Dogs go to work at Black Hills Stock Show |

Dogs go to work at Black Hills Stock Show

RAPID CITY, SD — The region’s top sheepdogs will show off their herding skills during the annual North American Sheepdog Trials during the 2009 Black Hills Stock Show & Rodeo on Monday, Feb. 2.

More than 50 sheepdogs and their handlers are expected to compete, according to Dick Bray, co-chairman of the event.

Preliminaries for the sheepdog trials begin at 1 p.m. in the civic center arena, with the finals at 7 p.m.

The trials are among the most popular events of the stock show, drawing upwards of 3,000 people for the finals.

All-day tickets are $14 for adults and $10 for kids 10 and under.

The contest typically draws top sheepdogs from South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska and Canada.

Top trainers include Gerald Bunney of Aladdin, Wyo., and Pete Carmichael of Timber Lake.

The finals typically draw good crowds and this year, sheepdog fans will be treated to a hitching show by the Budweiser Clydesdales before the start of the finals. The Clydesdales will be followed by youngsters competing in mutton-busting.

The sheepdogs, mostly Border collies, will be required to put a set of three sheep through a figure eight around two barrels, through a chute approximately 30 inches wide, then into a pen. The event is timed.

The top 16 dogs will go the semi-finals Monday afternoon, where the best six dogs will be chosen to compete in the finals.

The contest offers a $5,000 purse.

Co-chairman of the event with Bray is Duane Hofer of Rapid City. Jud Seaman is the judge and Todd McPherson the announcer. Gene Linton is providing the sheep.

For more information, call the stock show office at 355-3861.

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