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Come Watch Sheep Dogs Work in Hotchkiss

Dixie Jacobs Luke
Hotchkiss, Colo.

Have you ever seen a border collie single-handedly move a herd of sheep? In Hotchkiss, Colorado, on May 12-14, spectators can watch dogs working in the third annual Hotchkiss Sheep Camp Stock Dog Trials. The trials start Friday afternoon at 1:30. Then they resume at 7 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday mornings. They last into the late afternoon.

Three years ago, Richard Bailey of Crawford decided to put on a trial in Hotchkiss. Bailey, a retired rancher, had been training dogs for about 15 years, and had started taking his dogs to competitions around the country. Then Bailey’s son in Minnesota, also a dog trainer, started a trial. The younger Bailey convinced his dad and mom to help him. As one thing often leads to another, Richard and wife, Marilyn, soon found themselves dreaming of putting on a trial in Colorado.

Friends of the Baileys, Keith and Lorene Ulshafer said they would help with record keeping. Donnie Little, a Crawford cattle rancher, offered to be in charge of hauling sheep. His wife Betty opted to coordinate the many volunteers that would be needed. As word started spreading through the community, Dixie Luke volunteered to do PR, and Dion Luke began promoting the Sheep Camp competition. Sheep rancher, Larry Allen said Bailey could use his yearling ewes. Dick Hotchkiss offered to the use of a meadow on the edge of Hotchkiss as a site for the trials.

Trainers are so enthusiastic about the event that entries closed the same day they opened this year. Over 75 entries were received. To be fair to as many people as possible, the committee decided to add a third day to allow more entries. Dogs entered in the trials are from Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Texas, South Dakota, California, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

All of the dogs are border collies. Many are black and white, but a tri-colored dog is not unusual. Some have long hair, and some have smooth coats. They range in size from 30 to 50 pounds. To gather and herd livestock is instinctive in the border collie. Training sharpens the dog’s skills. On a working ranch, a good collie can take the place of several hands when it comes to moving stock. They are loyal animals that often bond with their handler. Golf courses have recently discovered their usefulness at ridding the courses of messy geese. Border collies work because they love to work. It is their first priority in life.

Have you ever seen a border collie single-handedly move a herd of sheep? In Hotchkiss, Colorado, on May 12-14, spectators can watch dogs working in the third annual Hotchkiss Sheep Camp Stock Dog Trials. The trials start Friday afternoon at 1:30. Then they resume at 7 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday mornings. They last into the late afternoon.

Three years ago, Richard Bailey of Crawford decided to put on a trial in Hotchkiss. Bailey, a retired rancher, had been training dogs for about 15 years, and had started taking his dogs to competitions around the country. Then Bailey’s son in Minnesota, also a dog trainer, started a trial. The younger Bailey convinced his dad and mom to help him. As one thing often leads to another, Richard and wife, Marilyn, soon found themselves dreaming of putting on a trial in Colorado.

Friends of the Baileys, Keith and Lorene Ulshafer said they would help with record keeping. Donnie Little, a Crawford cattle rancher, offered to be in charge of hauling sheep. His wife Betty opted to coordinate the many volunteers that would be needed. As word started spreading through the community, Dixie Luke volunteered to do PR, and Dion Luke began promoting the Sheep Camp competition. Sheep rancher, Larry Allen said Bailey could use his yearling ewes. Dick Hotchkiss offered to the use of a meadow on the edge of Hotchkiss as a site for the trials.

Trainers are so enthusiastic about the event that entries closed the same day they opened this year. Over 75 entries were received. To be fair to as many people as possible, the committee decided to add a third day to allow more entries. Dogs entered in the trials are from Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Texas, South Dakota, California, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

All of the dogs are border collies. Many are black and white, but a tri-colored dog is not unusual. Some have long hair, and some have smooth coats. They range in size from 30 to 50 pounds. To gather and herd livestock is instinctive in the border collie. Training sharpens the dog’s skills. On a working ranch, a good collie can take the place of several hands when it comes to moving stock. They are loyal animals that often bond with their handler. Golf courses have recently discovered their usefulness at ridding the courses of messy geese. Border collies work because they love to work. It is their first priority in life.

Have you ever seen a border collie single-handedly move a herd of sheep? In Hotchkiss, Colorado, on May 12-14, spectators can watch dogs working in the third annual Hotchkiss Sheep Camp Stock Dog Trials. The trials start Friday afternoon at 1:30. Then they resume at 7 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday mornings. They last into the late afternoon.

Three years ago, Richard Bailey of Crawford decided to put on a trial in Hotchkiss. Bailey, a retired rancher, had been training dogs for about 15 years, and had started taking his dogs to competitions around the country. Then Bailey’s son in Minnesota, also a dog trainer, started a trial. The younger Bailey convinced his dad and mom to help him. As one thing often leads to another, Richard and wife, Marilyn, soon found themselves dreaming of putting on a trial in Colorado.

Friends of the Baileys, Keith and Lorene Ulshafer said they would help with record keeping. Donnie Little, a Crawford cattle rancher, offered to be in charge of hauling sheep. His wife Betty opted to coordinate the many volunteers that would be needed. As word started spreading through the community, Dixie Luke volunteered to do PR, and Dion Luke began promoting the Sheep Camp competition. Sheep rancher, Larry Allen said Bailey could use his yearling ewes. Dick Hotchkiss offered to the use of a meadow on the edge of Hotchkiss as a site for the trials.

Trainers are so enthusiastic about the event that entries closed the same day they opened this year. Over 75 entries were received. To be fair to as many people as possible, the committee decided to add a third day to allow more entries. Dogs entered in the trials are from Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Texas, South Dakota, California, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

All of the dogs are border collies. Many are black and white, but a tri-colored dog is not unusual. Some have long hair, and some have smooth coats. They range in size from 30 to 50 pounds. To gather and herd livestock is instinctive in the border collie. Training sharpens the dog’s skills. On a working ranch, a good collie can take the place of several hands when it comes to moving stock. They are loyal animals that often bond with their handler. Golf courses have recently discovered their usefulness at ridding the courses of messy geese. Border collies work because they love to work. It is their first priority in life.


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