Sheepdog finals return to belle grove plantation
MIDDLETOWN – The 2017 National Sheepdog Finals begin at Belle Grove Plantation at 8 a.m. Tuesday.
Over 200 competitors from across the United States and Canada have earned the right to step on the finals field through their successes at local sheepdog trails.
The event will begin with open preliminary rounds Tuesday through Friday in preparation for the Saturday semi-finals. The event has brought 650 sheep to the plantation.
Each team, which includes the dog and its handler, will have the task of collecting a herd of sheep from more than 400 yards away by using voice and whistle commands. The goal is for the handler to get the dog into a position that allows the sheep to move through various obstacles, while battling against the clock. Judges from across the county and from overseas will score each team on accuracy.
The top dogs and handlers will complete in the finals on Oct 1. Known as the Double Lift, this competition is the most difficult test for the dog and handler.
Spectator tickets will be available at the gate during the event, which will be held rain or shine. Food and merchandise vendors will be on the property throughout the event.
If You Go
Adult tickets are $14 per day, any day, $36 for a three-day pass, any three days, or $60 for a six-day pass. Youth and senior tickets are $7 per day, any day, $18 for a three-day pass, any three days, or $30 for a six-day pass. Youth 6 and under are free.
Free parking will be provided.