The History of the International Ragdoll Congress began at a Ragdoll Congress in Chicago in 1996. At this Congress Lorna Wallace of the British Ragdoll Club, Charley Myers and RFCI President Wain Pearce got to talking about putting on a real International Ragdoll Congress (IRC).
During 1997 it was decided that the 1st International Ragdoll Congress would be held in Secaucus, New Jersey on April 3-5, 1998. To say the 1st IRC was a success would be an understatement, there were 109 Ragdolls entered in the Show. That record for most Ragdolls in a show would stand until 2008 when the 6th IRC would have 129 Ragdolls entered in that show. In 2010 the International Ragdoll Congress was held in CFA and there were 80 Ragdolls in that show.
The IRC has been held in the following cities, and for 2016 it will be held in the Beautiful city of Portland, Oregon.
- 1998 – Secaucus, New Jersey – TICA
- 2000 – Las Vegas, Nevada – TICA
- 2002 – Denver, Colorado – TICA
- 2004 – Ruesselsheim, Germany – TICA
- 2006 – Sacremento, California – TICA
- 2008 – Chicago, Illinois – TICA
- 2010 – Denver, Colorado – CFA
- 2012 – York, Pennsylvania – TICA
- 2014 – Somerset, New Jersey – CFA
- 2016 – Portland, Oregon – ”10th Anniversary” TICA
Early on, decisions were made concerning the IRC that a Permanent International Ragdoll Committee would be formed which would be responsible for setting the location and finding a Cat Club in that area to work with. The IRC would be a non-partisan Congress and that all Ragdoll breeders and clubs would be invited to participate. Ragdoll clubs from around the world have given tremendous cooperation and support to putting on these Congresses. The Committee has always tried to make these Congresses as much fun and as enjoyable as possible.
While the original format has remained basically the same, each Congress has always had something that was unique and different than the others. What was unique about the 7th IRC? … well, Denny Dayton, the God-Father of the Ragdoll breed, attended his first IRC and Ragdoll breeders from around the world were able to finally meet the man, who with his wife Laura, gave birth to the Ragdoll breed as we know it today.
The basic format has been to hold the Congress over 3 days, which would allow us to have time to hold a Breed Seminar and a Educational Seminar in conjunction with the cat show. Our goal is to educate the Ragdoll breeders in both the Ragdoll standard and in good cattery management. We like to have a Meet & Greet party on Thursday evening to give the people an opportunity to say hello to old friends and to meet and make new friends. For the 10th Anniversary IRC we will be adding a number of new innovations, and we hope you like them.
A BIG Thank You to all those who have served on the various committees and have worked so hard to put these Congresses on and make them the success they have become. To those who have contributed donations in the form of money and/or gifts to the IRC over the years, THANK YOU ALL! Without you, it never would have been possible.