Border Collies, handlers to vie for national title
It’s all about the dogs – working Border Collies that is – June 15-19 in Meeker, Colo. 140 of North America’s cattledogs will gather to match themselves against Meeker’s tough, independent cattle as they compete for the national title. This trial represents the culmination of a year’s worth of qualifying trials as these dogs and their handlers travel from 31 states and provinces in Canada to compete at the National Cattledog Association National Finals.
The best help on a ranch is often a well-trained dog that gathers cattle and assists in working them in a large pasture or in the corral. A good cattledog needs to be able to gather cattle from long distances and, under the control of the handler, guide them across treacherous terrain. The dog also must be adept at assisting the handler work cattle through working corral systems. The Cattledog course in Meeker duplicates those situations on the ranch. The national finals will feature dogs competing in five classes on two courses over the five days.
There will be vendors, skilled demonstrators and artisans. Visitors can watch demonstrations on leatherwork and saddle making, learn about the history of the western hat or visit with Mae Peshlakai as she shares her Navajo traditions. An invitational art show will showcase original artwork of Colorado artists and enjoy a free outdoor concert by bluegrass band “Hunker Down”. The local Historical Society is bringing historical characters for a story hours and a celebration of our cowboy heritage that commences with a bit of history on Cattle Drive Days in Rio Blanco County, cowboy music and a Chuckwagon Dinner cooked out in the open with Dutch Oven desserts. Meeker’s version of “Chopped” will take place with a Chopped Cooking Competition — Cowboy style.
For more information, go to http://www.meekercattledog.com or call (970) 878-0111.
— Meeker Classic Cattledog Trials
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From June through September, John Etchart spends most of the day driving a tractor through hayfields below the mountains near Meeker in northwestern Colorado.