Meeker, Colorado in located in the northwest part of our state of Colorado.
Sheep are raised in this area, along with other livestock and crops. Each September, Meeker hosts sheepdog championship trials. Most of the sheep dogs are border collies and these dogs are smart and work very hard to herd the sheep to the proper fields and areas. Let’s see how this works.
A small amount of bleachers are available, but spectators are encouraged to bring folding chairs. We did. From the seating area, 5 sheep are trucked 550 yards (503 meters) down the field.
The sheep are here. Two men on horses are also there. On command from the owner, and contestant, the dog runs down the field to begin bringing the five sheep back to the owner. In the above photo, the black spot behind and to the right of the sheep, is the border collie, or sheep dog. The dog herds the five sheep down the field, toward the owner and spectators, through the first blue gates.
Not done yet, the sheep are herded further toward the humans.
Now the sheep are being taken near the dog’s owner, and closer to us.
I really like seeing these sheep. The sheep go around the human dog owner, and then through two more gates.
Now, the sheep are herded to a pen, and they are finished. Another dog, an event staff dog, takes over and takes the sheep out of the field. The sheep are finished for the week. This competition last almost a week. The preliminary runs are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. At least 40 dogs compete each of those days. On Saturday the best performing dogs compete in the semi finals. Sunday is the top race with 12 dogs competing for the championship. During the preliminary runs, 875 sheep are used. Another 500 sheep will be used for Saturday and Sunday’s competition. After each dog run, more sheep are trucked to the beginning point. After watching several dogs and sheep, we wandered among the venders. We met this nice lady with two retired sheep dogs.
We love the dogs. The nice lady was walking these retired dogs and her husband was competing with their working dogs.
Before we ducks joined our human family, mom had a black and white border collie that looked just like this one. We liked these sheep.
They were resting now, the cover over their pen protects them from the intense high altitude sun. But, back to the venders.
So many choices. Today mom just wanted lemonade.
We watched the lady cut and squeeze the lemons. Then she added strawberry puree. We even found small pieces of strawberries in our lemonade.
Another favorite, a funnel cake. When we left for the day, the parking lot had enough, but not too many cars.
We were there on Wednesday. We really didn’t want to be there for the championships and all the larger crowds. We were trying to learn about the sheepdog event. The owner uses a whistle to give the dog commands. We liked that the sheep were only herded one time during this competition.
This was interesting, and maybe next time we will go for the championships.