Sheepdog event kicks off
Steamboat Springs — Some of the smartest dogs in the world, along with their handlers from throughout the U.S., will be hard at work in Steamboat Springs this weekend.
The third annual Stock Dog Challenge sheepdog trials will kick off today with a demonstration during the art show at 3 p.m. at the Steamboat Ski Area. The exhibit will provide a glimpse of the competitions taking place all day Sunday and Monday at the Stanko Ranch on Routt County Road 33, about 3 1/2 miles from Bud Werner Memorial Library.
Fifty border collies will participate in the sheep herding competitions both days. The competition has been held during Memorial Day weekend the past two years but was moved to Labor Day this year to take advantage of nicer weather.
The competition also will provide an opportunity for handlers and dogs to practice before the Meeker Classic, event organizer Marianne Sasak said.
There will be plenty of parking available, and the event is free, but donations will be accepted. People are encouraged to take chairs and blankets to make viewing from the hilltop more comfortable.
“It’s got a great view because you are going to be on the hill, looking down,” Sasak said.
Food, beverages and souvenirs will be available both days. Dogs not participating in the competition should be left at home.
The competition goes from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday and Monday. The competition is timed, and dogs will be judged by the way they handle sheep based on their handlers’ commands. It’s an impressive thing to watch, Sasak said.
“He only has his whistle and voice to work the dogs,” she said.
An announcer will provide commentary about what is taking place, and handlers will be available to answer questions throughout the day.
“People who don’t know anything about this sport will be able to ask questions all day long,” Sasak said.
She said organizers also plan to have demonstrations at noon on both days.
For more information about the event, visit http://www.steamboatdogtrial.com.
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Steamboat Springs has produced nearly 100 winter Olympians, more than any other town in North America. That fact is everywhere, plastered on websites and informational boards across town.