Monday, September 3, 2007

Sheep Herding

Soldiers Hollow in Heber, Utah
Yesterday, we traveled to Heber to view the International Sheep Herding Competition. We didn't really know what to expect, since this was the first time to a sheep herding event. I cannot say enough about the competition. The dogs are so amazing to watch. They had to run up a hill about a quarter mile and then herd a group of five sheep down the hill, through a gate and over to where their owner was. At that point they had to show control over the sheep and then drive them away from their owner through another gate and across a field and around another gate. Then the dog would move the sheep back down to were their owner was and would have to split two of the sheep from the group and take control of those two sheep. It was an amazing sight. Once the dog had control over the two sheep, they would regroup the sheep and herd them into a pen. If you know sheep, they DO NOT want to go into a pen. We watched about a dozen or so dogs do this, and only about 2 or 3 were successful in getting all five in the pen. There was always one lone sheep who didn't want to go in and would break away from the others. The event is timed, but the dogs are mainly judged on how straight a line they take when driving them down the hill and through the gate. I can't say enough about the event, it was just a sight to see. Today's event seemed to be even greater, with the dogs having to drive a group of ten sheep, separating them into two groups of five and then back together again. And, mind you five of the sheep are tagged with red neck bands...those are the one's that have to be grouped together. We were not able to attend today's event, but we will surely remember next year and try to go over the entire Labor Day weekend. The event is held yearly with competitors coming from all over the country, as well as Canada and Scotland. It was held in the Olympic Venue where the cross country skiing took place when the olympic's were held here in Utah. It's a beautiful place as you can see by a couple of the photo's. I was truely impressed with these dogs....made my puppies look a little puppies sleep all day! But, I luv em none the less!!!

Look at that determination of this dog!

Rounding them up!

Just a taste of fall colors!
I can't wait for cooler weather!


rochambeau said...

Dear Alice,
Thanks for stopping by. This adventure sounds like fun. Australian Shepherds are so smart and good looking.

Congratulations on Brighten! How lucky and blessed you are.

Chris said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I love your living room. Be sure to post more pictures. And you're right-being a Grandma is the best.

pat grob said...

Alice you are such a tease with the photos. I could sit and look at humdreds. It looks so beautiful there! Know what you mean about cooler weather! It was hot here 112.

ParisBreakfasts said...

Remember the movie, BABE
The sheep-herding pig? I had 2 Belgian Sheepdogs and one strongly had the herding instinct.
She needed a sheep so badly. Hard to come by in New York City.
Lovely pictures!