8th Annual Hotchkiss Sheep Camp Stock Dog Trials, May 6-8 | TheFencePost.com
YOUR AD HERE »

8th Annual Hotchkiss Sheep Camp Stock Dog Trials, May 6-8

Gordon Hebenstreit
Cedaredge, Colo.
Sheep moving into the shear trailers.

Buy Photo

Adult sheep are shorn once a year, typically after the threat of severe cold temperatures of winter are reduced, but prior to lambing.

Most large flocks of sheep are shorn by professional shearing crews, as was the case on the Larry Allen Ranch in Hotchkiss, Colo. This contract crew was working it’s way north through western Colorado. The ranch owner contracts with the owner of the shearing operation. The price is established on a per head basis. The shearers are paid by the number of sheep they shear. Some shearers can exceed 200 sheep shorn per day.

Sheep shearing took place at the Allen Ranch in early March. Two trailers were lined up at the ranch loading chute. The sheep are moved up the loading chute onto a cat walk that goes past the 13 shearing stations in the trailers. When the shearer is ready, he opens a divider on the cat walk to lower a sheep into position to begin shearing. Most shearers use the shearing method that was developed by the Australian Wool Corporation, developed almost 50 years ago. This method reduces the strain on the shearer by having the sheep struggle less. The shearer begins by removing the wool on the sheep belly. A top notch shearer can have the sheep shorn in three to four minutes. The sheep is then released down a ramp off the opposite side of the trailer. The wool is dropped down a chute below the cat walk where it is ready to be ‘baled’ into bags for sale by the ranch owner. The 13 shearing stations at the Allen Ranch can process over 1,000 sheep per day.

The ewes are kept at the ranch for lambing, and moved to their summer mountain pasture in April. Larry and Janet Allen have provided the yearling ewes for the Hotchkiss Sheep Camp Stock Dog Trials every year since the trials have started. The sheep that are used for the trials are kept at the ranch until after the trial is completed, and then joined with the main herd already on mountain pasture.

To get a close-up view of sheep shearing, be sure to attend the sheep shearing demonstrations with Doug Hamilton during the 8th Annual Hotchkiss Sheep Camp Stock Dog Trials, May 6-8 in Hotchkiss, Colo. Doug will demonstrate the art of shearing every half hour on Saturday, May, 7, between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. This is a real crowd pleaser and fun for the whole family. The trials are held in the Dick Hotchkiss Meadows, one block south of Main Street (Bridge Street) in downtown Hotchkiss, Colo.

The local sponsors have made this event what it is today, and Richard and Marilyn Bailey’s dream of hosting a stock dog trial continues. Richard is overwhelmed with all the support he receives from the sponsors and the volunteers that help put this event on. It is a favorite of many dog handlers and applications are sent by Priority Mail, and even Fed Ex, all hoping to have their entry postmarked on February 1. Again this year, more entries were received that class space availability.

The Border Collie is outstanding when it comes to working sheep. They are noted for their style, gathering abilities and their intense desire to work. The trials are sanctioned by the United States Border Collie Handler’s Association. Handlers pay an entry fee to enter their dogs and 70 percent of the entry fee is paid back in prize money and the remaining 30 percent helps to pay for trial expenses.

Enjoy the numerous events happening in Hotchkiss throughout the weekend. On the trial grounds, sample the variety of food vendors, the Firehouse Pancake breakfast on Saturday, May 7, from 6-11 a.m., wool spinning demonstrations and visit various booths to obtain that special gift, t-shirts and other Border Collie related items. Don’t miss exploring the sheep camp wagons and learning a little history on their use by some of the authentic sheepherders.

Award-winning artist, Paul Morgan from Livermore, Colo., will have his painting “Looking For Strays” auctioned on Saturday, May 7. Paul will be available all three days of the trial to sign your print.

It’s a weekend you don’t want to miss! The 8th Annual Hotchkiss Sheep Camp Stock Dog Trials, Mother’s Day weekend, May 6-8 in Hotchkiss, Colo.

Adult sheep are shorn once a year, typically after the threat of severe cold temperatures of winter are reduced, but prior to lambing.

Most large flocks of sheep are shorn by professional shearing crews, as was the case on the Larry Allen Ranch in Hotchkiss, Colo. This contract crew was working it’s way north through western Colorado. The ranch owner contracts with the owner of the shearing operation. The price is established on a per head basis. The shearers are paid by the number of sheep they shear. Some shearers can exceed 200 sheep shorn per day.

Sheep shearing took place at the Allen Ranch in early March. Two trailers were lined up at the ranch loading chute. The sheep are moved up the loading chute onto a cat walk that goes past the 13 shearing stations in the trailers. When the shearer is ready, he opens a divider on the cat walk to lower a sheep into position to begin shearing. Most shearers use the shearing method that was developed by the Australian Wool Corporation, developed almost 50 years ago. This method reduces the strain on the shearer by having the sheep struggle less. The shearer begins by removing the wool on the sheep belly. A top notch shearer can have the sheep shorn in three to four minutes. The sheep is then released down a ramp off the opposite side of the trailer. The wool is dropped down a chute below the cat walk where it is ready to be ‘baled’ into bags for sale by the ranch owner. The 13 shearing stations at the Allen Ranch can process over 1,000 sheep per day.

The ewes are kept at the ranch for lambing, and moved to their summer mountain pasture in April. Larry and Janet Allen have provided the yearling ewes for the Hotchkiss Sheep Camp Stock Dog Trials every year since the trials have started. The sheep that are used for the trials are kept at the ranch until after the trial is completed, and then joined with the main herd already on mountain pasture.

To get a close-up view of sheep shearing, be sure to attend the sheep shearing demonstrations with Doug Hamilton during the 8th Annual Hotchkiss Sheep Camp Stock Dog Trials, May 6-8 in Hotchkiss, Colo. Doug will demonstrate the art of shearing every half hour on Saturday, May, 7, between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. This is a real crowd pleaser and fun for the whole family. The trials are held in the Dick Hotchkiss Meadows, one block south of Main Street (Bridge Street) in downtown Hotchkiss, Colo.

The local sponsors have made this event what it is today, and Richard and Marilyn Bailey’s dream of hosting a stock dog trial continues. Richard is overwhelmed with all the support he receives from the sponsors and the volunteers that help put this event on. It is a favorite of many dog handlers and applications are sent by Priority Mail, and even Fed Ex, all hoping to have their entry postmarked on February 1. Again this year, more entries were received that class space availability.

The Border Collie is outstanding when it comes to working sheep. They are noted for their style, gathering abilities and their intense desire to work. The trials are sanctioned by the United States Border Collie Handler’s Association. Handlers pay an entry fee to enter their dogs and 70 percent of the entry fee is paid back in prize money and the remaining 30 percent helps to pay for trial expenses.

Enjoy the numerous events happening in Hotchkiss throughout the weekend. On the trial grounds, sample the variety of food vendors, the Firehouse Pancake breakfast on Saturday, May 7, from 6-11 a.m., wool spinning demonstrations and visit various booths to obtain that special gift, t-shirts and other Border Collie related items. Don’t miss exploring the sheep camp wagons and learning a little history on their use by some of the authentic sheepherders.

Award-winning artist, Paul Morgan from Livermore, Colo., will have his painting “Looking For Strays” auctioned on Saturday, May 7. Paul will be available all three days of the trial to sign your print.

It’s a weekend you don’t want to miss! The 8th Annual Hotchkiss Sheep Camp Stock Dog Trials, Mother’s Day weekend, May 6-8 in Hotchkiss, Colo.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User