The Third Annual Sheep Dog Trials were held at the Sandhill Lea Ranch on Abel Lake Road on Aug. 31-Sept. 1.
The weather was fantastic both days making it perfect for the event. There were around 26 dogs and handlers participating in 54 runs. Each dog and handler started with 100 points, and if any infractions occur, points are deducted.
There are two sheep and two lambs in each run. The goal of the dog and handler is to navigate the flock through three gates and then into a pen.
Once accomplished, the flock is then released and driven into a large shedding circle where the dog has to split the flock of four into two groups of two. The allotted time for the run is 11 minutes.
A judge and timekeeper monitor each run. There is only one judge in this type of event as well as a timekeeper who clocks the 11 minutes with a stopwatch and advises the judge when the run is completed.
This year it was Joe Haynes from Arlington, Washington. He and his wife operate a farm with 60 to 120 sheep depending on the season. The sheep are raised for their wool and meat.
Their sheep, known as Katahdin Hair Sheep, don’t require shearing each year because they have a shedding coat (it removes easily).
Lorne Landry and his wife are the owners of Sandhill Lea Ranch where the Sheep Dog Trials were held. Lorne participated in some of the events.
The setting up of the course is a major process and is accomplished with the assistance of volunteers. There were many campers and trailers, and a guest parking area. Admission was free and a concession trailer was also available.
This is definitely an event everyone should consider attending next year.