Labor Day events continue Sunday, Monday
Steamboat Springs — Mother Nature must have gotten the memo that it’s September because Mariane Sasak found herself setting up for the Steamboat Stock Dog Challenge early Saturday morning in sub 40-degree temperatures.
But by about noon, as visitors began to fill the grassy space on the hillside at the Stanko Ranch, temperatures had settled into the mid-60s and a cool fall breeze took the edge off a relentless sun.
“It’s perfect weather; you can’t ask for anything better,” said Sasak, the organizer of the eighth annual event.
Like the morning frosts, Labor Day weekend events are a fall rite of passage in the Yampa Valley, including such annual events as the Stock Dog Challenge, the Wild West Air Fest, Sunday’s Chuck Wagon Chili Challenge and a weekend-long celebration in Oak Creek.
The weather delighted visitors and residents, who perused downtown sidewalk sales and entertained themselves with the variety of events.
Claudia Dausman and her husband, Bob, were playing host this weekend to friends Steve and Karen Daugherty, of Indianapolis, and decided to show them the sights on bike.
They wandered the car show and air fest at Steamboat Springs Airport before biking out on Twentymile Road to watch dog handlers from across the country command their dogs at the sheepdog challenge.
“It’s not every day you can ride your bike and see a car show, air show and a dog show in one day,” Steve Daugherty said, lounging in his camping chair at the Stanko Ranch.
“We’ve had a blast,” Karen Daugherty said. “We just like being outdoors.”
The quartet watched the dog trials and listened as the announcer explained what each handler was doing and what the judges were looking for.
Later in the day, the women had planned to shop at the Come Sale Away Sidewalk Sale downtown while the men watched college football.
By the time the group arrived at the Stanko Ranch in the late morning, a lamb barbecue was sending smoky aromas across the field while families wandered the spectator area petting the sheep or making butter from cream in the children’s area.
Down by the field, the dog handlers also were enjoying the blue skies.
“This is the prettiest site I think I’ve ever seen,” said Amelia Smith, of San Diego, who has been training working dogs for 15 years. “And I’ve been all over the world with these dogs.”
At her feet, her dog Buff was shaking with anticipation for his chance at the sheep, which would come later in the afternoon.
She said that the Steamboat Stock Dog Challenge is a warm-up for next week’s Meeker Classic but that it’s still a very important stop.
“This is a big stop for us” Smith said. “This is not an itty-bitty trial.”
Up on the hill, the Post family, former Steamboat residents, was impressed with the way the dogs below were herding the sheep through fences, all at the command of their owner’s whistle.
“It’s cool that the dogs can run so fast,” said 6-year-old Ally Post.
Her mother, Katy Post, said her daughters had never seen a sheep dog event before.
“It’s so nice out that it’s just beautiful to sit here and watch the dogs,” she said.
Steamboat Stock dog Challenge
(Handler, hometown, dog, score)
Daniel Keeton, Alamosa, York, 85
Christine Jobe, Cypress County, AB CAN, Jill, 78
Sonia Craig, Champion, NE, Walt, 76
Tina LePlatt, Monte Vista, Tess, 75
Ron Burkey, Boerne, TX, Sky, 75
Bob Hickman, Yelm, WA, CBK Mojo, 75
Christine Jobe, Cypress County, AB CAN, Fly, 74
Daniel Keeton, Alamosa, Newby, 73
Jim Swift, Grand Junction, Zac, 71
Michael Meredith, Tehachapi, CA, Gus, 70
Jim Swift, Grand Junction, Molly, 69
Marianna Schreeder, Atlanta, GA, Nan, 69
Sandra Milberg, Santa Rosa, CA, Brew, 69
Emil Luedecke, Zephyr, TX, Spot, 65
Carol Lucero, Ft. Lupton, Mesa, 65
Noelle Williams, Deer Park, WA, Lad, 65
Chuck Riley, Bowie, TX, Nan, 65
Sandra Johnson, Yelm, WA, Joe, 60
Terri Warner, Cimarron, Ross, 60
Sandra Milberg, Santa Rosa, CA, Quill, 59
Larry Adams, Windsor, Raid, 57
Terry Folsom, Hawaiian Gardens, CA, Cassie, 55
Elissa Thau, Roseburg, OR, Tom, 55
Terry Murray, Peyton, Jess, 51
Amelia Smith, Valley Center, CA, Mirk, 51
Linda Whedbee, Ft. Collins, Liddy, 50
Marianna Schreeder, Atlanta, GA, Penny, 47
Lise Andersen, Colorado Springs, Mack, 44
Angela Akers, Valley Center, CA, Sage, 43
Nancy Schreeder, Atlanta, GA, Flyn, 39
Laura Hanley, Lexington, KY, Tank, 39
Lise Andersen, Colorado Springs, Piper, 37
Gary Payne, Weatherford, TX, Dru, 32
Larry Adams, Windsor, Mick, 31
To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email ninglis@SteamboatToday.com
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The 20th anniversary season of Opera Steamboat will kick off this month with a new series, the “Variations Piano Series,” bringing world-class pianists from across the country to Steamboat Springs.