qualifying criteria for the 2021 sheepdog Finals, and liability concerns associated with sanctioned trials during the pandemic.



On the recommendation of its COVID-19 Committee, the USBCHA Board of Directors have approved an extension of the HA’s decision to withdraw or withhold sanctioning of all sheepdog and cattledog trials from May 10, 2020 to June 10, 2020.  This is due to the increasing transmission of the virus, more stringent social distancing rules, and additional travel restrictions imposed by most states and provinces.  Note that the window for applying to the HA Secretary for sanctioning remains seven (7) days prior to the trial entry opening date, from thirty (30).  The HA Secretary will change dates for trials already sanctioned if the host emails the name of trial, date of trial and new dates and entry opening dates.  Otherwise, trials scheduled prior to June 10 will be listed as non-sanctioned unless canceled.


Going forward, the Board has directed the COVID-19 Committee to report to the President on a bi-weekly basis to allow for informed decisions in this rapidly changing environment.  USBCHA will update membership on sanctioning for future trials as the situation merits.  A Qualifications Committee is continuing to discuss a temporary system for qualifying dogs for the Finals in the event conditions permit such activities to occur.  As a reminder, COVID-19 is a highly contagious disease that poses a serious risk to human health.  USBCHA encourages its members to follow all federal, state and local guidelines on gatherings, travel and social distancing.

Minutes from that meeting are available here.

On March 19, 2020 the USBCHA Board of Directors met in emergency session to discuss the effects of the current coronavirus pandemic on the 2019-2020 trial season.

The Board recommended the following:

  • Suspension of sanctioning for all trials until May 10th 2020
  • Creation of a Coronavirus Committee and Finals Qualifying Committee to monitor the situation and make recommendations regarding further suspensions and cancellations or resumption of trialling and make recommendations regarding the 2020 Finals.

    Minutes from the meeting are available here.
  • The statement from the Board is available here.