Steamboat Springs draws National Cattledog Association Finals |

Steamboat Springs draws National Cattledog Association Finals

Jake Miller/For the Steamboat Today

— When they are competing, they are called impressively fast, cunning and unbelievably strong. When they are walking down the street, they are simply called dogs. Such is the life of the cattle dogs in this year's National Cattledog Association Finals being held in Steamboat Springs.

The finals continue through Sunday.

The event begins at 7 a.m. and runs throughout the day. The main event starts at 11 a.m. Sunday with the open class finals. For a complete list of events, click here. All the four-legged action takes place at Flying Diamond Ranch.

Tickets for the event are $10 for adults and $5 for children. Tickets are good for the entire event.

In Wednesday's event, dogs raced to cattle placed 200 yards away and herded them through a series of gates. The challenge is meant to represent the tasks the dogs would fulfill on a ranch.

"Many people get started because they use these dogs to herd cattle at home," said Bob Wagner, board of directors member for the National Cattledog Association.

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The event is the first of its kind exclusively for cattle dogs and will bring more than 115 competitors to the Yampa Valley.

"It's the national finals," Wagner said. "We have dogs from all over the country. From Tennessee to California."

Just like any other professional sport, succeeding in the National Cattledog Association Finals takes an impressive combination of speed, strength and intelligence on the part of the dogs. The dogs who will stand at the top of the podium when the event concludes Sunday respond to owner's commands without hesitation.

"The guys out here have good dogs but train and handle them well," Wagner said.

Jake Miller, a 2012 graduate of Steamboat Springs High School, is working as a summer intern for the Steamboat Pilot & Today. He recently completed his freshman year at Nebraska Wesleyan University.

National Cattledog Association National Finals

What: National Cattledog Association Finals

When: Begins daily at 7 a.m. and runs each day through Sunday

Where: Flying Diamond Ranch

Cost: $10 for adults and $5 for children (includes the whole weekend)

Call: 970-871-6786