HUDSON, Wis. — Come watch the country’s wisest dogs and wiliest handlers compete for the coveted Midwest Sheepdog Championship at Badlands Sno-Park outside of Hudson, WI. Bring a lawn chair and loll on a sundrenched hillside, watching dogs and handlers compete under time pressure to move sheep through a complicated course. Gather under a big, shady tent, rain or shine, enjoying pulled pork sandwiches from pork that was raised right on Kinney Farm. Never been to a sheepdog competition? Don’t worry, during the action announcers will explain what’s going on, along with the subtleties of communication between dogs, handlers and sheep. Bring the entire family and friends and make a day of it, cheering for your favorite dogs and groaning as a recalcitrant sheep escapes at the pen at the last second. Root for the “grey muzzle dogs” who are nine years and older, as they try to show the youngsters that experience wins out over youth.
Although the action on the course is compelling, the setting is as peaceful as a painting. One judge,
Calvin Jones from Wales, called the location “one of the most spectacular courses he has ever seen in the
USA or the UK”. Besides being a great test of good dogs and handlers, the scenery is flat out gorgeous.
Formerly titled the WWSDA Labor Day Trial, this is the 34th year that the competition has entertained
families and dog lovers, making it the second longest running “sheepdog trial” in the country.
The action on the field culminates on Labor Day in the famous “Double Lift Competition,” in which a dog
has to run 500 yards to gather one group of sheep to her handler, then “look back” and find another group, up to 800 yards away. Once gathered together, the group has to be driven through a series of free-standing gates–and the sheep always have other ideas about where they’d like to go! Each run culminates in the always-dramatic “International Shed,” in which the handler and dog have to work as a team to separate 5 collared sheep from the other 15.
Sheepdog competitions are a unique sport, in that professionals, including those who have won the
International Supreme Championship in the UK, compete against amateurs who are farmers, accountants and scientists. But all competitors are bound by their love of the amazing Border collie, without question one of the worlds most intelligent and useful dogs. Come cheer them on in one of the prettiest places in all of Wisconsin!
The event is open to the public at the Badlands Sno-Park at 772 Kinney Road, Hudson, WI. 54016
Friday August 30th through Sunday September 2nd
8 AM – 5 PM Friday-Sunday
9 AM – 3 PM Monday (Double Lift Final)
Cost: $10 per person. Children under 10 are free.
Check WWSDA.com for updates.
For more information, contact Patricia McConnell: email@example.com.
— Wisconsin Working Stock Dog Association
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